Showing posts with label Ratings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ratings. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Hugo Awards Deadline #2: March 16, 2018

For help nominating for the Hugo Awards, see our 2018 Hugo Awards page for a select list of novellas, novelettes and short stories by 192 authors from 22 publications that were most-recommended by seven prolific reviewers in 2017. We also have a list of 167 short fiction authors eligible for the 2018 Campbell Award, a "lightbox" display of art by over 100 artists eligible for the 2018 Best Professional Artist category, and statistics on magazine and anthology editors eligible for the 2018 Best Editor (Short Form) category (coming soon).

2018Year-To-DateMonthly Ratings
2017Best Stories; Hard SF LGBT Fantasy
2016Best StoriesHard SF LGBT
2015Best StoriesHard SF; RSR Library

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 2018 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 3;  Estimated Time: 1h:28m (27K words)
Recommended By Stories: -> Due 3/1/18
Total Stories: 29;  Estimated Time: 10h:46m (194K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

2017 Best SF/F Anthologies

Update 2/15/18: Added 14 stories that were missed.

Here are 99 stories from the "year's best" SF/F anthologies so far for 2017, sorted by score to highlight the stories that made it into the most anthologies and were most recommended by prolific reviewers.

The "year's best" SF/F anthologies include the following:

Other factors that increase a story's score include honorable mentions from Locus Magazine reviewers Gardner Dozois (GDozois+1) and Rich Horton (RHorton+1) and "year's best" and honorable mentions from prolific short fiction reviewers Greg Hullender at Rocket Stack Rank (RSR+2, RSR+1), Jason McGregor at Featured Futures (JMcGregor+2, JMcGregor+1) and Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews (CPayseur+2), all of whom reviewed 500+ SF/F stories for their magazines/blogs in 2017.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 Professional Artists

To help people make nominations for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, we have set up a "lightbox" system to let fans quickly flip through the works of over 113 artists listed below and to set aside the ones they particularly liked. Here's how it works:
  1. In the artist list below, click on a thumbnail image. The lighbox should open, showing a larger image of the work.
  2. If you like the picture, ctrl-click (or long-press) the artist's name above it. That will reopen this page in a new tab with that artist's information at the top.
  3. Press the right-arrow key (or tap the picture) to advance to the next picture. Each new artist is preceded by the Hugo Award image.
  4. Once you've looked at all the pictures, go through the tabs you opened. For most artists there's a link to his/her website where you can find a gallery of their work.
  5. Browse the gallery and see if the picture you liked was representative of their work as a whole.
  6. Close the tabs of the ones you liked least.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Annotated 2017 Locus Reading List for Short Fiction

Update 2/10/18: Added recommendations from RHorton's The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition.
Update 2/7/18: Added links to all 5 Asimov's stories.

Here is the annotated 2017 Locus Recommended Reading List for short fiction, sorted by score to highlight the stories that made it into the "year's best" anthologies so far (GDozois, JStrahan, NClarke, RHorton) and "year's best" lists of prolific reviewers (GDozois, RHorton, RSR, SFRevu, JMcGregorCPayseur).

Annotations include time estimates, links to the story on the author’s website (if available), author links with Campbell Award-eligibility marked (superscript for year 1 or 2), blurbs for RSR-reviewed stories, links to reviews, and links to digital back issues (of print magazines) at eBookstores and library websites.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction Guides

Completing our analysis of the best science fiction and fantasy short fiction from 2016, we turn our attention to 15 SF/F short fiction guides, which is what we're calling our extended idea of "reviewer" but which consists of 5 awards, 5 "year's best" anthologies, and 5 prolific reviewers that guide readers to a few dozen of the best stories out of over 800 surveyed. Remember that in this context "best" just means "most-recommended by sources Rocket Stack Rank tracks."

Using the scores for 887 stories from the 2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction article and grouping the stories by guide, we show the top guides by average score in 2016, then offer suggestions on how to use this information to guide your reading.

Top five guides by average score:
  • Score 088; Stories 09; Avg Score 9.8Sturgeon
  • Score 037; Stories 05; Avg Score 7.4Eugie
  • Score 122; Stories 18; Avg Score 6.8Hugo
  • Score 113; Stories 19; Avg Score 5.9Nebula
  • Score 174; Stories 30; Avg Score 5.8Locus
  • Click here for a sortable table of all 15 guides
Not surprisingly, all five awards have higher average scores than any and all "year's best" anthologies and reviewers. More interesting is that the award scores happen to be in reverse chronological order by date when the finalists are announced (except for the Locus Award, though it's a subset of the Locus Recommended Reading List that does come out first). Perhaps the earlier award finalist lists influence the later awards.

Monday, January 29, 2018

2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction Publications

Continuing our analysis of the best science fiction and fantasy short fiction from 2016, we turn our attention to publications. Remember that in this context "best" just means "most-recommended by sources Rocket Stack Rank tracks."

Using the scores for 887 stories from the 2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction article and grouping the stories by publication, we show the top publications by average score in 2016. (To obtain word counts for this analysis, we filtered out stories that weren't from the 23 magazines and anthologies that RSR reviewed in full, leaving 799 stories; it's not fair to include a publication if we didn't consider all of their stories.)

Top six publications by average score:
  • Score 065; Stories 26; Avg Score 2.5: Tor Novella
  • Score 123; Stories 59; Avg Score 2.1: Clarkesworld
  • Score 028; Stories 14; Avg Score 2.0: Drowned Worlds
  • Score 149; Stories 77; Avg Score 1.9: Asimov's
  • Score 028; Stories 15; Avg Score 1.9: Bridging Infinity
  • Score 034; Stories 18; Avg Score 1.9: Starlit Wood
  • Click here for a sortable table of 23 publications
Of all the things we read in 2016, the Tor novellas were the most likely to get recommendations from other reviewers, be award finalists, and/or end up in "year's best" anthologies. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that some reviewers don't read them at all.

The pie chart shows paid anthologies comprise only 15% of the total publication word count but are 50% of the top six by average score, and two were edited by Jonathan Strahan (Drowned Worlds, Bridging Infinity). The over-representation of paid anthologies in the top six means the paid magazines are slightly under-represented (Tor Novella, Asimov's) at 33% rather than 47%, and the free magazines (Clarkesworld) are short one representative at 17% rather than 37%.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction Authors

Continuing our analysis of the best science fiction and fantasy short fiction from 2016, we turn our attention to authors. Remember that in this context "best" just means "most-recommended by sources Rocket Stack Rank tracks."

Using the scores for 887 stories from the 2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction article and grouping the stories by author, here are the top authors by average score in 2016.

Top five authors with at least 2 stories by average score:
  • Score 21; Stories 3; Avg Score 7.0: Sam J. Miller
  • Score 14; Stories 2; Avg Score 7.0: Alastair Reynolds
  • Score 14; Stories 2; Avg Score 7.0: N.K. Jemisin
  • Score 23; Stories 4; Avg Score 5.8: Alyssa Wong
  • Score 11; Stories 2; Avg Score 5.5: Peter S. Beagle
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
For this analysis, a top author needed at least two stories to stand out because, as the pie chart shows, only 25% of authors had more than one story among the 887 surveyed.

Honorable mention goes to Rich Larson who had 15 stories with an average score of 2.3.

There are several different ways to create this list, but we think this is the best one. Here are a set of other rankings and an explanation of our thinking.

Friday, January 26, 2018

2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction

As everyone gets ready to start nominating works from 2017 for this year's Hugo Awards, we want to take one last look back at 2016, incorporating all the feedback from various reviewers, "year's best" anthologists, and awards that we thought were comprehensive. It's obviously too late to use for award nominations, since, by design, it comes after all the awards for that year are over, but it has good value to people who're just looking for good stories to read and don't mind reading slightly older ones.

In the future, we'll try to do this in the summer, but we decided to put this one out now, even if it's six months late.

We used recommendations from 5 SF/F awards, 5 "year's best" SF/F anthologies, and 5 prolific SF/F reviewers to compute scores for 887 stories. Sorting the stories by score identifies the best novellas, novelettes, and short stories of 2016 below. Grouping the stories by author, publication, and guide and calculating their average scores identifies the best of those in the next three articles.

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 2018 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 14;  Estimated Time: 8h:32m (154K words)
Recommended By Stories: 34;  Estimated Time: 16h:20m (294K words)
Total Stories: 58;  Estimated Time: 23h:34m (424K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 Campbell Award-Eligible Writers

Here are 169 short fiction writers reviewed by Rocket Stack Rank who are eligible for the 2018 Campbell Award. They were selected from the 746 stories reviewed by RSR in 2017 as well as the 821 stories reviewed in 2016. There are many more new writers than the ones in this list, but their stories weren't reviewed by RSR so they're not included here.
The writers are grouped by 1st year and 2nd year of eligibility (75 and 94, respectively), then sorted by the author's first name (even if it’s the second author who’s eligible). Eligibility was determined by looking up the author on and doing web searches for those without an ISFDB entry. ISFDB data may be incomplete so it's best to check the author's website for a bibliography before nominating. (Writers with unclear eligibility identified since this article was published were moved to the bottom of the article.)
Authors: If your story was reviewed by RSR in 2017 and you are eligible for the Campbell Award but your story is not listed below, please leave a comment so we can update the list. 
This chart gives you some idea which publications are most likely to publish stories by new authors.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Magazine Coverage By Reviewers

We're adding Jason McGregor and Charles Payseur to RSR's Recommended By list and changing our criteria for "prolific reviewer" to make up for low coverage of Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Strange Horizons magazines, as shown in red in the table below. Without more coverage, stories from these magazines are at a disadvantage in the YTD By Score list and 2018 Hugo Awards page.

The table lists the 11 magazines covered by RSR along with the current five prolific reviewers whose monthly short fiction recommendations and/or "year's best SF/F" anthologies are linked to in the RSR monthly and Year-to-Date ratings.

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 2017 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 8;  Estimated Time: 3h:36m (65K words)
Recommended By Stories: 16;  Estimated Time: 6h:40m (120K words)
Total Stories: 31;  Estimated Time: 12h:17m (221K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities, edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich

Find this book
(SF Exploration) Stories on the theme of planetary exploration in the near future. (52,377 words; Time: 2h:54m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Apology & Open Letter Responses


We apologize to all readers and authors we've harmed and offended. Greg has withdrawn from the Locus Recommended Reading List panel.

We apologize for offending non-binary and trans people who use “they” as their pronoun. Our criticism of fictional non-binary characters in stories hurt real people who read and identify with those characters. What we'd previously dismissed as differences of personal preference or as "neutral" linguistic arguments, actually exposed a major blind spot.

We also apologize for trying to "explain" trans people to a cis audience in two reviews (The Black Tides of Heaven & The Red Threads of Fortune). It is not our place to do that no matter how much history Greg had in the LGBT movement, and we should have known that.

Moving forward, we will no longer single out the use of “they” as pronouns for non-binary characters as a Pro or Con of a story. We will treat non-binary characters the same way we treat gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans characters. For existing reviews, we will update each with a correction and comment that links to this post. In general, if people tell us about errors in pronouns or gendering, we’ll thank them for their feedback and correct the errors.

We continue to listen and to learn, and we will do better.

For People Who Are Making Threats: It's come to our attention that some people are making threats against some of the folks who complained about RSR's treatment of trans and non-binary people. This really is not acceptable and we condemn it unconditionally.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Best LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2015-2016

Update 11/26/17: Miscategorized bisexual story “Seasons of Glass and Iron” as lesbian. Updated both lists.
In addition to regular monthly ratings we’re going to start publishing occasional lists of excellent stories from particular subsets of Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF). We’ve previously done this for Hard Science Fiction, and this month we’re doing it for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) stories.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Infinite Stars: Definitive Space Opera and Military Science Fiction, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Find this book
(Space Opera) Stories drawn from different space-opera series. Intended to showcase the beauty of space opera and attract new readers to those series. (146,594 words; Time: 8h:08m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 2017 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 7h:51m (141K words)
Recommended By Stories: 24;  Estimated Time: 13h:13m (238K words)
Total Stories: 77;  Estimated Time: 33h:28m (602K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Book of Swords, edited by Gardner Dozois

Find this book
(Fantasy Adventure) Sixteen original tales of “Swords and Sorcery” by authors spanning several generations of writers. (181,092 words; Time: 10h:03m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Lots of Fun

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 2017 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 6;  Estimated Time: 5h:08m (93K words)
Recommended By Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 6h:43m (121K words)
Total Stories: 30;  Estimated Time: 15h:05m (272K words)
Read How to Use RSR on the right sidebar or this link to use this post.