Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's up with the Zombie Chickens?

I'll be kicking off Dystopian August in less than 12 hours! Can you feel the excitement in the air?  Before the kick-off, I wanted to clarify the whole Zombie Chicken mystique. 

Zombie Chicken Ratings are something I developed to give readers an idea of which books they might put at the top of their dystopian and post apocalyptic reading lists.  They are not strict star ratings denoting quality, but very much graded on a bell curve, meaning most books are going to be rated a three, with very few achieving immortal 5 Zombie Chicken status and very few earning just one lone Zombie Chicken.

Here’s what I intended Zombie Chickens to mean:

5 – This book stands out as one of my very favorites of the genre.  I definitely have this on my keeper shelf and want to read it again and/or refer to it often.   It highly exceeded my reading expectations and might well be on its way to classic dystopian status.   In my opinion, the ultimate dystopian reading experience.

4 – This is a book I highly recommend as an excellent example of the genre.  There’s a very high chance I still have it on my keeper shelf and may well read it again someday. It exceeded my reading expectations and I can imagine a wide range of readers enjoying it as well. 

3 – This is a book that’s well worth reading, especially for lovers of the genre.  I may still have it on my keeper shelf, but wouldn’t necessarily feel the rereading urge. It met my reading expectations and should also find fans amongst readers.

2 – This is a book with some problems that detracted from my reading experience, although it was ultimately enjoyable enough.  I likely gave it away to another reader hoping they’d like it more than I did.  Because it did not fully meet my reading expectations, I’d judge it as entertaining but not essential.

1 – This is a book that I struggled through, but found something in it redeeming enough to continue reading until the end. Likely problems include: false advertising about the genre (NOT really dystopia), derivative nature of book (seen it all before) or writing or plotting issues.  This one is for dystopian completists only.

DNF - These you won't see during my Dystopian Theme Months, but there have been quite a number of books I've started reading and simply could not bear finishing.

The problem is, most people aren’t going to know my rating intentions, they’re just going to see a rating out of 5 and make their own assumptions about what that means.  That’s why I’ve decided NOT to make full use of the Zombie Chicken rating system this time around.  However, I will still be awarding 4 and 5 Zombie Chicken designations to an honored few (and you may well be able to discern by reading my review what I might have rated the others).

Long live the Zombie Chicken.


Alyce said...

I'm very excited about Dystopian August! I always add so much to my wish list during your dystopian months. :)

Zibilee said...

Good to have a full explanation of the zombie chicken rating system! I have to agree with Alyce and say that your dystopian months always swell my wish lists!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Ooooh fun for Dystopian August! Thanks for the Zombie Chicken run down. The graphics still totally creep me out but, you know, I can hang. I really can!

Zoraida Cordova said...

Can't wait for the Zombie Chickens. !

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

So glad I stopped by or I would have no doubt been late to the Dystopian party. Now.... what to wear... what to wear.... it should be something that looks like I have been through an Apocalypse..... hmmm....

Have fun Lenore!

Emy Shin said...

I can totally understand your decision not to use the Zombie Chickens rating this time around. Sometimes, people already have a pre-determined idea of what each star represents (i.e. 5 = good, 4 = so so, 3 = ehh not so great, etc.) even when that isn't what you the reviewer intended. Just like on Goodreads, where a 3-star is supposed to be "I liked it" -- many readers still take it to mean the reviewer didn't like the book. So having just 4 and 5 zombie chickens seem like a great idea to me.

Can't wait for tomorrow!

Lauren said...

Ahhh how I missed the zombie chickens.