Thinking Alike

Here’s an interesting coincidence. I was doing a bit of compiling of which 2004 novels have gotten the most and/or the most significant reviews. If you examine Locus reviewer Gary K. Wolfe’s lead reviews from his column each month (since Locus columnists generally lead with what they think is the strongest title), and compare them to the books John Clute has reviewed, once every four weeks, for SF Weekly, you find that 7, out of a possible 13, titles are the same. The coincidence is more remarkable if you count only novels: 7 out of 10. (Wolfe has led with two anthologies and one collection; Clute has covered two collections.)

The 7 novels that both critics reviewed (not always entirely favorably) are:

  • Paul McAuley, White Devils
  • Gregory Benford, Beyond Infinity
  • Bruce Sterling, The Zenith Angle
  • Steph Swainston, The Year of Our War
  • Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • Neal Stephenson, The System of the World
  • Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

Wolfe’s review of Roth is in the December issue; Clute’s review went online today.

In addition, Wolfe has reviewed novels by Kim Stanley Robinson, Elizabeth Hand, and Gene Wolfe; Clute, Heinlein, David Mitchell, Albert Robida, and Alexander C. Irvine. (Wolfe did review the Irvine novel, in his August column; the only novel he covered that month. Other Locusfolk reviewed the Heinlein and Mitchell volumes. Wolfe’s column for January leads with an anthology.)

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