Reading recommendations

A reader directed me to check out a beta version of a new website called Story Code. It’s a site to compare novels, where readers enter details of books they’ve enjoyed by way of a coding system. That system then draws comparisons to other books in the site’s database and offers further reading recommendations of similar novels.

I entered the details for RealmShift and it came back with this list of recommendations:

Of Saints and Shadows (Christopher Golden) 76.67

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury) 73.11 %

That Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis) 72.76 %

Furies of Calderon (Jim Butcher) 72.74 %

Darkhenge (Catherine Fisher) 72.68 %

Spares (Michael Marshall Smith) 72.47 %

Fiasco (Stanislaw Lem) 72.09 %

Storm Front (Jim Butcher) 72.05 %

Dead Beat (Jim Butcher) 71.76 %

Under the Skin (Michel Faber) 71.54 %

Fire Sea (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) 71.09 %

Necromancers, The (Robert Hugh Benson) 70.95 %

His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) 70.93 %

American Gods (Neil Gaiman) 70.88 %

Ender`s Game (Orson Scott Card) 70.73 %

Time Pressure (Spider Robinson) 70.53 %

Dhampir (Barb & J.C. Hendee) 70.32 %

Strata (Terry Pratchett) 70.19 %

A Midsummer Night`s Scream (Jill Churchill) 69.97 %

Elfsorrow (James Barclay) 69.92 %

That’s a pretty good list and, of course, only includes books that others have so far coded into the site. The more people that put in books, the better the recommendations should get.

The coding system is very simple, with slider bars that you set for each question. It only takes a minute or two and the questions they ask are pretty good for getting the feel of a book.

You can find two versions of the site, a UK one and a US one. I’m not entirely sure why they’ve split the project this way. I think it could cause confusion over time, but one sign-on will work for both sites. If a book was published in the UK you’ll have to enter it in the UK site, for example. Still, that one bit of strangeness aside, it looks like a pretty interesting idea.

You can find the sites at www.storycode.co.uk and www.storycode.com. Sign up and see what you think. If anyone that has read RealmShift would be so kind as to code it in, I would be most grateful. It’ll be interesting to see how the recommendations change as more people put in their ideas of the book.

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