I'm taking a break from dog variants to do something else: rant about literature.
Brian and Lord Gwydion have both recently blogged about the USA National Public Radio's Listener Poll of the Top 100 SF/F Books of All Time.
These polls are always a bit silly. They never actually represent public opinion, because the shortlist is always decided upon by 'experts' who get to tell you which 100 books you are allowed to like and in what order. And they are always dictated by fashion: A Song of Ice and Fire is in there mostly, I think, because it has become a popular TV series. (I loved the first 3 volumes, but it's gone awry since then, and more importantly it hasn't even been finished yet.)
Some absolute greats are conspicuous in their absence. There is no Jack Vance, for one, which seems like a horrific omission: Jack Vance is easily in the top half of the best 100 writers of all time, full stop, let alone the best 100 SF/F writers. And although it is churlish to dispute the order of the list, given that it was decided by popular vote, are we seriously saying that R. A. Salvatore is a better writer than Gene Wolfe or Kim Stanley Robinson?
There are also some plain head scratchers. Animal Farm just isn't science fiction or fantasy, unless you're also going to include Aesop's Fables in the list. And the Outlander series (setting aside the fact that it's awful) is surely a series of historical novels. As for Wicked... the 80th best science fiction or fantasy book of all time?