On Sunday, I came up with a list of 64 writers that have written novels or stories that either anticipate, reflect, or otherwise describe our zeitgeist. The first dozen or so seeds (as well as the bottom dozen or so) came rather intuitively to me, but the writers in the middle were seeded somewhat randomly. I used Twitter’s poll feature to determine the winners of Round One. In most of my polls, I included a third option, where voters could choose just to see the poll results instead of actually voting; I won’t be doing that going forward, because the data looks, if not exactly skewed, well, just a little off-putting, as in Round 1, Bracket 8 below:
My intuition is that Disch (Camp Concentration) and Walter Miller (A Canticle for Leibowitz) were either too obscure for many folks, or at least not writers very many people are passionate about.
Sinclair Lewis (It Can’t Happen Here) tied with China Miéville (Marxism, steampunk, Perdido Street Station, bold baldness) and went to a tie (I managed to misspell China Miéville’s name in both tweets)—
I was also surprised by top-ten seed Octavia Butler (Kindred, Parable of the Sower) losing to José Saramago (Blindness). I suppose I seeded Saramago too low.
Here are the results of Round One and the match-ups for Round Two:
Bracket 46 is particularly painful for me!
Poll results by tweet: