Category: File770

  • Big in Seattle

    OK, I’m drunk on actual numbers because since starting this blog, I’ve had to make do with proxies like Goodreads data, Amazon rankings or Wikipedia views. The Seattle Library data has a big limitation, as already noted: it’s one part of the world and in some ways, a weird part of the US and this […]


  • Baen v Tor…at the Library

    Today’s Pixel Scroll had an interesting article on how hard it is to get data about book sales: One data source listed that I didn’t know about was Seattle Public Libraries. They share a data set of all their checkouts. Sure, that’s a very geographically limited sample and of a distinct group of readers […]

  • A Worldcon Election in 2015

    Kevin Standlee has an interesting article at File 770 on the future of Worldcon governance There is a lot to the post but the guts of his idea is to replace the Business Meeting with a representative committee that would pass initial rule changes. The ratification of those changes would happen in the following […]

  • Could you rewrite the Lord of the Rings as a techno-thriller?

    Could you rewrite the Lord of the Rings as a techno-thriller?

    Despite my attempt to resolve forever the difference between fantasy and science-fiction, apparently, my typography-based typology has yet to catch on and the never-ending discourse continues. I have mentioned before that while we make conscious attempts to define categories by sharp rules, our brains do weird things with them. One model (disputed) for the underlying […]

  • Familiar arguments with a different spin

    Familiar arguments with a different spin

    A cautionary post… A tricky issue to navigate when looking at discourse in science fiction spaces is who to talk about. I’m interested in both bad and unusual arguments more than I am in personalities but talking about somebody obscure, even critically, elevates the attention that person gets.

  • On site selection

    There is a lively discussion at File 770 on an open letter from a long list of authors objecting to the 2023 Worldcon being held in Chegdu, China on the basis of China’s human rights abuses. I thought Hampus’s comment was very relevant: “Any metric regarding the Uyghurs would also have stopped US from […]

  • A graph for reference

    This is for the next Debarkle chapter. I haven’t been including images of any kind other than the banner image because they are pain to deal with when reformatting. However, I made this graph so I could make a general comment in the next chapter (along the lines of ‘the number of articles increased’). The […]

  • Googles are from Mars, N-grams are from Venus

    Some more graphs on the same topic of Mars versus Venus in popular culture following from my earlier post. ( In the comments to the last post, Andrew suggested “Venerians” is another term that was used for hypothetical beings from Venus. I’ve changed my Venus search term to Venusians+Venerians. Here’s the full span 1800 to […]

  • Martians are more popular than Venusians

    I thought this comment at File 770 was interesting However, I realised that the Google n-gram site would provide a neat empirical confirmation of Mars bias in popular culture. I did a search on Martians and Venusians, choosing the inhabitants rather than the planets to avoid hits about astronomy or the gods. I cut […]

  • Tying up old plot lines

    Tying up old plot lines

    There is a lot of noise amid the right-SF social media sphere currently. It’s very free form and the broader cause is that in mainstream SF&F communities there has been the recent cases of some very prominent and well connected men being held accountable for the way they have been treating other people (earlier coverage). […]