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March Madness BEGINS! Round 1

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message 1: by Tom, Supreme Laser (last edited Mar 04, 2016 05:37PM) (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
Hello folks, the Tournament Committee of the NCAA (National Committee of Anything Allright?) has convened and determined a balanced tournament structure based on season record, fan opinion, balance, and some small amount of eldritch witchery.

Here's how it works

Round 1 Begins tomorrow and runs through March 8th. 8 Polls will go up and you can vote in all of them. The winner of each poll will advance to the next round.

Round 2 will run from March 9 to March 12 with 4 polls. The winners of those polls advance to round three which will have two polls and run from 3/13 to 3/17. And the winners of those two face off in the finale 3/18-3/22.

The winner of that last poll will be the April book pick!

Here are the matchups that will go up tomorrow:

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin vs.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence vs.
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan vs.
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner vs.
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher vs.
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley vs.
Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett vs.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone vs.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab


message 2: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1666 comments Mod
DO NOT VOTE HERE! (or rather, do not think you are voting here, because you are not).

The official poll will go up tomorrow. This is just for chitchat. ;)


message 4: by Rick (last edited Mar 04, 2016 04:07PM) (new)

Rick | 2775 comments ...season record, fan opinion, balance, and some small amount of eldritch witchery.

NO booze???


message 5: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6715 comments Mod
Is there going to be an actual bracket? Did you guys find some bracket software, or are we just going to have the polls on goodreads?


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments There's some good stuff in the first round. Some of these choices are going to be pretty hard for me. March is going to be an interesting month.


message 7: by Sky (last edited Mar 04, 2016 04:45PM) (new)

Sky | 665 comments oh man why did GotM have to go up against Theft of Swords :\ I would be happy with either as a final pick but to see one eliminated so early is sad. Looks like they were grouped by sub-genre, when possible?


message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Wow, guess they didn't like all the 3 and 4 votes.


message 9: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Sky wrote: "oh man why did GotM have to go up against Theft of Swords :\ I would be happy with either as a final pick but to see one eliminated so early is sad. Looks like they were grouped by sub-genre, when ..."

Wow, I guess they wanted two complete opposite book to be pitied against each other right from the beginning.


message 10: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3863 comments Hoodie Sean wrote: "There's some good stuff in the first round. Some of these choices are going to be pretty hard for me. March is going to be an interesting month."

The way I read it, you get one vote per round, not one per "game" in the round. That is, for the round of 16 (8 games) you get one vote, not eight. Roberator, clarification?


message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Some of the parings are good in my opinion, while other could have been better like Lawrence against Brett would have been better.


message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Sky wrote: "oh man why did GotM have to go up against Theft of Swords :\ I would be happy with either as a final pick but to see one eliminated so early is sad. Looks like they were grouped by sub-genre, when ..."

If it was grouped by sub-genre, the books that could be considered Young Adults could/would have been paired up against one another.


message 13: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Mar 04, 2016 05:15PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
John (Taloni) wrote: "The way I read it, you get one vote per round, not one per "game" in the round. That is, for the round of 16 (8 games) you get one vote, not eight. Roberator, clarification? "

You can vote on each pair of books.

Tom wrote: "Round 1 Begins tomorrow and runs through March 8th. 8 Polls will go up and you can vote in all of them."


message 14: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Mar 04, 2016 05:21PM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6715 comments Mod
You'll get 15 votes total:

8 in round one,
4 in round two,
2 in round three,
1 in round four


message 15: by Tom, Supreme Laser (last edited Mar 04, 2016 06:03PM) (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
Keep in mind when criticizing what we picked that we were not intentionally trying to make you mad. Not everybody is going to be happy with the way we laid it out. If that is you, we hope you can try to have fun with it anyway. If you can't, we understand. But it wasn't meant to target you or the book/genre you love.


message 16: by Sky (last edited Mar 05, 2016 06:12AM) (new)

Sky | 665 comments Tom wrote: "Keep in mind when criticizing what we picked that we were not intentionally trying to make you mad. Not everybody is going to be happy with the way we laid it out. If that is you, we hope yo can tr..."

Yeah, right...We know you actually went and read each and every one of the potential voters book reviews, diabolically predicted their unprofessed predilections, while proceeding to optimize the brackets to piss off the maximum number of people possible....Admit it!


message 17: by Sky (new)

Sky | 665 comments Will the poll results be shown in real time or only at the end of voting for each round? Just curious.


message 18: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
The polls are made for the first round and set to open up Saturday at 12:01AM

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/4...

To answer Sky's question the results will not be shown in real time.

Here are the links to each matchup

MATCH 1 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 2 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 3 ROUND 1https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 4 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 5 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 6 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 7 ROUND 1
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

MATCH 8 ROUND 1 https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...


message 19: by Sean (new)

Sean | 350 comments Wait, who's criticizing the picks? I'm just bummed that there are match-ups where I really like both books and have no way of deciding which one I'll pick.


message 20: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
ANDDDDDD the brackets are up!

http://swordandlaser.com/march-madness


message 21: by Kelli (new)

Kelli C (kellimcassell) | 73 comments Sean wrote: "Wait, who's criticizing the picks? I'm just bummed that there are match-ups where I really like both books and have no way of deciding which one I'll pick."

I'm thinking that was a preemptive statement, since the complainers always seem to pop up.

Let the games begin! Well...at 12:01...except I'll be sleeping, so...


message 22: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
12:01 AM, I assume that is Tom Time (Pacific US) (7:01 PM for me)

Two books enter; one book leaves
There will be blood.
and tears.

Sounds like fun ;-) Pass the popcorn


message 23: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1136 comments Most of the pairings have at least one book that I've been meaning to get to, so should be good no matter how it rolls out. Just hard to pick on a couple of the choices.


message 24: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3863 comments Tom wrote: "Keep in mind when criticizing what we picked that we were not intentionally trying to make you mad. Not everybody is going to be happy with the way we laid it out. If that is you, we hope you can t..."

I'm going to subversively read The Little Prince as well, because this thread reminded me of books that I love and St. Exupery was awesome. It's worth it for the story of the Businessman alone, as he sat at his desk and ordered the sun to rise and set as it naturally rose and set...fabulous.


message 25: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
John (Taloni) wrote: "I'm going to subversively read The Little Prince as well, because this thread reminded me of books that I love and St. Exupery was awesome. It's worth it for the story of the Businessman alone, as he sat at his desk and ordered the sun to rise and set as it naturally rose and set...fabulous. "


I love this.


message 26: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1616 comments This looks awesome. I like it that we got to vote lots of time. Thanks to the mods for setting this up.


message 27: by J (new)

J Oliveira | 38 comments The Fifth Season Versus Neverwhere , what a matchup !!!!


message 28: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments Tassie Dave wrote:
"Two books enter; one book leaves
There will be blood.
and tears.

Sounds like fun ;-) Pass the popcorn"


KU-mi-te KU-mi-te KU-mi-te!


This will get interesting. That Gaiman v Jemisin looks to be a nail-biter. I'd put 50 Lem-bucks on Jemisin though. That book has a lot of buzz going into Nebula/Hugo season.

Hats off to team Mod/Supreme for what looks like a lot of admin work.


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1136 comments Nah, Gaiman will win that one, hands down. He's way more well known to the vast majority of members and most people will vote based on name recognition.


message 30: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
Phil wrote: "Nah, Gaiman will win that one, hands down. He's way more well known to the vast majority of members and most people will vote based on name recognition."

I think it will be a close vote. Both are popular here.
It could go either way. My feeling is that Jemisin will win it by a small margin.


message 31: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod



message 32: by Walter (new)

Walter Spence (walterspence) | 707 comments This was such a great idea. Just finished voting, and had a great time doing so. Very much looking forward to the final results.

Maybe this could become an annual tradition. I'd certainly be up for it.


message 33: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
I just realised 2 of the 16 authors are Australian.

That's nice, even though I voted against both of them and won't change. It's all about the books.


message 34: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6715 comments Mod
First round and already some tough calls for me.

I'm torn on 5th Season vs. Neverwhere. In the first case we have one of the best books I read last year, but in the second we have a book I own and haven't read.

Selfishly I want to read Neverwhere as a result, but I loved 5th season so much I want everyone else to read it too. Gaiman seems to be stupidly popular in general though. I've enjoyed the few things of his I've read, but not nearly as much as 5th season. I really don't know who I want to win. I hope it's as close as Tassie Dave thinks though.

I'm also pretty bummed Riyria is up against Malazan in the first round. I enjoyed both, but after a long slog for Shannara last month, I don't want another long epic fantasy book, even if it's Malazan. I'd have to stick with my nomination anyways. So Team Riyria!

For the rest of them, I'm more indifferent. Though personally I was disappointed with a few of the choices when I read them, so I largely voted against them more than for their opponents.

Aeronaut's Windlass was another favorite of mine last year, and would make for a fun read, but I'm not sure I can take all the negative posts that will inevitably be made about it. lol.

Either way, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops. Thanks Tom & Veronica for doing this. It should be a lot of fun!


message 35: by Lee (new)

Lee | 43 comments Loads of books here I want to read, plus most of them I already own and are in my ever growing to-read pile (well I say pile but most of them are eBooks what's the equivalent, virtual pile, book-ytes to-read).


message 36: by William (new)

William | 397 comments What an excellent selection of books! Most are new to me, but all are intriguing. Match 8 is a tough one for me as both sound excellent. My "To Read" list has just got a lot bigger.

Thanks Tom, Veronica and Rob, I'm loving the Madness!


message 37: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments Rob wrote: "First round and already some tough calls for me.

I'm torn on 5th Season vs. Neverwhere. In the first case we have one of the best books I read last year, but in the second we have a book I own an..."

Reading the negative comments about Sword of Shannara this month was not fun. I realize the book has it's weaknesses and most of the comments were valid, but I loved it when I read it. I ended up stopping reading what people were posting about it.

I can see how you would rather not have a book you loved be picked if a significant number of people will complain about it.


message 38: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6715 comments Mod
Yeah, it's always tough for me when people don't love the things I love for some reason. Or at least when they seem to hate it so much they rip it apart. Of course I don't always love the things they love either.

Personally I try to keep that in mind whenever I post about things I don't enjoy. That and if I don't enjoy something, I don't like to spend any extra time on it complaining about it. I'd rather move on to something I might like better.


message 39: by Rob Secundus (new)

Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments Tom wrote: "Keep in mind when criticizing what we picked that we were not intentionally trying to make you mad. "

So you say, Tom Merritt! But we can easily see that these brackets were designed by a mind of CACKLING VILLAINY!

(in all seriousness this is a really fun idea that I'm sure took much more work than usual for you guys, I'm sure I speak for most folks when I say it's fun to switch things up like this now and again)


message 40: by Sky (last edited Mar 05, 2016 06:18AM) (new)

Sky | 665 comments Rob wrote: "I'm also pretty bummed Riyria is up against Malazan in the first round. I enjoyed both, but after a long slog for Shannara last month, I don't want another long epic fantasy book, even if it's Malazan. I'd have to stick with my nomination anyways. So Team Riyria!"

Entirely different types of slogs though. One is a tough uphill climb where while the slope is steep and you occasionally get lost, once you get to the top of the mountain, while exhausted, you look back down with pride with what you've accomplished and enjoy the view for miles around.

The other is like walking 30 miles down I-5 having the strange feeling you've done this before :)


message 41: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2235 comments Tom wrote: "Keep in mind when criticizing what we picked that we were not intentionally trying to make you mad."

Thanks Tom and Veronica and Roberator. This is a fun way to choose next month's pick.

For the mad, a comic:

http://www.systemcomic.com/2011/08/03...


message 42: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2449 comments Yeah, if Veronica had a problem with the length of SoS then she might have to listen at 2x as there are a couple of books here that are significantly longer:)


message 43: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Phil wrote: "Nah, Gaiman will win that one, hands down. He's way more well known to the vast majority of members and most people will vote based on name recognition."

I guess you aren't familiar with sniping. When you do bracket voting, you don't treat every match-up as a one-off competition where you choose the option you prefer. You select the two or three options you most support, and strategically use the rest of your votes to pick the weaker candidate in other categories in the hope of giving your picks an easy path to victory. So anyone whose top picks are anything other than Neverwhere should vote for Jemisin and disqualify Gaiman so he won't be a threat in later rounds.


message 44: by G. Derek (new)

G. Derek Adams This is so cool.


message 45: by terpkristin (last edited Mar 05, 2016 09:12AM) (new)

terpkristin | 4118 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "I'm going to subversively read The Little Prince as well, because this thread reminded me of books that I love and St. Exupery was awesome."

I agree, he was. And the French in French Guiana agree:



I saw that when I was in French Guiana on a launch campaign for one of my satellites.


message 46: by Phil (last edited Mar 05, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Phil | 1136 comments Sean wrote: "Phil wrote: "Nah, Gaiman will win that one, hands down. He's way more well known to the vast majority of members and most people will vote based on name recognition."

I guess you aren't familiar w..."


I would bet that most people aren't going think that deeply about it Sean. There will probably be about 200 people voting and my guess is that most will just pick the one out of each pair that they like the most.
If I had to predict the outcome I'd say the final two will be Neverwhere (the most popular author) and either A Wrinkle in Time (the most famous book) or The Aeronaut's Windlass (the second most popular author).


message 47: by Kelli (new)

Kelli C (kellimcassell) | 73 comments Fun! I just voted. I'm crossing my fingers that some of my picks make it into the next round. But, I'll be happy with whatever comes out on top. All of the books look great to me!


message 48: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments Last time I was in Las Vegas for March Madness a huge brawl broke out in the sports book, so this may led to some interesting S&L bookclub meetup tales.


message 49: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2235 comments Phil wrote: "I would bet that most people aren't going think that deeply about it Sean. There will probably be about 200 people voting and my guess is that most will just pick the one out of each pair that they like the most."

That's how I voted, picking the one from each pair that I most want to read. If you keep doing that, no one really loses.


message 50: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1147 comments Mod
Phil wrote: "Sean wrote: "Phil wrote: "Nah, Gaiman will win that one, hands down. He's way more well known to the vast majority of members and most people will vote based on name recognition."

I guess you aren..."


Not to get too spoilery but with approximately 100 votes cast so far if the vote ended right now you would be wrong.


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