Board game rank change report for Q3 + most of 2018

It’s time once again for a round-up of games that have become especially popular at BGG over the past year. But first, here’s a belated report on what games showed the most positive movement in rank between 6/30/2018 and 9/30/2018.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
180 (+320) Root
187 (+313) Brass: Birmingham
349 (+140) Century: Golem Edition
382 (+118) Decrypto

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
068 (+432) Brass: Birmingham
091 (+409) Root
249 (+251) Everdell

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
034 (+466) Root
040 (+460) Wir sind das Volk!
253 (+247) Cataclysm: A Second World War
292 (+208) Skies Above the Reich
300 (+200) Gaslands

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
024 (+476) Evolution: Climate
099 (+401) Welcome To...
123 (+377) Century: Eastern Wonders
126 (+374) Ex Libris
199 (+301) Jump Drive
250 (+250) Odin's Ravens (Second Edition)
297 (+203) Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
045 (+455) Aristeia!

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
127 (+373) Zombicide: Green Horde
132 (+368) Witness
138 (+362) Wasteland Express Delivery Service
164 (+336) The Big Book of Madness
187 (+313) Dragonfire
195 (+305) Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
292 (+208) Western Legends
297 (+203) The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch

And here’s a report on what happened across most of 2018 (1/22 to 12/8):

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
015 (+103) Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
021 (+165) Spirit Island
041 (+459) Brass: Birmingham
051 (+449) Rising Sun
093 (+101) Agricola (Revised Edition)
103 (+100) Raiders of the North Sea
106 (+394) Root
138 (+285) Clank! In! Space!
162 (+140) This War of Mine: The Board Game
178 (+159) Too Many Bones
189 (+311) Dinosaur Island
219 (+281) Rajas of the Ganges
238 (+164) Roll Player
244 (+138) Flamme Rouge
249 (+105) Hanamikoji
256 (+244) Everdell
270 (+230) Pulsar 2849
283 (+217) Decrypto
285 (+215) Welcome To...
301 (+199) KeyForge: Call of the Archons
303 (+197) The Quest for El Dorado
304 (+196) Century: Golem Edition
305 (+131) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
307 (+193) Mythic Battles: Pantheon
320 (+125) Bärenpark
322 (+126) Photosynthesis
339 (+161) Altiplano
342 (+158) Heaven & Ale
344 (+138) The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
346 (+154) Ganz schön clever
354 (+146) Lords of Hellas
366 (+134) Endeavor: Age of Sail
380 (+120) Aeon's End: War Eternal
386 (+114) Santa Maria

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
014 (+486) Brass: Birmingham
041 (+459) Rising Sun
063 (+437) Root
119 (+381) Dinosaur Island
128 (+204) Rajas of the Ganges
143 (+357) Evolution: Climate
146 (+354) Pulsar 2849
149 (+351) Everdell
171 (+329) Endeavor: Age of Sail
184 (+316) Aeon's End: War Eternal
191 (+309) Heaven & Ale
195 (+305) Altiplano
196 (+304) Century: Golem Edition
198 (+302) Lords of Hellas
203 (+297) Coimbra
205 (+295) Teotihuacan: City of Gods
207 (+293) Santa Maria
253 (+238) London (second edition)
263 (+237) The Fox in the Forest
272 (+228) Exit: The Game – The Pharaoh's Tomb
296 (+204) Thunderstone Quest

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
002 (+498) War of the Ring (Second Edition)
018 (+482) War of the Ring (First Edition)
032 (+468) Root
039 (+461) Hannibal & Hamilcar
106 (+394) Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain
111 (+389) Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Reprint Edition)
189 (+311) Cataclysm: A Second World War
194 (+306) Skies Above the Reich
218 (+282) Diplomacy
229 (+271) Great War Commander
245 (+255) Gaslands

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
014 (+486) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
025 (+475) Welcome To...
037 (+463) Ganz schön clever
096 (+404) Century: Eastern Wonders
109 (+391) Dragon Castle
118 (+382) Ex Libris
125 (+375) The Mind
131 (+369) Stuffed Fables
148 (+352) Majesty: For the Realm
150 (+350) Rhino Hero: Super Battle
153 (+347) Reef
172 (+328) Kitchen Rush
173 (+327) Space Base
179 (+321) Hardback
182 (+318) The Grimm Forest
192 (+308) Istanbul: The Dice Game
198 (+302) The Quacks of Quedlinburg
241 (+259) My Little Scythe
250 (+250) Cat Lady
251 (+249) Odin's Ravens (Second Edition)
273 (+227) Ticket to Ride: New York
276 (+224) Noch mal!
280 (+220) Palm Island
281 (+219) Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra
298 (+202) The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
006 (+494) KeyForge: Call of the Archons
030 (+470) Star Wars: Legion
038 (+462) Aristeia!
211 (+289) Hatalom Kártyái Kártyajáték

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
036 (+464) Dinosaur Island
071 (+429) Chronicles of Crime
072 (+428) The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
079 (+421) Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
113 (+387) Western Legends
116 (+384) Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab
118 (+382) Zombicide: Green Horde
134 (+366) Witness
136 (+364) Stuffed Fables
138 (+362) Wasteland Express Delivery Service
161 (+339) Kitchen Rush
168 (+332) The Big Book of Madness
170 (+330) High Frontier (Third Edition)
178 (+322) Legacy of Dragonholt
186 (+314) Dragonfire
197 (+303) The City of Kings
205 (+295) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – Base Set
213 (+287) Arkham Horror (Third Edition)
214 (+286) AuZtralia
236 (+264) John Company
240 (+260) Tiny Epic Zombies
243 (+257) Unlock! The House on the Hill
265 (+235) Deep Madness
274 (+226) The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
275 (+225) Sub Terra
283 (+217) Gaslands
288 (+212) The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch
291 (+209) Bios: Megafauna (Second Edition)
299 (+201) Hunt for the Ring

Fast-growing Fandoms: An Initial Look

Two weeks ago, I took a snapshot of entry counts for each tag on the fandoms page at Archive of Our Own, hoping to eventually get a sense of which fandoms were growing fastest. Comparing that data with the entry counts on the site today, I think it might be possible to understand which fandoms are growing most quickly.

Unfortunately, a simple count of how many times each fandom’s tag was used is going to be imperfect—maybe much more misleading than my BoardGameGeek reports. Evidently, AO3 tag counts can fluctuate quite a bit: their names can change; tags can reportedly be reclassified such that their new parent tags suddenly get credit for existing entries; and the archive accepts mass uploads of fanfic from old repositories / personal collections such that work written long ago can suddenly show up as if it were new.

Still, it’s something. I’ll start with the top 25 fandoms by a raw count of new entries appearing in the past two weeks:

∆       %∆      Total   Fandom
----    -----   ------  ------
3218	0.023	143559	K-pop
3105	0.013	241238	Marvel
2792	0.013	220048	Marvel Cinematic Universe
1619	0.038	44004	Voltron: Legendary Defender
1572	0.026	62339	방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys | BTS
1278	0.063	21405	僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
1263	0.008	167506	Real Person Fiction
1249	1.892	1909	Detroit: Become Human (Video Game)
1215	0.01	118844	The Avengers - Ambiguous Fandom
1214	0.011	115916	The Avengers (Marvel) - All Media Types
1185	1185.0	1186	Metalocalypse (Cartoon)
1116	0.007	169996	Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
1034	0.009	116772	DCU
1011	0.01	98215	The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
936	0.005	184710	Supernatural
715	0.01	72436	Star Wars - All Media Types
706	0.017	42992	Original Work
607	0.009	65714	Captain America - All Media Types
568	0.098	6376	Firefly
557	0.01	58797	Captain America (Movies)
498	0.005	93744	Teen Wolf (TV)
462	0.034	13870	Spider-Man - All Media Types
451	0.004	113953	Sherlock Holmes & Related Fandoms
423	0.072	6285	NCT (Band)
397	0.013	30213	Final Fantasy

Honestly, the most surprising items are things like Firefly, the tag count for which has likely been skewed by one of the factors I mentioned above. Only Detroit: Become Human pops out as the kind of fast-growing category I’m sure I’m looking for (though I have doubts about the game itself). So a raw count of new entries is probably not very helpful for discovering newly popular / fast-growing fandoms.

So here’s a list of every fandom that had more than 25 new entries in the past two weeks, that grew by more than 4.0%, and that had more existing entries two weeks ago than it has gained in the past two weeks (a criterion that will eliminate things that are really too new to judge; for example, assuming it has real growth potential, I’ll have to catch Detroit: Become Human next time, because it’s more important to weed out name changes and weed out percent changes that only seem large because the population is too small):

Total   ∆       %∆      Fandom
-----   ----    -----   ------
21405	1278	0.063	僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
6820	298	0.046	Dungeons & Dragons - All Media Types
6376	568	0.098	Firefly
6285	423	0.072	NCT (Band)
4936	365	0.08	Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
4637	256	0.058	Critical Role (Web Series)
3999	181	0.047	New Dangan Ronpa V3: Everyone's New Semester of Killing
3245	255	0.085	Sanders Sides (Web Series)
3211	174	0.057	全职高手 - 蝴蝶蓝 | Quánzhí Gāoshǒu - Húdié Lán
2068	104	0.053	Black Panther (2018)
2061	105	0.054	Figure Skating RPF
1508	91	0.064	Doctor Strange (2016)
1449	65	0.047	Buzzfeed Unsolved (Web Series)
1329	94	0.076	Bendy and the Ink Machine
1307	51	0.041	RuPaul's Drag Race RPF
1116	90	0.088	Far Cry (Video Games)
1104	83	0.081	Timeless (TV 2016)
1093	75	0.074	Stray Kids (Band)
1006	148	0.172	偶像练习生 | Idol Producer (TV)
955	66	0.074	Deadpool (Movieverse)
889	49	0.058	Fire Emblem Heroes
833	45	0.057	MacGyver (TV 2016)
772	46	0.063	Fate/Grand Order
753	30	0.041	Falsettos - Lapine/Finn
724	49	0.073	Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
676	52	0.083	The Arcana (Visual Novel)
671	48	0.077	Disney Duck Universe
663	43	0.069	13 Reasons Why (TV)
633	38	0.064	Doki Doki Literature Club! (Visual Novel)
633	38	0.064	Call Me By Your Name - All Media Types
583	36	0.066	The Worst Witch - All Media Types
570	85	0.175	Far Cry 5
539	45	0.091	Love Simon (2018)
531	52	0.109	Trollhunters (Cartoon)
517	28	0.057	龍が如く | Ryuu ga Gotoku | Yakuza (Video Games)
511	31	0.065	Call Me By Your Name (2017)
497	114	0.298	NINE PERCENT (Band)
481	36	0.081	The Worst Witch (TV 2017)
441	99	0.289	Ocean's (Movies)
409	30	0.079	Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu | Legend of the Galactic Heroes
399	62	0.184	Splatoon
374	27	0.078	Humans (TV)
369	38	0.115	DuckTales (Cartoon 2017)
361	43	0.135	BanG Dream! Girl's Band Party! (Video Game)
304	34	0.126	Granblue Fantasy (Video Game)
295	56	0.234	凹凸世界 | AOTU Shijie | AOTU World
293	28	0.106	Eurovision Song Contest RPF
265	27	0.113	Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
245	41	0.201	The Incredibles (2004)
193	45	0.304	Flight Rising
179	34	0.234	Garrison's Gorillas
121	30	0.33	HiGH&LOW: the Story of S.W.O.R.D. (TV)

I’m not positive this is the best way to look at the data, but there sure are plenty of things here I’ve never heard of and would like to know more about.

Board game rank change report for 2018Q2

Here’s an update on what games have advanced in the rankings recently at BoardGameGeek.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
339 (+104) Rajas of the Ganges

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
272 (+206) Century: Golem Edition

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
018 (+482) War of the Ring (First Edition)
098 (+332) Hannibal & Hamilcar
265 (+235) Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Reprint Edition)

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
015 (+485) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
160 (+340) The Mind
176 (+324) Ganz schön clever
182 (+223) Dragon Castle
219 (+281) The Grimm Forest
297 (+203) Cat Lady

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
034 (+466) Star Wars: Legion

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
074 (+426) The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
119 (+381) Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab
194 (+306) The City of Kings
270 (+230) The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game

Analysis of SF/F Movie Data

Looking back on a number of metrics associated with the 253 feature-length science fiction, fantasy, or supernatural horror films I’ve seen from the years 2011-2015, I don’t find too much of interest, but an uninteresting result is still something. It’s not bad to have empirical evidence for what you might have guessed, and if you look at something closely enough for long enough, you come out the other side of uninteresting and enter a tiny world of nerdy fun.

Correlations among metrics

First, a matrix of correlation coefficients based on data from multiple sources:

                     A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K
                     ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
A: My rating         1    0.98 0.15 0.38 0.23 0.34 0.15 0.38 0.27 0.2  0.33 
B: My retro rating   0.98 1    0.15 0.39 0.23 0.37 0.14 0.39 0.29 0.23 0.35
C: IMDb votes        0.15 0.15 1    0.46 0.94 0.22 0.81 0.43 0.1  0.17 0.24 
D: IMDb rating       0.38 0.39 0.46 1    0.48 0.77 0.32 0.86 0.55 0.55 0.75 
E: Letterboxd votes  0.23 0.23 0.94 0.48 1    0.34 0.71 0.47 0.22 0.33 0.35 
F: Letterboxd rating 0.34 0.37 0.22 0.77 0.34 1    0.06 0.72 0.77 0.8  0.86 
G: RT votes          0.15 0.14 0.81 0.32 0.71 0.06 1    0.33 0.05 0.05 0.15 
H: RT user rating    0.38 0.39 0.43 0.86 0.47 0.72 0.33 1    0.65 0.55 0.79 
I: RT crit. rating   0.27 0.29 0.1  0.55 0.22 0.77 0.05 0.65 1    0.87 0.96 
J: Metacritic rating 0.2  0.23 0.17 0.55 0.33 0.8  0.05 0.55 0.87 1    0.87 
K: IMDb * RT crit    0.33 0.35 0.24 0.75 0.35 0.86 0.15 0.79 0.96 0.87 1 

As a basic explanation of what’s going on here, every available set of metrics has been compared with every other. For the sake of space, the column labels have been simplified to letters that correspond to the letters beside the row labels. “My rating” is the collection of scores I gave each film at the time I watched it. Evidently I held my marks: I didn’t give out a single “10.” I also never changed a rating, so the “My rating” metric is not colored by rosy retrospection. But in view of the fact that my opinions did evolve a little over time, I built a “retro rating” metric by awarding a one-point bonus to every film noted in my previous “Movie Favorites: SF/F/H 2011-2015” post. Most other data sources should be transparently intelligible, except for row/column K, which is based on multiplying the IMDb user rating and RT critic ratings together—a metric I’ve used in some earlier data mining posts about movies.

Unsurprisingly, my judgments line up best with those of other users at IMDb, RT, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Letterboxd. It’s only a moderate correlation, but aggregate ratings from critics have even weaker correlations with my scores.

Optimal movie selection

Looking only at the 40 feature-length films I eventually designated as favorites, here are the minimum scores they achieved:

IMDb        6.0+
Letterboxd  2.7+
RT user     43%+
RT critic   32%+
Metacritic  41+

If I’d known this in advance, I could have skipped 29 out of 253 films without missing out on any favorites. That is to say, if I had insisted sort of compulsively that everything I watch have at least the scores above, I could have achieved a 40/224 favorite-to-watched ratio. But if I’d been interested in a compromise—discovering fewer favorites but also watching far fewer films I didn’t enjoy—what criteria would have yielded better ratios? To answer that question, I wrote a script to cycle through random threshold values for all five metrics and find a set of scores yielding a good ratio for each number of favorites:

                  IMDb   Let.    RT u.  RT c.  Meta
40/224 (17.9%)    6      2.7     43     32     41
39/207 (18.8%)    6      2.7     43     58     43
38/166 (22.9%)    6.3    3.1     55     42     41
37/150 (24.7%)    6.4    3.1     61     39     44
36/132 (27.3%)    6.3    3.3     48     68     45
35/127 (27.6%)    6.3    3.3     60     68     41
34/118 (28.8%)    6      3.35    53     68     46
33/114 (28.9%)    6.4    3.35    61     66     45
32/101 (31.7%)    6.1    3.4     52     67     48
31/95  (32.6%)    6.2    3.4     61     68     42
30/88  (34.1%)    6.3    3.45    46     68     41
29/85  (34.1%)    6      3.45    61     47     42
28/78  (35.9%)    6.4    3.4     73     67     43
27/70  (38.6%)    6.1    3.45    73     68     41
26/67  (38.8%)    6.1    3.4     60     88     60
25/59  (42.4%)    6.5    3.45    60     89     46
24/56  (42.9%)    6      3.35    73     89     62
23/50  (46.0%)    6.1    3.45    73     89     44
22/48  (45.8%)    6.4    3.45    73     89     68
21/41  (51.2%)    6.8    3.45    46     92     41
20/35  (57.1%)    6.8    3.65    56     89     60

My script in fact yielded much more data, showing each ratio it preferred over the next, and one very slow version of the script deterministically ran through every possible value for every metric. But the “random walk” version converged on similar results much more quickly.

My conclusions are a little impressionistic. Aiming at a ~33-34% favorite-to-total ratio “feels” about right. Ratios above 38% require very high RT critic ratings, perhaps limiting a viewer to a steady diet of blockbusters and children’s movies. Surprisingly, Metacritic and IMDb scores don’t seem very crucial in these results: they often return to their start values as the ratios improve, suggesting some Letterboxd or RT user rating might have served about as well. So I suspect I could find favorites more easily in the future by selecting only SF/F films that have a Letterboxd rating of 3.4+, an RT user approval rating of 61% or above, and an RT critic rating of 68% or above. I mean, I doubt I’ll do much with the information—movies that don’t turn out to be favorites can still be fun, etc.—but it was an engaging puzzle to work through.

Board game rank change report for 2018Q1

Here’s an update on what games have moved up a lot recently at BoardGameGeek. The dates covered by the data are actually 11/17/2017-03/31/2018—a bit more than 2018Q1, but close enough for this purpose.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
018 (+482) Gaia Project
037 (+344) Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
044 (+456) Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition
061 (+439) Azul
063 (+348) Spirit Island
065 (+143) Clans of Caledonia
078 (+422) Rising Sun
098 (+402) Charterstone
128 (+242) Codenames Duet
141 (+131) Lisboa
174 (+115) Sagrada
195 (+305) This War of Mine: The Board Game
216 (+119) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
252 (+248) Clank! In! Space!
343 (+117) Flamme Rouge
344 (+156) Dinosaur Island
355 (+145) Photosynthesis
359 (+106) Dice Forge
367 (+122) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
400 (+100) Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
006 (+494) Star Wars: Rebellion
008 (+245) Gaia Project
015 (+485) Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
025 (+475) Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition
054 (+446) Rising Sun
059 (+441) Charterstone
137 (+363) Clank! In! Space!
186 (+314) Dinosaur Island
211 (+289) Mythic Battles: Pantheon
225 (+275) Rajas of the Ganges
299 (+201) Pulsar 2849

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
002 (+498) War of the Ring (Second Edition)
209 (+210) Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden
224 (+276) Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
084 (+416) Queendomino
115 (+385) Bunny Kingdom
139 (+361) The Fox in the Forest
171 (+329) Majesty: For the Realm
208 (+292) Rhino Hero: Super Battle
228 (+272) Meeple Circus
256 (+244) Viral
262 (+238) Stuffed Fables

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
032 (+468) Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath
034 (+466) Dungeon Command: Blood of Gruumsh
038 (+462) Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins
039 (+461) Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr
041 (+459) Pixel Tactics 2
042 (+458) Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth
134 (+366) Romance of the Nine Empires

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
005 (+495) Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
029 (+471) Captain Sonar
038 (+462) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
087 (+413) Flamme Rouge
090 (+410) Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
167 (+333) High Frontier (3rd edition)
174 (+326) Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga
181 (+319) Fog of Love
188 (+312) Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – Base Set
195 (+305) Fallout
199 (+301) Stuffed Fables
204 (+296) DOOM: The Board Game
227 (+273) Whitehall Mystery
231 (+269) Legacy of Dragonholt

Popular SF/F/H Books of 2017

Although there’s still almost a month left in 2017, at least ten different sources have already selected their best SF/F of the year. File 770 has also posted a round-up of the year’s novellas. The SFWA has dozens of novels on the suggested reading list for Nebula voters, and the SPFBO project currently has one finalist that was published in 2017. Combining all those sources with the lists of new books posted at Locus and the new book lists posted at The Verge (including the list for December), I arrived at a list of over 700 probably Hugo-eligible titles that have ratings at Goodreads. For each title, I expressed the Goodreads rating as a percentage, squared it, and multiplied it by the log of the number of people who’ve rated the book, generating a single popularity score used to sort the lists below. This is obviously a little unfair to books that are just now coming out. I’ve also categorized the results in other ways that may be unfair:

  • I’ve removed around two dozen “general fiction” titles when I have trouble imagining recommending them on the basis of their SF/F content. For example, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders rated very highly. In spite of its Booker Prize win this year, I don’t think any SF/F blog I read has even mentioned it, and although that could be a blind spot of my own, I suspect the way the story is put together limits its appeal to genre readers. Incidentally, I think the same author’s short story “Escape from Spiderhead” is one of the best works of SF/F that I’ve ever read.
  • I’ve classified around 125 books as “young adult,” but this is often a judgment call, and I’ve neglected to distinguish middle grade from YA. To decide whether a book was aimed at younger readers, I relied in part on whether the book was shelved as young-adult at Goodreads and in part on what reviews said there about the content.
  • I’ve separated standalone and “starting-point” novels from sequels that assume knowledge of the series. What counts as a standalone or starting-point novel is debateable, and although I’ve consulted reader reviews, it isn’t always clear.
  • Finally, although I did initially look at distinguishing urban fantasy and horror from SF/F, there really weren’t enough examples of them among non-YA standalone / starting-point novels to worry about. There were well over 50 urban fantasy sequels, but only around 30 standalone or series-starting urban fantasies, most of which did not rate very well. So relatively few appear on the lists below.

Top 125 standalone or starting-point books (non-YA)

  1. Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology
  2. Mark Lawrence, Red Sister
  3. Katherine Arden, The Bear and the Nightingale
  4. Nicholas Eames, Kings of the Wyld
  5. E. William Brown, Perilous Waif
  6. John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire
  7. Andrew Rowe, Sufficiently Advanced Magic
  8. Martha Wells, All Systems Red
  9. Naomi Alderman, The Power
  10. Brandon Sanderson, Snapshot
  11. Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
  12. Jeff VanderMeer, Borne
  13. Omar El Akkad, American War
  14. Stephen King and Owen King, Sleeping Beauties
  15. Austin Chant, Peter Darling
  16. Daryl Gregory, Spoonbenders
  17. Andy Weir, Artemis
  18. S.A. Chakraborty, The City of Brass
  19. Catherynne M. Valente (with illustrations by Annie Wu), The Refrigerator Monologues
  20. Joe Hill, Strange Weather
  21. Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties
  22. Daniel Suarez, Change Agent
  23. Ed McDonald, Blackwing
  24. Mira Grant, Into the Drowning Deep
  25. Ann Leckie, Provenance
  26. Natasha Pulley, The Bedlam Stacks
  27. Marcus Sakey, Afterlife
  28. Mur Lafferty, Six Wakes
  29. Michael Poore, Reincarnation Blues
  30. Seanan McGuire, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
  31. Victor LaValle, The Changeling
  32. C. Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust
  33. Kevin Hearne, A Plague of Giants
  34. Theodora Goss, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
  35. Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
  36. Jaroslav Kalfar, Spaceman of Bohemia
  37. Kathleen A Flynn, The Jane Austen Project
  38. Ellen Klages, Passing Strange
  39. Rob Reid, After On
  40. Lara Elena Donnelly, Amberlough
  41. Kameron Hurley, The Stars Are Legion
  42. Linda Nagata, The Last Good Man
  43. Edgar Cantero, Meddling Kids
  44. Kory Shrum, Shadows in the Water
  45. Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts
  46. Vivian Shaw, Strange Practice
  47. Robyn Bennis, The Guns Above
  48. Kim Stanley Robinson, New York 2140
  49. Jim C. Hines, Terminal Alliance
  50. JY Yang, The Black Tides of Heaven
  51. Curtis Craddock, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
  52. Dan Moren, The Caledonian Gambit
  53. Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods
  54. Peter S. Beagle, In Calabria
  55. Daniel H. Wilson, The Clockwork Dynasty
  56. Kat Howard, An Unkindness of Magicians
  57. Caitlín R. Kiernan, Agents of Dreamland
  58. Ruthanna Emrys, Winter Tide
  59. Karin Tidbeck, Amatka
  60. Annalee Newitz, Autonomous
  61. D.J. Butler, Witchy Eye
  62. Angus Watson, You Die When You Die
  63. Sarah Gailey, River of Teeth
  64. Jeremy Robert Johnson, Entropy in Bloom
  65. Mira Grant, Final Girls
  66. Jacqueline Carey, Miranda and Caliban
  67. Alex Wells, Hunger Makes the Wolf
  68. Hugh Howey, Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories
  69. Pajtim Statovci, My Cat Yugoslavia
  70. Ann Claycomb, The Mermaid’s Daughter
  71. Zachary Mason, Void Star
  72. Tade Thompson, The Murders of Molly Southbourne
  73. Tom Merritt, Pilot X
  74. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Beautiful Ones
  75. Michael Johnston, Soleri
  76. Anna Stephens, Godblind
  77. Marina J. Lostetter, Noumenon
  78. Naomi Kritzer, Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories
  79. Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull
  80. Tom Holt, The Management Style of the Supreme Beings
  81. Corey J. White, Killing Gravity
  82. Scott Oden, A Gathering of Ravens
  83. Tim Pratt, The Wrong Stars
  84. Tracy Townsend, The Nine
  85. Sofia Samatar, Tender: Stories
  86. Dave Hutchinson, Acadie
  87. Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin), You Should Have Left
  88. Gregory Benford, The Berlin Project
  89. Giorgio de Maria (translated by Ramon Glazov), The Twenty Days of Turin
  90. Stephen Graham Jones, Mapping the Interior
  91. Spencer Ellsworth, Starfire: A Red Peace
  92. Fonda Lee, Jade City
  93. David Drake, The Spark
  94. Orson Scott Card, Children of the Fleet
  95. Frank Chadwick, Chain of Command
  96. David Walton, The Genius Plague
  97. Angela Roquet, Blood Vice
  98. Marshall Ryan Maresca, The Holver Alley Crew
  99. James Brogden, Hekla’s Children
  100. K.J. Parker, Mightier Than the Sword
  101. Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless
  102. J-F Dubeau, A God in the Shed
  103. Charlie Jane Anders, Six Months, Three Days, Five Others
  104. Walter Jon Williams, Quillifer
  105. Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (eds.), The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories
  106. Emma Newman, Brother’s Ruin
  107. John Crowley, Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr
  108. Molly Tanzer, Creatures of Will and Temper
  109. John Kessel, The Moon and the Other
  110. Paul Cornell, Chalk
  111. Chris Sharp, Cold Counsel
  112. Cherie Priest, Brimstone
  113. Dale Lucas, First Watch
  114. Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton (eds.), Haunted Nights
  115. Gardner Dozois (ed.), The Book of Swords
  116. Jeannette Ng, Under the Pendulum Sun
  117. Brad Abraham, Magicians Impossible
  118. Margaret Killjoy, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
  119. Christopher Golden, Ararat
  120. Tim Lebbon, Relics
  121. Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male
  122. Anna Smith Spark, The Court of Broken Knives
  123. Steve Erickson, Shadowbahn
  124. Anne Corlett, The Space Between the Stars
  125. Joseph Brassey, Skyfarer

Top 25 sequels (non-YA)

  1. Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Fate
  2. Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer
  3. Ilona Andrews, White Hot
  4. Ilona Andrews, Wildfire
  5. V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light
  6. Patricia Briggs, Silence Fallen
  7. N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky
  8. Karen Marie Moning, Feversong
  9. Dennis Taylor, All These Worlds
  10. Anne Bishop, Etched in Bone
  11. Brian McClellan, Sins of Empire
  12. Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Miracles
  13. Faith Hunter, Cold Reign
  14. Marko Kloos, Fields of Fire
  15. Jodi Taylor, And the Rest is History
  16. Michael J. Sullivan, Age of Swords
  17. Sylvain Neuvel, Waking Gods
  18. Seanan McGuire, The Brightest Fell
  19. Peter V. Brett, The Core
  20. Alice Hoffman, The Rules of Magic
  21. Benedict Jacka, Bound
  22. John Connolly, A Game of Ghosts
  23. Nnedi Okorafor, Home
  24. Glynn Stewart, Duchess of Terra
  25. Diana Gabaldon, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

Top 25 YA standalone or starting-point books

  1. Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer
  2. Marie Lu, Warcross
  3. Stephanie Garber, Caraval
  4. Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands
  5. Pittacus Lore, Generation One
  6. Christina Henry, Lost Boy
  7. Claudia Gray, Defy the Stars
  8. Emily R. King, The Hundredth Queen
  9. Veronica Roth, Carve the Mark
  10. Ibi Zoboi, American Street
  11. Wen Spencer, The Black Wolves of Boston
  12. Lisa Maxwell, The Last Magician
  13. Maggie Stiefvater, All the Crooked Saints
  14. Alastair Reynolds, Revenger
  15. S. Jae-Jones, Wintersong
  16. Ryan Graudin, Invictus
  17. Julie C. Dao, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
  18. Garth Nix, Frogkisser!
  19. Kelley Armstrong, Missing
  20. Vic James, Gilded Cage
  21. Jennifer Trafton (with illustrations by Benjamin Schipper), Henry and the Chalk Dragon
  22. Cindy Pon, Want
  23. Elle Katharine White, Heartstone
  24. Laurie Forest, The Black Witch
  25. Jodi Meadows, Before She Ignites

Top 25 YA sequels

  1. Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin
  2. Cassandra Clare, Lord of Shadows
  3. Sarah J. Maas, Tower of Dawn
  4. Jay Kristoff, Godsgrave
  5. Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust
  6. V.E. Schwab, Our Dark Duet
  7. Victoria Aveyard, King’s Cage
  8. Seanan McGuire, Down Among the Sticks and Bones
  9. Megan Whalen Turner, Thick as Thieves
  10. Susan Dennard, Windwitch
  11. Elizabeth May, The Fallen Kingdom
  12. Alison Goodman, The Dark Days Pact
  13. Libba Bray, Before the Devil Breaks You
  14. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, The Silver Mask
  15. Rachel Caine, Ash and Quill
  16. Mercedes Lackey, Apex
  17. Scott Sigler, Alone
  18. Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Warrior
  19. April Daniels, Sovereign
  20. Dan Wells, Nothing Left to Lose
  21. Isaac Marion, The Burning World
  22. Sarah Beth Durst, The Reluctant Queen
  23. Arwen Elys Dayton, Disruptor
  24. Kathleen Baldwin, Refuge for Masterminds
  25. Kate Elliott, Buried Heart

Board game rank change report for Black Friday 2017

Once again, I’ve run a special Black Friday report to find out what games advanced the most in BoardGameGeek rankings over (roughly) the past year. This year, the report compares data from 01/01/2017 with that from 11/24/2017. My other data points from this year are dated 06/01, 08/24, and 10/01, so I missed several quarterly reports in 2017, but I have the opportunity to get back on track for Q4.

Fast, positive movers among 'Board games':
002 (+498) Gloomhaven
040 (+460) The 7th Continent
055 (+445) Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
066 (+434) Santorini
092 (+129) Captain Sonar
105 (+395) Anachrony
108 (+392) Pandemic Iberia
122 (+378) Yokohama
132 (+140) Champions of Midgard
141 (+152) Sushi Go Party!
143 (+357) Inis
145 (+246) Dead of Winter: The Long Night
180 (+137) Onitama
184 (+134) Star Realms: Colony Wars
201 (+122) Burgle Bros.
202 (+298) Kingdomino
205 (+229) Secret Hitler
206 (+294) The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
208 (+292) Clans of Caledonia
210 (+290) Hero Realms
214 (+286) Near and Far
222 (+278) Lorenzo il Magnifico
233 (+267) Raiders of the North Sea
235 (+265) Agricola (revised edition)
250 (+250) Century: Spice Road
254 (+246) Evolution: Climate
255 (+245) Vinhos Deluxe Edition
256 (+171) 51st State: Master Set
263 (+237) Star Wars: Destiny
272 (+228) Lisboa
275 (+103) Millennium Blades
283 (+217) Aeon's End
289 (+211) Sagrada
304 (+196) Tyrants of the Underdark
314 (+159) Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
324 (+176) The Colonists
325 (+175) Ethnos
329 (+171) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
335 (+165) Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
338 (+134) Imhotep
346 (+154) Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
347 (+153) Conan
348 (+152) The Great Zimbabwe
350 (+150) One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak
357 (+143) First Class
370 (+130) Codenames Duet
381 (+119) Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
384 (+116) Too Many Bones

Fast, positive movers among 'Strategy games':
003 (+497) Gloomhaven
039 (+461) Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
051 (+449) Anachrony
059 (+382) Pandemic Iberia
060 (+440) Yokohama
087 (+413) Clans of Caledonia
096 (+211) Inis
100 (+400) Above and Below
101 (+221) Vinhos Deluxe Edition
105 (+395) Near and Far
108 (+392) The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
114 (+386) Lisboa
117 (+338) Lorenzo il Magnifico
128 (+238) Agricola (revised edition)
139 (+361) Hero Realms
143 (+357) Evolution: Climate
151 (+349) The Colonists
156 (+344) Aeon's End
174 (+326) Century: Spice Road
184 (+316) Spirit Island
188 (+312) Ethnos
192 (+308) First Class
199 (+301) Too Many Bones
239 (+261) Roll Player
249 (+251) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
253 (+247) Gaia Project
257 (+238) Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
276 (+224) The Oracle of Delphi

Fast, positive movers among 'War games':
044 (+456) Polis: Fight for the Hegemony
089 (+411) Time of Crisis
117 (+383) Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1
139 (+361) Quartermaster General: 1914
178 (+322) 1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War
180 (+320) Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62
181 (+319) Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars
186 (+314) Fields of Despair: France 1914-1918
199 (+301) 878: Vikings – Invasions of England
219 (+281) Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire
241 (+259) Days of Ire: Budapest 1956
261 (+239) Warfighter: The WWII Tactical Combat Card Game
278 (+222) Wing Leader: Supremacy 1943-1945

Fast, positive movers among 'Family games':
003 (+497) Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
005 (+495) Santorini
022 (+478) Evolution: Climate
026 (+474) Stockpile
028 (+472) Codenames Duet
031 (+469) Century: Spice Road
033 (+467) Sagrada
035 (+465) Ethnos
041 (+459) Paperback
049 (+451) Hanamikoji
055 (+445) Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000
062 (+438) Magic Maze
071 (+429) Dice Forge
080 (+420) Bärenpark
083 (+417) Junk Art
087 (+413) KLASK
094 (+406) Kanagawa
109 (+391) Love Letter Premium
117 (+383) Fabled Fruit
124 (+376) Azul
140 (+360) Photosynthesis
150 (+350) Fugitive
151 (+349) The Quest for El Dorado
153 (+347) Citadels
155 (+345) Honshu
164 (+336) Royals
173 (+327) Star Trek: Catan
186 (+314) 5-Minute Dungeon
223 (+277) Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia
226 (+274) Downforce
229 (+271) Adventure Time Love Letter
235 (+265) Herbaceous
241 (+259) The Lost Expedition
246 (+254) Revolution!
249 (+251) Happy Salmon
250 (+250) Jump Drive
257 (+243) NMBR 9
265 (+235) Carcassonne: Gold Rush

Fast, positive movers among 'Collectible games':
011 (+489) Hero Realms
012 (+488) Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
019 (+481) Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire
023 (+477) Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie
034 (+466) Guild Ball
093 (+407) Warhammer 40,000 (fourth edition)
096 (+404) Battleground Fantasy Warfare: High Elves
154 (+346) Hull Breach!
174 (+326) Phase

Fast, positive movers among 'Thematic games':
001 (+460) Gloomhaven
005 (+495) The 7th Continent
006 (+494) Arkham Horror: The Card Game
008 (+492) Mechs vs. Minions
028 (+472) Near and Far
039 (+461) Spirit Island
040 (+460) Too Many Bones
053 (+447) Evolution: Climate
062 (+438) This War of Mine: The Board Game
073 (+427) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
074 (+426) Blood Bowl (2016 edition)
104 (+396) Nemo's War (second edition)
111 (+389) Sword & Sorcery
113 (+387) Pax Renaissance
130 (+370) Star Trek: Ascendancy
131 (+369) Massive Darkness
132 (+368) One Deck Dungeon
148 (+352) The Big Book of Madness
165 (+334) Unfair
174 (+326) DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite
181 (+319) Vikings Gone Wild
183 (+317) Mythos Tales
189 (+311) Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia
208 (+292) Black Orchestra
212 (+288) The Lost Expedition
216 (+284) Beyond Baker Street
235 (+265) Unlock! The Formula
252 (+248) Deep Space D-6
271 (+229) Bloodborne: The Card Game
283 (+217) Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game
284 (+216) First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet