Looking for something good to read? Check out Rocket Stack Rank. After observing the uproar over the current year’s Hugo Awards, Gregory Hullender and his husband have created a web site to list and review the short fiction available month by month in the three major professional science fiction magazines, Analog, Asimov’s, and F&SF.
Our rating system, on a scale from one to five stars, aims to produce a small “bucket” of five-star stories by the end of the year. These are the stories we think are award-worthy, and there should be few enough of them that a person with limited time could read just that subset and find things worth nominating. Since we’re trying to apply fixed standards rather than hit a particular target, we’re not sure how many there will be in each category, but it won’t be more than a dozen or so.
This is a great idea, though I can’t help wondering if it will run afoul of the same problem that any Hugo-related story-recommendations page seems to encounter with the Puppies—accusations that, in recommending any particular set of stories, they’re offering up a “slate.” (They do address that question in their FAQ.)
But even leaving the review ratings aside, Rocket Stack Rank’s 2015 magazines page is an invaluable resource in terms of describing effectively every legal way that they’ve found to obtain back-issues of these magazines electronically—via the Kindle store or e-book checkout services, Kobo, Magzter, or public library magazine indexes. (They didn’t list EBSCOhost Masterfile Premier for F&SF, though they do list a couple of other indexes for it.)
This is a great resource to have around, as short fiction often tends to fall by the wayside when it comes to consideration for awards. Relatively few people tend to subscribe to the magazines and read it anymore.
Of course, the Internet being what it is, those three magazines are far from the only sources for Hugo-eligible short fiction now. Tor.com posts many short stories every year, for example. But websites are a lot easier to access than traditional magazines, so it’s great that the magazines have a resources and reviews site to help people find them.
(Found via File 770.)