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Worlds Without End Blog

WWEnd BookTrackr™ Update: Stats at a Glance Posted at 12:18 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

You may have noticed a few changes around WWEnd lately. We’ve been hard at work pushing out new updates as fast as we can. We just finished a major push to update our Horror coverage with the addition of The Bram Stoker Award and the HWA Reading List. That’s a couple hundred more of the best books to pick from my friends!

American GodsAnd since finding the best books is what this site is all about we’ve just added a new feature to our BookTrackr™ that we think you’re really gonna like. You’ve probably already noticed the new numbered icons that appear on the book covers in the awards pages and elsewhere on the site. These new info icons are designed to help you identify the most celebrated books, at a glance, from amongst the thousands of books in our database. The red icon represents the number of award nominations that book has received, across the 11 awards we cover, while the black icon represents the number of Book Lists that the book appears on.

In the example above, which happens to show the nominees for the 2002 Hugo Award, you can see that all 5 books received multiple nominations but China Mieville‘s Perdido Street Station has a whopping 7 nominations and is included in 3 out of our 14 book lists! The yellow highlight indicates that it’s on my reading list. Can you guess why? The book that won the Hugo in 2002, Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods, boasts a 7/4 and is one of my favorite fantasy books.

These numbers do more than just show nominations and lists, however. They reveal all kinds of interesting and useful information that you can use to find the books you want to read. For example, if you’re wanting to try Vernor Vinge you would find A Fire Upon the Deep at a 4/4 to be pretty tempting.

A Fire Upon the DeepYou can even see which years an author was hottest. Take a look at Gene Wolfe to see what I mean. He’s been hugely popular for many years but was absolutely killing it in the early 80’s in particular. Stephen King has nominations for 25 of the 29 of his books in our database which is a pretty clear indication of his consistent quality.

Say you want to try a cyberpunk novel but you don’t know where to start. You can go to our sub-genres page, click on cyberpunk to get a list of all the books that have been tagged as cyberpunk. Now you can look for the books with the highest number of award nominations and list appearances. Neuromancer at a 5/7 looks like a pretty safe bet. Of course, an 8 1/2 rating from 131 member votes will further that impression too.

Some other indicators that have become apparent are that higher award noms tends to indicate a more recent book. There are more awards now than there were in the past so there’s a better chance of getting multiple nominations. The converse of that is that the books with a higer number of book list appearances tend to be older works because they have been more widely read over the years. They’ve stood the test of time as it were. Frank Herbert‘s classic, Dune, is a great example. It has only 2 award nominations, from a time when there were only 2 awards, but that’s offset by 7 book list appearances! They don’t call it a classic for nuttin’!

These numbers can be found on all the awards lists, the author and publisher pages as well as the search page right now. We’ll be adding them to the book lists pages and the members lists next so stand by for that update in the next few days. Take a look at this new feature and let us know what you think. What other useful information can you glean from these numbers? How do your favorite books stack up in noms and lists?


Jenny   |   19 Oct 2011 @ 11:33

This is an interesting idea and I look forward to exploring the lists more. (I love lists!) How far back in publishing time would you say it goes?

Dave Post   |   19 Oct 2011 @ 12:22

@Jenny: You’ve come to the right place for lists! How far back do they go? Well, the awards go back to the first Hugo which was in 1953. The lists rang much further back in time. The oldest listed book is Gargantua and Pantagruel from 1552 which is included in the Guardian list. The oldest books in our DB are Dante’s Divine Comedy (1321) though they do not actually appear on any of our lists.

htaccess   |   19 Oct 2011 @ 18:48

yay for implemented feature requests:

Dave   |   20 Oct 2011 @ 19:51

The Book Lists have been updated now.

daneyvette   |   23 Oct 2011 @ 09:31

And here I thought WWE couldn’t get any better. The Stats at a Glance feature is just so incredibly helpful. Try it on the Series pages. Awesome

Dave   |   23 Oct 2011 @ 18:56

@htaccess: It took longer than expected but we got it done and better than planned I think. @daneyvette: Glad you like it! Of course, we’re still doing what we can to make it better yet. The new icons have now been added to the lists in My World and speaking of series, we just added another link there. Check out "My Series" in the alpha navigation bar. It will show you all the series you’ve ever started on, that you have tagged, on one page for easy reference. For some of you guys that’s going to be a long page!

Tania   |   24 Oct 2011 @ 05:22

I think that’s a great update. I have recently read two nebula and hugo award winning books that I wouldn’t rate higher than a six – but it got me thinking that I’d love a list that shows the top 100 books as rated by WWE registered users. I would find that interesting. (Perhaps it kinda sorta already exists… but I’m not sure where). I think there’d have to be some kind of algorithm that preferenced more ratings over few… etc etc.I noticed for example that both the "The Doomsday Book" and "He She It" are rated 8.5 by WWE users… that kind of evens out the playing field a little as I think it should. I loved He She It and give it a 10 while Doomsday Book for me was only a 6. WWE users rate them both the same – that’s good to know don’t you think?Also…. while I’m asking for things. It’d be great to be able to sort lists by features: year published, most read, most noms etc etc.How about most polarised ratings??? It’s always interesting to know who hated and loved certain books too.Keep up the excellent work!!!

Dave Post   |   24 Oct 2011 @ 09:40

@Tania: Thanks! You bring up some great ideas. We’ve been noodling on how to do a top rated list but we haven’t worked out the algorithm yet. A year published list would be tricky because most of our books have multiple pub years. I like the most read list idea! We’ll kick that one around. As for most noms we have a WWEnd Top Nominated list already.

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