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Thursday, December 11, 2014

A question of anticipation

UPDATE: I changed the poll software because the other one was screwing with the blog. You don't need to vote again since I saved the previous results, which had Jerry Pournelle in the lead with 31 votes, followed by Brad Torgersen with 13.

One of my favorite things about anthologies is seeing how the unknowns fare in comparison with the more established figures. And, of course, it's always wonderful to discover new writers, new or established, who one hasn't previously read. Given that many of the contributors to RIDING THE RED HORSE have their own fan bases, I think it will be interesting to see which stories are most anticipated, and which end up being perceived as the stronger ones once the anthology comes out.

In case you're wondering where familiar names such as William S. Lind and Tom Kratman are, I'll run another poll tomorrow addressing the non-fiction pieces.

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22 Comments:

Blogger Nate December 11, 2014 8:10 AM  

Pournelle. Because Name.

Blogger Josh December 11, 2014 8:13 AM  

I'm gonna go with Giuseppe because of yesterday's thread.

Anonymous Stilicho December 11, 2014 8:24 AM  

Is he still a churchian agnostic?

Anonymous Ingemar December 11, 2014 9:33 AM  

I keep getting redirected to the poll every time I go to this site. What's going on?

Had to go on (shudder) Internet Exploder to workaround that problem.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2014 9:39 AM  

I keep getting redirected to the poll every time I go to this site. What's going on?

Something with Java. I had to turn off my Noscript permission to make it stop happening myself. Last time I use this poll script. If you restart your browser, it should stop happening too.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 11, 2014 9:48 AM  

Giuseppe Filotto, is an interesting dark horse. Well worth a look.

However, the question was "whose story will be the most highly regarded?"

My bet for the long haul is Brad Torgersen. I think he is the "next" great science fiction writer we've been waiting for, ever since real talent stopped being developed.

Blogger Vox December 11, 2014 9:49 AM  

I changed the poll software. That other software was ridiculously intrusive. No need to revote, I have the previous results.

Blogger Steffen December 11, 2014 10:02 AM  

After looking at the talent roster here, I would not presume to guess whose story I will like best. I'll have to read and find out.

Blogger MendoScot December 11, 2014 10:29 AM  

I voted for Kennedy since I'm enjoying his Janissary series, but the wording of the question seems awkward. Taken literally, the question is how will people I don't know view stories they haven't seen by authors I haven't read.

Blogger Vox December 11, 2014 10:33 AM  

Taken literally, the question is how will people I don't know view stories they haven't seen by authors I haven't read.

Yes. What do you find awkward about that? Do you also find it hard to produce an opinion concerning whether more people will go see The Hobbit part 3 than Teatime with My Sister Mary?

I think it is interesting to compare anticipated results with actual ones.

Anonymous Rolf December 11, 2014 11:37 AM  

Tough call. Odd mix of established big names in si-fi like Pournelle, established names in other fields like ESR, and total newcomers like myself. A very strong talent pool plus near total unknowns.

I hope the next poll isn't just "best" but "pick your top three," because I suspect it's going to be a lot of really close decisions for most readers as the stories will be so different.

While I agree with Nate's reasoning, I'm not willing to make any public predictions. I am, however, quite flattered (as of the time that I write this) to only have four names ahead of mine. I hope I can live up to that expectation.

Anonymous Mike Mike December 11, 2014 12:41 PM  

ESR for sure... I'm going to skip to his story and read it first. Been reading his blog and I am anxious to see his first offering.

Blogger MidKnight December 11, 2014 12:51 PM  

Tough call.

I've still got my nearly complete collection of TWBW and Imperial stars, as well as all the Falkenberg stories. That and his Niven co-authored books.

I also like a number of other names on the list, even if some - Eric forex - I'm more familiar with outside of fiction.

I'm pleased that Castalia was able to land Eric, and IIRC Ken Burnside's essay.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 11, 2014 1:49 PM  

@Josh,
You know Josh, this is like ilk entrysm within the ilk. It's like we're super-ilk or something. If Nate joins us it's confirmed. Of course you DON'T own a 9mm "weapon" right?

Anonymous Giuseppe December 11, 2014 2:12 PM  

My reasoning is thus:
(keep in mind that the only peoplebi have read on that list are Vox and maybe Pournelle but if so long ago and I don't remember what and in any case remember Pournelle to ne one of those authors I tended to avoid)
So...being as all are strangers to me I would say:
1. Nate is right cause of JP's name
2. Going by what I think will be most appreciated I voted for Steve Rzasa because with a surname like that he's gotta be East bloc and they can come up with some very novel ideas. And if he's 12th generation Yankee, oh well, I guessed wrong. Or Polish. Polish SF is just weird. Except for Solaris which is the exception that proved the rule.
3. Honour demands I can't vote for myself, but even if it didn't I would not have. Vox's story is similar to mine in a way and I think they are to an extent comparable, but short story form is my first attempt, and from a technical point of view I think Vox did a better job, so I would expect others to do better.

4. Also, as I am reading the advance copy for review purposes but been an insane week so only read mine and Vox for now so I am excluding us both.

Blogger CarpeOro December 11, 2014 2:20 PM  

What can I say - I'm feeling old. I've been reading Jerry Pournelle stories since before a fair number of blog readers were alive. I have always enjoyed his work even though I had disagreements with some of his perspectives. I have found over time that my points of disagreement didn't hold up well as my own life experience grew, so he has generally grown in standing (I do think his assessment of Bush 42 was a bit to generous in one of his essay pieces for Imperial Stars, but then I admit my appreciation of Reagan has diminished with the immigration disaster he helped foster so it is a wash I suppose). John F. Carr is right up there also. What I am going by is simply decades of credentials. Of the rest, those I have read have garnered respect to some extent, but I have either serious disagreement with an aspect of their story writing or they haven't reached Pournelle's level of quality yet from their works that I have read. If I had to pick ten fiction books/series to be stranded with he makes the cut with the Falkenburg books for me.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 11, 2014 2:28 PM  

My reasoning is thus:
(keep in mind that the only peoplebi have read on that list are Vox and maybe Pournelle but if so long ago and I don't remember what and in any case remember Pournelle to ne one of those authors I tended to avoid)
So...being as all are strangers to me I would say:
1. Nate is right cause of JP's name
2. Going by what I think will be most appreciated I voted for Steve Rzasa because with a surname like that he's gotta be East bloc and they can come up with some very novel ideas. And if he's 12th generation Yankee, oh well, I guessed wrong. Or Polish. Polish SF is just weird. Except for Solaris which is the exception that proved the rule.
3. Honour demands I can't vote for myself, but even if it didn't I would not have. Vox's story is similar to mine in a way and I think they are to an extent comparable, but short story form is my first attempt, and from a technical point of view I think Vox did a better job, so I would expect others to do better.

4. Also, as I am reading the advance copy for review purposes but been an insane week so only read mine and Vox for now so I am excluding us both.

Anonymous Holmwood December 11, 2014 3:16 PM  

The question I'd posit is this: is there a Hugo-nomination worthy candidate amongst the lot? Leave that aside, though.

Vox's post title is typical of his somewhat convoluted personality. He's actually asking about a collective retrospective view, but framing it in such a way that powerfully tempts one to approach in anticipatory fashion. In a non-Machiavellian moment, he clearly sees this.

(Other than their blogs and brief skimming I've not read Mr. Filotto -- Giuseppe -- or Mr Cheah. FWIW my thoughts as a reader of SF from all (?) eras of modern times (post late 19th century, say).

@Giuseppe Steve Rzasa is Vox's writing partner on 2+ SF novels (e.g., Quantum Mortis). He's American (born and bred) and I think currently lives in the mid-West. Writes some good SF/adventure prose. Very competent.

Knowing what I know of their writings and glancing at the blogs of these authors... it's actually really a good group. Almost all seem sensible decent people, relatively unencumbered by the crazes that currently beset our civilization.

Amazed and a bit ashamed that no one (including me) voted for Carr. His book on Piper was very good, and I've always enjoyed his stuff even though he's never been a name.

Jerry Pournelle. Well, of course the most anticipated. But likely to be the most well-regarded, especially since Vox is vague about timeline? Perhaps not.

Kennedy, Nuttall, Nelson, Mays: all good 'indie'. Particularly liked Rolf's bizarre anti-novel; will be interesting to see if he can keep it up. Hope so.

Giuseppe Filotto? Definitely a dark horse, no insult intended sir. Needs editing, I think, but has style and hopefully content.

Benjamin Cheah? Similarly unknown. More polished prose than Giuseppe but style? Don't know. This is a horribly unfair assessment based on skimming a few excerpts. Good to see an entry from the far side of the world.

Brad Torgersen - yes. A good writer who might well be one of the greats at some point. Easy enough to see his story being viewed retrospectively as the most well regarded.

Eric S. Raymond. Unlikely. A competent writer and a brilliant and highly decent fellow in open-source. Brimming with ideas. First strike out of the park seems improbable but who knows. That said, I will read him with great interest.

Vox Day? Seems improbable, perhaps the least likely, but I did appreciate Opera Vita Aeterna more on rereading. He writes well; not brilliantly, but well, and it's a pleasure to pay money to be entertained by the man.

And Vox's work as an editor has so far impressed and entertained me more than his work as a musician, a game designer, or possibly even a [non-columnist] writer. And he's talented in all those fields. I still remember the music from Rebel Moon; firing up the Youtube video brought me back every bit as much as Doom did. I must have gotten a free copy along with my MMX Pentium from Intel. Huzzah.

Cheers all, and best of luck to the authors on many sales and much appreciation. Respect to all of you.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 11, 2014 4:40 PM  

@Holmwood,
no offence taken at all sir. In fact I appreciate your honesty. My blog does need editing and is currently infested by hackers as well as out of date. My books and published works tend to have a better edit on them than the blog (I sincerely hope!) partly because I hire a professional to go over them.
Thanks for clearing up on Steve. My ignorance is vast...but that was the point of sharing my thought process, to be open about my ignorance and opinion.
I don't disagree with you on Vox. He is competent. In a way I am not, but I can't really put my finger on what it is. I suspect technical stuff like grammar and other foul words of that nature. If I ever manage to clean that without losing my soul, I might actually make a decent writer. Although, judging from sales of the only book I had a small audience to market to (one single email shot) I would say people do enjoy my writing mostly. But it's always hard to evaluate yourself, and a tad pointless since the style of a writer is also subjectively attractive or offensive to a reader for an infinite number of reasons. People love Stephen King, but I find him tedious and predictable, and James Patterson is a multi-millionaire, which if I were weak would surely result in a suicide or at least a homicide, so who can say.

Blogger MendoScot December 11, 2014 6:10 PM  

Busy day Vox, so excuse my late response.

Yes. What do you find awkward about that?

Three indeterminate dimensions. Even a close correlation in the outcome will have little predictive value.

Do you also find it hard to produce an opinion concerning whether more people will go see The Hobbit part 3 than Teatime with My Sister Mary?

Yup, 'cos I don't even know if Teatime is a real movie. I haven't read 50/256 shades either.

Anonymous Rolf December 11, 2014 8:42 PM  

Cool! I wrote a bizarre anti-novel!... Wait, what?

:-)

First time it's been described that way, but I'll take it. Glad you liked it, Holmwood, I hope I can keep it up, too.

Blogger automatthew December 11, 2014 9:22 PM  

Rolf as the dark horse. Stars was a brilliant first work. I've already read it twice, and depending on how the novel-form turns out, I might read that to my wife.

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