What makes a sci-fi book popular?

These books are more about novel technology, apocalypse, romance, battles, and no psychic powers.

This leads to my second question:Which contents are often found together in the same sci-fi book?To answer this question, I transformed data to a python dictionary for every main content in the following form:This answers the question, but it is difficult to see the whole picture, so I plotted it.

On the plot below, the plotting color corresponds to a scale; the higher the scale, the darker the color.

For example, the most common second content for the robots or AI content is novel technology.

Also, robots and magic are rarely found together in the same book and are plotted in white circles.

For novel technology, the most commonly found second content is interplanetary (settings):For each content, the results were the following:My next question asks:How content popularity changed throughout the decades?A proportion of a specific content’s strong presence among other content’s strong presence for a given decade will answer that question.

The results are shown on a heat-map graph below:Besides novel technology, which is the most frequent content throughout the decades, the plot shows that during the past several decades, sci-fi books are more about an apocalypse, other planets, and not about psychic powers.

In a visually more dramatic plot, we can see that in the twenty-first century, sci-fi books are not about beasts anymore (red color), but robots or AI (teal color).

Robots or AI content emerged in the middle of the past century and is one of the seven main contents of a story in sci-fi books of the twenty-first century.

Which content is more frequent in top rated sci-fi books?To figure it out, I visually explore the data to see the distribution of a content’s presence for all frequency values.

The plot below, for example, shows that robots or AI content is present at almost all frequency values and was also the main content of a story (scale 3) of top-rated books (frequency values 6 and higher).

Psychic powers’ content is mostly present at low values of frequency and never was the main content of a story of a frequently top rated sci-fi book.

SummaryIn summary, the results of the dataset exploration are that the most frequent contents of sci-fi books are novel technology (not AI), interplanetary (settings), and battles.

Male authors write more about novel technology and space, while female authors write more about novel technology and romance.

After 2000, apocalypse rose in popularity content of sci-fi books, and psychic powers content is the least popular one.

Also, for novel technology, the most frequently found contents in the same book are interplanetary (settings) and robots or AI.

Beasts are no longer the main content of the story while robots or AI, having emerged in the middle of the last century, steadily are.

And lastly, the three contents that are mostly found in top rated sci-fi books are interplanetary (settings), robots or AI, and novel technology.


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