It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible

A month of mistressworks


SF Mistressworks has now been up for a month. During that time, 38 reviews of 35 books have been posted. Some authors have received more reviews than others – Ursula K Le Guin has had four separate titles reviewed, and both Joanna Russ and Doris Piserchia two apiece. Maureen F McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang has received two reviews, as have Sheri S Tepper’s Grass and Elizabeth Hand’s Winterlong. Otherwise, there’s been a wide mix of books covered, with 19 of them from the sf mistressworks meme list.

In terms of visits, SF Mistressworks had a good first week, but traffic subsequently dropped by about 60% after that – although those figures may be wrong as I’m not sure the WordPress statistics include RSS or Google Reader feeds. Visits have remained steady ever since. I’d like to see them rise, obviously; but it’ll take time for word to spread further and wider.

The most popular reviews by visits have been: 1) The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood; 2) China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F McHugh; 3) Grass, Sheri S Tepper; 4) Ammonite, Nicola Griffith; and 5) The Dispossessed, Ursula K Le Guin. The most popular search term bringing people to the blog has been “the handmaid’s tale”, which explains the review’s popularity. The Handmaid’s Tale is clearly a very popular book, perhaps an order of magnitude more so than the rest – which were published as science fiction. The biggest referrer to SF Mistressworks has been, er, me – i.e., this blog. Second is Twitter – so, many thanks to everyone who has tweeted or retweeted about SF Mistressworks.

I’d like to thank Cheryl Morgan, Martin Wisse, Joachim Boaz, Cara Murphy, Shannon Turlington, Kev McVeigh, Richard Palmer, Larry Nolan, Paul Graham Raven, Sandy M, Sam Kelly, Paul Charles Smith, Michaela Staton, Kathryn Allen and Ian J Simpson for providing the blog with reviews, or allowing me to republish their reviews. I hope they will continue to contribute, and that more people will become involved.

I doubt I’ll be able to maintain my current rate of posting a review a day (except for Sundays) for much longer. I have a week or so of reviews in hand, but I may have to go to a less-frequent schedule. Unless, that is, people start sending me lots more reviews…

3 thoughts on “A month of mistressworks

  1. I just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying what you’re doing here and I appreciate all the reviews. I haven’t commented on any, as I haven’t really had lots to say – I’m reading them to learn more, not comment (especially since I haven’t read many of the books).

    Sometimes I come to the blog and sometimes I just read them in Google Reader. I don’t know if doing the latter affects your stats, but in case it does, I wanted to assure you the reviews are being read and enjoyed.

  2. The Handmaid’s Tale is a *really* popular text on Canadian school curriculum (both for the high school and university level) — I’m sure a good number of those hits are coming from students trying to get around reading the book 🙂 I hope that they at least stay on the site a bit and see what else it has to offer (lots of good stuff!).

    • It’s sobering to see the difference in size between mainstream and genre readerships. And to see the impact having a book made part of a school curriculum has – I understand, for example, that Ender’s Game was a set text at schools at one point, which goes some way to explain its popularity…

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