Monday, September 15, 2008

Update: Original free fiction bot & feed - 5 more sources, more fiction from 2 old sources, performance data, & bugs

Ref: Original free fiction bot/feed.

Now tracks 5 more sources, including 2 comic strip series:
  1. Every Day Fiction - "Every day, ... a new short story of 1000 words or fewer".
  2. Girl Genius Online Comics - "Adventure, romance, mad science". New piece alternate week days.
  3. Tom Dell Aringa's "Marooned: A Weekly Sci-Fi Webcomic" - man + AI on Mars. [via Marooned: Science Fiction books on Mars].
  4. Wind Tunnel Dreams: from their own site & their series at Scheherazade in Blue Jeans - flash fiction & short stories. Later site via QuasarDragon.
  5. Twisted Tongue Magazine - New issue announcements. Currently dormant. Realized dormant status after adding watch - oops!
This means nearly 3 dozen publishers of online original fiction are now tracked by this bot.

More fiction picked up from 2 already tracked sources:
  1. Byzarium - I was picking up only science fiction short stories & flash fiction. I now pick up all stories & issue announcements except those marked "bad-fic" (one "bad-fic" story I read to understand the meaning of the term was very close to porn). But I also put tags in heading to identify story type - scifi, fantasy, horror, slipstream, ...
  2. Afterburn SF - I was only picking up science fiction stories. I now pick up all, but label them in title as appropriate - scifi, fantasy, or horror.
While Oddlands magazine folds up after this month's issue, a new online magazine "Arkham Tales" debuts next month. So count of active sources tracked should not reduce!

"365tales", a magazine that targets to deliver a new flash fiction story every day but has been doing a bit less than 1 per week yet, is not included because my watch code is giving trouble. Will include it after doing the fix - hopefully sometime next weekend.

Some performance data. During the 7-day period 7-14 September 2008, this feed picked up 17 distinct pieces of flash fiction, 12 of short stories, 5 pieces of serialized comic strips, & 2 magazine new issue announcements. Actual numbers are probably a little higher because I delete read stories - I got the idea of counting them as a performance measure just now. Should have better numbers next week.

Known bug: Occasionally, some feed items appear in feed reader in duplicate, separated by several days. Duplicates usually appear immediately after I update code, usually involving some reclassification of stories. There are some cases I can account for; others I still don't know the reason of. But these instances should go down as the code stabilizes. I've not counted these duplicates when generating performance numbers above.