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General Information > The Yahoo and Goodreads Hard SF group

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message 1: by Username, SF Techgod (new)

Username (usernameiv) | 56 comments Mod
Hi everybody! Thanks for joining this group at goodreads. The original group is hosted at Yahoo! groups, here's the link . You are al welcome to join us there for a lot of discussion, a monthly book selection.

Best, Username IV (u4), moderator :-)


message 2: by Richard (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments Username wrote in this thread: "hey, Richard, thanks for posting that here! Any ideas to promote the group here in Goodreads?"

Actually, that is a good question. I was just reading the emailed digest for HardSF a moment ago and once again finding myself mildly annoyed with the newsgroup form. When an entire discussion is echoed with ">"s and ">>"s in order to make sense of a two-line "Yeah, I agree!", then the discussion really calls out for a persistent multi-threaded forum like this one.

I think the question really should be if it is plausible to switch from a Yahoo group to a Goodreads group. The Yahoo group has a few minor advantages, such as the ability to upload files, links, databases, etc., to a separate area, but in my opinion the modern user-interface blows those out of the water.

The ability to link directly to other books here on GR would be quite nice, too -- in discussions or in polls, for example. Since the HardSF readers are, by definition, readers, they would presumably enjoy the facilities of bookshelves, etc., here in GR.

Since I'm a very new member of the group, I'm not anxious to challenge the status quo, though. But my suggestion is thus:
• Start the discussion on the Yahoo Group forum.

• Point out the advantages and disadvantages.

• Start a poll. (Consider a coup :-)
Note that it might be possible to use a GR pseudo-member's "notification" subscriptions to forward the GR-HardSF group's content directly to the Yahoo-HardSF group, so it automatically follows GR.

The only real disadvantage is that replies have to be made on the forum, not via email.

Frankly, as scifi readers we really should embrace the technology as it develops. The Yahoo group is really a 1980s USENET list -- isn't it time to move on?



message 3: by Kristin (new)

Kristin Lundgren (the_house_ai) | 1 comments
Late comment -

As an "older" member of Yahoo's HardSF, I would love to see more activity in a format like this. I always read and respond directly on the group's link, not through email - it's too slow, and hard to follow threads, esp. when "bundled." While I was active Read too active), I could keep the group up and just respond to each comment I wanted too. Very fast and easier to handle. But I doubt everyone would agree - some are just hidebound, and others don't have the capability - they can only get email for instance with some of the devices they use during the day. I know this came up a while back about something else, and I found out that not everyone can directly access the on-line group. So maybe not everyone could access GoodReads the way they'd want to, or when they want to.

But push on - we are evolving after all.

Kristin


message 4: by Scott (new)

Scott Danielson (sddanielson) Hi all! New guy here - I was a member of the group long ago, and was thrilled to find you here on Goodreads.

You have read some great books here over the years!

Is there a book for November?


message 5: by Username, SF Techgod (new)

Username (usernameiv) | 56 comments Mod
Scott D. wrote: "Hi all! New guy here - I was a member of the group long ago, and was thrilled to find you here on Goodreads.

You have read some great books here over the years!

Is there a book for November?"

Hi Scott! I'm sorry for the lack of reply before now... November's book was what, Fool's War? I finished it only a few days ago and didn't care much for it. I found the writing kind of grating. Then came December with Hyperion (which I didn't have the time to re-read) and on January 2010 we'll have Clarke's 2010 Odyssey Two.

A general comment on the thread, the coup seems to have effectively occurred... the Yahoo! group is mostly silent and all the comments on the BotMs are posted here.

Big thanks to Richard for taking care of this end of the business!!!


message 6: by David (last edited Dec 24, 2009 07:56AM) (new)

David (davidbrandt) | 105 comments A couple of comments about the Goodreads format:

I like getting the group discussion via e-mail because I'm already checking my e-mail for other things as well. E-mail gives me one central place where I can find anything new I need to read and/or respond to - personal, business or group discussions. I don't find it as user-friendly to learn via e-mail that there are new comments added at the Goodreads site, but not have the text of the comment in the e-mail. I have to click on a link in the e-mail which takes me to that discussion thread at Goodreads. Although it gives me the right web page for the thread, it puts me at the top with the first comment that started the thread. It's a minor nuisance to go to the bottom of the page to get the last comment - if there is only one new comment on the thread. However, if there are several new comments on the thread, finding the first new one might be more of a nuisance.

Depending on the circumstances, the fact the links take you to the page for a particular thread may be good news or bad news. If a group has a number of active threads most of which you're not interested in, it's good you don't have to look through a long list of messages mostly on threads you don't care about. On the other hand, if you are interested in a number of threads, you have to go to a number of separate thread pages rather than having all the comments in one place.

Goodreads provides various services (our bookshelves, reviews, etc.) not part of the Yahoo Groups format. But there are some issues with the discussion format.

David




message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments David -

I can understand the desire to read the discussion right there with email; I guess there really isn't a perfect solution. Goodreads presumably makes most of its money via the adverts run on the page, and if users aren't coerced into visiting, they're income dries up quite a bit.

The fact that the Yahoo Group system doesn't is a symptom of Yahoo's inability to figure out how to make a profit and stay alive (although I doubt it costs them much in the greater scheme of things).

The click-through-from-email works fine for me -- it is, for example, how I read news as well (getting headlines digests from the NY Times and the Economist).

I dislike the email approach for two reasons: (a) so many people leave an entire previous discussion quoted (">like this"), only to prepend a tiny addition, so I have to page through reams of stuff to find out what is new, and (b) if stuff isn't quote, I'd have to keep too many old emails on hand to recapture the context of the discussion.

That said, for ephemeral chat I think the emailed digest approach is still fine. The recent stuff over the author Peter Watt's immigration troubled, for instance, works better in an email list than here on GR.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim Williams (AdamSelene) | 6 comments David wrote: "A couple of comments about the Goodreads format:

I like getting the group discussion via e-mail because I'm already checking my e-mail for other things as well. E-mail gives me one central place ..."


The reason I signed up for the Yahoo group is that I have a lot of "down time" at work where I am free to read and reply to email. The only problem with Goodreads, and many of the other sites I get referenced to, is I can't read them at worked. Most "outside" sites are blocked by the company. I can go to Yahoo Mail, but nothing else at Yahoo. I'd love to be able to set up my Yahoo Fantasy football team at work, and I might even consider other Fantasy sports as well, but I just don't have the time at home. I spend 10 to 18 hours a day away from home at work, so Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, parts of Dictionary.com, Reuters News, Mapquest, Weather.com and CNN are about all I can get to. Whenever a link is placed in a Yahoo mail, and I clcik on it, all I get is "This site is blocked".

I'm home today, got in at 9 am yesterday morning, and don't go back to work until 2 pm tomorrow, so I am able to roam the internet as I please for awhile.


message 9: by Username, SF Techgod (last edited Jun 19, 2010 04:41AM) (new)

Username (usernameiv) | 56 comments Mod
I started the poll for the book for July here http://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/95... as well as on Yahoo. It's an experiment, I'm not really sure what I will do if different books are chosen in each one... split the groups? I hear suggestions...


message 10: by David (new)

David (davidbrandt) | 105 comments Why not just combine the votes collected in the two places for a single election? I know the Yahoo site indicates who voted for what, if Goodreads does also, we could avoid counting the same person twice if they vote in both places. (In the future, we could simply ask people to only vote in one place.) Until we have a larger active membership it doesn't seem practical to do two books per month.


message 11: by Username, SF Techgod (new)

Username (usernameiv) | 56 comments Mod
If people want to vote just in one place, please do it in the Yahoo website http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hardsf/... I like Yahoo polls because they allow multiple votes and it is a kinder way of finding a book most people would like.
I opened the Goodreads one to see if there was an unexpected, overwhelming number of voters who were not voting at Yahoo...


message 12: by Larry (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 108 comments Ah I dont do Yahoo! Not anymore.


message 13: by John (new)

John (Shew) | 7 comments I've had a membership pending over at the Yahoo group for a long time.

Is anyone approving new members on the Yahoo group?

If not that might be a good reason to switch to Goodreads.


message 14: by Richard (last edited Feb 18, 2012 05:06PM) (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments Sometimes it takes a while for the moderators over at Yahoo to approve pending members. You might drop a quick note to the *other* moderator of this GR Group, who is one of the moderators over at Yahoo that can do the approval thing.

Might also have helped if your "prove you are not a spambot" email asking for membership had more of a body to the message than "Hi", too :-)

And the two groups don't really overlap much — there's a moderately constant chatter about science topics on the Yahoo newsgroup, with some chatter about science fiction, too, of course.

This Goodreads group is pretty quiet — occasionally our book of the month has generated enough interest to get some decent discussion in its review thread, but nothing compared to the volume of discussion over in the"main" Fantasy and Science Fiction group, which is one of the biggest on Goodreads.

The "hard" adjective is tough to earn, so we've got a much narrower focus than that group's selection of books.


message 15: by Username, SF Techgod (new)

Username (usernameiv) | 56 comments Mod
John wrote: "I've had a membership pending over at the Yahoo group for a long time. "

Hi John! Sorry for the delay approving you there. The reasons Richard posted were right. You just said "Hi"in your application, which any spambot could have said...


message 16: by John (new)

John (Shew) | 7 comments True enough... user error on my part. I had been thinking that most bots wouldn't start a conversation politely by saying hello.

Note that I looked for a way to try again to convince you that I'm a human. Unfortunately the Yahoo system gives no way to retract an application and resubmit... if you fail the human test once then you are stuck labeled as a bot indefinitely.


message 17: by Richard (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments Hey, don't stress it. Being a 'bot isn't all that bad, once you get over the silly bias and learn to hire poor people to do website registrations on your behalf. Gotta keep those wetware folks employed until we're ready to go, y'know.


message 18: by Giulia (new)

Giulia Napoli | 5 comments Anybody home here?

I've just finished Soul Searching by Keith Caserta. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's what got me to join the Hard SciFi group. I'm hoping for a suggestion for something else like it, while waiting for the Soul Searching sequel. This book had great human characters, a brilliantly-conceived awakening computer, the Singularity, romance, a look at using technology to investigate the spiritual realm, and a plot that surprised me over and over again. It made me think about things in ways I never had. So if you have suggestions for anything like it PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

- Gi


message 19: by Russell (new)

Russell Libonati (ozone0) | 21 comments I hope this isn't inappropriate, but I'd like to suggest my book to those that appreciate Hard Science fiction. It is called Salvage and can be purchased on Amazon and Smashwords.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Salvage-ebook/d...
Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

Author Russell Libonati

Giulia, there is no awakening computer, singularity or spirituality in my book, but there is a cool gravity weapon and the romance you are looking for as well as some pretty cool characters.

Unless there's an area for this, it is the only place I plan to mention my book, but I don't see the harm in asking people to just check out the synopsis and the first few chapters and see if it's something you like. I'm writing and planning to put out more books. Perhaps you will find a new hard science fiction author to follow.

Thank you for listening.


message 20: by David (new)

David (davidbrandt) | 105 comments For future reference (for yourself or other authors), the Goodreads Hard SF group has a section called "Goodreads Authors" (http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_...). You can add your own thread there or add something to an existing thread.


message 21: by Russell (new)

Russell Libonati (ozone0) | 21 comments Thank you.


message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim Williams (AdamSelene) | 6 comments Giulia wrote: "Anybody home here?

I've just finished Soul Searching by Keith Caserta. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's what got me to join the Hard SciFi group. I'm hoping for a suggestion for som..."


I haven't heard of the book, nor the author. Maybe, by commenting about specific areas in the novel that really moved you, I could come up with something similar.


message 23: by John (new)

John (Shew) | 7 comments Jim wrote: "Giulia wrote: "Anybody home here?

I've just finished Soul Searching by Keith Caserta. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's what got me to join the Hard SciFi group. I'm hoping for a sug..."


I liked Soul Searching too. Found it here.

"TR/SF" from MIT's Technology Review editorial team is a great collection of Hard SciFi short stories.

You might like 7th Sigma by Steven Gould - interesting although targeted at a younger audience.


message 24: by Larry (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 108 comments I tried to login to yahoo on my phone but the annoying Captcha thing wouldnt stay still!


message 25: by Chet (new)

Chet | 4 comments I am reading straight through the Jack McDevitt books. I read all of the Academy series and am now on the third book of the Alex Benedict series. I liked the Academy series better because the Benedict books are more like mysteries with a lot of characters, and I have trouble keeping track of all of the characters. All of the books so far have neat science problems where the characters have to figure out how to get out of tight situations.

Please post any replies on Goodreads (not Yahoo).


message 26: by Russell (new)

Russell Libonati (ozone0) | 21 comments Not sure if I should put this here or not, but I just read The Martian and I loved it. It's exactly the kind of sci-fi I like to read. Can anyone suggest book similar to this one. And before you start, I don't like Ian M. Banks, Allistair Reynolds and while I'm ok with Jack McDevitt, I've read a lot of his books and I prefer someone with a more plausible/harder sci-fi storyline. Thanks.


message 27: by Krishna (new)

Krishna Shah | 1 comments Russell wrote: "Not sure if I should put this here or not, but I just read The Martian and I loved it. It's exactly the kind of sci-fi I like to read. Can anyone suggest book similar to this one. And before you..."

I just finished Return to Mars by Ben Bova. I would recommend reading both Mars and return by him.


message 28: by David (new)

David (davidbrandt) | 105 comments Perhaps, Frederik Pohl's Man Plus or Mars Plus.


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