ISFDB:Static Pages

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Computationally Intensive Scripts and Static Pages

  1. Search the ISFDB database for authors who used to be published by major houses in the past but have been forced to resort to self-publishing (for whatever reason). Semi-requested on r.a.sf.w Ahasuerus 17:32, 2 Oct 2006 (CDT)
  2. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written/msg/475169c9fe57dd72 (22 Sep 2006) et al:

James Nicoll wrote:  [snip] 
>    I think what I am looking for is more average age at first 
> sale vs year of first sale, to see if it is creeping up. 


Oh, I see. Find all authors whose year/date of birth is known, identify 
their first published story/novel (should non-fiction count?), 
calculate the author's age when it appeared, then calculate the average 
age for 1926-2006, right? 

Should be doable (within the limits imposed by database imperfections), 
but give me a few hours, I need to find my slide rule first... 

...

Here is what the ISFDB has for 1890-2006 first fiction publications: 

Year,average age,median age,number of writers 
1890,28,23,2 
1891,28,28,1 
1892,41,41,1 
1893,30,27,3 
1894,33,27,2 
1895,33,30,6 
1896,45,33,3 
1897,24,27,3 
1898,41,44,3 
1899,30,30,1 
1900,45,44,3 
1902,42,42,1 
1903,49,41,3 
1904,27,27,5 
1905,29,28,3 
1906,40,40,1 
1907,31,31,5 
1908,31,26,4 
1909,35,37,4 
1910,24,26,3 
1911,32,31,3 
1912,33,30,4 
1913,30,30,1 
1914,25,24,2 
1915,34,34,1 
1916,31,29,4 
1917,33,33,1 
1918,36,41,3 
1919,33,31,6 
1920,37,36,6 
1921,42,46,3 
1922,30,19,2 
1923,30,30,14 
1924,31,30,11 
1925,24,22,9 
1926,34,33,19 
1927,34,31,10 
1928,31,31,15 
1929,32,30,17 
1930,30,29,26 
1931,28,27,15 
1932,25,24,10 
1933,27,28,11 
1934,32,23,12 
1935,29,30,11 
1936,29,29,7 
1937,28,30,17 
1938,33,27,10 
1939,27,26,22 
1940,28,27,14 
1941,29,27,15 
1942,30,28,13 
1943,33,32,10 
1944,35,34,8 
1945,31,31,9 
1946,36,35,20 
1947,39,41,9 
1948,35,33,11 
1949,31,29,13 
1950,30,30,24 
1951,29,27,24 
1952,33,32,32 
1953,33,32,27 
1954,33,31,26 
1955,35,35,17 
1956,33,32,16 
1957,36,36,17 
1958,36,35,21 
1959,35,33,24 
1960,35,38,9 
1961,37,34,21 
1962,29,25,14 
1963,33,31,25 
1964,34,32,23 
1965,34,30,11 
1966,35,32,21 
1967,32,26,25 
1968,29,26,19 
1969,33,32,25 
1970,34,34,34 
1971,31,30,28 
1972,33,29,24 
1973,30,29,37 
1974,34,31,26 
1975,35,33,29 
1976,33,31,31 
1977,31,30,34 
1978,32,31,47 
1979,36,32,56 
1980,36,35,49 
1981,38,33,34 
1982,35,33,61 
1983,33,33,33 
1984,38,33,57 
1985,34,33,52 
1986,40,37,54 
1987,35,31,59 
1988,37,34,56 
1989,38,35,59 
1990,34,31,48 
1991,37,34,41 
1992,34,31,36 
1993,38,36,47 
1994,34,33,47 
1995,34,31,46 
1996,40,38,32 
1997,38,36,32 
1998,36,34,13 
1999,37,35,14 
2000,35,36,7 
2001,41,38,8 
2002,49,50,11 
2003,39,34,7 
2004,47,41,17 
2005,40,40,8 
2006,49,49,3 


This is at best imprecise since the ISFDB has useable "year of birth" 
data for under 2,300 authors out of 36,324. Also, the ISFDB often 
derives "date first published" information from reprints rather than 
true first editions. There are other problems with the data like 
duplicate author records, etc. (All "first edition" records whose 
authors were supposedly over 85 at the time of the publication were 
discarded.) 

Nonetheless, if the error pattern is roughly the same throughout the 
period, then this may be useful, although I would be extra careful with 
2000-2006 numbers since year of birth data is even spottier for new 
authors. 

We will likely eventually re-check the math, rewrite the program in 
something more user-friendly like Perl or Python and then post it on 
the ISFDB Wiki. 

...

And here is the same data grouped by decade: 

Decade,average age,median age,number of writers 
1890s,34,31,25 
1900s,35,32,29 
1910s,31,30,28 
1920s,32,30,106 
1930s,29,28,141 
1940s,32,32,122 
1950s,33,32,228 
1960s,33,31,193 
1970s,33,31,346 
1980s,36,34,514 
1990s,36,34,356 
2000s,43,40,61 

...

sigidu...@yahoo.com wrote: 

[snip] 

> It looks like the means and averages involve small numbers, and so are 
> noisy.  Might a five-year weighted moving average be useful? 

Sure, can do: 

From-To,average age,median age,number of writers 


1890-1895,31,28,9 
1895-1900,35,31,16 
1900-1905,38,32,12 
1905-1910,32,32,17 
1910-1915,29,30,13 
1915-1920,33,32,15 
1920-1925,32,31,36 
1925-1930,31,30,70 
1930-1935,29,27,74 
1935-1940,29,29,67 
1940-1945,30,29,60 
1945-1950,34,33,62 
1950-1955,32,31,133 
1955-1960,35,34,95 
1960-1965,34,32,92 
1965-1970,33,29,101 
1970-1975,32,30,149 
1975-1980,34,31,197 
1980-1985,36,34,234 
1985-1990,37,34,280 
1990-1995,36,33,219 
1995-2000,37,37,137 
2000-2005,44,39,50 
2005-2010,43,42,11 
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