Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has come up with a list of "20 Movers and Shakers in Science Fiction" with the explanation, "Science fiction didn't conquer the media world in 2008 all on its own: A host of creative people helped power the mighty battlecruiser. Here's our list of the 20 biggest science fiction movers-and-shakers of 2008."
What I find interesting about it are two things: First of all, Did sf conquer the media world in 2008? I hadn't particularly noticed it doing that. 2008 was more a political odyssey than a space odyssey, from my point of view. But OK. If you say so.
Secondly, and even more interesting to me is that if I had been set the task of making a list of 20 "movers and shakers" in SF for 2008, it would have had no overlap with the io9 list. Most of the people on her list wouldn't even occur to me to include. And while Neil Stephenson and Michael Chabon have both received much acclaim, neither is so influential in a social sense that I would have put them on such a list. I don't want to try for a list of 20, but if I had composed such a list it would have had Lou Anders on it, and Jonathan Strahan, and Elizabeth Bear, and Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi. Also, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, plus some other acquiring book editors (I haven't check out what people are buying). Also, some Secret Masters of Fandom who make our conventions and awards happen.
Also, there are those people like Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick and David Langford and Ellen Datlow and Connie Willis who are movers and shakers most years who would need to be included.
My own list would probably not have anyone from Hollywood on it, since I think I have a different view of Hollywood's importance to science fiction than does io9. Nor, I think, would my list end up with agents on it. I like literary agents and many of them are my friends, but in science fiction, they are not a particularly empowered lot.
My list would have catalogued science fiction's strange attractors, whose actions and opinions have disproportionate effects on the field.
What would your list be like?