Most websites that rank things use a 1 star (awful) to 5 star (great) system, but I decided to do something a little different here. I use 4 ranks, because otherwise it’s just too easy for me to call something “average” and give it 3 stars out of 5.
I won’t be using stars, because a star signifies something good to me, and I don’t think rank 1 deserves a star. Here are the symbols I’ll use, along with what each one signals about the story:
One dung beetle:
If I had a time machine, I would go back and tell myself not to read this story. I don’t mean to insult dung beetles by associating them with this story; any creature which wants to roll poop away from me and bury it can be my friend. I just wish a beetle would ball up this story, roll it away, and bury it.
Two nuclear missiles:
I don’t consider these to be “bad” stories, in most cases they are good stories that have an obvious flaw, such as being unnecessarily long for their idea/plot, lacking proofreading/editing, or including science that contradicts my understanding of physics/biology (unless this is explicitly the point of the story). Nuclear missiles are impressive technology, so why am I using them for rank 2? It’s because we don’t know exactly where these particular missiles are pointed.
Three flying saucers:
This is an enjoyable story which is worth reading. For some subjective reason, possibly something specific to my brain alone, I just wasn’t inspired the way I would be when reading a rank 4 book. I was going to use lunar landers to symbolize this rank, but I didn’t see any free lunar lander clip art that I liked, and flying saucers generally have more range anyway.
Four Royal Crowns:
Something about the setting, plot, and/or characters in this story made me think about it when it wasn’t in front of me. I imagined what I would do in certain settings or situations, or thought about how some plot element or technology would affect peoples’ lives. You may have heard of rulers with two kingdoms such as the Pharaohs of Upper and Lower Egypt, or the Austro-Hungarian Emperors. Well, this story is so good, I’m awarding four kingdoms to the author.
The clip art I’ve used to signify my rankings was downloaded from Clker.com, a provider of free public domain clip art.