The Sword and Laser discussion

259 views
2016: The Year in Review

Comments Showing 1-50 of 56 (56 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments I thought I would write an overview of the books read this year.

Having a science background and been through quite a bit of diversity awareness I like numbers :-).

13 books (one alt pick) overall. , 7 written by women and 6 by men. Five of the books have straight out female protagonists and three men with the rest being mixed casts with no clearly identifiable protagonist (although I could class AFUTD as having female leads). As for style I think five of these books are aimed at the Youngish Adult market

My only quibble about the list is that all but one of the authors was white which is not ideal (if I go back to 2014 this jumps up to a whole 4 out of 36, 2014 was a good year, none in 2015). Maybe this could be addressed in upcoming picks.

My vote for most interesting book of the year (best is too subjective) would be The Fifth Season.

Book Author Gender Protagonist Gender
----------------------------------------------------
Rook M F
FVaFS M F
TGATD F F&M
AFUTD M Mixed (significant Female roles)
TLW M M
TTT F M
UD F F
A M F
ADSOM F F&M
TFS F F
ATBITS F F&M
SoS M M
Rad: F F

Youngish Adult: The Rook, FVaFS, UD, ADSOM, ATBITS… although I think only UD is directly aimed at the market


message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike (Mindolin) | 9 comments "My only quibble about the list is that all but one of the authors was white which is not ideal (if I go back to 2014 this jumps up to a whole 4 out of 36, 2014 was a good year, none in 2015). Maybe this could be addressed in upcoming picks. "

There were two, N. K. Jemisin and David Wong, just to clarify not to take away from your point.

Mike


message 4: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 904 comments Mike wrote: "There were two, N. K. Jemisin and David Wong, just to clarify not to take away from your point."

David Wong is a white dude.


message 5: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments Mike wrote: ""My only quibble about the list is that all but one of the authors was white which is not ideal (if I go back to 2014 this jumps up to a whole 4 out of 36, 2014 was a good year, none in 2015). Mayb..."

David Wong is a pen name for a White Dude. Not a great move IMO.


message 6: by Mike (new)

Mike (Mindolin) | 9 comments wow, your right, sorry about that.

Mike


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments Wong is White.

:D ha!

If you listen to the Cracked podcast, you'll find that Jason Pargin is *very* white. He grew up in a small town in Illinois in a conservative evangelical Republican family who hold a lot of law enforcement jobs. You can't get more white in America. He fancies himself a liberal these days, but that's mostly by comparison to the people he grew up with.

His stated rationale for choosing his pen name was picking two common names and combining them. I can't tell if he's joking or not.


message 8: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments Iain wrote: "I thought I would write an overview of the books read this year.

Having a science background and been through quite a bit of diversity awareness I like numbers :-). "


I did this last year, using pie charts generated by a site intended for kids. I'm going to do it again at the end of this month. Once I find that old thread so I can find that site again, that is.


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1006 comments I thought somebody said "David Wong" was the name of a character in one of Pargin's first stories and when he needed a pen name he just thought of that.


message 10: by fezfox (new)

fezfox | 55 comments I didn't read them all, but I'd pick the Golem and the Djinni myself, with a special last last last place for the The Sword of Shannara.


message 11: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2162 comments With The Rook I will have read/attempted 9 this year. Lemmed one and the highest rating I gave was 4 stars to Aurora.


message 12: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (sayselizabeth) | 128 comments Hmm, turns out I only read one S&L this year. Reading as a job and reading as a hobby don't always mesh!


message 13: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments Had a bit of a look around and have some suggestions for non-white writers:

The Remembrance of Earth's past series by Cixin Liu, the first volume, Three Body problem, won the Hugo.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (another Hugo winner.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho.

Any other suggestions?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2290 comments Joanna wrote: "If you're like me and can't remember which full titles go with which shortenings anymore, that's

The Rook
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits
[book:The Golem and th..."


Thank you! I was like ack, don't make me have to figure this out!

I haven't been super active in discussions this year but I'm a heavy skimmer of conversations. :)

From the S&L picks, I read (some before the group read them):

A Darker Shade of Magic
The Fifth Season
All the Birds in the Sky
The Golem and the Jinni
The Last Wish

I didn't read TGATJ this year but loved it when I read it. The Jemisin was probably my favorite otherwise, but I liked AtBinS.

I have checked out from the library and still will try:
The Rook

I DNF (but appreciated getting the chance to try):
A Fire Upon the Deep
Updraft
Radiance

I haven't yet fully examined all of my reading for the year so can only think about these!


message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments I found last year's post. Adding here so I can re-find at the end of the month.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 16: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Incidentally, I had already read The Fifth Season, A Fire Upon the Deep, The Golem and the Jinni, and The Rook, but I was pretty excited to discuss all of those.


message 17: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Dec 13, 2016 06:43PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "Had a bit of a look around and have some suggestions for non-white writers:"

Can we instead look for suggestions for books by a more diverse range of authors.

I just don't think race is a criteria we as a group, or personally, should use for choosing, or not choosing, books.

We (The hosts and us members and listeners, as a group, suggesting books and voting) haven't deliberately chosen white authors.
The same way we haven't deliberately chosen American writers (76%) or male writers (71%)
We haven't read any female authored books that are not Nth American (93% are American. 7% Canadian)
(Jo Walton considers herself Canadian before anyone mentions her)

These are all just statistical facts, not a manufactured outcome.

For such a, comparatively, short list of books we have a lot of diverse authored books. At least 7 nationalities, foreign language translations, gay, transgender, deceased, politically controversial, atheist, multi-faith, multi-race etc Just to name a few.


message 18: by Iain (last edited Dec 14, 2016 02:57AM) (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Iain wrote: "Had a bit of a look around and have some suggestions for non-white writers:"

Can we instead look for suggestions for books by a more diverse range of authors.

I just don't think rac..."


I am positive that this is not overt discrimination and am not implying that or even criticising the group.

As a member of an academic community (Physics) that has diversity problems and having undergone a fair amount of diversity training I now understand that if you do not do the statistics inherent unperceived biases can remain. or "The unexamined life is not worth living" . Or in other words, if you do noyt look at the numbers you can pretend there isn't a problem.

Originally I just did the numbers out of curiosity (can't help myself) and realised they do not reflect society well.

The more interesting part of this is what happened after I wrote the first post. I went off to Amazon and started hunting for non-white writers. Man is it hard to find SF and fantasy writers other than the obvious ones. I think it is pretty clear that there is an underlying discrimination issue in the publishing industry that in many ways is similar to the problem in Physics. That is, there are only a few examples of successful SF&F writers who are not white, which means less non-white readers, which in the long run means no new writers. Given how main stream SF&F is in terms of TV and movies these days this is a problem that the groups reading list reflects but did not create.

Overall the numbers tell us that the group's reading list is diverse and representative of the genre. I suspect your numbers of 76% US writers (my Canadian friends get upset with the US==American equivalency) are probably about write for an English language book group. The US is clearly the largest pool of native English speakers* (70% of the total according to Wikipedia). Given a pool of 100 books that is very close to what you would expect (given an statistical uncertainty of about 10%).

I find these questions fascinating and worth the time to think about. Carrying out this little study has led me to reflect on my reading choices and how they are informed which is the real point. Basically I wanted to start a conversation.

*Well allegedly English, sometimes I wonder.


message 19: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 900 comments Does the gender or race of author matter if the story itself is diverse? In the genre of mystery there is a more international flavor to it, but there is a market for the books, a publishing house that specializes in international writers (Soho Press). Nothing like that for SF or Fantasy that I know of. Things are getting better, as I have seen attempts to change that.


message 20: by Eric (last edited Dec 14, 2016 06:57AM) (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 587 comments Stephen wrote: "Does the gender or race of author matter if the story itself is diverse? In the genre of mystery there is a more international flavor to it, but there is a market for the books, a publishing house ..."

I've been struggling with this very idea ever since I got back into comics in 2011. The issue there that led me to start thinking about it was the trope (whose name I can't remember) of women characters in comics being men in women's bodies. In other words, they acted exactly like the men in the comics, only they happened to posses female body parts. Why did this happen? Because the writers had no point of reference for which to write as a woman and were at least trying not to go for stereotypes. Of course the same can happen with race or ethnicity.

Where things get complex is that there are all types of people. There are some women who embody the stereotype of femininity, there are women who basically are men in women's bodies (without considering transgender and all that stuff). And there are women who are somewhere in between - they wear makeup and frilly dresses and also play rugby - or something like that. Right?

SO when you see a character act a certain way - I think knowing the author's identity can put things into context. Or at least lend some authenticity to things. A few examples I can think of.

a) Let's say there's a story that takes place a poor, African-American neighborhood and mentions things like drugs, gangs, etc. If the author is AA, then I'd give more credence to what's said there because the author will have more experience. Rather than an outsider's view of what's going on.

b) Take example (a) and change it to Hasedic Jews or Mormons or any other group that isn't in the mainstream. We have a lot of assumptions about those groups. I'd be more confident that someone writing from the inside is being truer and not relying on stereotypes.

c) On the gender front - there's a lot of sexism / sexist jokes revolving around menstruation, for example. So a story that dealt with that written by a woman would be very different than one written by a man who's never had to deal with the anxiety, social embarrassment, and even fear if your parents' hadn't prepared you for that (according to some people I know who weren't told ahead of time it was coming).

So it's a matter of being able to REALLY know what you're talking about when you write diverse characters. It's the same reason we have sociologists embed themselves into groups to learn how they work rather than working from the outside.


message 21: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 587 comments Iain wrote: "

I think it is pretty clear that there is an underlying discrimination issue in the publishing industry that in many ways is similar to the problem in Physics. That is, there are only a few examples of successful SF&F writers who are not white, which means less non-white readers, which in the long run means no new writers. Given how main stream SF&F is in terms of TV and movies these days this is a problem that the groups reading list reflects but did not create.

."


I feel that, like the engineering fields it's probably a complex feedback loop. There was sexism and racism in the past. There is much less now. However, there aren't the women / minority mentors to bring in the new writers. That's why I appreciate it when the Hugos and other awards take time to call out writers from underrepresented groups so that new readers can see it as a possible career for themselves.

That said, it does seem that the more indie scene (like the books I've been getting on Story Bundle) seems to have a lot more diversity than the traditional publishing scene.


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

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "I think it is pretty clear that there is an underlying discrimination issue in the publishing industry that in many ways is similar to the problem in Physics."

That is something I have seen black writers complain about and that is a clear case of discrimination that the industry needs to deal with and make sure doesn't occur ever again going forward.

Iain wrote: "(my Canadian friends get upset with the US==American equivalency)."

I find they get upset if you mistake them for being US americans ;-)
I have made that error before and I have also found that telling them you all sound the same, usually earns me a few swear words. :-)


message 23: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Nagy | 379 comments Iain wrote: "The more interesting part of this is what happened after I wrote the first post. I went off to Amazon and started hunting for non-white writers. Man is it hard to find SF and fantasy writers other than the obvious ones. I think it is pretty clear that there is an underlying discrimination issue in the publishing industry that in many ways is similar to the problem in Physics. That is, there are only a few examples of successful SF&F writers who are not white, which means less non-white readers, which in the long run means no new writers. Given how main stream SF&F is in terms of TV and movies these days this is a problem that the groups reading list reflects but did not create.
"


You would have to clearly show the submission rate for stories per whatever group to make any such claim based of merely the results.

Like seriously just pull up amazon kindle and filter down for most recently published books in science fiction or fantasy, ignore everything that even looks like it has a publisher at all and you can see it's overwhelmingly white male and American.

Now if you want to get on my bandwagon of the sheer lack of official translations of foreign works is annoying and frustrating then be right with me. I mean the closest we have is Yen...Press... that basically just translates the books of anything that is about to become and anime, and not even that well.

Here is a good example like the English market is a huge market the 2nd biggest market...wait second biggest...what's the biggest? That's right Chinese and I'm still baffled continuously that their hasn't been some major effort to push over some of their genres over to the west. Like they very much have their own ultra popular version of the court/historical romance that very much has it's own set of tropes to it. Or heck bring over Xianxia Fantasy, where the magic missle has been replaced by the flying sword. If you dig on fan-translation sites you can find this stuff of extremely varying quality, but that gets no mainstream attention and trying to get anyone into fan-translations is like pulling teeth.

Like this year I'm at this many translated novels out of 122 books
18 Japanese-translated
3 Korean-translated (about to finish a 4th)
7 Russian-translated
1 Polish-translated(hello witcher)
That's not even including webfiction of which I'm currently following or read this year.

This isn't me bragging this is me jumping up and down saying there is really good stuff out there you just have to put in some effort to find the kind of stuff you like, and hope it's getting translated.


message 24: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2584 comments If we're going to worry about diversity, which admittedly is low in SF, how about some Steven Barnes? He's a pretty good writer. Or going more classic, Samuel Delany, who was also gay. I'd cheerfully read any of their works. If looking for non-US, Alastair Reynolds. Gay, female and current, Becky Chambers. Or if we want a historical flair, Soviet era "Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers. These are all over the place, but the common thread is that they are good works by good authors. I don't know if we should seek diversity for diversity's sake, but if we want diversity, there is a wealth out there.


message 25: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments Aaron wrote: "Here is a good example like the English market is a huge market the 2nd biggest market...wait second biggest...what's the biggest? That's right Chinese"

That's actually not true. The US is the largest market for everything related to entertainment except comic books. Americans watch more movies, watch more TV, and read more books than anyone else in the world.

Even though China has more than four times the population of the US, they read less than half the books we do. It's still a giant market simply because they have a billion more people than the US, but they have a ways to go before they catch up.

I think we're seeing more translations every year. Ken Liu seems to be a one man army in this regard. When The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became a huge hit, suddenly we were inundated with a tsunami of Swedish crime fiction in the same vein because people were trying to capitalize on that success. Stieg Larsson sold more copies of that book in the US than every Swedish author sold in Sweden for the entirety of the 20th century. If there is a true breakout hit on the order of that book from China (The Three-Body Problem was not *quite* big enough), then we'll see a rush to translate those authors.

Manga has seen a similar surge in popularity over the past 20 years, to the point where bookstores have entire sections devoted to it. In the 1980s it was nearly impossible to get manga and anime. At some point the form reached a critical mass and became increasingly popular. Between early video games and the breakout hit of Akira, interest surged.

We saw a small increase in popularity of Chinese works after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but so far nothing on the order of Akira or Dragon Tattoo. All it really takes is one big hit and we get the literary equivalent of the British Invasion after The Beatles.


message 26: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments A small addition. An example of english language non-white SF is Cleverman. It is an Australian TV show written, directed and starring Australian Aboriginals. This was developed in part to bring Aboriginals into the mainstream broadcast industry...


message 27: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 576 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "If we're going to worry about diversity, which admittedly is low in SF, how about some Steven Barnes? He's a pretty good writer. Or going more classic, Samuel Delany, who was also gay. I'd cheerful..."

Delany is on the S&L reading list as a past pick.. The Einstein Intersection


message 28: by John (Taloni) (last edited Dec 14, 2016 04:38PM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2584 comments ^Thanks! Wasn't here for that one. Einstein Intersection is available on Hoopla at the LA Public Library. Tagged for holiday reading. Been a while since I read Delany.


message 29: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "Stieg Larsson sold more copies of that book in the US than every Swedish author sold in Sweden for the entirety of the 20th century."

Unfortunately he didn't get to see the success and money. He died before any of the books were published.


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

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "Delany is on the S&L reading list as a past pick.. The Einstein Intersection."

Here is a more detailed and better list of the books we have read.
Creator bias there ;-)

http://swordandlaser.wikia.com/wiki/B...


message 31: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Trike wrote: "Stieg Larsson sold more copies of that book in the US than every Swedish author sold in Sweden for the entirety of the 20th century."

Unfortunately he didn't get to see the success and money. He died before any of the books were published. "


That's what he wants you to think.


message 32: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 587 comments Trike wrote: "
That's what he wants you to think. "


While he's hanging out with Elvis and Tupac


message 33: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 587 comments Trike wrote: "Aaron wrote: "Here is a good example like the English market is a huge market the 2nd biggest market...wait second biggest...what's the biggest? That's right Chinese"

That's actually not true. The..."


I remember when you had to WORK to get access to manga or anime!


message 34: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1029 comments Mod
Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...


message 35: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 259 comments Tom wrote: "Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!"

I didn't know about these! Why didn't I know about these?!


message 36: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Colin wrote: "Tom wrote: "Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!"

I didn't know about these! Why didn't I know about these?!"


Instead of hiding them, you'd think they would place them in a prominent position at the top of the main page.

Oh wait......

;-)


message 37: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 259 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Instead of hiding them, you'd think they would place them in a prominent position at the top of the main page.

;-)"


OK, fair comment. :-) The text on that part of the page is so static that I clearly never pay it any attention. My bad!


message 38: by Darren (new)

Darren Colin wrote: "Tom wrote: "Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!"

I didn't know about these! Why didn't I know about these?!"


They never get picked.


message 39: by Aaron (last edited Dec 22, 2016 07:33AM) (new)

Aaron Nagy | 379 comments Trike wrote: "Aaron wrote: "Here is a good example like the English market is a huge market the 2nd biggest market...wait second biggest...what's the biggest? That's right Chinese"

That's actually not true. The..."


Market was perhaps the wrong word I was talking about the sheer amount of stuff that gets published in Chinese https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_p.... Regardless it's a huge huge publishing center that very much has a strong insular scenes that feel disconnected from the rest of the world.

I do hope you are right and we get a break-though hit there soon, I feel like there is a lot of fun potential.


message 40: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1029 comments Mod
Darren wrote: "Colin wrote: "Tom wrote: "Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!"

I didn't know about these! Why didn't I kn..."


The TOP one doesn't always get picked but they do get picked and I look at them every month when considering how to select the books.


message 41: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2162 comments Tom wrote: "Don't forget that we do pay attention to the listopias so if you want to see different book sunder consideration vote them up!

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2......"


I had previous voted on both these lists so I went back and made some adjustments and brought my voted books up to 20 on each list.

FYI - People seemed to have thought there was only one list. The S&L SciFi list contains Lord of the Rings, The Bellgariad, Conan and many more works of fantasy. (Or is that Veronica trying to game the vote :)


message 42: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Jan 01, 2017 02:10PM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5195 comments Mod
So another year done, and my reading continues to decline, but it's still much better than it was pre-Goodreads. Part of it was burn-out I think, but the rest was simply due to video games taking up a lot of my free time again.

This wasn't a great year for S&L picks for me personally. Most of them were 2 (4 books) or 3 stars (6 books).

My top 3 were as follows:

1) The Fifth Season - 5 Stars*
2) The Golem and the Jinni - 4 stars
3) Updraft - 3.5 Stars

*Although I read this before it was an alt pick

It was still a decent year for books (3.7 avg rating) for me though. Here are my 5 star reads:

1) Babylon's Ashes - (My Review)
2) The Guns of Empire - (My Review)
3) Morning Star - (My Review)
4) Age of Myth - (My Review)
5) City of Blades - (My Review)
6) Rat Queens, Vol. 3: Demons - (My Review)

Here's my yearly report (as generated by my GoodReads Parser Application)

Year: 2016
Total Books: 90
Rereads: 8

********************
* Format Breakdown *
********************
Total AUDIO_BOOK Count: 54 (60.00%)
Total BOOK Count: 11 (12.22%)
Total EBOOK Count: 16 (17.78%)
Total GRAPHIC_NOVEL Count: 9 (10.00%)

*******************
* Genre Breakdown *
*******************
Total FANTASY Count: 42 (46.67%)
Total HISTORICAL Count: 5 (5.56%)
Total HORROR Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total HUMOR Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total MYSTERY Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total NONFICTION Count: 7 (7.78%)
Total STEAMPUNK Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total SCIFI Count: 24 (26.67%)
Total THRILLER Count: 4 (4.44%)

***************************
* Author Gender Breakdown *
***************************
Total MALE Count: 73 (81.11%)
Total FEMALE Count: 15 (16.67%)

Average Rating: 3.69
Total 2 Count: 5 (5.56%)
Total 3 Count: 25 (27.78%)
Total 4 Count: 53 (58.89%)
Total 5 Count: 7 (7.78%)

Years Published:
Total 1950 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1958 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1971 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1973 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1977 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1985 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1987 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1989 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 1990 Count: 4 (4.44%)
Total 1991 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 1992 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 1993 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 1994 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1995 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 1996 Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total 1999 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 2001 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 2004 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 2005 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 2006 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 2007 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 2009 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 2010 Count: 1 (1.11%)
Total 2011 Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total 2012 Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total 2013 Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total 2014 Count: 4 (4.44%)
Total 2015 Count: 12 (13.33%)
Total 2016 Count: 30 (33.33%)

Decade Published:
Total 1950 Count: 2 (2.22%)
Total 1970 Count: 3 (3.33%)
Total 1980 Count: 4 (4.44%)
Total 1990 Count: 16 (17.78%)
Total 2000 Count: 9 (10.00%)
Total 2010 Count: 56 (62.22%)

Number of Books: 36
Total Pages: 12364
Longest Book (Pages): 726
Average Pages: 343.44

Number of Books (Excluding Graphic Novels): 27
Total Pages (Excluding Graphic Novels): 10908
Average Pages (Excluding Graphic Novels): 404

Number of Audiobooks: 54
Total Audio Hours: 914
Longest Book (Hours): 42
Average Hours: 16.93


message 43: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2162 comments Interesting stats Rob. We seem to be on the same page with S&L picks this year. I finished 8, lemmed 1 and my highest was 4 stars for Aurora. The others were all 2 or 3 stars.

I enjoy the variety of S&L picks but last year most of them were ultimately not for me.


message 44: by Phil (last edited Jan 01, 2017 02:27PM) (new)

Phil | 1006 comments Wow, those are some detailed stats. I feel the same way about the S&L picks as you and Andrew although I have different tastes than you both do. They've generally been mediocre for me. The last 5 star pick for me was 2 years ago.
My top pick this year was Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits.
My least favorite was Radiance.
My 5 star reads this year were: The Lies of Locke Lamora
WWW: Wake
Leviathan Wakes
Storm by Tim Minchin
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True
Anansi Boys
Secondhand Souls
Bridge of Birds
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove


message 45: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments My preliminary breakdown of the 70 books I read in 2016:



I read more Fantasy than anything else, but that's due to the fact that I read quite a few graphic novels and I classify all superhero stories as Fantasy.

In terms of "real books" (not graphic novels or art/photography books), I was evenly split between SF and F with 16 each. That is way short of my goal of reading 52 real books each year. Going to have to step up my game for 2017. (Although I maintain that Seveneves should count as three books. :p)





Sorting by gender, I tended toward books written by men this year, which is par for the course. I don't choose books by gender, merely by what looks interesting or what the book club reads. This was an especially male-dominated year, though, but that's just down to random variation.



Looking at my four 5-star rated books, it's a pretty diverse group: The Dogist, a book of dog photos by a guy in NYC, The Golem and the Jinni by a woman, Manifest Destiny, Vol. 3: Chiroptera & Carniformaves a graphic novel by two men, and the graphic novel Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection Book 1 which is by both.

For some reason my "Read in 2016" list properly shows 70 books, the graph in the Stats link only shows 69. Regardless, even though this was the second most books I read in recent years, it was the most pages by 70. (Although probably more since there seems to be a book uncounted.)


message 46: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2274 comments Mod
Great stats guys.

I am surprised people are saying the 2016 S&L books were mediocre.
Apart from "Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits" which just didn't click with me and was the worst of the 13 books, I enjoyed all the others.

There were a few I would rate as 2½ stars but I still enjoyed them.
All the Birds in the Sky
The Time Traders
The Last Wish

My best of the year was: A Fire Upon the Deep, which I would rate 4½ stars.

My ranking of all 13 Sword and Laser books of 2016
A Fire Upon the Deep
A Darker Shade of Magic
Aurora
The Golem and the Jinni
The Rook
The Fifth Season
The Sword of Shannara
Updraft
Radiance
All the Birds in the Sky
The Time Traders
The Last Wish
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits


message 47: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5195 comments Mod
For me personally, I didn't say the S&L books were mediocre. Several of them just weren't for me, and many were decent but not spectacular.

My average rating was the lowest of my 5 years here by a pretty big margin.

2012: 3.55 average (11 books read)
2013: 3.92 average (12 books read)
2014: 3.33 average (12 books read)
2015: 3.41 average (12 books read)
2016: 2.96 average (13 books read)


message 48: by David (new)

David (farrakut) | 737 comments I've read 180 books this past year.

119 of which were borrowed from a library or a friend (66%). This is down from last year (72%), but in line with my overall average since 2007.

91 were ebooks (51%), both of which are all-time highs (last year's percentage was 28%).

95 (53%) were written by women--the proportion is my highest (I had a pretty sad 36% last year). I'm happy about this, though!

29 (16%) were graphic novels--my lowest in 8 years. I had started a few, but I think I was feeling burned by the start of so many series--I think I prefer completed series or series that have more work. I "quit" East of West, despite it being up my alley, because there were only 3 volumes out.

60 (33%) were anthologies, collections, magazines, or individually-published novellas. Both were my highest numbers ever. I don't count individual stories shorter than novella length (17.5k words)--I use the Goodreads reading challenge, and that would just throw things off. However, I've probably read an additional 50 short stories, usually from Tor.com but sometimes from other random sources (usually random free stories from online magazines).

I only read 5 nonfiction books (3%). Both are my lowest in 9 years. Kinda sad--definitely one thing I want to change--I love history and I want to read more.

This is a weird stat that I keep for some reason: 99 unique authors (55%). What this stat indicates to me is how diverse I am in reading different books--as opposed to reading one big long series (for example, in 2013, this number was at 37%, because I read like 60 manga volumes by CLAMP).

I don't have a serious "reading goal" for 2017 in terms of pure numbers, but I would like to improve my nonfiction reading and keep up my short story reading.


message 49: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4809 comments David wrote: "I've read 180 books this past year."

You sir are a robot and I claim my five pounds.


message 50: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments I read 269 titles in 2016. Only 6 of them were novels, the other 263 were comics in trade or omnibus. I got 294 of those from my library, 40 through the interlibrary loan system. And I bought 2 from Amazon.

The comics breakdown, like so-

126 from Marvel
57 from Image Comics
37 from Valiant
12 from Titan Comics
10 from DC Comics
6 from BOOM! Studios
4 from Dark Horse Comics
2 from IDW Publishing
2 manga (both by Junji Ito, again)


[click for full size]


« previous 1
back to top