Saturday, January 9, 2016

Quick Thoughts - 2015 Statistics

So 2015 is officially over and done, and, as promised, I have stats for you all. Now, maybe you've noticed that I am rather…a fan of statistics. Well I am. So to have an entire year of data, without holes, is amazing. So amazing. And instead of frontloading this post with analysis of the data, I will start things out by just posting it. So yeah:

2015 Stats

Month # Stories # Words Average Words <1500 1500-7500 >7500 Shortest Longest
January 61 306695 5028 5 47 9 911 15805
February 60 221820 3697 13 42 5 349 15347
March 63 242053 3842 13 47 3 213 14004
April 67 280780 4191 14 46 7 237 22548
May 50 222728 4455 5 42 3 510 14373
June 70 276295 3947 16 47 7 142 19323
July 57 271079 4756 6 40 11 638 14800
August 57 221554 3887 8 45 4 97 15034
September 52 228589 4396 6 43 3 543 15000
October 89 356908 4010 23 58 8 349 28027
November 55 238754 4341 7 41 7 205 13714
December 61 251850 4129 10 48 3 250 14475
Total 742 3119105 4223 126 546 70 97 28027

And there you have it. I will start out by saying: wow. Thank you, writers of the world. Thank you for giving me 742 different stories to read this year. That's over three million words of reading. That's…well, that's quite a bit. And by and large I have enjoyed the vast majority of those stories. So yeah, my thanks go out to anyone who writes and anyone who publishes and anyone who inspires great stories. You rock. Keep on keepin' on. 

I want to look a bit at the Total row a bit, aside from the actual totals. The average word count is quite interesting to me, because it does seem to be (in my experiences at least) about the "preferred" length most publications list on their guidelines. So it's not exactly a lie. Of course, some of that might be trended down a little because the stories I look are more likely to be under 1500 words than they are over 7500 words. I've talked about this in the past, but I suspect a lot that has to do with the fact that I do not read many novellas, or publications that put out novellas. Tor is about the only publication that regularly puts out work of that length. If I read F&SF, Asimov's, and Analog I would certainly expect that average word count to creep up a bit. Of course, if I read Daily Science Fiction I expect that average would go down. Those are really the biggest holes in my reading, and they aren't holes I'm likely to close any time soon. With the sheer volume of work I try to review, it's just not really possible to keep up on everything (sorry!). 

But yeah, just to touch on the by the numbers word counts. Of the 742 stories, only 70 qualify for the novelette category for the Hugos. The Hugos? Why yes, I might take this time to suggest maybe possibly thinking about shifting some categories in the Hugos. Just looking at things by the numbers, that's 70 novelettes or novellas that I read and 672 short stories. I actually read more flash fiction (work under 150) than I read novellas and novelettes combined. Especially because it's difficult to compete with longer short stories as a flash piece, flash tend to be excluded from things. Which is a shame, because flash is amazing. It would be nice to see flash maybe get an award category somewhere. But okay, okay, I'll quiet down about that. Obviously there is a great range of story lengths, from 97 words to 28027 words. That's…a bit difference. It's great that there is room for all these different tales. 

So now to the month-to-month breakdowns. October was absolutely crazy. 89 stories, including the longest story of the year, It snagged the most stories, most total words, longest story, most flash fiction stories, and most regular short stories. It was also in the top three for novelette or longer stories and about middle of the road as far as average word count is concerned (probably dropped because of all that flash). Longest average story, longest shortest story, and least number of flash fiction stories came in January, which also had the second most total words of any month. Least total words and shortest story came in August, and least total stories, least flash fictions stories, and tied for least novelettes and higher came in May. There really isn't too much a drastic shift month to month in any category, though obviously there are small things like special issues with lots of flash or lots of novelettes and some months just seem kind of slow. I'm actually surprised I started out as fast as I did, with so much in January, because 2016 seems to be off to a slow start. Still, there's time to turn that around. 

All said, I'm rather pleased with how 2015 went, review-wise. I wrote 313 posts for Quick Sip Reviews, and while I somewhat suspect my stats will decrease some in 2016, I think I'll still do all right. Anyway, there are the stats. Perhaps I will post the master list of stories I've reviewed at some point, complete with typos and copy/pasted word counts (where they weren't available from the publisher). Thanks for reading! 

All the best, 

Charles Payseur

No comments:

Post a Comment