2015 Reading Stats

2015 Reading Stats

It was a dire year bookwise at Two Dudes. Posting and reading numbers are way down, but a new job next week promises to restore some numbers for 2016. For now at least – I don’t plan to keep my new commute for any longer than necessary.

Total books read in 2015: 28
This is my lowest number since grad school. Oh well.

Genre breakdown:
SF: 19
Fantasy: 8
Other: 1
Once again, I thought that Fantasy had crept up on the SF numbers, and once again it hasn’t. I wonder why I think that I read so much fantasy now, when clearly I don’t. That single Other was a delightful football hooligan memoir.

White Patriarchy breakdown (SFF Only):
Men: 15
Women: 10
Both: 1
Not too bad this year, though I was on track for a dismal ratio until I went on a late summer tear.

English: 27
Japanese: 1
Translations: 2
Look for Japanese to pick up a bit this year, as bus time increases. I had one each of Chinese and Japanese in translation; that number should also tick upwards, especially as I’ve already read another Lui Cixin book.

ARCs: 3
Fewer ARCs came in last year, no doubt a partial result of fading blog numbers. I barely read the ones that did come, and purposefully didn’t request very many.

Total posts on Two Dudes in 2014: 35
Like reading, writing took a hit. Evenings filled up with family-related stuff, and much of what free time I had went into reading. Movies and gaming are even sadder right now. I will probably be writing more this year; I already had a relatively bountiful January.

Category breakdown:
Reviews: 23
Commentary: 6
Interviews/Guest Posts: 1
Misc.: 5
Commentary took off this year, mostly in a series of Hugo/Sad Puppy response essays. Some of them have to rank with my best work on here. I would love to get more research paper-esque posting going, but it’s hard to cook up topics and then find the time to write decently about them.

Review Genre breakdown:
SF: 16
Fantasy: 7

White Patriarchy breakdown:
Men: 13
Women: 6
Both: 1
Japan: 2
China: 1
This is calculated by the main topic of the post, i.e. author gender/ethnicity, essay subject, etc. Posts lacking an identifying characteristic (announcements, genre-wide topics, etc.) are excluded from the count. I feel like I could add the Sad Puppy posts in there somewhere since all of them are about diversity, but I’m not sure exactly how I want to count that.

Popular Stuff:

Unsurprisingly, the 2015 Hugo Imbroglio post and KIC 8462852 were my most read of the year. The first was picked up by noted genre curator Paul Weimer, leading to a crushing amount of views and comments. That is probably the blog’s finest hour so far. The second was lucky timing – scientists announced that they may have found artificial structures out there, and I happened to crank out a summary before almost anyone else. Oodles of random people found the post on search engines and dropped in, probably never to return.

2014 Reading Stats

2014 Reading Statistics

For the statistics loving, OCD part in all of us, I too have compiled some data on my reading in 2014. It is taking all of my self-restraint powers to not crank out a pile of Excel-generated graphs and charts here; that seems a little crazed even for SF fandom. The numbers this year are fairly disappointing, on a number of fronts.

Total books read in 2014: 50
At the start of the year, my bus commute was over two hours round trip. In April I started a new job, with a combined bike/bus commute that provided about 40 minutes of reading time. Once rain and dark came, I started carpooling, and now I drive so I can cover afternoon kid duties. For obvious reasons, reading time has fallen off a cliff.

Genre breakdown:
SF: 33
Fantasy: 10
Other: 7
Somehow I thought I read more fantasy this year. It certainly seemed like SF got shafted in favor of swords and monarchs, but I appear to have deceived myself. Most of the “Other” were about baseball and soccer.

White Patriarchy breakdown (SFF Only):
Men: 29
Women: 8
Both: 6
Ouch. This is much worse than I thought. I was thinking it would be a much closer split, but I guess this is what happen when I don’t pay attention.

English: 43
Japanese: 0
Translations: 2
Probably the most disappointing number of all. In my defense, I didn’t finish one Japanese book that I started and am finally very close to finishing a second. Even translations suffered this year though, which is an all-time low for me.

ARCs: 9
New record! I’m not going looking for much, but haven’t said no when things come my way. These are fun, but I have to resist the urge to hunt down more things I don’t have time to read.

Total posts on Two Dudes in 2014: 58
I held steady with a just-over-one-per-week average. A couple of those are throwaways, but my writing kept pace in spite of reduced reading.

Category breakdown:
Reviews: 35
Commentary: 3
Interviews/Guest Posts: 5
Read Alongs: 4
Lists: 6
Misc.: 5
This was a banner year for guests on the blog. Through the kindness and planning of others, I was able to interview two people and host two guest posts. Exciting stuff.

Genre breakdown:
SF: 25
Fantasy: 10

White Patriarchy breakdown:
Men: 19
Women: 13
Both: 10
Japan: 4
This is calculated by the main topic of the post, i.e. author gender/ethnicity, essay subject, etc. Posts lacking an identifying characteristic (announcements, genre-wide topics, etc.) are excluded from the count. Better here than my reading, so that is heartening. Again, the overall lack of Japan or Asia-related posts is an all-time low for the blog and quite alarming. It’s definitely something to pick back up this year.

The challenge for 2015 is to adjust to my new schedule, figure out how best to keep my reading numbers up, and find a way to bump the Japanese numbers back to where they should be. I miss the reading time it provided, but I doubt I will ever go back to the long commute that powered the early days of Two Dudes.

Two Dudes Interviewed

Two Dudes Interviewed

The tables have turned! S.C. Flynn was kind enough to interview me about book blogging, SFF, the challenges of reviewing, and other fun stuff. Check out the post here for more stuff about me and the blog. He’s interviewing a bevy of other bloggers as well and making a handy resource for the SFF community, so poke around and see what else is on offer.

Thanks, S.C.! I’m looking forward to talking more in the future.


Between writing something up for another site, working on a top secret post for SF Month, and collaborating with a good friend on a hilarious and philosophical project to be named later, I am out of time to make a post for this week. Instead, I’ll just share a quick look at stuff I’ve been reading and stuff I will be reading. It’ a pretty exciting list.

The last three books I finished are:

Robert Bennett – City of Stairs (Awesome in almost every way. Look for a big time post on this soon.)
Hannu Rajaniemi – The Causal Angel (The final book of a mind bending Hard SF trilogy. I’ve already got 1100+ words on paper about it.)
CJ Cherryh – Rimrunners (The token old book, but one of Cherryh’s best. Thinking of a review for this next week.)

I am currently reading:

Stephanie Saulter – Gemsigns (More heavy stuff. Definitely not light reading here.)

On hold at various libraries:

William Gibson – The Peripheral
Ann Leckie – Ancillary Sword
Greg Bear – War Dogs
Liu Cixin – The Three Body Problem

This plus a couple of good-looking ARCs from Tor; the balance of my reading year is a very exciting place to be. I mean, look at that list of new releases! This rivals 2012 for big names. Stay tuned for good stuff on Two Dudes in coming weeks.

Inversions Read-along

While there is a certain overlap in readership and most people out there already know about this, it’s best to cover all bases. Soooo….. I am emerging from Spring Hibernation to announce another read-along project! Just in time for the Summer Solstice! We’re going to dance ’round the maypole and read Iain M. Banks together. First, announcements on instigator/partner blogs for the sake of completeness:

This is How She Fight Start

Little Red Reviewer

I’m very excited about this because 1) Banks is amazing and reading him with friends only makes it better, 2) this will hopefully get the blog back on track after the end of a school year once again sucked away all free time, and 3) I may get to wander off on a convoluted, international politics-related tangent. Seriously, what could be better than that?

So if anyone else out there is feeling a Banksy itch, grab a copy of Inversions and hop on the train! Initial posts should be going up around the 25ish, with some follow up and discussion a week later.

(Also, I promise to have new articles up very, very soon. Please forgive the neglect.)

Some Delays

Between a new job, family visiting from Japan and Utah (sleeping in the computer room), and a big translation project, some posts will be delayed. Sorry for the inconvenience, especially on Apex stuff. Things should settle by the weekend!

2013 Reading Statistics

2013 Reading Statistics

For the statistics loving, OCD part in all of us, I too have compiled some data on my reading in 2013. It is taking all of my self-restraint powers to not crank out a pile of Excel-generated graphs and charts here; that seems a little crazed even for SF fandom.

Total books read in 2013: 67
I’m a little surprised by this number, as I expected something in the 80s. I will have to chalk this up to an above average consumption of 600+ page books this year. In fact, I believe I cracked the 1000 page barrier not once, but twice. Yikes.

Genre breakdown:
SF: 44
Fantasy: 14
Other: 8
Political science tailed off a bit this year, to be replaced by World War II books. Something lit a random fire for Pacific War history and I read three. This looks to continue in 2014, which, paired with an increase in baseball related reading, will likely see a higher proportion of non-fiction. Also, I probably read more fantasy this year than at any time since seventh grade.

White Patriarchy breakdown:
Men: 32
Women: 13
Anglo: 30
Other: 15
Disappointing numbers here for gender, though it’s not something I started thinking about until late summer. I am aiming for a more even split in 2014. No surprise at the numbers of non-US/UK writers, considering the stated Two Dudes mission to bring Japan to the fore. If I make a White Male / Everyone Else split, things push closer to even; I hope to maintain this moving forward.

English: 64
Japanese: 3
This is the highest number of Japanese novels I’ve ever read. If I can discipline myself better, the number will rise somewhat each subsequent year. (Gotta push up that reading speed.)

Total posts on Two Dudes in 2013: 60
I’m sad about this. I used to put up two posts per week, but life has intervened. I’m not sure that I can produce more this year without sacrificing length and quality, so the once per week pace will likely hold. I wonder sometimes how my blogging friends can write so much, so well. The only answer I can think of: no small children.

Category breakdown:
Reviews/Commentary: 46
Lists: 8
Misc.: 6
Housekeeping posts are inevitable. Lists increased suddenly at the end of the year, as my available review time shrank. I would like to produce more critical essays in the future, rather than just book reviews and reading lists. We shall see – those essays can take a lot of time. Taking into account combo posts, long series (1Q84 and Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn), and commentary not related to completed books, there are somewhere between 15 and 20 books I read but did not review. Ideally I would write about everything I read, but as a practical matter it is impossible. Several of these will eventually creep into 2014 posts, but that will just increase the backlog for next year.

White Patriarchy breakdown:
Men: 29
Women: 8
Anglo: 25
Other: 17
This is calculated by the main topic of the post, i.e. author gender/ethnicity, essay subject, etc. Posts lacking an identifying characteristic (announcements, genre-wide topics, etc.) were excluded from the count. As before, no surprise that non-Anglo writers feature heavily. A bigger question is whether or not Two Dudes branches out from Asia more. The gender split is dire however, and efforts will be taken to adjust that in 2014. Part of the problem stems from book reviews basically falling off a cliff after Thanksgiving. Even with the push in reading more women, I just didn’t get to writing about them.

Looking ahead, I hope to both read and write more in 2014. In both, I am pushing for greater diversity. I don’t do this by sacrificing things that I want to read and write about, but rather by seeking out new things that I want to read and write about. (I hope that distinction makes sense.) My writing time is wholly at the mercy of work, family, and music; I can only wish to balance them better this year than last.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

There are several blogosphere events coming up that Two Dudes will be joining, so it seems like a good time to warn all uninvolved readers of the posts ahead. Many regulars are probably already aware of these, since we’re all part of the same wide circle of geekdom, but for those who aren’t, here is the lowdown. These events are a great time to meet new people, learn about new books, and maybe even influence the opinions of others.

The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience – Carl V. at Stainless Steel Droppings runs this giant SF event each year. He’s starting a month early this time around, so it will run from Dec. 1 through the end of Jan. Carl’s Experience brings together a gaggle of book fans, with blogs covering the whole spectrum of literary entertainment. This is a great chance to get to know writers and readers from all genres, as we jointly celebrate SF in all its finery.

Vintage Science Fiction Month – Little Red Reviewer hosts this annual extravaganza every January. All and sundry investigate pre-1979 SF and write about it. There will be all sorts of Easter eggs on this one, and it looks like I will be writing a guest post. (Of course there will be articles here and elsewhere about the era.) Notable this year is the announcement of a retro Hugo award for 1938, so intrepid readers will be digging into whatever came out then as well.

The Book of Apex Blog Tour – No page yet for this, but Little Red is also producing a blog tour for the soon-to-be-released 4th volume of Apex Magazine short stories. These are award winning stories from an award winning magazine and Two Dudes is one of the lucky participants. More details will follow.

N.K. Jemisin Read Along – A read along of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms appears to kick off this week as well. It’s being hosted across several blogs. I am knee-deep in other stuff at the moment, but may be able to jump in towards the end. I had planned on checking out Jemisin sometime anyway. (I may not make it though, with a pile of hefty non-fiction in the pipeline, as well as advanced reading for Vintage SF breathing down my neck. We shall see.)

All of this comes just as Rinn Reads SF Month has ended. I was too late to join in on this one, and too busy to appreciate it while it was on, but I have met some charming people and had fun discussions. I have also left many parties aghast with my utter Dr. Who ignorance. Something like 50 blogs were involved, so the archives are a treasure trove of SF writing. Highly recommended.

Finally, with the end of the year coming, people are going to start up their annual round ups. Those more current than I will pick their best books of the year. Others will dig into their reading choices and assess the gender and/or ethnic balance. I will put up few lists and statistics, possibly even a chart or two, and a look back at the 2013 Must Read list. My Published-in-2013 reads are a bit scarce, but I am looking forward to crunching numbers on everything else. I’ll push these posts out once I set the remaining book schedules in stone.