K. Tempest Bradford

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Fiction Favorites By The Numbers #1

Fiction Favorites By The Numbers #1

I’ve been keeping track of all my favorite stories over on Delicious as well as here on the blog. Delicious is still one of the best public bookmarking tools around thanks to the tagging system, which is a little better than it was under Yahoo (finally, spaces!). Due to the way I’ve been tagging stories, I have some good data on them. Peeking in there just now revealed a few things that surprised me.

To start, if you’d asked me what my favorite online magazine is, I would have said Strange Horizons or Clarkesworld. However, a look at the numbers reveals that of the 55 stories published in 2012 that I liked, Lightspeed published most of them (14, to be exact). Clarkesworld is a close second with 11 liked stories. Then after that Strange Horizons and Apex Magazine tie at 6 with Electric Velocipede right behind them with 5. Apparently, my tastes match up with John Joseph Adams’ pretty regularly.

Here are all the magazine numbers in helpful chart format:

Magazine Chart

click to embiggen

Some magazines have lower numbers because they don’t publish as often, but I’m a little sad for Tor.com.

I also track genre data and find that I like SF and Fantasy about evenly (27 and 24 stories, respectively) with a small smattering of horror. Very small. Of the 55 stories, 44 are by women and 14 by authors of color. Obviously there’s some overlap.

I’ll crunch these numbers again at the end of the year to see if anything shifts.I may also go a bit insane and calculate, based on number of stories published total and the number I liked if Lightspeed is still a favorite based on proportion. If a magazine publishes 12 stories a year and I like 5 vs one that pubs 50 stories a year and I like 10, the first one is obviously closer to my tastes.

Any of you out there keeping track of which magazines usually publish stuff that satisfies you in any kind of empirical way?

5 Comments

  1. Sean Wallace Sean Wallace on 11.10.2012 at 09:27 [link] (Reply)

    Question, can you break this down by original stories that you liked? I worry that the inclusion of reprints might skew this a bit. I think of the twelve markets you’ve got there, two of them run reprints regularly. How does that change things?

    1. tempest tempest on 11.10.2012 at 09:31 [link] (Reply)

      There are 5 7 reprints (that I know of) in my favorites list. And looking at Delicious tells me that all five are from Lightspeed. That’s half!

      So if I were to break down which magazine published the most non-reprint fiction that I liked, it would be Clarkesworld.

      1. Sean Wallace Sean Wallace on 11.10.2012 at 09:36 [link] (Reply)

        I got a total of seven reprints for Lightspeed, which would bring it down to seven.

  2. Lisa Lisa on 18.10.2012 at 08:36 [link] (Reply)

    Thanks for clobbering me over the head with what should’ve been an obvious idea! I’ve been using various Pandora channels to similar ends (that moment when my beautifully mixed channel becomes predominantly one thing that I usually didn’t expect and almost always heartily approve of). This would be fantastic functionality for GoodReads (both the tracking and the magazine angles).

    1. tempest tempest on 18.10.2012 at 09:14 [link] (Reply)

      I wish that goodreads had short stories as well, but I suppose that would add a ton of entries to the database. Maybe magazines?

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I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.

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