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

Monday, December 31, 2018

News & Highlights

RSR Selections: Diversity in SF/F Short Fiction
๐ŸŒˆLGBT: 45 outstanding stories with LGBT characters (31 free)
๐Ÿ“šPoC: 92 outstanding stories by People of Color (62 free)

Monthly & Annual Best SF/F Lists
2018: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec; ๐Ÿ“…Year-To-Date
2017: ๐Ÿ†Best SF/F Top 30% out of 800 (142 free); ๐Ÿš€Hard SF ✨High Fantasy ๐ŸŒˆLGBT
2016: ๐Ÿ†Best SF/F Top 31% out of 885 (161 free); ๐Ÿš€Hard SF ๐ŸŒˆLGBT ๐Ÿ“šPoC
2015: ๐Ÿ†Best SF/F Top 35% out of 596 (111 free); ๐Ÿš€Hard SF

Monday, October 15, 2018

September 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 19; Time & Words: ⌚9h:03m ๐Ÿ’ฌ163.1K
Recommended By Stories: → Due next month
Total Stories: 87; Time & Words: ⌚36h ๐Ÿ’ฌ661.4K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Outstanding Hard Science Fiction of 2017

Here are 33 outstanding stories of hard science fiction from 2017 that were either finalists for major SF/F awards ๐Ÿ†, included in "year's best" SF/F anthologies ๐Ÿ“™, or recommended by prolific reviewers ๐Ÿ‘ in short fiction (see Q&A). That's 33 out of 95 hard science fiction stories from that year, and out of 279 outstanding SF/F stories from 2017.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

WorldCon 76 Takeaways

Swag we got as Hugo finalists.
Last month, Eric and I attended WorldCon 76 in San Jose, California. This is just a summary of things of interest that happened there.

The Hugo Awards


Our function at Rocket Stack Rank is to make it easier for people to find good short fiction and other information that could help them make informed nominations for the Hugos and other awards. We are not here to tell people how to vote. For that reason, we didn't offer suggestions for the final vote--not even a "this is how we're voting" post. For the same reason, we aren't going to evaluate the stories that actually won the awards. We offer our congratulations to all the winners.


Greg, Mike Glyer of File 770
Rocket Stack Rank itself was a nominee for Best Fanzine, finishing 6 out of 6 but beating No Award. Given the fallout from last year's events, this was actually better than we had expected. We do enjoy the extra events and attention that come with being a finalist, and we thank our loyal fans who nominated and voted for us. You folks make it all worthwhile!

We offer our congratulations to Best Fanzine winner File 770 and to all the other finalists.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

August 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 10; Time & Words: ⌚7h:21m ๐Ÿ’ฌ132.4K
Recommended By Stories: 28; Time & Words: ⌚13h ๐Ÿ’ฌ250.7K
Total Stories: 55; Time & Words: ⌚22h ๐Ÿ’ฌ412.2K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rocket Stack Rank at WorldCon 76

We will both attend the 76th World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose this week. For the benefit of fans who want to meet us and chat a bit, here's a part of our schedule.

Stroll With The Stars

Fans meet with a few program participants for a casual walk around the convention center.

This event happens every morning, from Friday August 17 to Monday August 20, at 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. It always meets in the Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center).

Greg is one of the featured people on the Friday morning walk, but we plan to attend all four of them. It's probably the best place to meet to say hello, pick up a ribbon, and have a casual chat.


Greg will be on three different panels. By all means attend, ask questions, or just come up afterwards to say hi. Here's how the WorldCon schedule describes those panels:

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Extrasolar, edited by Nick Gevers

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(Hard SF) This anthology challenges writers to produce stories that explore extrasolar planets and incorporate the things we’ve learned about such things during the past couple of decades. (92,088 words; Time: 5h:06m)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Outstanding High Fantasy of 2016-2017

Update 8/31/18: Added Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 and Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2018 and 2017.

Here are 51 outstanding stories of high fantasy from 2016-2017 that were either finalists for major SF/F awards ๐Ÿ†, included in "year's best" SF/F anthologies ๐Ÿ“™, or recommended by prolific reviewers ๐Ÿ‘ in short fiction (see Q&A). That's 51 out of 166 high fantasy stories from those two years, and out of 470 outstanding SF/F stories from 2016 and 2017.

For our purposes, we define "high fantasy" as a fantasy story that takes place in a secondary world. That is, something like Lord of the Rings, where Middle Earth is clearly not in the past or future of our world.

We've included portal fantasies, provided the destination is a secondary world.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 11; Time & Words: ⌚7h:34m ๐Ÿ’ฌ136.4K
Recommended By Stories: 38; Time & Words: ⌚18h ๐Ÿ’ฌ324.4K
Total Stories: 72; Time & Words: ⌚27h ๐Ÿ’ฌ492.9K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

LibertyCon 31 Takeways

Walk with the Pros: Greg chats with Toni Weisskopf
A week ago, Greg and I attended LibertyCon 31 in Chattanooga, TN. We happened to be in town for our niece's wedding and we checked it out to see what a "conservative" SF/F convention was like.

Based on attending three panels and half the opening ceremonies on the first day, plus a Walk with the Pros on the third day, the attendees, panels, and operation of the con was comparable to small regional conventions like Norwescon in the Pacific Northwest. Baen Books had many authors present, and there seemed to be many authors with a military background (it was 5/5 in "The Resurgence of SF in YA Fiction" panel).

Planetary Anthology Roundtable panel with authors like
Arlan Andrews, Lou Antonelli, Jon Del Arroz, John C. Wright
Highlights include the opening ceremonies where Gray Rinehart sang a great flik based on the song "Brandy" to honor the con chairman and Charles E. Gannon read a funny speech, the Walk with the Pros where Greg had a good chat with Toni Weisskopf (publisher of Baen Books), and the Roundtable panels for shared world anthologies that gather a dozen or more authors for Q&A.

Special thanks to Brandy Spraker, chairman of LibertyCon, for inviting us to attend as temporary guests. The convention was sold out by the time we thought about attending (membership is capped at 750) but Brandy found a way to let us sample the first day when Greg inquired about one-day tickets.

Friday, June 15, 2018

June 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 3; Time & Words: ⌚1h:06m ๐Ÿ’ฌ19.8K
Recommended By Stories: 17; Time & Words: ⌚6h:15m ๐Ÿ’ฌ112.5K
Total Stories: 30; Time & Words: ⌚11h ๐Ÿ’ฌ206.2K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017

June is Pride Month, and here are 45 outstanding stories with LGBT characters from 2017 that were either finalists for major SF/F awards ๐Ÿ†, included in "year's best" SF/F anthologies ๐Ÿ“™, or recommended by prolific reviewers ๐Ÿ‘ in short fiction (see Q&A).

This list could be useful for making nominations for the 2018 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards for Best Short Fiction (published in 2010-2017). Anyone can nominate through June 30, 2018. Stories from 2017 are below. See Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2015-2016 for earlier stories.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 10; Time & Words: ⌚6h:34m ๐Ÿ’ฌ118.5K
Recommended By Stories: 37; Time & Words: ⌚19h ๐Ÿ’ฌ351K
Total Stories: 72; Time & Words: ⌚31h ๐Ÿ’ฌ563.5K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Friday, April 20, 2018

2018 Hugo Voter Packet

As a finalist for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, we were invited to supply a copy of our work for the Hugo voter packet. Since Rocket Stack Rank published about 800 different articles last year (every review is its own article), that isn't very practical, so, as we did last year, we created an article (this post) to direct people to highlights from 2017.

For the benefit of people who don't see this page, we're including PDF, EPUB, and MOBI files in the official Hugo packet. Last year, we didn't think many people would use the packet (we thought they'd use the web page) so we simply included PDFs that were little better than screenshots of selected pages from the site. Some people complained that it looked shoddy, though, so this year we put a lot more time and effort into it, and we hope people are pleased by the result.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sturgeon Award Finalists Versus Other Top Stories of 2017

All 11 Sturgeon Award finalists were in the top 10 in their respective categories in Rocket Stack Rank's Best SF/F of 2017 (228 stories out of 810 reviewed).


  • The one Sturgeon finalist in this category is #1 out of 31 stories.
  • It was tied with fellow Nebula & Hugo finalist "All Systems Red" prior to getting the Sturgeon recognition.


  • The four Sturgeon finalists in this category are in the top 10 out of 80 stories.
  • Notable stories that missed the Sturgeon include "Wind Will Rove" (Nebula & Hugo finalist, NClarke year's best) and "Extracurricular Activities" (Hugo finalist, NClarke and RHorton year's best).

Short Story

  • The six Sturgeon finalists in this category are in the top 10 out of 117 stories.
  • Notable stories that missed the Sturgeon include "An Evening with Severyn Grimes" (GDozois, JStrahan, NClarke year's best) and "Carnival Nine" (Nebula & Hugo finalist, JStrahan year's best).

New Writers

  • The three Sturgeon finalists whose authors were Year 1-eligible for the Campbell Award are in the top 4 out of 13 stories. There were no Sturgeon finalists among the five Year 2-eligible stories.
  • Notable stories that missed the Sturgeon include "My English Name" (GDozois & JStrahan year's best) and "The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon" (GDozois & NClarke year's best).

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 2018 Ratings

5★ & 4★ Stories: 8; Time & Words: ⌚8h:15m ๐Ÿ’ฌ148.7K
Recommended By Stories: 21; Time & Words: ⌚12h ๐Ÿ’ฌ224K
Total Stories: 39; Time & Words: ⌚22h ๐Ÿ’ฌ398.9K
Read How to Use RSR on the sidebar or this link to use this post.

Friday, April 13, 2018

A Word for Authors

Clip arts
"I've never yet read a review of one of my own books that I couldn't have written much better myself."--Edward Abbey
For a variety of reasons, authors are generally told not to engage with reviewers. Reviews are for readers, not writers, and there is a natural adversarial relationship between authors and reviewers. Authors who publicly pressure reviewers risk alienating their own readers, or so some say.

Rocket Stack Rank is more than just a review site, though; it's also an index of short science fiction that many readers use to find stories--even readers who pay no attention to our reviews. Reviews are a matter of opinion, but the index is a matter of fact, and since its purpose is purely to guide readers to stories they might like, we and the authors have a common interest in making it as accurate as possible.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Hugo Award Finalist

Thank you for nominating Rocket Stack Rank for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine!

We had not expected a nomination this year, so we were greatly cheered at this vote of confidence. We will continue to work to make Rocket Stack Rank the most useful resource for readers and fans of short speculative fiction.

For new visitors, RSR consolidates recommendations from prolific SF/F short fiction reviewers (including RSR) in our monthly ratings, anthology ratings, and year-to-date ratings. For the best from past years, check out the News & Highlights section.

Read How to use RSR on the right sidebar or at this link for more details.

You can follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or e-mail.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Outstanding SF/F by People of Color 2015-2016

Update 3/29/18: Removed reviewer CPayseur at his request. Also see discussion of request by Hugo finalist Camestros Felapton.

In the spirit of Lightspeed Magazine's famous People of Color Destroy Science Fiction series, here are 92 stories by people of color that had a combined score of 2+ from RSR's 2015 & 2016 Best SF/F lists. The two lists together contain the 440 most-recommended stories out of 1,481 reviewed, so the 92 stories by people of color make up around 21% of the best of 2015-2016.

Readers asked us to make it easy for them to find good stories written by authors with diverse racial backgrounds, and that’s what this list is meant to accomplish (author identity plays no role in our ratings). Note that this is for fiction from 2015 and 2016 (RSR started September 2015); and we’ll prepare a similar list for 2017 once the finalists for various awards have been announced—probably in July or August.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Annotated 2017 File 770 List for Short Fiction

While we’re waiting for the Hugo administrators to produce the list of finalists, almost fifty "Filers" (commenters from File 770) shared their nominations, and we’ve used that to create lists for Best Novella, Best Novelette, and Best Short Story. In a couple of weeks, we can see how well they predicted the actual finalists.

In the 34 stories below, "votes" is the number of Filers who nominated that work, with the cut-off being three or more. Here are a few interesting findings from the 14 novellas, 10 novelettes, and 10 short stories: