Monday, December 29, 2008

A FAQ and Guide To Not Free SF Reader


IMPORTANT : This blog has now gotten really long. I didn't expect this when I started, so the list of posts at the bottom right has now been moved to its own website/blog, called Not Free SF Reader List, obviously enough. This is being updated weekly, usually at the start of the week. Here you'll find the works separated by the genre heading, then ordered by author.

There is a Link in the Not Free SF Reader Links List that will now go to a google pages page -
that will contain the full list in one no frills smaller page.

Free SF Reader has the same thing : There is a Link in the Not Free SF Reader Links List that will now go to a google pages page - that will contain the full list in one no frills smaller page.

Note that one page per author breakdown can be found here but this is only being updated monthly currently, so will be behind..

These categories and the long list of links to posts will now be only found there :-

Shootist, Sleuth, Soldier, Sorcery Fantasy, Speculative, Sport, Spy, Study, Superhero, Supernatural Fantasy, Swords

BACKGROUND : I started doing this to play with a blog, and it grew out of doing Super Reader and starting Free SF Reader, after finding a increasing number of interesting stuffed related to Super Reader, and, of course, SF online. So, I thought, why not do the rest, as well. So, I set out on a quest to try and remember everything genre related I had read, which turns out to be a bit harder than I thought, and rate them as a guide for me, and for picking stuff for other people that ask. I will remember stuff occasionally, and add it. I figured this would likely take a couple of years.

Anyway, starting with books, I actually began going backwards alphabetically and made it to I. Then I started rereading a bunch of anthologies, and starting documenting the stories there, as well, and also with some magazines I have like Andromeda Spaceways and Jim Baen's Universe. So, that slowed me down a bit, as did doing the same thing for Graphic SF Reader, especially after finding even more stuff, and more online on top of that of interest.

I still have some Agatha Christie, Hardy Boys, and Doctor Who, as far as books/novels go, so 2 years was probably a bit on the optimistic side with everything that has happened. I still have a bunch of Agatha Christie, Hardy Books and Doctor Who to rate. There are also a few anthologies and collections I have read that I no longer have access to or have currently found, and hence their short stories have not all been rated.

Everything new I read that is Not Free gets listed here, as well. Sometimes something will jog my memory, such as being in a bookshop, or reading something someone wrote online, or seeing a cover, and I will remember a book and add it.


Novels are rated as novels.

Non-fiction that is related is rated as non-fiction.

Short stories are rated as short stories.

Anthologies, collections and magazines are rated like this :- take the fiction, apply the formula found in 'The Mathematics of the Anthology' If the non-fiction part is good/useful, give a bonus. At least, after I invented that rating formlua, anyway, which is most of them except some earlier magazines.

Omnibuses are rated based on the books they contain, basically the same as a collection with a little wiggle room.


Books that are rated here at not available as free downloads on the web. If I find any that are, I will move them to Free SF Reader. This is where you will find such books.

Books that are labelled Superhero are books that are listed on Super Reader

There are a few ways to approach browsing or using Not Free SF Reader.

First in the top left corner there is a blog search box.

1) The main page has the last 50 posts, which you can scroll down to look at.

2) The grid of labels at the top breaks the posts down into sections. Each section has 20 posts per page, and at the bottom of each of these pages are previous/next navigation arrows that will let you go through these a page at a time.

The sections are by category of book, and also by rating of book, if you want to browse that way.

If you scroll down to under my profile image, these labels will be reproduced vertically, with counts of how many posts are in each section, but otherwise function identically to the labels at the top of the blog.

3) If you scroll further down than that, you will find a blog archive section, where posts are archived by month. You can navigate through this in a similar manner to navigation of the sections above.

4) Anyone is welcome to comment on the posts. There is an email address on my profile, or you can write to if you have suggestions about books to add to the list, or want to talk to me for some other reason.
This email address is also displayed at the top of the blog.

Eventually I am going to try and post about everything I have read that I can remember, but this will take a considerable time. :)

Rating System

5 = Outstanding
4.5 = Very Good
4 = Good
3.5 = Above Average
3 = Average
2.5 = Below Average
2 = Poor
1.5 = Bad
1 = Very Bad


As everyone knows, this sort of thing is tricky, fluid and blurry, but anyway :-

Scary Horror- Books of horror that are meant to scare or distrub
Science Fiction - Science Fiction
Shootist - Books of gunfighters, westerns, etc.
Sleuth - Books of detection, crime and mystery
Soldier - Books in the war genre.
Sorcery Fantasy - Books of fantasy and magic, high fantasy, epic fantasy, etc.
Speculative - Harder to categorise, odd, or deliberate blends like the Illuminati, things included in genre collections that barely are, animal stories, and other oddities.
Sport - Books about sports, whether cricket, boxing, horse racing, hunting, or whatever.
Spy - Books of espionage and related thrillers or technothrillers
Study - Books and other pieces that are about Science Fiction and other genre writing, and are non-fiction. I added these in breaking the fiction rule a little, but I thought it made sense.
Superhero - Books that are listed at Super Reader, specific breakdowns can be found there.
Note that there are now other superhero tags - Scary Horror Superhero, Science Fiction Superhero, Sleuth Superhero, Sorcery Fantasy Superhero, Spy Superhero, Supernatural Fantasy Superhero and Swords Superhero. These are to allow easier analysis, and make things a bit more obvious from that point of view, so that Flash Gordon or Conan will be found in places more obvious, and make the numbers for Science Fiction or Fantasy more obvious for me.

Supernatural Fantasy - Paranormal or occult themed books that are less concerned with horrifying, urban fantasy and that sort of thing falls here.
Swords - Books of the knights, swashbucklers and pirates, that sort of thing

Analysis - Occasional posts looking at numerical breakdowns of the blog or other issues, or the very rare other thing like Best SF breakdowns and others topics.

Anthology Editing - A few links I have come across with editors talking about their approches here.

Fiction Classifications - pretty self-explanatory. The t is in front of them so they all sort together nicely at the end in the label tabs and list.

t anthology - Label for anthologies (multi-author story books).
t collection - Label for collections (single author story books or anothologies as some call them).
t excerpt - Label for an excerpt from a novel.
t magazine - Label for fiction magazines.
t non-fiction - Label for non-fiction books and pieces.
t novel - Label for novels.
t omnibus - Label for books containing more than none nove.
t serial - Name for a story or novel part that is published periodically in order.
t short stories - Label for a single short story post, or for an excerpt.

No comments: