The votes are in! Congratulations to the winners of this year's Readers' Poll.
Earlier this month, we asked you to vote for your favourite works published by SH in 2015. As ever, we are grateful to everyone who voted and/or sent us other feedback on the year—and, of course, to our contributors for submitting their work.
- First place: "Glaciers Made You" by Gabby Reed (podcast)
- Second place: "City of Salt" by Arkady Martine (podcast)
- Third place: "Liminal Grid" by Jaymee Goh (podcast)
- Fourth place: "It Brought Us All Together" by Marissa Lingen (podcast)
- Fifth place: "The Game of Smash and Recovery" by Kelly Link (podcast)
Notes: three writers (Goh, Link, and Reed) making their first appearances in SH (as fiction authors, at least), and the fifth year straight that a debutant tops the poll. It's only the second time no men have appeared in this category (the first time was 2013). Some years there's a clear winner, but this time it was quite close-fought, with only twenty points separating first and fifth place: in 2013 (to stick with that example), the spread was ninety-one points.
- First place: "Ranra's Unbalancing" by Rose Lemberg (podcast)
- Second place: "Long Shadow" by Rose Lemberg (podcast)
- Third place: "Adarna" by M. Sereno (podcast)
- Fourth place: "Season of the Ginzakura" by Ryu Ando (podcast)
- Fifth place: "Nettle-stung" by Shweta Narayan (podcast)
Notes: only one poet on their first appearance—Ryu Ando—with the remaining three having appeared or won numerous times in the past: Sereno last year, Narayan in 2013 and 2011, and Lemberg in 2011, 2012, and 2014 (winning in the first two of those). This all suggests that those of you reading this may be interested to know, if you don't already, that Lemberg's debut poetry collection Marginalia to Stone Bird, which includes a number of poems first appearing here (including "Long Shadow") is out now from Aqueduct Press. Another close-fought category, though: just nine points between first and fifth place.
- First equal: "The Uses and Limitations of the Folklorist's Toolkit for Fiction" by Rose Lemberg
- First equal: "Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation" by Polenth Blake and Bogi Takács
- Third place: "Fractal History: An Interview with Jo Walton" by Liz Bourke
- Fourth place: "Representing Marginalized Voices in Historical Fiction and Fantasy" by Joyce Chng, David Anthony Durham, Kari Sperring, and Vanessa Rose Phin
- Fifth place: "In a Galaxy Far, Far Away: On Classical Reception and Science Fiction" by Liz Gloyn
Notes: Clearly the historical/cultural pieces struck a chord last year! In contrast to poetry, this is Rose Lemberg's first appearance in our non-fiction poll; ditto Polenth Blake, although Bogi Takács came in third last year. Here there was a clearer gap between the top two and the rest, and thirty-six points between first and fifth. It's the first time we've had a tie for first place in a category.
Columns (see the archives for individual columns)
- First place: Genevieve Valentine
- Second place: Rose Lemberg
- Third equal: Liz Bourke
- Third equal: Eleanor Arnason
- Fifth place: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
Notes: after her final year writing a regular column for us (alas!), Genevieve Valentine notches up her fifth straight win in this category. If you've stumbled onto this page and are wondering what all the fuss about, you can check out her work in the archives. We miss her already.
Reviews (see the archives for individual reviews)
- First place: Erin Horáková
- Second place: Foz Meadows
- Third place: Abigail Nussbaum
- Fourth place: Nina Allan
- Fifth place: Liz Bourke
Notes: The bottom three have been here before, the top two have been reviewing for us for several years but make their first appearance on this list. I don't know for sure that Erin Horáková's placing is down to her magesterial review of the reviewers of Over the Garden Wall, since it was only one of several wonderful pieces she wrote for us last year: but that's the one that sticks in my mind. For Foz Meadows, it's her take on Ancillary Sword. For Abigail Nussbaum, Zen Cho's Spirits Abroad. For Nina Allan, The Book of Strange New Things (even if I disagree with her almost entirely). For Liz Bourke, The Dark Defiles. I like our reviewers.
- First place: "Let's Tell Stories of the Deaths of Children" by Rachel Kahn
- Second place: "Utrechtenaar" by Vlada Monakhova
- Third place: "The Visitor" by Sishir Bommakanti
- Fourth place: "The Animal Women" by Bo Moore
- Fifth place: "The World in Evening" by Maggie Ivy
It's the first time we've run this category, so I have no track records to point to here: but I can tell you it was close, with only one point between the top two (twenty-one between first and fifth). And I'm intrigued that there is zero overlap with your favourite stories of the year: I'll be interested to see if that pattern continues in future years.
Poll details: the poll was open from 13.00 PST on 4 January 2016 until 23.59 PST on 17th January 2016. Each person could vote for up to five works or nominees in each department, ranking them 1 (first place) to 5 (fifth place). Each first-place vote was worth five points, each second-place vote was worth four points, and so on. It was not compulsory to vote in every category, nor to use all five slots in a given category. Multiple votes on one ballot for the same item were discarded, and ballots required a unique email address to be submitted. Email addresses were only used to verify the validity of ballots.