Now, let’s break down the stories in the 49 magazines by the author’s nationality. I couldn’t always find this information, and I’ve left out countries which only had one data point. Here’s what’s left:
|Nation||Avg Stars (5 max)||# of stories||Avg Wordcount|
My guesses before running this analysis were not entirely accurate. I’m surprised that Australia took the top spot, since they have a higher average wordcount and were weighed down by Talking Chicken.
I’m an American, but I began school in Canada, and recently spent several years living in former British colonies in Africa and Asia, so I may not be a typical American. I still expected the USA to take the top spot, as I find my tastes becoming more American the older I get. Maybe I just gravitate to whatever is uncool, and there’s nothing less cool right now than being a hard-working, happily-married, red-blooded American.
I had expected Canada to place far below the USA, but it’s almost even. I didn’t like Canadian authors taking unnecessary shots at the USA, but I guess US authors matched the Canadians in unprovoked attacks on my home.
I wasn’t surprised that the UK scored lower, but my reasoning was probably wrong. I thought British authors were more likely to insert politics into their stories, but a quick scan of their titles doesn’t bring any memories of politics to my mind. It’s possible British authors were trying to be clever with their language, inserting absurdist elements, or doing other things I didn’t find amusing. I may pull a sample of low-scoring British stories in the future, and see if I come to a conclusion.
It’s notable that the non-English-speaking countries make up the bottom of my list. Either there were some issues with translation, or those countries have a different style of science fiction and fantasy. I also just learned that “Czechia” is a country, at least according to some dubious online sources such as the CIA World Factbook and Google maps. I knew of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, but Czechia? When did this happen? and why? I just hope they don’t change the name of the state of Mississippi to Mississippia.
For the English-speaking countries, I decided to see which were over or under-represented, based on their populations:
|Nation||Stories per Million Population|
For South Africa, I used only the white fraction of the population, arbitrarily deciding that reading and writing SFF is primarily a white hobby there. Note that India, which presumably has the largest English-speaking population on the planet, did not contribute even a single story to my reading.
I’m reluctant to draw any conclusions about Ireland or New Zealand from the above data, as they each only contributed two stories. I wonder if the UK’s higher numbers could be due to its welfare state, with people giving writing a shot rather than pursuing other employment. Apparently the first “Harry Potter” book was written under such circumstances, so perhaps others are following that path.
I’m not surprised to see Singapore at the bottom of the list. Although most Singaporeans are fluent in English, for many (most?) of them, it is not their first language. So, I’d expect many Singaporeans to make their first writing attempts in Chinese, Malay, or some other language.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve noticed a difference in writing style between authors of different nationalities.