The most highly rated films of 2014

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve taken each feature film IMDb counts as a 2014 release and multiplied its IMDb Bayesian average rating times its Rotten Tomatoes critic percentage. Excluded were films with fewer than 2000 ratings, films with fewer than 25 critic reviews, and all documentaries. And so here are the top ~50 films—all with a combined score over 6.0:

 Votes  IMDb  Bayes  RT%   RT%*B   Title
======  ====  =====  ===   =====   ===================================
 11646  8.8   8.635   96   8.290   Whiplash (imdb)
 89725  8.4   8.381   98   8.213   Boyhood (imdb)
 20608  8.7   8.608   93   8.005   Birdman (imdb)
 55829  8.1   8.076   95   7.672   Nightcrawler (imdb)
  2236  8.1   7.671  100   7.671   Leviafan (imdb)
171881  7.9   7.893   96   7.577   The Lego Movie (imdb)
 18801  8.4   8.315   90   7.483   The Imitation Game (imdb)
222804  8.1   8.094   92   7.446   The Grand Budapest Hotel (imdb)
357306  8.2   8.196   90   7.376   Guardians of the Galaxy (imdb)
325608  8.1   8.096   91   7.367   X-Men: Days of Future Past (imdb)
127592  8.0   7.990   92   7.351   How to Train Your Dragon 2 (imdb)
  9183  8.0   7.873   93   7.322   Pride (imdb)
  4788  7.7   7.529   97   7.303   Paddington (imdb)
215839  8.3   8.293   88   7.298   Gone Girl (imdb)
 10789  8.7   8.531   85   7.251   Kis uykusu (imdb)
  5349  8.2   7.965   91   7.248   Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (imdb)
  4852  8.3   8.028   90   7.225   Mommy (imdb)
252439  8.0   7.995   90   7.196   Edge of Tomorrow (imdb)
  5751  7.9   7.724   93   7.183   What We Do in the Shadows (imdb)
 35426  8.2   8.159   88   7.180   Big Hero 6 (imdb)
  3817  7.5   7.336   97   7.116   '71 (imdb)
200887  7.8   7.795   91   7.093   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (imdb)
  8546  7.5   7.417   94   6.972   Deux jours, une nuit (imdb)
301090  7.8   7.796   89   6.938   Captain America: The Winter Soldier (imdb)
  3727  7.0   6.939   97   6.731   Mr. Turner (imdb)
 31117  6.9   6.894   97   6.687   The Babadook (imdb)
  3913  7.5   7.339   91   6.678   Wild (imdb)
 20332  7.5   7.463   89   6.642   Calvary (imdb)
 32602  7.7   7.671   85   6.520   John Wick (imdb)
380387  8.9   8.894   73   6.493   Interstellar (imdb)
 22221  7.3   7.275   89   6.475   The Drop (imdb)
  9861  7.6   7.518   86   6.465   Foxcatcher (imdb)
 21628  7.0   6.987   92   6.428   Frank (imdb)
 73260  7.3   7.292   88   6.417   Chef (imdb)
148218  8.0   7.991   80   6.393   The Fault in Our Stars (imdb)
  4174  7.5   7.347   87   6.392   Still Alice (imdb)
 57398  8.1   8.076   79   6.380   The Raid 2: Berandal (imdb)
 31704  7.0   6.991   91   6.362   A Most Wanted Man (imdb)
  4162  7.3   7.186   87   6.252   The Good Lie (imdb)
  2845  7.1   6.999   89   6.229   Top Five (imdb)
 15750  7.7   7.641   81   6.189   The Theory of Everything (imdb)
  2570  7.5   7.279   85   6.187   Kraftidioten (imdb)
 21082  6.8   6.796   91   6.184   The Guest (imdb)
 96022  7.9   7.888   78   6.153   Fury (imdb)
  8651  7.5   7.418   82   6.083   The Book of Life (imdb)
 10267  7.0   6.974   87   6.067   The Skeleton Twins (imdb)
150296  7.2   7.197   84   6.045   22 Jump Street (imdb)

And here are the top documentaries, using the same criteria:

 Votes  IMDb  Bayes  RT%   RT%*B   Title
======  ====  =====  ===   =====   ===================================
  3317  8.1   7.778   98   7.622   Life Itself (imdb)
  2927  8.2   7.821   93   7.274   The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (imdb)
  3644  7.6   7.408   97   7.186   20,000 Days on Earth (imdb)
  2967  7.4   7.226   89   6.431   Bears (imdb)
  2969  7.7   7.451   81   6.035   Fed Up (imdb)

Board game rank change report for 2014Q4

Happy New Year! It’s the start of a new quarter, so I’ve compiled lists of the board games that have shown large positive movement within BGG‘s top 500 in the past three months. The usual caveats about recategorization (etc.) apply. Incidentally, FiveThirtyEight put out a very interesting article yesterday featuring graphs of some BGG user rating data: how user ratings related to board games’ year of publication, maximum number of players, and average play time. Anyway, on to the lists.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
036 (+132) Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
112 (+304) Five Tribes
159 (+331) Imperial Settlers
220 (+280) Castles of Mad King Ludwig
242 (+258) Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
332 (+168) King of New York
363 (+137) Star Wars: Imperial Assault
369 (+131) Sheriff of Nottingham
382 (+118) Sushi Go!

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
104 (+396) Castles of Mad King Ludwig
214 (+286) Lords of Vegas
221 (+279) Xia: Legends of a Drift System
258 (+242) Abyss
263 (+237) Alchemists
272 (+228) Pandemic: The Cure
273 (+227) Patchistory
278 (+222) Panamax

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
010 (+490) War of the Ring (first edition)
075 (+425) The Battle of Five Armies
151 (+349) Warhammer: Diskwars
160 (+340) 1944: Race to the Rhine
222 (+278) Warmachine
257 (+243) Wir sind das Volk!
268 (+232) Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
030 (+470) King of New York
038 (+462) Sheriff of Nottingham
062 (+438) Abyss
066 (+434) Pandemic: The Cure
079 (+421) Eight-Minute Empire: Legends
094 (+406) Colt Express
138 (+362) Timeline: Diversity
144 (+356) Evolution
150 (+350) Port Royal
161 (+339) Black Fleet
170 (+330) Riff Raff
171 (+329) Pantheon
174 (+326) La Isla
200 (+300) Patchwork
220 (+280) Indigo
271 (+229) Red7
295 (+205) Viva Topo!

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
007 (+493) Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men
009 (+491) Legendary: Villains – Marvel Deck Building Game
037 (+463) Blue Moon
059 (+441) Warmachine: High Command
075 (+425) Nature of the Beast: City vs. Suburb
099 (+401) Adventure Time: Card Wars – Finn vs. Jake
103 (+397) Battle Scenes
166 (+334) Shadowrun Duels

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
023 (+477) Star Wars: Imperial Assault
057 (+362) Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
073 (+427) Legendary: Villains – Marvel Deck Building Game
082 (+418) Arcadia Quest
088 (+237) The Battle of Five Armies
097 (+403) Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death
101 (+399) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set
126 (+374) Mysterium
142 (+358) Evolution
222 (+278) Greenland
223 (+277) The Battle at Kemble's Cascade
227 (+273) Thebes: The Tomb Raiders
290 (+210) Assault on Doomrock

Popular SF/F/H Novels of 2014

In 2014, SF Signal noted the upcoming appearance of over 3400 titles: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.

To prepare the lists below, I looked each title up at Goodreads, eliminating those for which Goodreads had no data or a publication date prior to 2014. Then I ranked the remaining ~2100 books by the cube of their current score (expressed as a percentage) times the log of the number of voters. Finally I broke them up into somewhat arbitrary categories to yield the “top X” lists below, and as usual, I removed the actual Goodreads data, leaving only the ordering. Note that this procedure significantly favors books released earlier in the year.

Here’s a key to the abbreviations and terminology:

  • F = Fantasy
  • H = Horror
  • PR = Paranormal Romance
  • Sequels = Titles likely to draw on information arising in earlier, related books by the same author
  • SF = Science Fiction
  • UF = Urban Fantasy
  • YA = Young Adult

Top 25 SF/F/H (Non-Sequels, Non-YA, and Non-UF/PR)

  1. Brian Staveley, The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)
  2. Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
  3. Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs
  4. Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes: A Novel
  5. M.R. Carey, The Girl With All the Gifts
  6. Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor
  7. David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
  8. Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
  9. Josh Malerman, Bird Box: A Novel
  10. Sebastien de Castell, Traitor’s Blade
  11. William Gibson, The Peripheral
  12. Daniel Suarez, Influx
  13. Stephen King, Revival: A Novel
  14. John Scalzi, Lock In
  15. Daniel Price, The Flight of the Silvers
  16. Nick Harkaway, Tigerman
  17. Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation: A Novel (Southern Reach Trilogy)
  18. Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel
  19. George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, Rogues
  20. Dean Koontz, The City
  21. M. D. Waters, Archetype
  22. Peter Watts, Echopraxia
  23. Robin Spriggs, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom
  24. K. J. Parker, Academic Exercises
  25. John Joseph Adams (ed.), The End is Nigh

Top 25 SF/F/H Sequels (Non-YA and Non-UF/PR)

  1. Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, Book 2)
  2. Brent Weeks, The Broken Eye (Lightbringer)
  3. Brian McClellan, The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy)
  4. Robin Hobb, Fool’s Assassin: Book One of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
  5. Anthony Ryan, Tower Lord (A Raven’s Shadow Novel)
  6. Lev Grossman, The Magician’s Land: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
  7. R. A. Salvatore, Night of the Hunter: Companions Codex, I
  8. John Gwynne, Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen)
  9. R. A. Salvatore, Rise of the King: Companions Codex, II
  10. Scott Sigler, Pandemic: A Novel (Infected)
  11. James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn (The Expanse)
  12. Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  13. Charles Stross, The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files)
  14. H. Paul Honsinger, For Honor We Stand (Man of War)
  15. Patrick W. Carr, Draw of Kings, A (The Staff and the Sword)
  16. Douglas Hulick, Sworn in Steel: A Tale of the Kin
  17. Jonathan L. Howard, The Brothers Cabal
  18. Ann Leckie, Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch)
  19. Sam Sisavath, The Fires of Atlantis (Purge of Babylon, Book 4)
  20. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Causal Angel (Jean Le Flambeur)
  21. John Ringo, Islands of Rage and Hope (Black Tide Rising)
  22. Django Wexler, The Shadow Throne: Book Two of the Shadow Campaigns
  23. Marcus Sakey, A Better World (The Brilliance Saga, Book Two)
  24. Peter F. Hamilton, The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
  25. Evan Currie, Out of the Black (Odyssey One, Book 4)

Top 25 Young Adult SF/F/H/UF/PR (Non-Sequels)

  1. Pierce Brown, Red Rising
  2. Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
  3. Mary E. Pearson, The Kiss of Deception (Remnant Chronicles)
  4. Melissa Landers, Alienated
  5. Marie Lu, The Young Elites
  6. Rachel Hawkins, Rebel Belle
  7. Danielle Jensen, Stolen Songbird
  8. Joe Abercrombie, Half a King (Shattered Sea Series)
  9. Amy Engel, The Book of Ivy
  10. Maggie Stiefvater, Sinner (Shiver)
  11. Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die
  12. Katie Alender, Famous Last Words
  13. Victoria Scott, Fire & Flood
  14. Josephine Angelini, Trial by Fire
  15. Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird)
  16. Sally Green, Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy)
  17. Joseph Delaney, A New Darkness
  18. A.S. King, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
  19. Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories
  20. Alisa Krasnostein, Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
  21. R.C. Lewis, Stitching Snow
  22. Martina Boone, Compulsion (Heirs of Watson Island)
  23. Kiersten White, Illusions of Fate
  24. Julie Kagawa, Talon (The Talon Saga)
  25. Juliet Marillier, Dreamer’s Pool: A Blackthorn & Grim Novel

Top 25 Young Adult SF/F/H/UF/PR Sequels & Related Works

  1. Marissa Meyer, Cress (Lunar Chronicles)
  2. Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me (Shatter Me)
  3. Sarah J. Maas, The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass novellas
  4. Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
  5. Richelle Mead, Silver Shadows: A Bloodlines Novel
  6. Alexandra Bracken, In the Afterlight: A Darkest Minds Novel
  7. Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
  8. Neal Shusterman, UnDivided (Unwind Dystology)
  9. Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Cycle #3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
  10. Veronica Rossi, Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky)
  11. Pittacus Lore, The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies)
  12. Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising
  13. Victoria Schwab, The Unbound (An Archived Novel) (The Archived)
  14. Gena Showalter, The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles)
  15. Cassandra Clare, The Course of True Love (and First Dates) (The Bane Chronicles)
  16. Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song (Blood of Eden)
  17. Ransom Riggs, Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Children)
  18. Cecilia Bernard, Inside Divergent: The Initiate’s World
  19. Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea (5th Wave)
  20. Kasie West, Split Second (Pivot Point)
  21. Erin Hunter & Dan Jolley, Warriors Super Edition: Bramblestar’s Storm
  22. S. J. Kincaid, Catalyst (Insignia)
  23. Jennifer Estep, Killer Frost (Mythos Academy Novels)
  24. Scott Sigler, THE CHAMPION
  25. Robin LaFevers, Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Trilogy)

Top 5 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance (Non-YA and Non-Sequels)

  1. J. D. Horn, The Line (Witching Savannah, Book One)
  2. Christopher Buehlman, The Lesser Dead
  3. Simone St. James, Silence for the Dead
  4. Seanan McGuire, Sparrow Hill Road
  5. C. J. Burright, Wonderfully Wicked

Note: This category has only 5 entries, because nothing else that fit the category appeared above the 25th item on any other list. I have to look each title up manually to make a decision about how to categorize them, and I’m sorry, but I suspect it would be quite a lot of work to find 20 more given the available data. In fact, including some of these entries stretches the definitions of urban fantasy and non-sequel. Even taking the “sequel bump” into account (scores tend to go up for sequels as readers bounce off earlier books), the dearth of high-scoring titles in this category is a surprising result because urban fantasy sequels simply dominate the top 200 results. Perhaps SF Signal has overlooked some series starters this year. Or maybe it’s a very difficult field to get noticed in at first.

Top 25 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Sequels (Non-YA)

  1. Jim Butcher, Skin Game (Dresden Files)
  2. Ilona Andrews, Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels)
  3. Diana Gabaldon, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander)
  4. Kim Harrison, The Undead Pool
  5. Patricia Briggs, Night Broken (Mercy Thompson)
  6. Kim Harrison, The Witch with No Name (Hollows)
  7. Darynda Jones, Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson)
  8. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Illusion: Chronicles of Nick
  9. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Fury (League Novel)
  10. Anne Bishop, Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others
  11. Darynda Jones, Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson Series)
  12. Nalini Singh, Shield of Winter (Psy/Changelings)
  13. Jeaniene Frost, Up from the Grave (Night Huntress)
  14. Deborah Harkness, The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy)
  15. Seanan McGuire, The Winter Long (October Daye)
  16. Faith Hunter, Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock)
  17. Kevin Hearne, Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles
  18. Christine Feehan, Dark Wolf (Carpathian)
  19. Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Nemesis
  20. Patricia Briggs, Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
  21. Faith Hunter, Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock)
  22. Chloe Neill, Wild Things (Chicagoland Vampires)
  23. Jonathan Maberry, Code Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel
  24. Larissa Ione, Revenant (Lords of Deliverance)
  25. Chloe Neill, Blood Games (Chicagoland Vampires)

Top 25 Miscellaneous Works (Comics, Etc.)

  1. Joe Hill, Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega
  2. Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan 14
  3. Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan, Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1
  4. Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare Trilogy)
  5. Wizards RPG Team, Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons)
  6. Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seconds
  7. Zack Whedon, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
  8. Tom Taylor, Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 2
  9. Ben Hatke, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures
  10. Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell, The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1
  11. Kieron Gillen, The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1
  12. Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell, The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2
  13. Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return
  14. Gene Luen Yang, The Shadow Hero
  15. Gene Luen Yang & Michael Dante DiMartino, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift Part 2
  16. Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto 68: A Shinobi’s Dream!
  17. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale
  18. Tom Taylor, Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 2 Vol. 1
  19. Wizards RPG Team, Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook)
  20. Tim Minchin, Storm
  21. Marvel Comics, Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread
  22. Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn, Alex + Ada Volume 1
  23. Hayao Miyazaki, Art of Princess Mononoke
  24. Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction
  25. Bill Willingham, Fables Vol. 20: Camelot

Board game rank change report for Black Friday 2014

Every year, in anticipation of holiday shopping, I run a special report on all games that have appeared in the data I’ve collected quarterly from BGG since January 1. Most of these games have already shown up in the quarterly reports, but sometimes a game will advance in the rankings too slowly for me to catch it in a snapshot. A few showed up before January 1, because sometimes a game will continue advancing gradually for a while (particularly as it works its way to the very top). And there are definitely a few games here that are old but that show up because they were recategorized or whatnot. Anyway, there are still a lot of games that have done well in BGG’s rankings in 2014.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
007 (+150) Caverna: The Cave Farmers
027 (+260) Eldritch Horror
039 (+121) Nations
042 (+178) Russian Railroads
054 (+446) Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
072 (+283) Lewis & Clark
080 (+372) Concordia
097 (+403) Star Realms
111 (+389) Splendor
134 (+366) Five Tribes
145 (+116) Forbidden Desert
174 (+326) BattleLore (Second Edition)
178 (+322) BattleCON: Devastation of Indines
180 (+320) Istanbul
185 (+315) One Night Ultimate Werewolf
195 (+139) Targi
200 (+142) Coup
201 (+299) Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
205 (+295) Glass Road
212 (+288) Imperial Settlers
221 (+279) Bruxelles 1893
228 (+159) Amerigo
241 (+259) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
243 (+257) Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
245 (+255) 1775: Rebellion
258 (+227) Firefly: The Game
286 (+214) Rococo
307 (+193) Francis Drake
312 (+188) Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
318 (+182) Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak
331 (+169) Freedom: The Underground Railroad
334 (+166) Among the Stars
337 (+163) Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy
338 (+162) Quantum
343 (+157) Madeira
358 (+142) Terror in Meeple City
362 (+138) Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2
366 (+134) A Study in Emerald
380 (+120) Pax Porfiriana
391 (+109) Bang! The Dice Game
392 (+108) Coal Baron

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
062 (+438) Star Realms
070 (+430) Five Tribes
072 (+428) BattleCON: Devastation of Indines
098 (+402) Istanbul
105 (+249) Bruxelles 1893
119 (+381) Imperial Settlers
158 (+342) Freedom: The Underground Railroad
165 (+261) Madeira
175 (+325) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
204 (+296) Quantum
213 (+287) Lords of Vegas
214 (+270) A Study in Emerald
224 (+276) Castles of Mad King Ludwig
250 (+250) Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
296 (+204) Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
018 (+482) Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3
021 (+479) Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2
024 (+476) BattleLore (Second Edition)
026 (+474) Fire in the Lake
053 (+447) Kemet
074 (+248) The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43
115 (+385) Heroes of Normandie
135 (+365) The Battle of Five Armies
144 (+356) Sails of Glory
155 (+345) Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer
156 (+344) Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
168 (+332) 1944: Race to the Rhine
175 (+210) France '40
211 (+289) Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr
233 (+267) Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath
279 (+221) Cruel Necessity

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
009 (+491) Splendor
016 (+484) Istanbul
028 (+472) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
061 (+379) Steam Park
075 (+425) Machi Koro
077 (+423) King of New York
085 (+415) Abyss
096 (+404) Nefertiti
102 (+398) Blueprints
117 (+383) Camel Up
118 (+382) Linko!
131 (+369) Carcassonne: South Seas
145 (+355) TurfMaster
151 (+349) Sheriff of Nottingham
160 (+240) CV
162 (+338) Port Royal
171 (+329) Colt Express
174 (+326) Riff Raff
191 (+309) Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension
198 (+302) Evolution
201 (+299) Coconuts
208 (+292) The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus
215 (+285) Fantastiqa
218 (+282) Indigo
231 (+269) Black Fleet
239 (+261) Timeline: Music & Cinema
240 (+260) Wok Star
247 (+253) Cinque Terre
258 (+242) Cube Quest
268 (+232) SOS Titanic
274 (+226) Asante
289 (+211) The Builders: Middle Ages
295 (+205) Tsuro of the Seas

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
005 (+495) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set
006 (+494) Star Realms
008 (+492) Doomtown: Reloaded
009 (+491) Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
013 (+487) Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
014 (+486) Warhammer: Diskwars
017 (+483) Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men
024 (+476) Dungeon Command: Blood of Gruumsh
071 (+429) Nature of the Beast: City vs. Suburb
077 (+423) The Card Game of Oz
078 (+396) Weiß Schwarz
096 (+404) My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game
100 (+400) Mechwarrior: Dark Age
125 (+375) Mage Knight
128 (+372) Conquest Tactics
129 (+298) Huntik: Secrets and Seekers Trading Card Game

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
007 (+493) Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
026 (+474) Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
040 (+460) Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak
060 (+440) Thunder Alley
080 (+420) Galaxy Defenders
085 (+415) Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature
101 (+399) Space Cadets: Dice Duel
106 (+394) Ascension: Rise of Vigil
114 (+386) Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
117 (+383) Space Hulk (fourth edition)
128 (+372) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set
135 (+365) The Battle of Five Armies
143 (+357) Tragedy Looper
158 (+342) Arcadia Quest
160 (+340) Shadowrun: Crossfire
161 (+339) Zombie 15'
162 (+338) CV
167 (+333) Police Precinct
169 (+331) Heroes Wanted
174 (+326) Evolution
182 (+318) Shadowrift
202 (+298) Leader 1: Hell of the North
224 (+276) Mysterium
231 (+269) HeroQuest Advanced Quest
236 (+264) 1911 Amundsen vs Scott
237 (+263) Rivet Wars: Eastern Front
242 (+258) Silent Death
243 (+257) Thebes: The Tomb Raiders
255 (+245) Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom
277 (+223) Super Fantasy: Ugly Snouts Assault
279 (+221) Greenland
280 (+220) The Battle at Kemble's Cascade
291 (+209) King & Assassins
295 (+205) Might & Magic Heroes

Board game rank change report for 2014Q3

Last week, I saved the state of the board game rankings at BoardGameGeek so that I could compare them to the rankings from the previous quarter, as usual. Here are the games that have for whatever reason shown large positive movement within the top 500 in the past quarter. I’m guessing a couple of these such as Risk Legacy and Kemet were simply categorized to suddenly do well in a new category, but they’re worth mentioning anyway.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
123 (+182) Star Realms
168 (+332) Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
242 (+258) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
254 (+246) Istanbul

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
127 (+217) Istanbul
172 (+328) Freedom: The Underground Railroad
173 (+327) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
207 (+293) Five Tribes
239 (+261) Imperial Settlers

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
050 (+450) Risk Legacy
056 (+444) Kemet
116 (+384) Fire in the Lake
214 (+286) Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr
252 (+223) Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
024 (+476) Istanbul
025 (+475) Vikings
028 (+472) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
154 (+346) Linko!
180 (+237) Camel Up
253 (+247) Coconuts
284 (+216) Asante
288 (+212) Wok Star
289 (+211) Timeline: Music & Cinema

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
008 (+492) Doomtown: Reloaded
021 (+479) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set
042 (+458) Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
072 (+428) The Card Game of Oz
099 (+401) Mechwarrior: Dark Age

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
014 (+404) Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
068 (+432) Thunder Alley
081 (+419) Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
099 (+401) Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature
124 (+376) Ascension: Rise of Vigil
171 (+329) Shadowrift
203 (+297) Zombie 15'
208 (+292) Heroes Wanted
217 (+283) Shadowrun: Crossfire
259 (+241) Space Hulk (fourth edition)

Popular titles in the African Writers Series

I was curious about which titles in the African Writers Series from Heinemann were most popular, but I couldn’t find a complete list on their web site with which to begin. So, merging the Wikipedia entry on the African Writers Series with the african-writers-series shelf on Goodreads, I kept every title for which Wikipedia had a volume number and every title that had an edition from Heinemann. That’s probably not perfect. Anyway, I took the log of the number of people rating the book at Goodreads and multiplied it by the cube of the rating expressed as a percentage to yield a “top 40″ list below.

  1. Naguib Mahfouz, Children of the Alley
  2. Steve Biko, I Write What I Like: Selected Writings
  3. Ayi Kwei Armah, Two Thousand Seasons
  4. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  5. Ayi Kwei Armah, The Healers
  6. Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North
  7. Naguib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley
  8. Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing
  9. Buchi Emecheta, The Joys of Motherhood
  10. Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
  11. Nelson Mandela, No Easy Walk to Freedom
  12. Ousmane Sembène, God’s Bits of Wood
  13. Chinua Achebe, No Longer at Ease
  14. Kwame Nkrumah, Neo Colonialism: The Last Stage Of Imperialism
  15. Mariama Bâ, So Long a Letter
  16. Chinua Achebe, A Man of the People
  17. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Petals of Blood
  18. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat
  19. Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God
  20. Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
  21. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Weep Not, Child
  22. Elechi Amadi, The Concubine
  23. Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Fate of a Cockroach: Four Plays
  24. Pepetela, Mayombe
  25. Tayeb Salih, The Wedding of Zein and Other Sudanese Stories
  26. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Devil on the Cross
  27. Bessie Head, When Rain Clouds Gather
  28. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, The River Between
  29. Bessie Head, Serowe, Village of the Rain Wind
  30. Ama Ata Aidoo, Changes: A Love Story
  31. Bessie Head, Maru
  32. Mia Couto, Every Man Is a Race
  33. Dambudzo Marechera, The House of Hunger
  34. Buchi Emecheta, Second Class Citizen
  35. Okot p’Bitek, Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol
  36. Bessie Head, A Question of Power
  37. Ferdinand Oyono, Houseboy
  38. Hama Tuma, The Case of the Socialist Witchdoctor and Other Stories
  39. Flora Nwapa, Efuru
  40. Luís Bernardo Honwana, We Killed Mangy-Dog and Other Stories

Board game rank change report for 2014Q2

I’m late in posting this month, but on July 1, I captured the state of the board game rankings at BoardGameGeek so that I could compare them to the rankings from the end of last quarter, as usual. So here are the games that have for whatever reason (sudden popularity surges, being recategorized, etc.) shown large positive movement within the top 500 in the past quarter.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
087 (+107) Lewis & Clark
186 (+314) Splendor
260 (+240) Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
288 (+104) Bruxelles 1893
305 (+195) Star Realms
320 (+129) BattleCON: Devastation of Indines
342 (+158) One Night Ultimate Werewolf
354 (+113) Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak
377 (+123) Madeira

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
169 (+331) Star Realms

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
252 (+248) Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath
270 (+230) Heroes of Normandie

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
019 (+481) Splendor
032 (+468) Yspahan
090 (+410) Nefertiti
153 (+347) Machi Koro
177 (+323) Carcassonne: South Seas
185 (+315) The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus
233 (+267) Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension
284 (+216) Cube Quest
288 (+212) SOS Titanic

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
006 (+494) Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
033 (+467) Blue Moon
072 (+406) Weiß Schwarz
077 (+423) My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game
117 (+383) Conquest Tactics
119 (+381) Mage Knight

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
173 (+327) Risk 2210 A.D.
239 (+261) 1911 Amundsen vs Scott
291 (+209) Might & Magic Heroes
292 (+208) King & Assassins