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The Summer Reader Poll Returns: Tell Us Your Favorite New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books

Deborah Lee for NPR

Ten years is a long time! In 10 light-years, you could get from Earth to a whole new solar system, Epsilon Eridani. And in the past 10 years, science fiction and fantasy have undergone a revolution — new voices, new perspectives and new stories, bright as stars in the night sky.

So we thought it would be a great time to revisit our original 2011 reader poll of favorite science fiction and fantasy. And not just because of all the fantastic new stuff that's come out in the past decade, but because that 2011 list has some notable holes in it when it comes to race and gender. (Octavia Butler fans, I am SO sorry. But we do plan to address that with a supplement to first list.)

We're doing things a little bit differently this year since we already know you guys love The Lord of the Rings. Instead of a grand survey of all of time and space, we're zeroing in on titles from the past 10 years — that is, anything that has come out since the 2011 poll. And since we're only looking at the past decade, our panel of expert judges will take your nominations and use them to curate a final list of 50 titles (rather than our usual 100).

What can you nominate?

Individual books

Pretty self-explanatory — nominate any book you like, as long as it was published after 2011. This category also includes novellas and short story collections. If a title was included in our original poll, it can't show up again — however, authors can make a second appearance, if they've had new work since then.

Series books

We'll consider series books as a single entry but feel free to tell us which entry in a particular series was your favorite.

Limit yourself to five choices

You only get five picks, but don't hesitate to nominate something you know other people already picked — we count everything up, and our expert panelists pay attention to what's popular. And if you have just one or two picks, that's fine, too.

Don't limit yourself otherwise

You can absolutely nominate any post-2011 title on the sci-fi and fantasy shelves at your local bookstore or library — just don't be too sad if your favorite doesn't make the final 50.

Voting has closed for this year — watch this space for updates!

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Petra Mayer died on November 13, 2021. She has been remembered by friends and colleagues, including all of us at NPR. The Petra Mayer Memorial Fund for Internships has been created in her honor.