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Wondering What to Read Next?

Wondering What to Read Next? Try asking this website. Type in an author name and a book title and the site will offer a list of recommended titles to read next, as suggested by readers’ lists of favorite authors and titles. The thinking behind the site is that if one person likes author A and B, anyone else who likes author A will also like author B. More weight is given to associations made multiple times across different lists.

For kicks, I types in some books I liked. Here are the recommendations:

For Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds

  • Chronospace by Allen Steele
  • Raft by Stephen Baxter (I read this years ago and liked it very much)
  • Hyperthought by M. M. Buckner
  • Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Quad World by Robert A. Metzger
  • Gridlinked by Neal Asher (which I liked, though not as much as Century Rain)
  • The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

For The Golden Transcendence by John C. Wright

  • Forever Free by Joe Haldeman (haven’t read it. Yet.)
  • Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds (which I liked)

For More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

  • Valis by Philip K. Dick (never read it)
  • The Illuminatus!: Trilogy by Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson (never read it)
  • Vurt by Jeff Noon (never read it)
  • Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco (never read it)
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (read it and liked it)
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (read it and liked it)

For The Killing of Worlds by Scott Westerfeld

  • The Cassini Division: A Fall Revolution Novel by Ken MacLeod (never read it)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (never read it – I know…sad)
  • Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (read it and liked it)
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (read it very long agoand dont remember much of it)

For The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis

  • Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Never read it but want to)
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Never read it)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman (Never read it)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (Read it and couldn’t finish it)
  • Being There by Jerzy Kosinski (Never read it)

As with any project based on user opinion, the quality of the suggestions depends on the amount of data. Over time, suggestions are bound to improve. That is, if you assume that people tend to gravitate toward the same authors. After this little experiment, I tend to think it’s a sound approach. Recommendations of books I’ve already read proved to be right on target. There was only one miss – The Left Hand of Darkness – and I think I’m the only one on the planet who failed to enjoy it.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

6 Comments on Wondering What to Read Next?

  1. Reading suggestions

    John@SFSignal has written about the website What Should I Read Next which uses the tired and trusted “other people liked this so you might” method of suggesting new things to read. I tried it with Pattern Recognition by William Gibson….

  2. Your hypothesis is unfortunately correct: you are the only person on the planet who failed to enjoy Left Hand of Darkness.

    Now, I have some sympathy for you. The author takes an unconventional approach to story-telling, and is more concerned with mood and atmosphere than plot. I cannot think of any other book where every other chapter is an anthropological report, or a native myth, or some other bit of background detail. I also cannot think of any other book where the characterization of the world and its people is so deep and moving. There are certain risks genius takes which more pedestrian story tellers avoid.

  3. Good point, Mr. Wright.

    I’ve had a number of folk tell me I should read the Culture books by Iain Banks. I read Consider Phlebas a few years back and found it close to unreadable. I love big, freaky SF, and that book in no way qualified.

    Someone please tell me that Phlebas is the worst of the lot, or that it isn’t representative of the rest of the series. Please.

    I’m coming off Revelation Space at the moment, and will need to cleanse my palate before continuing with Mr. Reynolds. I’m torn between rereading the Faded Sun books (which I haven’t read in, god, twenty years) or Queen City Jazz, which I’ve never read.

  4. bill derbyshire // October 17, 2005 at 12:32 am //

    just as a test i put in red mars by robinson

    and you came back with private parts by howard stern!??????

    what a joke

  5. I typed in Red mars by Kim Stanley Robinson and got back…

    Time Travelers Strictly Cash – Spider Robinson

    Private Parts – Howard Stern

    Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth – T. Harv Eker

    Final Assault – Dean Wesley Smith, Kathryn Kristine Rusch, Steve Saffel

    The Tenth Planet: Oblivion: Book 2 – Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch

    The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge

    Standard Candles: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt

    Paradise Screwed: Selected Columns of Carl Hiaasen

    The Second Angel – Philip Kerr

    The Endymion Omnibus: “Endymion”

    I have a feeling that unless you are registered and have entered a large number of books (so the program “knows” you), this thing works like the “people who bought a also bought b” system, which comes up with hilarious results like Howard Stern being linked with Kim Stanley Robinson.

    I’ve tried this site a few times without registering. So far, nothing it’s suggested has really surprised me (is that because I have 5k books sitting on shelves at home and many more that I’ve read over the years?). Retirement Home for SF Curmudgeon’s, here I come!

  6. Fred K. Sent us an email reminding us that this engine is similar to something we posted about earlier, Literature Map – where you could visually see the names of writers that are “close” to a writer of choice.

    Examples: see the writers who are most like Philip K. Dick, Neil Gaiman, Theodore Sturgeon or Alastair Reynolds.

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