The responses are both interesting and sad. First of all, a lot of people seem to have misread the question as “the most important SFF book”, even though Stross doesn’t specify the genre. Or maybe these people read nothing but SFF.
Then you get people who apparently haven’t read a single book by a woman (or transgender/intersexed person) published in the past eleven years, which is really depressing. For the past few years, my reading has heavily skewed towards female authors, a percentage made even higher by the PhD research. But nonetheless, I make it a policy to read at least one or two books by men per year. It seems that many men don’t adhere to similar policies.
You also get people complaining that women have ruined the SFF section with all that paranormal romance crap they’re writing. Usually, that sort of comment is posted by men who have never even read a single urban fantasy or paranormal romance novel, they just know they are crap, because… well, they just know. There was also one benighted fellow who wrote a lengthy comment stating that women simply don’t write important books, because women don’t write about the singularity like his favourite male authors. Really, I have no words.
Of course, you also get a lot of suggestions. Many of them are of the usual “Take with a grain of salt” variety, people recommending whatever Ursula K. LeGuin or Margaret Atwood novels fit into the time frame, because those are the only female writers they know about. Or people recommend that last book by a woman they read or list books by women
which seem to be drawn directly from recent awards shortlists. Now of course it’s possible that these people really think that this book by a women that was just nominated for a major genre or mainstream award is really the most important female authored book of the century so far. But I doubt it, especially considering how many people seem to think that the turd that is Blackout/All Clear is the best book of the century so far. But you also get some very interesting suggestions, including many for non-US/UK women writers.
And finally, though I know that absolutely no one cares, here are the preliminary results of our local elections for town council, county council and county commissioner. The liberal party FDP has lost votes, the Greens have gained votes, which in pretty much in accordance with voting trends throughout Germany. Contrary to the nationwide trend, the conservative party CDU has been gaining votes in Stuhr, probably because the CDU mayor did a very good job. And indeed, our mayor ran for county commissioner this year and pretty much cleaned up the opposition.