Saturday, July 28, 2007

Analysis - The Best of Jim Baen's Universe

Analysis - Best of Jim Baen's Universe

I don't have this book, but I have read all the stories from the magazine, so I thought it would be interesting to compare their list, with the ratings I had given the stories, and to see how much overlaps. It is just stories from their first year, I think.

It looks like they have chosen science fiction and fantasy stories in proportion to the ratios they publish in, approximately.

I'll put what I rated them to the left of the story.


SCIENCE FICTION STORIES

3.0 Dog Soldier
4.0 The Girl with the Killer Eyes
4.0 Bow Shock
3.5 Decaf and Spaceship, To Go
4.0 All the Things You Are
3.5 A Time to Kill
3.0 Local Boy Makes Good
3.5 The Old Woman in the Young Woman
2.5 Candy-Blossom
3.5 What Would Sam Spade Do?
4.0 Giving It Fourteen Percent
4.0 Every Hole Is Outlined
3.5 Fishing
3.0 Bob's Yeti Problem
3.5 Brieanna's Constant
2.5 The Darkness

FANTASY STORIES

3.0 The Cold Blacksmith
3.5 The Nature of Things
4.0 Sisters of Sarronnyn; Sisters of Westwind
3.0 The Opposite of Pomegranates
4.0 As Black as Hell
3.5 Benny Comes Home
4.0 Femme Fatale
3.0 A Hire Power
2.5 Poga


Stories I rated highly that are not on the list.

5.0 When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth
4.0 Technical Exchange
4.0 Pimpf
4.0 Astromonkeys!
4.0 Ware the Sleeper
4.0 The Thief of Stones
4.0 Crawlspace
4.0 Newts
4.0 Common Ground
4.0 A Stranger In Paradise
4.0 Murphy's Law
4.0 The Big Ice
4.0 Servants to the Dead


So, the bizarre omission is Cory Doctorow's When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, whether that was for publishing reasons, as in, couldn't get the rights to it, not sure, but that is clearly the best story they have published by some margin, and the awards seem to fancy it, too. Perhaps Charlie Stross' Pimpf, being part of a book, is in the same situation?

So, of the 25 stories they chose, 3 I had rated below average, 5 average, and the rest above average. Or, 12%, 20% and 68%, which is basically par for the course when rating stories it seems from all the books I have looked at in the past.

Of the 17 others, 8 were 4.0, and 9 3.5.

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