Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Books and Literature > General Book Discussion

General Book Discussion General Science Fiction Fantasy books and literature discussion.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 31st October 2008, 04:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
This world is not my home
 
Parson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,842
Blog Entries: 5
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursa major View Post
Having been born in Bedford, I'd like to put a very quiet word in for John Bunyan getting at least some sort of mention here. (I'm assuming that no-one, believer or otherwise, is going to claim that Pilgrim's Progress is non-fiction, and it certainly has fantasy elements, to say the least.)



By the way, Wiki used to list Pilgrim's Progress in the top ten books sold (at 6th, I think), but they've decided that, as they can't get any reliable sales figures (no-one can interface with C16 C17 C18 and C19 POS terminals these days), they can't keep it in there.


Ursa,

I would never have thought about John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress as a Fantasy work. But, as you say, no one, believer or not would make a case for it as non-fiction. On the other hand does every work of fiction with fantastic settings qualify as Fantasy? Under that rubric every SF book would also be "Fantasy."

I would call it a kind of allegory. Does that make it Fantasy? It might also be disallowed on the fact that those computers of C16, C17 etc. would probably show that a lot of people bought the book as a kind of commentary on the Christian life. [The thought of those "computers" put a smile on my face -- PASOMF)

I am willing to be convinced on this. Do you have a more reasoned argument?
Parson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2008, 05:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
Bearly Believable
 
Ursa major's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK: ENGLAND:
Posts: 13,594
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

I mentioned my most telling argument: that Bunyan and I were born in the same town.

As to the definition of fantasy, and its relationship to allegory (I'm sure there are many examples where the two are combined), I'll leave that to those more versed in both.



By the way, I'm part way through Dan Simmons's Hyperion, and have just read (this lunchtime) the following:

Quote:
'Pilgrim's Progress Effect. In the Massachusetts Colony of - what was it! - seventeenth-century Old Earth, every decent family had to have a copy in the household. But, my heavens, no one had to read it.'
As Dirk Gently might point out, everything is interconnected (a view perhaps reinforced because I was listening to a radio adaptation of Adams' The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul only last night). Is that spooky enough for Hallow'en, I wonder?
Ursa major is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2008, 08:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
Oops
 
Lith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA:
Posts: 714
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
'Pilgrim's Progress Effect. In the Massachusetts Colony of - what was it! - seventeenth-century Old Earth, every decent family had to have a copy in the household. But, my heavens, no one had to read it.'
SOOOOOOOooooo many books fall into that category these days (or any days, I guess...) As for whether or not it should be included... you'd have to let in at least half the western canon if you did. The modern fantasy genre stretches generally back to Tolkien, and arguably no further than Morris. So while technically it fits, few fantasy/sf readers read anything so old unless forced to in school.

I'm sure any number of the Unplaced writers surpass Paolini.

Judging by the amount of shelfspace Jordan has had in bookstores over the years, and the sheer number of them I see in the thrift stores, I'd wager Jordan's ahead of Brooks, though Brooks isn't far behind.
Lith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2008, 05:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
Lemming of Discord
 
Werthead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,834
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lith View Post
SOOOOOOOooooo many books fall into that category these days (or any days, I guess...) As for whether or not it should be included... you'd have to let in at least half the western canon if you did. The modern fantasy genre stretches generally back to Tolkien, and arguably no further than Morris. So while technically it fits, few fantasy/sf readers read anything so old unless forced to in school.

I'm sure any number of the Unplaced writers surpass Paolini.

Judging by the amount of shelfspace Jordan has had in bookstores over the years, and the sheer number of them I see in the thrift stores, I'd wager Jordan's ahead of Brooks, though Brooks isn't far behind.
Further investigation revealed that Jordan has sold twice as many books as Brooks (44 million to 21 million), although Brooks, by any standards, is still very successful.
Werthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd November 2008, 05:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
This world is not my home
 
Parson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,842
Blog Entries: 5
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursa major View Post
I mentioned my most telling argument: that Bunyan and I were born in the same town.

As to the definition of fantasy, and its relationship to allegory (I'm sure there are many examples where the two are combined), I'll leave that to those more versed in both.



By the way, I'm part way through Dan Simmons's Hyperion, and have just read (this lunchtime) the following:



As Dirk Gently might point out, everything is interconnected (a view perhaps reinforced because I was listening to a radio adaptation of Adams' The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul only last night). Is that spooky enough for Hallow'en, I wonder?
I doubt that Pilgrim's Progress often remained unread. In an age of precious little entertainment, and high concern over all things religious, and enforced Sabbath idleness. I would guess that someone from most every family, maybe several someones, would read the one and only "other" book in their library.

As to sharing the same birth town as John Bunyan, makes me realize how much of "johnny, come lately" we colonists really are. Anything older that 200 years in my part of the world, and you are dealing with stone age civilization.
Parson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd November 2008, 08:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
Lemming of Discord
 
Werthead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,834
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLLUM View Post
I think Philip K Dick needs to be added to that list?
I would, if I could find any sourced sales figures for him Since I can't, he stays off the list.
Werthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th November 2008, 04:20 AM   #22 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Salvatore's website says that he has sold over 10 million copies.
patientlancs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th November 2008, 08:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
Lemming of Discord
 
Werthead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,834
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Thanks for that, that's very helpful

I'll do a big update of the list soon.
Werthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2009, 01:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

I know this is an old thread but there's a discussion going on one of my mailing lists and I was wondering, any idea the numbers for Piers Anthony? We are trying to figure out who has the higher number of books sold overall, Terry Pratchett or Piers Anthony (i'm voting pratchett though I do admit that anthony has written more books) and I can't find numbers for Piers Anthony anywhere.
Anyone else have better luck?
selanay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2009, 06:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
dark and stormy knight
 
dask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,280
Blog Entries: 23
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parson View Post
...does every work of fiction with fantastic settings qualify as Fantasy? Under that rubric every SF book would also be "Fantasy."
This may not be of help but I remember reading two things over the years. One, that sf is a sub-genre of fantasy (not the other way around) so technically all sf may be considered a type of fantasy, and two, all fiction is fantasy (which might be true in the extreme but not sure how practical it is). Wish I could remember where I read this. I'm sure a person's personal definition of fantasy is essential in all this.
dask is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th March 2009, 05:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
This world is not my home
 
Parson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,842
Blog Entries: 5
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by dask View Post
This may not be of help but I remember reading two things over the years. One, that sf is a sub-genre of fantasy (not the other way around) so technically all sf may be considered a type of fantasy, and two, all fiction is fantasy (which might be true in the extreme but not sure how practical it is). Wish I could remember where I read this. I'm sure a person's personal definition of fantasy is essential in all this.
I can not dispute this. I will now consider both sayings factual. It will make me slightly less frustrated as I filter through 100's of sword and sorcery books, endless Robert Jordan books and untold numbers of vampire books, trying to find the kind of Science (Fantasy?) that appeals to me.
Parson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2009, 12:06 PM   #27 (permalink)
]==[]===O
 
AE35Unit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Darlington
Posts: 5,734
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Werthead View Post

12) Douglas Adams (16 million)
...whose exceptionally long periods of writer's block and multiple years spent writing very slim novels, not to mention a poor film adaption of his signature novel, haven't affected his immense popularity.
What?!! Wash your mouth out with salt. Thats an excellent adaptation! :s
AE35Unit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2009, 11:12 AM   #28 (permalink)
1st Generation Wurtsite !
 
Althain's Warden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 179
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Well no suprises the Rowling is at the top ! Good to see that Tolkien is still up there with the big guns I can totally buy that Jordan has sold more than goodkind ! Jordan was THE author for a good few years where no one else was really getting comparable results in the sales lists, then goodkind came out and it seems his sales suffered from many people thinking he was copying Jordan (lots of similar story threads in Sot) and the many reports that he acts like an ass in plenty of interviews :0
All this said i have all 11 of Goodkinds books and quite enjoyed them and have all the Wot series and am quite looking forward to reading Memories of light
Althain's Warden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2009, 11:22 AM   #29 (permalink)
Registered User
 
MontyCircus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 259
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Quote:
Originally Posted by AE35Unit View Post
What?!! Wash your mouth out with salt. Thats an excellent adaptation! :s
Beeblebrox was unbearable. The actor just got it completely and totally wrong. That was my main complaint.

I've heard a lot of people complain about the dolphin song during the opening credits...but for me that was the highlight. Had me practically in tears. The film needed a bit more inspired insanity like that. More or less downhill from there, though I'd still recommend it as a rental to Hitchhiker fans.
MontyCircus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2009, 03:36 AM   #30 (permalink)
Lemming of Discord
 
Werthead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,834
Re: All-Time SF&F Bestseller List

Yeah, I was talking about the 2005 movie, which is excruciatingly bad (and it shouldn't be not, with Zooey Desanchal as Trillian and Stephen Fry as the Book, but it just doesn't work), not the 1981 mini-series, which is brilliant.

I guess I should do that updated list at some point. Neil Gaiman himself got in touch to reveal that the Sandman graphic novels have sold 7 million by themselves and Coraline, not by any means his best-known or most popular novel, 1 million. Combined with the much more popular Neverwhere, American Gods and other books, that must put him in the 10 million bracket as well.

Piers Anthony is not very well-known outside the USA and I believe has not had a UK publisher for quite some time. Pratchett is an international bestseller and has been for many years. Pratchett has definitely outsold Anthony by a substantial amount, although I could believe that Anthony was in the single-digit millions, maybe 10-15 million at the upside. He was (and maybe still is) dominant in a very small field (comic fantasy) whilst Pratchett is definitely in the 'phenomenon' category.
Werthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.