Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Amazon’s definition of "Best"

by Rob - November 14th, 2007.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Well, has weighed in with its list of “Best Books of 2007.” Here’s the list for Science Fiction and Fantasy. See the starburst that says “Best of 2007” and the banner that says “Best Books of 2007”?

Ah, but what does the descriptive text say? “Here are the topselling science fiction and fantasy books on during 2007. (Ranked according to customer orders through October. Only books published for the first time in 2007 are eligible.)”

Yup, that’s right: has at last dispensed with any distinction between qualitative and quantitative “best.” The #1 best SF&F book of the year is, perforce, the #1 bestselling SF&F book of the year (Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin, Amazon claims, which, incidentally, is a lie; the latest Harry Potter way outsold that, even at Amazon).

Ah, well. Nice to know that we have a simple, mathematical definition of “best” now. Makes life so much easier …

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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