Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thirteen of the unluckiest characters in SF&F

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged thirteen of the unluckiest characters in science fiction & fantasy, including:
Winston Smith in 1984, by George Orwell

Winston Smith’s bad luck is more or less tied to his existence; if he didn’t have bad luck, he would have none at all. He’s not a complex or deep man; he’s miserable and lonely, and every effort he makes to be slightly less miserable or slightly less lonely yields nothing but the complete destruction of the self. And Winston does not start off the story in a particularly lucky or even enjoyable position—when your high point is miserably pretending to conform in a ruthless dystopian society, you have a case of what literary scientists call Epic Bad Luck.
Read about another entry on the list.

Nineteen Eighty-four is on Bassem Youssef's six favorite books list, Joel Cunningham's list of twelve science fiction & fantasy books for the post-truth era, Stephen W. Potts's top five list of useful books about surviving surveillance, Linda Grant's top ten list of books about postwar Britain, Ella Cosmo's list of five fictional books-within-a-book too dangerous to read, the list of four books that changed Peter Twohig, the Guardian's list of the five worst book covers ever, the Independent's list of the fifteen best opening lines in literature, W.B. Gooderham's top ten list of books given in books, Katharine Trendacosta and Amanda Yesilbas's list of ten paranoid science fiction stories that could help you survive, Na'ima B. Robert's top ten list of Romeo and Juliet stories, Gabe Habash's list of ten songs inspired by books and a list of the 100 best last lines from novels. The book made Charlie Jane Anders's list of ten science fiction novels we pretend to have read, Juan E. Méndez's list of five books on torture, P. J. O’Rourke's list of the five best political satires, Daniel Johnson's five best list of books about Cold War culture, Robert Collins' top ten list of dystopian novels, Gemma Malley's top 10 list of dystopian novels for teenagers, is one of Norman Tebbit's six best books and one of the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King. It made a difference to Isla Fisher, and appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best Aprils in literature, ten of the best rats in literature, and ten of the best horrid children in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue