Archive for October 23rd, 2016


by Sam Juliano

The just-concluded Top 100 Science Fiction Countdown will always be the one project in the site’s history that will leave the most aching afterthought – it was after all staged during the most tragic period in the site’s tenure, and its maturation last Spring was one wrought with controversy and ever-changing parameters.  In the end, it turned out to be remarkably successful, though as always legitimate questions could be raised about the numerical placements of a number of films, as well as the actual inclusions and omissions.  Where this project really took flight was in the actually essays themselves.  The writing was unceasingly first-rate – exhaustive, scholarly, eloquent and displaying an astonishing array of genre knowledge and unbridled enthusiasm.  The Australian film writer extraordinaire Roderick Heath copped poll position honors for his countdown-leading ten essays, all spectacularly exhaustive and executed in his inimitable dense, scholarly, high-octane style .  Heath is a horror-science fiction specialist, so focusing on this front for nearly four months produced some of the most spectacular essays one could hope to lay eyes on.  His capstone pieces on Metropolis and Solaris from this moment forward must be seen as definitive.  And yet, Mr. Heath was not remotely the only contributor who brought this blood, sweat and tears project to glorious fruition with top-drawer reviews.  Robert Hornak, Stephen Mullen, Duane Porter,  John Greco, John Grant, Lee Price, Brandie Ashe, Adam Ferenz, J. D. Lafrance, Sachin Gandhi, Aaron West, Pat Perry, Pierre de Plume, Jamie Uhler,  Jaimie Grijalba, Marilyn Ferdinand, Anuk Bavkist, David Schleicher, Ed Howard, Pedro Silva, Christianne Benedict and of course our beloved Allan Fish (with seven re-publishings) brought all kinds of definitive expertise to their subjects, and a number of their individual posts could well be considered among the very best of this entire venture.  Bob Clark, Joel Bocko and Jamie Uhler collaborated on a series of sensational podcasts that brought further appreciation to the genre, and provided discussions that could well be referenced many years forward.  And then of course…….there is…..Dean Treadway.  This amazing film lover and superlative writer wrote several essays, but it was his grand finale – a staggering 12,000 word essay on the film that finished in the Number 1 position – 2001: A Space Odyssey that moved mountains.  It was one of the greatest of all film presentations and a fitting capper to this grand four month journey.  The 2001 essay also drew the most comments in the countdown with a whopping total of 45, but this was rather fitting.

Many thanks to John Grant, Jamie Uhler,  Jon Warner, Duane Porter, Tony d’Ambra, Frank Gallo, Peter M., Adam Ferenz, Robert Hornak, Tim McCoy,  Aaron West, John Greco,  J. D. Lafrance,  Maurizio Roca, Joel Bocko, Bob Clark, Pat Perry, Dean Treadway, Marilyn Ferdinand, Celeste Fenster and Ricky Chinigo especially for their prolific daily contributions to the daily comment sections for the countdown which allowed for some fabulous threads, gloriously contentious or of the pat on the back variety.  Page views throughout the project were uniformly solid, if not quite spectacular.  I have to say that Jon Warner is an amazing guy.  He took a pass on writing essays this time around due to uncertainty with his full grasp of this particular genre, but that did not stop him from placing comments on the vast majority of the post, much as he has for each and every countdown.  Thank you my friend!

The countdown is dedicated to Allan Fish, our incomparable friend who taught all of us what it meant to live and breathe something we were passionate about and never to approach anything half hearted.  He will continue to inspire us all to the end of our own days. (more…)

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