In an earlier post, I asked you to tell me about yourself and what you’d like to see on this blog in the future. This is a follow-up to share the poll results and announce some upcoming features. Please use the comments section to let me know if you think I’m moving in the right/wrong direction. I don’t want to spend time typing things you don’t want to read; my wife is happy to listen to my grade-B material, and my dog thinks I’m the most interesting man in the world.
It seems that readers enjoy my reviews of mainstream novels as much as (probably more than) my reviews of indie short stories. I thought my value-added was searching out stories that had never been reviewed, but apparently it’s something else. Both types of reviews scored highly in the poll, and will therefore continue.
Fantasy reviews scored fairly well in the poll, so I’m considering writing a few, maybe one for every three or four sci-fi reviews. As a kid, I read quite a bit of fantasy, but I haven’t read much as an adult – just Bujold’s Curse of Chalion (which I enjoyed) and its first sequel (which I didn’t care for).
Given that about 2/3 of you are writers or aspiring writers, it’s not surprising that writing topics received about 2/3 support in the poll. I’m working on a series of articles which I hope will appeal to both authors and non-authors. In each post, I’ll describe a setting for a science fiction story, as well as some characters that you might find there. Sorry, you’ll have to provide your own plot. I was thinking of posting one of these every two weeks.
My idea for science articles was not as popular. Originally, I was planning to write articles about animals, plants, and local environments, but I’m dropping that for now; if I decide to resurrect the idea, I’ll create a new blog. I may still write an article or two about biology/ecology, but only as it might apply to alien life or off-world ecosystems.
The other topics scored even lower. I’ll be keeping the blog horror-free, unless I happen to read a story that combines sci-fi and horror. I won’t be searching out indie computer games to review, although I may post about a game if I happen to play one that has some science fiction content. I won’t be discussing book marketing strategies, unless at some far future date, while marketing something of my own, I notice that a technique works surprisingly well or poorly.
Looking at the sub-genre preferences, it seems that I should search out a story about a time-traveling galactic empire which explores space. I won’t be searching for stories about cyberpunk superheroes who fight monsters; I think we can all breathe a little easier. For me, the main surprises were that time travel scored so highly, and that military and alien invasion stories only received around 50% support.
North Americans seem to be my most interactive users; WordPress says that 60% of my traffic comes from the USA, while US users were 70% of my poll responders. Canadians were 6% at WordPress / 10% in the poll.
At first, I thought I had an all-male readership, but the ladies showed up to the party later, bringing the ratio to 50/50. Disturbingly, 10% of my users are either artificial intelligences, or aliens who use some alternate gender system.
A good mix of age groups responded, with the exception of teenagers. Maybe the teenagers are missing because I don’t review young adult stories, or maybe they just don’t read book review blogs. I could test the first theory by reviewing some young adult books, but I suspect they all contain awkward love stories which I’m not willing to read.
Again, please use the comments section to let me know if I’m interpreting my poll results correctly. I’m ready to adjust the balance of different types of posts if I get a clear consensus from my readers.