Coming up for air (oh hey Ben) after a couple weeks where almost all my computer-time was going towards the project I mentioned last time—putting together a big report on reading patterns from science fiction book clubs in Chicago. Pretty excited to have this out there:
For context: I’ve been running a website, Positron Chicago, since late 2014, whose main purpose is to keep track of speculative fiction book discussions in the greater Chicagoland area. The Report takes all the calendar data about those meetings, and then sifts them for info about most-discussed books, gender & race balance, how recently the discussed books were published, and more.
Well, I say “sift”; “laboriously wrestled into graphable tables” is more accurate. I’m finding it weirdly difficult to remember exactly what was going through my head when I started this project. Quaran-times are strange times. I definitely did not anticipate it growing into the size and complexity it did.
Initially, I was mostly interested in just seeing what the most-discussed titles were. Once I had that, though, I started seeing ways to look at how much the groups overlapped. Publication date, genre, and author gender & race were all things I had to look up and add—the calendar only records things as, for example, “‘Ancillary Justice’ by Ann Leckie @ Chicago Nerd Social Club”; I had to add everything else. I kept being like “it’d be way too hard to add/analyze this thing” and then “ah, but it would be awful interesting to see”. Continue reading