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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old July 22 2015, 05:12 PM   #1
Captain_Koloth
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Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

A la Captain Kirk with the tribbles...

I have generated a giant pile of unread Star Trek novels. It literally would reach from my floor to the ceiling more than once (Not hyperbole; I layed them out with a tape measure!). This is a good thing! An awesome thing! However, I recently had an unpleasant reckoning where I realized the demands of my job make me lucky if I can read, say, two a month for the forseeable future and it will probably go down from there. So I have to prioritize.

So I'm hoping you can help me figure out which books are worth giving a shot since I need to choose very carefully. Here's my problem. There are a million places to get book reviews- lots of websites, Amazon, top ten lists here, etc. However, I have found that most reviews have the following issues: they’re usually some variant of “this book is pretty solid, you should read it” (and they are, that’s my whole problem!); they’re usually limited to books that have come out in the last few years; and each person’s tastes are a little different so they can be kind of hit or miss.

I’ve read most of the “heavy hitters” – Typhon Pact, Destiny, The Fall, the DS9 relaunch, Spock’s World, Vendetta, The Final Reflection, TNG relaunch, those sorts of books. Have also read most of the books that have come out in the last five-ish years. I’m really aiming to delve more deeply into the numbered novels and the older, less recent stuff (e.g. books like Enterprise Logs, Dominion War series, Captain’s Table, Invasion are all in my gigantic pile). What I’m looking for is something more like “based on the fact that I liked, e.g. The Final Reflection, will I like Dwellers in the Crucible or Faces of Fire more?” “Is To Storm Heaven or Survivors a better TNG novel?” One of the problems with Amazon type places is that in general if you review a book like TNG #15 you really really like Star Trek and are probably going to give it a decent review, which is fine- I do too!- but it makes it really hard to discriminate.

So what I’m asking is, is there some sort of either a) big crowdsourced repository of Trek book reviews a la imdb or tv.com where at least there’s a large number of reviews that can average out people’s individual tastes and give some idea of what’s more objectively good or bad, or b) a place where I can put in the individual books I liked and get related recommendations? I’ve tried b) on goodreads and Amazon but it usually just refers me to things like Destiny which I’ve already read- they’re good, but I’m really looking to delve more into the stuff I haven’t read (things like some of the less well known numbered novels), and do it in a way that isn’t just looking at people’s top ten lists. And a) doesn’t work so well on Amazon because the algorithm combines recency of publication and number of reviews with actual rating so I again just get a bunch of recommendations like Destiny which I’ve already read.

Does that make sense? Anyone have any ideas?

Last edited by Captain_Koloth; July 22 2015 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Spacing
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Old July 22 2015, 05:30 PM   #2
Idran
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

Unfortunately I don't think there's any online system that does either a) or b), though that would be really useful, yeah. You'd need a fairly significant user base to get enough data to be able to calculate those sorts of things the way Amazon or Netflix or what have you does it, but that would definitely be great.

Now you've got me thinking about setting something like that up, though.
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Old July 22 2015, 05:45 PM   #3
BritishSeaPower
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

I wish I had the coding experience for that. It's actually a pretty good idea, and something a few users on here do - compiling the results of individual book review threads, on a smaller scale.
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Old July 22 2015, 06:39 PM   #4
Idran
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

BritishSeaPower wrote: View Post
I wish I had the coding experience for that. It's actually a pretty good idea, and something a few users on here do - compiling the results of individual book review threads, on a smaller scale.
Unfortunately it doesn't really match up to that; as nice as the review polls are to have for a general ranking of books, they'd be essentially useless as a basis for a project like this this since the key would be to find correlations between the rankings that individuals give to books but the review polls are anonymous. You'd need to be able to track something like "if this specific person ranks this book like this and this book like this and this book like this then they will be more likely to rank this book like this", which necessitates linking rankings to the people that set them.
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Old July 22 2015, 07:39 PM   #5
Paris
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

We need a "Rotten Tomatoes"-style sight for this kind of stuff
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Old July 22 2015, 08:21 PM   #6
Idran
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

Paris wrote: View Post
We need a "Rotten Tomatoes"-style sight for this kind of stuff
Does Rotten Tomatoes do this too? I always thought it was just a review aggregator like Metafilter.
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Old July 22 2015, 08:30 PM   #7
Captain_Koloth
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

I think even that would be super useful for Trek books. Even something as simple as the review aggregator at tv.com would be helpful I think, but as far as I can tell even that resource does not seem to exist.
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Old July 22 2015, 09:54 PM   #8
Captain_Koloth
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

Here:
Something exactly like this is what I had in mind at least for option a):
http://christopherpound.com/2014/02/...r-trek-novels/

Although this one is truncated, very frustratingly. So basically that but not truncated.
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Old July 22 2015, 10:24 PM   #9
Idran
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

Oh, if you'd be happy with an aggregator, then Thrawn's website mght be at least somewhat helpful for you. It collects all the results from all poll threads here; it is naturally somewhat modern-biased because of that, but there have been at least a few polls for older releases too. Automatically collects results from new threads so long as they have the right tag, too.

Edit: Sho's site, not Thrawn's.

Last edited by Idran; July 23 2015 at 03:08 AM.
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Old July 23 2015, 02:48 AM   #10
Thrawn
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

I love that you thought of me, but for the record, that's Sho's amazing work, not mine
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Old July 23 2015, 03:08 AM   #11
Idran
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I love that you thought of me, but for the record, that's Sho's amazing work, not mine
...haha, I don't know how I made that mistake when I got it from Sho's thread in the first place. Thanks, and sorry to Sho if they see this.
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Old August 1 2015, 12:15 AM   #12
ronny
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Re: Help! I am buried under a pile of Star Trek novels!

The closest thing I can think of off hand is goodreads, which you mentioned, and I agree with you, it's not all that helpful for Trek books. I've been plowing through the old numbered TNG books, and last year the numbered VOY books, and when ever I mark them as read on Goodreads I notice the score is almost invariably 3.4X or very close to that. Most of my scores are 3 so it makes sense but there are some better and a quite a few that are worse but when everything is averaged after hundreds of votes you get an 3.4 or very close score. Which means there's a lot of people voting 4 or 5 stores on some pretty questionable books.
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