Data Nerd: A deeper look into the Science Fiction Novels top 100 list

Since I’m a bit of a data nerd and really enjoy looking at things from multiple angles (not to mention Google Spreadsheet makes things really easy on me), here is some deeper analysis on the books of the Science Fiction Novels top 100 list.

I’ve provided the raw data used to create the list in this shared Google Spreadsheet, so I invite you to come up with your own insights and analysis, you just have to share it with the rest of us data nerds.

Lists

What books were on the most lists?

How many lists Rank Title Author
10/11 1 Dune Frank Herbert
10/11 9 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller
9/11 5 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
9/11 12 The Forever War Joe Haldeman
8/11 2 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
8/11 3 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein
8/11 4 Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) George Orwell
8/11 7 The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin
8/11 13 Neuromancer William Gibson
8/11 14 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes
8/11 21 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
8/11 23 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
7/11 6 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
7/11 8 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
7/11 10 Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
7/11 11 Gateway Frederik Pohl
7/11 17 Hyperion Dan Simmons
7/11 20 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
7/11 25 Startide Rising David Brin
7/11 36 Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
7/11 61 Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

Author

What authors have the most books on the list?

Author Books on list
Isaac Asimov 6
Robert A. Heinlein 5
Arthur C. Clarke 4
Philip K. Dick 4
Kurt Vonnegut 3
Neal Stephenson 3
Ursula K. Le Guin 2
Ray Bradbury 2
Alfred Bester 2
Orson Scott Card 2
Dan Simmons 2
Clifford Simak 2
Jules Verne 2
Larry Niven 2
Gene Wolfe 2
John Wyndham 2
David Brin 2
A. E. Van Vogt 2
J. R. R. Tolkien 2
Olaf Stapledon 2

 

What’s the average rank of the multiple books on the list for a specific author?

Author Average Rank Books on list
Ursula K. Le Guin 4.5 2
Ray Bradbury 14 2
Alfred Bester 15 2
Orson Scott Card 26 2
Arthur C. Clarke 36.25 4
Philip K. Dick 39.75 4
Robert A. Heinlein 42 5
Dan Simmons 46 2
Clifford Simak 47 2
Jules Verne 53.5 2
Kurt Vonnegut 55 3
Larry Niven 56.5 2
Gene Wolfe 58 2
John Wyndham 58.5 2
Isaac Asimov 58.67 6
David Brin 59.5 2
Neal Stephenson 64.33 3
A. E. Van Vogt 74 2
J. R. R. Tolkien 76.5 2
Olaf Stapledon 77 2

Years

What decade has the most ranked books?

Decade How Many Books
1950s 25
1960s 19
1970s 16
1980s 14
1990s 10
1930s 5
1940s 4

 

What years had the most ranked books?

Year Books on list
1951 5
1975 5
1953 4
1954 4
1962 4
1968 4
1992 4
1959 3
1969 3
1970 3
1972 3
1980 3
1985 3

Rank

What books had the biggest distribution gap from the next book on the list?

Distribution Gap Rank Title Author
20.36 1 Dune Frank Herbert
3.91 5 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
3.00 2 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
3.00 3 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein
2.64 25 Startide Rising David Brin
2.09 13 Neuromancer William Gibson
1.82 31 Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
1.73 9 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller
1.73 16 The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
1.64 39 Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner