A Science Fiction reader discovers the internet

The last time I tried to get hooked into Sci-fi websites, I subscribed to mailing lists that spammed my mailbox with untargeted garbage, mailing lists full of strangers I will never meet, I subscribed to podcasts of irregular quality and RSS feeds that hit tripple digit un-read numbers overnight.  So now I try again.  Has web 2.0 and the social web saved the sci-fi cyberuniverse?

GoodReads. It has membership and is growing as fast as facebook.  The book club section is innovative, but not feature complete, i.e. could have better search aimed at in person book groups.

Shelfari. Beautiful site, Shelfari’s group section is useless for organizing in person book groups.

Library Thing. Groups and events are aimed at big organizations and big spectator events, like book stores, libraries holding book signings or author readings.  The other group features don’t seem to have any in-person features.

Just about all publishers sites offer catalogs, calendars (usually not iCal or otherwise subscribable), and newsletters.

Tor. Very impressive site with some social features, some free stories.

Baen. Free books, some free online content.

Random House. RH’s approach is to create a site as a bookstore. No obvious social features.

Del Rey. Part of RH. No obvious social features.

Amazon. Weak on science fiction specific features, but still the best place to buy books that aren’t available used.  The best social feature is the shared wishlists.

Pyr. Small publisher, uses FaceBook.  Better than nothing, suffers all the same problems that facebook does.

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