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December 22, 2004

Apparently, Science Fiction Peaked Ten Years Ago

by Ron Hogan

I found a list of the top 100 science fiction books, and apparently everything written in the last decade pales by comparison, as the most recent books to make the grade all came out in 1992: Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, and Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. No, wait, there's Stephenson's The Diamond Age from 1995.

Of course, the "statistical survey" leaves plenty of room for argument. For one thing, Stephenson outstripped both those books with Cryptonomicon; for another, Slaughterhouse Five should rank much higher than #71--at the very least, higher than Earth Abides. You can find your own nits to pick, I'm sure.

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