Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ranking Bram Stoker's short stories


You can't top Dracula, but I wasn't expecting my second Stoker novel – The Jewel of Seven Stars – to be quite as bad as it was. It seemed there were reasons his other books aren't as famous.

I didn't have the willpower to take on all the other novels, but luckily he wrote shorter fiction too. Less luckily, it turns out that hardly any of that's worth reading either.

Listen to them—The Top 52 Bram Stoker Short Stories of the night. What music they make!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ranking (the "best" of) the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds stories


Faced with some of the tightest creative restrictions in the industry, officially licensed Star Trek novels were rarely any good.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have fan fiction that's beholden to no one and can do what the hell it likes with the characters, as long as that means turning the space adventure franchise into angsty smut. This also isn't my thing.

Somewhere between those two extremes (but still towards the safe end, because Pocket Books was publishing them) were the annual Strange New Worlds anthologies. For ten years, amateur writers from the U.S. and Canada were invited to submit their conservatively creative short stories set in the Star Trek universe for cash prizes and esteem.

I'm not sure why I never bought one of these books at the time, since I remember finding them intriguing. Presumably, spending my saved-up dinner money on two-episode VHS tapes and Smegazines was a higher priority. I got round to it eventually. Though I've mercifully limited myself to the stories ranked first, second and third by the editors of each book, rather than reading all 221 of them like some kind of Dave Warburton.

The cover images indicate which stories were awarded the Grand Prize in their respective collections. So let's see whether those all stack up neatly at the bottom, or if I have my own maverick opinions about The Top 30 Top 3 Strange New Worlds Stories.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Top Ten Websites 2004


"I can't log on to this website to look at my friend's Nationwide-employed sister and imagine her in just her bra" - Me, apparently

Just to finish off this dooyoo trilogy that's been self-indulgent even by my standards, here's an absolutely pointless update of My Top Ten Websites 2003 from nine months later. It's the least anticipated sequel in history!

During that time, my original account was deleted when they noticed I'd been creating loads of fake accounts to click through all my reviews and fraud myself some extra dooyoo miles. I got my £40 Amazon voucher before that happened though, so pathetic crime pays. If they want it back, they can have it.

I came back under a new alias and behaved this time, which meant I also had the chance to give a second opinion on old topics and reveal the exciting progress of my boring teenage life. Fortunately, I'd leave for university five months later and my actual life could begin. During that time, I only dooyooed during the summer break when everyone else went home.

And here I am today, taking valuable time out of paid work to illustrate and [annotate] my old dooyoo reviews. Is that progress?