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Best hidden gems.

Anomandaris

Ok, being outright greedy here, but given the level of response to the 'Best Discontinued Story' thread, I thought I'd like to see what people come up with for stories that are 'hidden gems'. So a good story that has slipped off the 'best of' pages, or maybe just never quite made it onto the top lists. I'll admit to preferring longer stuff, but any really good read is welcome.

Replies:   pigs41  JohnPalko  EzzyB
aubie56

With tongue firmly set in cheek, how about all of my stories?

Sorry about that, but I couldn't resist.

demonmaster62

@aubie56

I'm a loooong time reader of Westerns. Yours rank right up there with best of them in my book, and that's no BS at all.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@demonmaster62

Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

Not all the good ones are westerns.

REP

My all time favorites are Lazlo Zalezac's Service Society and his Donaldsons stories.

Replies:   Jim S
Anomandaris

@aubie56

Heh. I've read a bunch of your stuff already. :) Will go through your list again though. Looks like a few that I've missed.

Crumbly Writer

@aubie56

I saw the notice of you reworking your older stories. I've been considering doing that, but for many of my stories, that's a huge undertaking.

Anomandaris

So Don Lockwood gets a lot of credit for Dance of a Lifetime. This is one of his that hits me really hard, but is shorter and a little more off the radar.

http://storiesonline.net/s/46119/heroes

Replies:   demonmaster62
G Younger

I have three for you.

Silver Wings by Joe J
http://storiesonline.net/s/58786:i

Dilemma By Joesephus
http://storiesonline.net/s/53946:i

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123
http://storiesonline.net/s/52031/a-blossom-fell

Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123

A story about Blossom and her friends tripping on acid? :-D

Replies:   samuelmichaels
pigs41
Updated:

@Anomandaris

Some of the best stories, but little known for obvious reasons amongst mainstream readers, are found in gay literature. Of course some sites are littered with stroke stories every bit as dire as some of those found on SOL, but others are much better. The site I am going to recommend awesomedude.com specialises mainly in coming of age teen romances which contain little or no sexual content, certainly nothing explicit. By way of a sampler I have selected a few stories that show the breadth of stories available and you may like to try.

The first story chosen is "One summer in Georgia" by Cole Parker a thriller which features crooked cops and the back roads of rural Georgia.

Found at http://www.awesomedude.com/cole-parker/one-summer-in-georgia/index.htm

In complete contrast my second story "Amser" by Mihangel is set in the Welsh hill country and offers a glimpse of a different but somehow similar culture and set in a brief period of time in post war Britain.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/mihangel/amser/index.htm

My third selection is "Exit stage left" by Chris James, set in a Californian preforming arts high school this tale gives a good insight to the backstage activities necessary to mount a successful production.

Go to http://www.awesomedude.com/chris_james/exit-stage-left/index.htm

Next a sc-fi thriller "The wish" by Gee Whillickers a tale about about parallel universes and illustrate what happens when you interfere with the space-time continueum.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/gee_whillickers/the_wish/index.htm

My final selection is a sporting story "Lines" by Rick Beck This is a stand alone first part of a series of baseball stories starting in high high school through to a professional career. Caution for readers! Sex is a little more detailed in this story. If you are concerned just close your eyes while reading the explicit passages.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/rickbeck/OTFL/index.htm

There you have it five different stories each well worth a look. If you are game enough to try one of these stories let us all know your reaction through this forum.

Anomandaris

@G Younger

Silver wings is great, and always worth reading. :)

I'll look at the other two. Haven't read either of them.

pigs41, I'm not usually into stuff with a gay protagonist, but I'll take a look at one or two and let you know in a day or so.

red61544

Clansman has written some gems. "Body Swap" is a great do-over if you can look beyond the uncorrected typos. "Ginny" has fewer typos and is a good coming of-age story.

Jim S
Updated:

@REP

My all time favorites are Lazlo Zalezac's Service Society.....


I'm not so sure that is a "hidden gem" which is what this thread is about. The story has over 380,000 downloads so it isn't exactly hidden. But I join you in having it as one of my all time favorites here at SOL. Another one of Lazlo's that I would add is "Fighting For Family". There are far fewer downloads (still a respectable 47,000 though) and it has a respectable 8.53 rating, so it too probably doesn't qualify as "hidden". But it is a gem.

Update: Another thread made the point that downloads aren't really a good measure of a stories popularity as the number of chapters can vary. Now the statistician in me can't let that type of knowledge pass.

"Fighting For Family" has 2750 downloads/chapter; "Service Society" has more than 5460 downloads/chapter. So it appears Fighting is somewhat more hidden than Service. In any case, both are gems.

Replies:   REP  maroon
REP

@Jim S

I am not sure how we should define hidden gem.

If we define it in terms of downloads, then I totally agree with you it isn't a hidden gem.

Anomandaris ‎defined it as: a good story that has slipped off the 'best of' pages, or maybe just never quite made it onto the top lists.

It isn't on SOL's Top 50 lists and it wasn't reviewed. I have read a large number of stories in the 10+ years I have visited the SOL website, and Service Society is easily among my top 10 stories and stands out to me as #1.

To me it meets Anomandaris ‎definition of a hidden gem.

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@REP

I am not sure how we should define hidden gem.


To me it meets Anomandaris ‎definition of a hidden gem.


Given Anomandaris' original definition, which admittedly I didn't consider in my response, it strongly implies a story that should be in the top 50 due to it's quality but isn't. In any case, both stories are gems, hidden or not. IMHO.

I would add that, given that criteria, there are a ton of hidden gems at SOL.

Replies:   Anomandaris
Anomandaris

@Jim S

I'm expecting there are a ton of hidden gems that I haven't read. I've found a few on my own, looking for stuff that might be a favorite or maybe not quite a favorite, but is close.

I'm a voracious, perhaps even slightly rabid reader, and have gone through all of the top lists, a lot of stuff on Lit, a lot of stuff on BTFH, some stuff on ASSTR, etc.

And hopefully others will continue to add to the list for a while.

I've read Service Society though, and enjoyed it very much.

Replies:   REP
milehigh65

I've found some good ones by looking at top lists via the wayback machine internet archive. You can't view the stories, obviously but if you look at the lists from the past, most are still available.

http://web.archive.org/web/20131017000126/http://storiesonline.net/list/2/top_50_serials_by_rating_in_the_last_30_days

MH

REP

@Anomandaris

The Clitorides Awards is another good source for hidden gems. If you review all of the stories listed as finalists in the annual history files, you will end up with many good stories that readers felt were worth consideration by other readers.

Replies:   Anomandaris
docholladay

I have found many hidden gems or whatever label you want to use. By reading the threads on this forum. When something is mentioned that I haven't read or noticed. Many times I will at least take a look at it or bookmark for later.

jimh67

Go to the profile of an author you like and see if he or she has listed any favorites. I've found several good stories this way. I've been known to go to some random author's profile. Found a couple that way too.

Anomandaris

@REP

@REP Yeah, I've read through most of the mid to longer lenght stuff from the clitorides and the archive for it. Some great stuff there to be sure, but I've read most of it. :P

richardshagrin

If you are having problems finding something new to read, read something old. I am serious, something you enjoyed several years ago may be almost as much fun re-reading it. Another approach I use is get the listing of authors by alphabet and look at all the stories written by authors who's pen names begin with the letter you chose. Sure, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, but there are good stories out there almost no-one has read since the year they were posted, and that might be 1999. You have over 35,000 choices, some of them will work for you.

pigs41

Just a shorty but one I go back to now and then because it is so erotic and captures the moment so perfectly is Eyeliner by Henrik Larsen
http://storiesonline.net/s/36169/eyeliner

Replies:   jimh67
jimh67

@pigs41

I fully agree on Eyeliner.

demonmaster62

@Anomandaris

Man, thank you for posting this link. I happened to click on it and from the very first word I was hooked. I hadn't looked at his other stuff because I didn't think he could top "DANCE OF A LIFETIME". Yes, stupid I know.

But, regardless this story has made my top five very quickly. Highly recommended.

Replies:   Anomandaris
samuelmichaels

@Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123

A story about Blossom and her friends tripping on acid? :-D

No.

BlinkReader
Updated:

Another little gem:
Peregrinf - "Cowboys and Indians"

(http://storiesonline.net/s/64967/cowboys-and-indians)

Anomandaris

@demonmaster62

Yeah, that one hits pretty hard.

Anyhow,

These two count. I had never seen these mentioned on a top list or anywhere else. Good read, if slightly OTT.

http://storiesonline.net/series/628/ike-blacktower-stories

BlinkReader

"A Blossom Fell"


I finnaly found time to read it, have only one word for it - Brilliant!!!

Thank you for another discovered gem :)

red61544

Okay - I know it's more than three months after this string started, but I just discovered this "hidden gem". If you are a romantic, the entire story is great but the ending is perfect.

You have to read "I Thought She Made You Up" by qhml1. It's really a gem from start to finish.

http://storiesonline.net/s/10499/i-thought-she-made-you-up-romantic-love-story?ind=1

Replies:   1111
doctor_wing_nut

I would humbly suggest "Path To Glory" by Brendan Buckley. It's an 8-year old story by an author that's left the site, and I for one would never have found it if it had not been mentioned in a blog post by another author. I was glad I did, however, and would like to pass on the recommendation.

fwiw

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@doctor_wing_nut

It is number 72 on the Author's Favorites list.

Path To Glory

Drama

by Brendan Buckley

R.J. Hartley is a small-town boy with big-time plans -- and the skills to make his dreams come true. The road to success is filled with ups and downs (and occasional ins and outs) until his goals finally meet reality.

[More Info]

Tags: Romantic, Tear Jerker, Sports, School

Sex Contents: No Sex

Posted: ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2008‎ ‎12‎:‎25‎:‎02‎ ‎PM Concluded: ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2008‎ ‎10‎:‎02‎:‎43‎ ‎PM / (Review) 955 KB 146443 downloads 1406 votes Rating 8.81

1111

@red61544

"I Thought She Made You Up" by qhml1


Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I've already read 4 of his stories and I rate him very highly, every one of them either very good to excellent. Wonder why I hadn't come across him so far, ... maybe it's his unpronounceable name compared to a Don Lockwood or Jay Cantrell or an Argon. He's certainly comparable to them in terms of story telling quality or character development and style.
Chris aka 1111

Replies:   red61544
red61544

@1111

I've already read 4 of his stories

Since I came across his stories, I've lost a good bit of sleep. It's hard to stop reading some of them once you've started.

pigs41

A series that is always worth a read or reread is the "Stories of the Volentin Stellar Dynasty" by Fick Suck

http://storiesonline.net/universe/362/family-volentin

BlinkReader

Another hidden gem - at least for me (and all Sci-Fi lovers) - are stories from Green Dragon - Aggy - Books 1 and 2 and TJ & Morg

Replies:   Anomandaris
Anomandaris

@BlinkReader

Aggy is thinly veiled David Weber fanfic. I'm having a bit of fun reading it, but the 'fixes' keep breaking immersion for me. Would have been better off keeping it blatant fanfic and running with the right names. (IMO)

samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Anomandaris


Aggy is thinly veiled David Weber fanfic. I'm having a bit of fun reading it, but the 'fixes' keep breaking immersion for me. Would have been better off keeping it blatant fanfic and running with the right names. (IMO)


It is, indeed, and it could stand a lot of editing. But if you can suspend your critical judgement, it's a lot of fun.

I found a lot of fiction can be more enjoyable not only with a suspension of disbelief, but also with avoiding any careful analysis. Reading quickly helps. Or maybe with a couple of beers.

For some books that works well. For others, the problems annoy me more and more, until I give up in disgust after a couple of chapters. I am still trying to figure out why my tolerance varies so much.

Replies:   Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson

@samuelmichaels

Or maybe with a couple of beers.


Oh, God! Never do this!

Reading SciFi while drinking leads pretty directly to "Hey! I could do that!" Which leads to "Hold my beer, and watch this!"

Replies:   samuelmichaels
LonelyDad

Nurse: The first person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@LonelyDad

Nurse: The first person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"


Doctor: The second person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Mortician: The person you hope you don't see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Replies:   LonelyDad  docholladay
samuelmichaels

@Harold Wilson

Reading SciFi while drinking leads pretty directly to "Hey! I could do that!" Which leads to "Hold my beer, and watch this!"


Whereas doing this while reading fantasy results in a summoning ritual, which leads to a voluptuous red-skinned demoness appearing, smiling at you seductively, and then biting your head off. Not recommended.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@samuelmichaels

Whereas doing this while reading fantasy results in a summoning ritual


Fantasy has all kinds of "hold my beer and watch this" possibilities.

Replica melee weapon duels.

Attempts to shoot apples off your drunk friends head with a bow and arrow.

Of course it's not just the guys.

Drunk virginal Wiccan woman summons:

1. Male demon
2. Unicorn. Whereupon she finds out why unicorns are attracted to virgins. :)
3. Dragon. Do dragons eat virgins or do they want virgins for something else? :)
4. Tentacle monster.

LonelyDad

@Dominions Son

Mortician: The person you hope you don't see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Actually, to be pedantic about it, you will never see the mortician, but it does add to the joke.

docholladay

@Dominions Son

Customer's remark to a passing waitress while holding out an empty coffee cup: "Plasma Nurse"

BlinkReader

@Anomandaris

David Weber


Thank you for pointing me to another good reading :)

Replies:   graybyrd
Anomandaris

Oh, if you are just discovering David Weber, I'm jealous. I'm all caught up on his work. Just finished reading the latest HH book. Beginning and middle were a bit tedious, but necessary set up for a very kickass ending.

Replies:   gruntsgt  BlinkReader
gruntsgt

@Anomandaris

@Anomandaris

If you like David Weber, try Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosigan" series.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@gruntsgt

Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosigan" series.


I remember reading where one of her methods was to ask what the worst thing she could do to the MC in those stories for each individual story, then force him to solve the problems created.

BlinkReader

@Anomandaris

Oh, if you are just discovering David Weber, I'm jealous


Ohhh...
You don't need to be jealous.

His reading is good, but just good.

I have now read all of his Honor Harrington novels (that's the reason I wasn't here last four weeks :D ).
But for me something is very wrong with his writing - he was writing this like just another soap opera - not any of his stories seems to be rounded and finished. All of them are offering this lousy soap opera feeling: "more to be seen in next episode (read novel)".
And, there is no conclusion even in last of them ("At All costs" if I'm correct).

So: don't read him if you want something very good or great :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@BlinkReader

At All costs


There's a few after At All Costs - however, he's been working to a multi-novel plan all along, so there was always carryover elements into the next novel or later novels. His latest Harrington books aren't as good as the first ones because he no longer has his original editor helping him to stay on track - his current editor prefers more complex novels and you spot the differences by the way there's too much happening in each book and the last ones do not stand alone the way the first half did.

Replies:   BlinkReader
StarFleet Carl

His latest Harrington books aren't as good as the first ones


I think things in that series started going downhill when the side stories started coming out. That and David himself said that his original plan was to kill off Honor, not to end up with her in the position she's in.

If you can handle a complex series by him, read the Safehold series. Just ... be ready for odd names, due to the circumstances.

And yes to the Miles books. I've noticed that it used to be Del Rey books that had the good authors. Now it's Baen.

David Drake, John Ringo, Larry Correia, Michael Z Williamson, Eric Flint ...

Oh, and a little trilogy of books that went well past the trilogy stage. Raymond Feist and his whole Riftwar epic.

BlinkReader

@Ernest Bywater

There's a few after At All Costs


I read some of these books too - only word I can say is grossssss :(

It feels like recycled plastic you are forced to eat at some (really bad) fast food places...

rkimmelerre

The Safehold series isn't bad but the idiotic naming conventions got old fast. In fact it started old and got worse and worse as more and more (and more and more) characters came into play. The worst part is there's absolutely no need for it, just Weber thinking he's cute.

The story itself is good, but I think the series went on too long and then wrapped up too quickly. That said, Weber is really good at military scenes and there are certainly a lot of those. I did feel like the good guys were too perfectly good and the bad guys were too ridiculously evil, and I say that as a man who doesn't usually mind that sort of thing.

Speaking of Baen authors, you can't wrong with Ryk Spoor if he hasn't already been mentioned. Grand Central Arena and its sequels are fantastic space opera adventures on an awe-inspiring scale.

graybyrd
Updated:

@BlinkReader

I've read the Weber HH series, and got grossed out. Armadas of ships face off at each other like 18th Century ships of the line, arrayed in huge wall formations to unleash thousands and thousands of missiles in endless barrages. Fleets maneuver like ancient sailing ships, ignoring any hint of celestial or orbital physics. Ships die by the hundreds and thousands; crews die by the thousands and millions. Space becomes nothing more than littered lanes of wreckage and corpses.

It's Space Opera at its very worst. The only real interest is between the battle scenes when the MC is engaged in interpersonal plots. Then it's off to the Grand Galactic Conclusion, which is never an actual conclusion. New threats always emerge.

For a far more skillful and physics-correct interpretation of space encounters, I cannot praise Bruce Bretthauer's "Family" series highly enough. Go to Gena Marie Wylie's site (Beyond the Far Horizon.net) to find the series. Bruce's "Families" is a true masterwork.

Replies:   Wheezer  rustyken
Wheezer

@graybyrd

For a far more skillful and physics-correct interpretation of space encounters, I cannot praise Bruce Bretthauer's "Family" series highly enough. Go to Gena Marie Wylie's site (Beyond the Far Horizon.net) to find the series. Bruce's "Families" is a true masterwork.

There are a number of stories. Is there a list or guide that tells me in what order to read them?

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@Wheezer

There is a list in the forums section of the website

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@sharkjcw

There is a list in the forums section of the website


This list?

The simplest method for the "Families" series is to read all the major stories in the order they are published. Then read the short stories as you feel like it. You will know the timeline and be able to fit them in in your own mind. Nothing that happens in the short stories affects the overall timeline, they are vignettes, that's all.

The major books are:

1. Starfire

2. Boabdil

3. Setosha - The beating heart

4. Operation Georgia

5. Slackwater and the Sickness from Without

6. Endgame

Replies:   Wheezer  BlinkReader
Wheezer

@Wheezer

I cut & pasted the above list from BTFH, then was going nuts because I could not find the first story. That's because the correct title is Firestar, not Starfire... :D

Bretthauer's books are also still available on Amazon.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@Wheezer

the money goes to his family, if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way

Replies:   Wheezer  graybyrd
Wheezer

@sharkjcw

the money goes to his family, if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way

I bought Firestar, even though I found it on BTFH once I knew the correct title name.

graybyrd

@sharkjcw

if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way


That applies to only a few; several are not.

rustyken

@graybyrd

All of the family series is now available on Amazon Kindle. Bruce B started it before he passed away, and his friends are moving many of his stories to ebooks. They are very good.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@rustyken

Yes, agreed: they are all very good, and the entire series does appear to be there. However, it was said that they were available through kindle unlimited; that's only partially true. Some are, but more are not. Kindle Unlimited offers 'free' downloads for $10/mo subscribers (appreciably more than $10 when taxes & fees are included.) This offer does not usually include non-Amazon published books nor does it include all of the Amazon-published titles. I was tempted to think of the "Families War" series as an Amazon bait and switch setup, where the first book of the series, and a couple of the later ones are available under the 'unlimited' plan, but the others in the series are not.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@graybyrd

what is and is not available on kindle unlimited is up to the posting author.

BlinkReader
Updated:

@Wheezer


Bruce Bretthauer's "Family"

1. Firestar

2. Boabdil

3. Setosha - The beating heart

4. Operation Georgia

5. Slackwater and the Sickness from Without

6. Endgame


Woooww!

And there goes another couple of weeks I spent reading whole new series.

This time - I feel good :)

I really can recommend this.

Read it - either from beyondthefarhorizon.net or from somewhere else, but read it if you did not before .

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@BlinkReader

And there goes another couple of weeks I spent reading whole new series.

This time - I feel good :)


You'll want to hang on to them; back 'em up so you don't lose 'em. I guarantee that in another year or two you'll cue 'em up, re-read 'em, and feel even better the second time around. That's a money-back guarantee!

Replies:   BlinkReader
BlinkReader

@graybyrd

back 'em up


Hmmm...
And I'm asking my self why every year I must buy some more storage for my data :D

And now something not so funny - with just one click we can loose everything we have "on our computers" - if we are not prepared and don't have good and valid backups.

If we have them is good, and have them in more than one place it's even much better.

In computer security there are some basic rules:
1) Make backups
2) make backups
...
99) make backup
100)something else

So for everybody: make backup!
- And don't wait for tomorrow.

Replies:   graybyrd  awnlee jawking
graybyrd

@BlinkReader

This is slightly off to the side, but worth noting. I've recently scanned a shoebox full of black and white photo prints salvaged from my wife's childhood home in north Idaho. All were family photos; some were taken over 100 years ago. With scanning and enhancement, they display better than ever.

But... and this is a HUGE "but"... those old prints are about as close to "permanent" as we can reasonably expect. But the new digital scans are about as close to "fleeting" as could be, without actually vanishing from existence the moment they're loaded.

One hundred years from now, will anything exist to document your family activities, your history, your very existence? I seriously doubt it. Our consumer-grade digital record and storage systems are irretrievably, fatally flawed... all for the sake of convenience.

Sad.

Replies:   REP
REP

@graybyrd

Very good observation Graybyrd.

One aspect you overlooked is that a hundred years from now today's technology will be archaic. Even if someone wanted to view those scanned photos, their technology may be incompatible.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Capt Zapp
Dominions Son

@REP


One aspect you overlooked is that a hundred years from now today's technology will be archaic. Even if someone wanted to view those scanned photos, their technology may be incompatible.


Unless of course a diligent owner converts the formats as technology evolves.

Replies:   REP
Capt Zapp

@REP

One aspect you overlooked is that a hundred years from now today's technology will be archaic. Even if someone wanted to view those scanned photos, their technology may be incompatible.


The more technologically advanced the storage becomes, the less likely future 'archaeologists' will understand them. I think that they will believe that at some point in the near future, these same people will think we vanished for lack of physical records. Some photographs, old vinyl recordings, and printed material may survive and be recognizable, but can you imagine them finding a crapload of plastic disks? (Remember when we used to get the 'Free Month' AOL disks in the mail? I wonder what the future would think if they uncovered a stockpile of those. LOL) The disks themselves might survive, but the data layers probably won't. The surfaces would probably be severely damaged as well.

Removeable media - USB drives, 'thumb' drives, etc - are all vulnerable to corrosion and will eventually become unreadable as well. A strong magnetic field will practically obliterate data in a hard drive (not sure about the new SSDs).

If any do survive, then it becomes a matter of whether or not these future scientists even realize there is something there to recover and have the ability to recover it without destroying it in the attempt.

REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son


a diligent owner converts the formats as technology evolves.


That's true.

Diligent owners seem to be a rarity. Per Graybyrd's comment the owners of the photos just shoved them in a shoebox that was then placed in a closet and apparently forgotten. If they hadn't been salvaged, they would probably be in the dump.

When someone inherits a computer, they usually don't care that much about what the predecessor had on it. If they aren't willing to take the time and effort to review the hard disk's contents, the contents get deleted.

edited to correct typo.

Dominions Son

@REP

Diligent owners seem to be a rarity.


True, but even hard copy paper records won't remain usable very long if not stored/maintained properly.

Digital records are neither more nor less likely to be lost over time than paper records.

Capt Zapp

@REP

If they aren't willing to take the time and effort to review the hard disk's contents,


I inherited an old computer from a friend who said 'it just quit working' so he bought a new one. I opened it up and found the power supply full of confetti where a capacitor had failed and exploded which, I assume, fried the motherboard. I pulled the HD and installed it in anther old computer to use as a data drive. Before I formatted it I looked through the folders and found tons of ws pictures, many including my friend who gave me the computer, his family, and several other families we both were friends with. I wiped the drive and never told him (or the others) I had seen it, but I sure didn't look at the subjects of the pics the same after that. Now I kinda wish I still had the files. ;)

Replies:   REP  Wheezer
REP

@Capt Zapp

ws pictures


I am not sure of the meaning, but from the context I assume they weren't the usual family photos.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Not_a_ID
awnlee jawking

@BlinkReader

And hide the backups from censorious authorities ;)

AJ

Replies:   BlinkReader
awnlee jawking

@REP

In the context of story codes, ws means watersports. (And not riding around on a jetski.)

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

In the context of story codes, ws means watersports. (And not riding around on a jetski.)

No, not jetski. Think what Trump pays Russian hookers to do... (allegedly)

Wheezer

@Capt Zapp

Before I formatted it I looked through the folders and found tons of ws pictures, many including my friend who gave me the computer, his family, and several other families we both were friends with.


In the early 1970s I worked in a camera store that offered photo processing. Occasionally I would get unusual processing requests such as negatives only-do not cut apart. Of course, those raised my interest, so I would snoop when the processed film came in. (processed elsewhere) It was usually someone's homemade porn. A couple of times it was kiddy porn. I ignored it as at that time, you could walk into any adult bookstore in the country and buy all the kiddy porn you wanted over the counter.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Wheezer

I ignored it as at that time, you could walk into any adult bookstore in the country and buy all the kiddy porn you wanted over the counter.


And today's policy at the store is probably "Don't look, Don't tell. :)

BlinkReader
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


And hide the backups from censorious authorities ;)


Just backups?

Hide everything from authorities.

They are corrupt, they are big pieces of shit holding together with just a greed (specially in my country) - and every day they are worse.

Here on SOL you have many stories talking about corrupt governments. Learn from them and don't be surprised when everything told in these stories turn bland and not so bad as in real life :(

Edit:

Just found in "Lost stories" part of this forum one good example:

http://storiesonline.net/s/66338/carrying-on

http://storiesonline.net/a/Harold_Wainwright

Anomandaris
Updated:

Soory to drag this thread back to it's original purpose, but hey... Anyhow, this is a pretty solid read that I found recently. Main character is a musician with Asperger's Syndrome who ends up with two girls. I would definitely recommend it as readable.

http://storiesonline.net/s/48122/judgements?ind=1

Replies:   BlinkReader
BlinkReader

@Anomandaris

Oh jeahhh!

"Judgements" - it's really good read, and thank you to remind me to read this gem again :)

Anomandaris

This one was neat. I really enjoyed it.

http://storiesonline.net/s/60098/sandcastles

JohnPalko

@Anomandaris

I'm really a fan of Ersatz. his "Jake Naked in School" is wonderful if somewhat flawed in a few places and unfinished. It's probably the best of the NIS stories, except possibly for "Scars" by kkat which isn't written very well and one that I have a personal soft spot for NIS: Pieces of Sam by Rachael Ross.

"Beachcombing" byr Ersatz is probably one of the best amateur short stories I've read anywhere.

My other long-time favorite short is "Tree Symphony" by Gina Marie Wylie. I think you have to go to Amazon for that one now.

If you're in the mood for something powerful, yet a bit of a downer try "Affirmation" by HedbangerSA

I'm a rache fan, but I don't know if her stuff shows up on the best lists anymore. She pulled all her stories several times before she left us to keep from getting so much email. If you want to take a walk on the wild side try "Twenty-Five Pairs" or "Dare - Book 1" The subject matter is way, way out there but the writing is very good. She was never afraid to tackle the weird.

richardshagrin

@JohnPalko

She was never afraid to tackle the weird.

She probably patented the genre. Some are stranger than others, but most of them make you think.

greensocks

for my two cents i would like to offer up
http://storiesonline.net/universe/472/wynter-trailer-park

Uncle Randy and the Angry Niece: as a highly rated but mostly overlooked story by a Author that had a great series"wynter"

Anomandaris

Etaski on Literotica is definitely worth a look. His Sirana character stories, especially 'Surfacing' is up there with Worm for quality of writing IMHO. Nice long chapters too. 10-18 Lit. pages per chapter.

Not_a_ID

@REP

I am not sure of the meaning, but from the context I assume they weren't the usual family photos.


I was initially trying to read it as "Work Safe" but the context was boggling me with the comment he made about it after that. "Water Sports" in the kink category makes more sense in the context given.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Diligent owners seem to be a rarity. Per Graybyrd's comment the owners of the photos just shoved them in a shoebox that was then placed in a closet and apparently forgotten. If they hadn't been salvaged, they would probably be in the dump.


The flip-side is in other cases it makes it more likely the pictures will still be available to someone in 100 years. Whether or not they're related or even associate with/to the people in the pictures is another matter.

Before it was typical that photos would be taken, a few copies would be made, but the circle of distribution would be small. Now you can take a digital picture, and the circle of distribution goes from being only 2 to 4 copies in many cases, to potentially dozens of copies being made and widely dispersed.

This is even before we start looking at things like social media, and personal weblogs. Where for example, once you upload something to facebook, their TOS is such that even if you later delete the picture from your page, that doesn't mean they(Facebook) have to delete their copy of those same pictures. Likewise, there's nothing preventing other parties from vacuuming up those images should they have access in some form. Archive.org would be a big one known to many on this board in particular, as its often used to find older "lost" stories. It also grabs images a fair bit of the time.

Which isn't to mention what various governmental agencies and other largely unknown groups have likely picked up over the years and squirreled away in various datacenters.

As to future media compatibility, the only "iffy" scenarios are "early adopter" or proprietary media formats that never gained much traction. While Mpeg2 could be used as a counter-example to that already, as many consumer media devices on the market today can no longer natively handle that kind of encoding, which is the backbone of practically every Commercial DVD ever sold. There is no shortage of options available to re-encode that content to h.264 for use on the newer devices.

And given how common mpeg2 is, it is highly unlikely that utilities would be hard to come by in 100 years that could make such files viewable. Comparable story for gif's, png's, and jpg's as well. Some of the more esoteric picture formats are probably another matter however.

Replies:   LonelyDad
LonelyDad

@Not_a_ID

As to future media compatibility, the only "iffy" scenarios are "early adopter" or proprietary media formats that never gained much traction. While Mpeg2 could be used as a counter-example to that already, as many consumer media devices on the market today can no longer natively handle that kind of encoding, which is the backbone of practically every Commercial DVD ever sold. There is no shortage of options available to re-encode that content to h.264 for use on the newer devices.

And given how common mpeg2 is, it is highly unlikely that utilities would be hard to come by in 100 years that could make such files viewable. Comparable story for gif's, png's, and jpg's as well. Some of the more esoteric picture formats are probably another matter however.

It is more likely to be a physical media problem than a format one. How many PCs have a diskette drive these days? Yet the first digital camera I owned used a diskette as its storage media. If I had not copied all those diskettes to disk, I would have to go to some lengths to be able to read them now.

Two more examples: First, back in the early 80s the department store I worked IT at kept a single tape drive that could read and write both 7-track and 9-track magnetic tape. The reason? They had a reader to read the punched cardboard tags used as the price labels on the garments the store sold. It recorded the tag data on a seven track tape. Every night at least one 7-track tape had to be converted to a 9-track tape so it could be submitted to the mainframe for processing.
Second example: NASA has gigabytes, if not terabytes of telemetry and sensor data from early lunar and other space missions, that is no longer readable by any current hardware, and the media is physically deteriorating. Luckily, one of the task force charged with preserving that data was able to find a couple of physical drives that were used to record the data originally. As far as I know, they are still busy copying all of the data unto current media. I could go on, as the list of examples is almost endless. Everyone should be thinking about these issues whenever anything is being recorded in any media.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@LonelyDad

Second example: NASA has gigabytes, if not terabytes of telemetry and sensor data from early lunar and other space missions, that is no longer readable by any current hardware, and the media is physically deteriorating. Luckily, one of the task force charged with preserving that data was able to find a couple of physical drives that were used to record the data originally. As far as I know, they are still busy copying all of the data unto current media. I could go on, as the list of examples is almost endless. Everyone should be thinking

I was speaking in terms of the data itself, not the media. Media obsolescence is another entirely. Zip drives and LS-120 drives are probably the two biggest examples that come to mind for me personally. As even trying to find the physical hardware to access those disks is damn near impossible already.

DV tapes for camcorders and few other the other non-vhs derivatives are other examples.

SD and XD cards are likely to be a present day example as well.

But at this point, for many/most people things are no longer tied to a physical computer. They're on a network drive that will likely be cloned/copied/etc as time moves along(assuming ransomware doesn't wipe it out in the interim), or otherwise being uploaded "to the cloud" where it's taking advantage of services that may never actually delete their content even if gives the appearance of having done so(such as Facebook does).

Replies:   REP
REP

@Not_a_ID

"to the cloud"


Has anyone stopped and asked themselves what "The Cloud" is?

I think it is nothing more than a marketing term for a high-capacity hard disk.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Has anyone stopped and asked themselves what "The Cloud" is?


The reality is The Cloud is a bunch of storage devices someone else owns way off somewhere else that you don't know the real location of or who has access to it. Also, anything stored in The Cloud can evaporate at a moment's notice and there's nothing you can do about it.

There's already been cases of people losing huge amounts of data and work due to Cloud Storage Service Suppliers closing down or having something happen to their storage. One US commercial photographer lost millions of photographs when the cloud storage service he used shut down with only a week's notice. Millions of people lost their private work when the US Department of Jerks shutdown Mega Upload because a few hundred people were using the service to store pirated material. They shut the servers down on short notice and no one has had access since then. Now most of the data has been lost due to the owner of the actual drives who rented the space to MU wiping the drives to use them for other clients. That's just two examples.

Yes Cloud Storage c an be useful, but it shouldn't be the only one you use. I now use both local back-up and cloud back-up.

Replies:   Dominions Son  EzzyB  EzzyB
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


Has anyone stopped and asked themselves what "The Cloud" is?


It's jargon that is an extension of "Ethernet" which was literally a wordplay on "Networking over the Ether."

"The Cloud" is storage that exists in such a(n abstracted) state that is accessible on multiple devices, and where it's physical location doesn't(or shouldn't) really matter. But as pointed out, the reality of many such "cloud" service providers had indicated it can matter quite a lot.

As the data security people say, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

But yeah, it's "cloud storage" because you don't need to know it exists in Partition 1A on computer 5C2FDA in a Datacenter in San Antonio, Texas. All you need to know is when you launch a given application, it can access the relevant data.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater


There's already been cases of people losing huge amounts of data and work due to Cloud Storage Service Suppliers closing down or having something happen to their storage.


Their have also been cases of Cloud Storage providers locking users out of their data and demanding ransom payments to get it back.

StarFleet Carl

@JohnPalko

"Dare - Book 1" The subject matter is way, way out there but the writing is very good. She was never afraid to tackle the weird.


What ... the ... fuck ...

Just to make sure, I also read Book 2 as well.

I'm sorry that she left us too soon. That's definitely a story that ... um ... yeah, there could be a whole discussion group just on that. (Probably was, I just wasn't a big forum fan back then.)

Replies:   JohnPalko
JohnPalko

@StarFleet Carl

WTF is pretty much what she was going for, almost all the time. Her Really Big Vampire Story cycle (RBVS) is kind of the perfect example of how out there she could be. You used to be able to download her entire ASSTR website(s), all three iterations (the second one is my favorite). I know there are still links to all that on her current ASSTR website, but I'm not sure if the Mediafire account for the downloads is still active.

Oh, she was the life of the party wherever and whenever she posted (under whatever name she used). I think all the stuff we used to talk about is still on Google Groups but I haven't checked in a while.

maroon

@Jim S

Another thread made the point that downloads aren't really a good measure of a stories popularity as the number of chapters can vary.


True. Also affecting the downloads is how long ago the story completed.

http://storiesonline.net/a/Rare_Dream

Bowling for Hearts completed 12 years ago, and used to be on the top list, but since then newer stories have hidden it. A story completed 12 yrs ago will get more downloads than one finished 6 yrs ago, though the extra isn't going to double it.

For downloads to be a more accurate indicator, it should be a number that counts only downloads after it completes to avoid people downloading the 104 Bowling chapters one at a time. Also, it would be adjusted downward to penalize stories who've been available for download more years, as well as those spending time on the top-stories list.

Replies:   EzzyB
Anomandaris

Will be taking a look at that in a bit.

I'll throw Etaski's 'Surfacing' out there. Not quite finished, but holy hell. 2 million words of sexy high fantasy over 5 years. I just got back into this after forgetting about it for a while and was pleasantly surprised that 'Surfacing' was still going and almost finished. Will definitely be nominating Etaski for a Clitoride this year if Surfacing finishes.

https://www.literotica.com/stories/memberpage.php?uid=257531&page=submissions

EzzyB

@Anomandaris

I'm actually re-reading one now. It's called Aftershock by dotB (LOL no relation). The author never turned scoring on so it wouldn't appear in any 'best of lists'.

http://storiesonline.net/s/43310/aftershock

or there is a revised version that is not on SOL (dotB on SOL is apparently K Pelle elsewhere) on the author's site here:

http://www.grynenbayritpublications.com/index/tales/aftershock/_default.html

Another is Old Fart's Jack and Jill. This story, for the longest time was unscored though scoring was eventually turned on. I have no idea why it's score is as low as it is. It deserves at least a full point higher.

http://storiesonline.net/s/45744/jack-and-jill

Then again like Aubie said only one of my stories quite makes a "best of" list and that's only one on the authors' favorites list so, yeah, you could take a look.

Anomandaris

I'll say that I've read all of your stories and wouldn't consider them hidden gems at all. I read them quite a while ago, and go back and re-read them occasionally. I just wish you would put out something new. :P

EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

"The Cloud" really isn't that bad. I have nothing in "the cloud" that I don't have locally.

So, using Windows and OneDrive as an example, I have a ton of cloud storage on OneDrive. Those files exist on my desktop, my laptop, and my tablet as well as "in the cloud." Physical copies in all locations, OneDrive is just a way to keep them updated across the devices.

If "the cloud" goes poof, I still have three copies. Same for any other device.

It would be awful hard for me to lose any data that way. It's just convenient to be able to access my music, book, and document libraries from any device. Got to take my step-father to the doctor tomorrow. No problem to just grab my tablet and read a story (I mostly download SOL stories as EPUB files) while in the waiting room. It will be there.

Ezzy

EzzyB
Updated:

@maroon

Downloads have always been a bad indicator. It works like this:

A story gets one download per 24hrs per reader.

It does not matter how much of the story a reader reads in 24hrs. It gets one download.

If tomorrow, a new chapter is posted, the story gets another download. So now the story has two downloads. Same story, two downloads.

So if a story was released as a serial, one chapter a day, and has 50 chapters, that story gets 50 downloads per reader.

If your story has 100 chapters (and could possibly be read in a day) and you posted it all at once, that story would have one download.

The variance is just too crazy to reconcile.

aubie56

@EzzyB

If an author only compares his own stories and doesn't worry about what other authors do, then I don't see that there is a problem. Consistency in posting is then the only requirement.

StarFleet Carl

@EzzyB

So if a story was released as a serial, one chapter a day, and has 50 chapters, that story gets 50 downloads per reader.


That presumes that the author actually finished the story before starting posting. Then you have guys that shall remain anonymous (but I could look in a mirror and see one) that only post one chapter a week (or once a month) because that's all they can get done - because they haven't finished the story yet themselves.

That's speaking from way too much experience in watching things for the past year - I posted Chapter 56 on Thursday night, I just finished writing Chapter 58 today. As for number of downloads, I was very happy when I regularly started seeing more than 300 downloads per week for my work. And my latest one is at 665 since Thursday night, and it's Sunday. That probably won't change much for the rest of the week, but as Aubie mentions in his reply to you as well - I'm only paying attention to what I do, because I know I'm not the author that others on here are.

And I'm happy with that. I'm not writing for a living - I'm not writing because I'm in a nursing home or disabled and it's the only thing I can do - I'm writing for the fun of it. In an ideal world, my wife and I would both love to be authors. This isn't, so I work 50 plus hours per week, make a decent amount of money doing so, and write for fun in my spare time. (Which I think is easier than writing for 50 plus hours per week, making a lousy amount of money, and working part time to try to pay bills.)

Replies:   EzzyB
docholladay

@EzzyB

I have the impression that there will never be a perfect answer to the popularity and or scoring of any story. There are too many variables made up of both individual readers and calculation methods. Reader variables are due to every possible like/dislike a person could possible have even those which will never be coded for.

Best advice is to basically write the story in a manner you would enjoy reading it. Use editors, proofreaders and all your skills and talent to your best ability. Use the lessons learned in writing one story to improve the next story's creation.

Replies:   EzzyB
EzzyB
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

Carl a lot of people try to make a point, I try to point out fact.

I understand what is true for you isn't true for me.

My point isn't to criticize, only to inform. Anyone taking into account only download stats on SOL is kind of missing a lot of variables.

I have a story with a solid 9.0 score. It has only 17 chapters, and maybe 25,000 downloads. I'm not going to look, that's unimportant. I finished it before posting it, so I was able to post three chapters a week. Still not enough to break that 24hr mark.

If that book had 34 chapters, it would have 50k downloads, more chapters than that more downloads, by the thousands.

All I'm saying is that download counts aren't a good indicator of a story's popularity, only it's length.

EzzyB
Updated:

@docholladay


I have the impression that there will never be a perfect answer to the popularity and or scoring of any story.


I almost agree.

Score is most certainly subjective. Write a flawless story, and toss in a few squicks that the reader doesn't like, and your great story is average in score.

SOL is it's own animal. Size matters. A 1000kb story will outscore a 300kb story every time. Add in a bit of Sci-Fi, Woot! another half a point in scoring.

Write a million-word epic sci-fi piece-of-shit with lots of repetitive sex and you come up with hundreds of thousands of downloads and a 9.3 score.

Quality just isn't worth chasing either stat.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@EzzyB

Score is most certainly subjective. Write a flawless story, and toss in a few squicks that the reader doesn't like, and your great story is average in score.


My only suggestion is to write the best story you can regardless of genre then move on to the next story applying any new knowledge of skills to the current story. Some readers will hate whatever you wrote, yet others will love it. I have found even those writers I enjoy a great deal sometimes have stories I can't stand so I move onto another story.

Replies:   EzzyB
EzzyB

@docholladay

Yeah, my point exactly. Chasing either downloads or score (up to a point) is useless.

I guess writing a million-word epic with a 5.0 score based on anal-sex with house cats would put you in a league all your own :p

docholladay

@EzzyB

Heck someone would probably read it regardless of sex activity and enjoy it. The only hard lines I try and draw are when forcing someone or hate themes are the major topic regardless of genre. Those I try my best to ignore. The ones I like the most tend to be those where I wind up asking how I could act better or treat others better, not easy but it makes me think.

StarFleet Carl

@EzzyB

I guess writing a million-word epic with a 5.0 score based on anal-sex with house cats


Well, at least you'd have scored a lot of pussy ... :)

richardshagrin

Recommend claw removal and maybe doing something to blunt or remove the teeth. Catching the cat in the first place could be a good exercise program.

Replies:   oyster50
awnlee jawking

@EzzyB

I guess writing a million-word epic with a 5.0 score based on anal-sex with house cats would put you in a league all your own :p


Having sex with furry, cat-like aliens is something of a SOL trope. Brian in the Dark springs to mind as a fine proponent.

AJ

oyster50

@richardshagrin

Recommend claw removal and maybe doing something to blunt or remove the teeth. Catching the cat in the first place could be a good exercise program.


Catching the cat the first time won't be NEARLY the problem as catching him/her (you perverted ba*st*ard) the SECOND time.

EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

US Department of Jerks shutdown Mega Upload because a few hundred people were using the service to store pirated material.


It was because Mega-Upload was paying cash incentives to those people to upload the pirated material, and even advertising the material. At the time torrent sites were innundated with ads for a "direct download" of anything searched for.

We had an interesting discussion on Ars when Mega reopened. All the encryption in place was to hide the trail from what was uploaded to the site admins. The whole thing was engineered to give plausible deniability for the admins while providing no protection for the users.

I certainly disagree with the tactics in shutting down the original site, however. They really seemed to violate a ton of laws in New Zealand (where the servers were located) when they did that. Not due process, and quite probably a violation of several treaties as well.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@EzzyB


I certainly disagree with the tactics in shutting down the original site, however. They really seemed to violate a ton of laws in New Zealand (where the servers were located) when they did that. Not due process, and quite probably a violation of several treaties as well.


They also callously destroyed terabytes of legal data of non-pirate people using the site without any warning or consultation. They should have simply left the site up and asked people to remove their material while warning them people accessing would eb traced. Then all the legal users would have no problems getting their legal data and all the pirates would avoid the site and they'd know what was left was only pirate data.

Anomandaris

Any chance an admin could move this thread to the suggestions forum? I think it might fit better there.

bubbag

Geoff Wolek's stuff--K2 and ithers-- is great! I also like Howie Randolph's
Tall Grass tales, though there seem to be fewer here than before. Ed Bovilas is another great one.

BlinkReader

Another little gem I just remembered (and reread it again):

Howard Faxon and his "Remittance man"

It's really warm story :)

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