The reviewing panel (which was me, Penny Hill, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, John Jarrold, and Paul doing a fine job of moderating), went well, I think. Lots of contribution from the audience, representing a wide range of opinions and preferences — short reviews, long reviews, spoiler-averse, spoiler-tolerant — and lots of interesting ground covered. I couldn’t summarise it, especially at 1am, but one useful concept that came up was the operation of filters at various stages of the reviews process: what gets reviewed, what the reviews editor publishes, capsule reviews serving as, essentially, notification of publication, then more detailed reviews for those who want more information. Which is to say, what makes a good review depends on who the review is written for.
Paul Cornell will be writing for Primeval next year.
Last year Gollancz did round-cornered masterworks; this year they’ll be doing eight “future masterworks”, and the innovation will be no titles on the cover. (Don’t know about the corners.) The included books: Evolution, Stephen Baxter; Blood Music, Greg Bear; Schild’s Ladder, Greg Egan; Fairyland, Paul McAuley; Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan; The Separation, Christopher Priest; Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds; and Hyperion, Dan Simmons. Commence arguing now. (Personally I think it’s a good selection — particularly Evolution — except I’d have gone for Distress over Schild’s Ladder.)