Here is the News

Your daily dose of sf reviewing commentary: in response to that Readercon panel, James Nicoll muses about negative reviews, while Elizabeth Bear suggests we need someone to review the reviewers. I think she’s kidding. Elsewhere, Kameron says (to my mind) spot-on things about the importance of honest reviewing, while Jonathan McCalmont is talking about the son of Scalpel.

Your daily dose of discussion about sf movements: Kathryn Cramer has put up an archive of the New Weird discussion from back in 2003. (The original discussion was lost when TTA press changed their message board system.) And, via Kathryn, here’s Rudy Rucker’s response to the mundane manifesto, which is pretty much what you’d expect. Elsewhere, riffing off Susannah Mandel’s column at Strange Horizons about the sf/mainstream divide, Richard Larson wants “… to figure out how the experience of reading mainstream literature differs from that of reading genre fiction, and what formal factors are contributing to that experience.”

Your daily dose of sf writers talking about their work: Lou Anders points to a great conversation between Ian McDonald and Richard Morgan, recorded at Eastercon. Part 1 starts off with the trouble with trying to call your novel Black Man; Part 2 starts off with the fallacy of sympathetic characters. Much else of interest is discussed. And speaking of Richard Morgan, here’s Nisi Shawl’s review of Black Man; and speaking of Ian McDonald, Adam Balm’s latest column at AICN includes a review of Brasyl — as well as a follow-up to Balm’s boycotting of the Clarke Award earlier this year.

And last but not least, your daily dose of pointless graphs: Hugo and Nebula Best Short Story winners since 1991, by venue of first publication.

18 Responses to “Here is the News”

  1. elizabeth bear Says:

    And then we can have somebody review the reviewers who are reviewing the reviewers.

    It’s genius.

  2. grahamsleight Says:

    Yes. Because there aren’t enough displacement activities around on the internet already.

  3. Niall Says:

    It was my understanding that the entire internet is one big displacement activity.

  4. grahamsleight Says:

    But Facebook is the displacement singularity.

  5. Christopher Barzak Says:

    Oh come now. Surely you can admit some reviewers need to be reviewed, don’t you? Or is it simply by declaring yourself a reviewer that your opinions and arguments become invulnerable? I would love to see some reviews of reviewers. Where is the system of checks and balances here?!? ;-)

  6. Hannah Says:

    By “system of checks and balances,” I assume Barzak means “the Slapfights community”?

  7. Graham Says:

    Chris, I don’t know if your comment re reviwer accountability was addressed to me, but I said as much on Bear’s LJ.

  8. MattD Says:

    Isn’t reviewing the reviewers precisely what’s been going on here in several recent threads? ;-)

  9. Kathryn Cramer Says:

    Elizabeth Bear suggests we need someone to review the reviewers.

    I think a long time ago (in the early 90s?) we tried to get someone to write a piece like that for NYRSF. I don’t think it panned out (or maybe it did come in and is lurking somewhere in the NYRSF archives).

  10. Niall Says:

    Matt: I realised that, with some horror, earlier this morning. (Did you see Kathryn Cramer’s long response to the Readercon discussion?)

  11. Hannah Says:

    >I realised that, with some horror, earlier this morning.

    Why horror?

    I don’t, all joking aside, actually think that reviewers should be left to run amok. I don’t see what Torque Control has been doing, though, as reviewing them so much as just…noting cases where people got especially silly. I’ve seen the same sort of thing elsewhere and I endorse it heartily.

    (What does strike me as kinda silly is an attempt to do it systematically. Seems somehow not quite in the spirit of things.)

  12. Niall Says:

    Why horror?

    Partly because it’s such a slippery slope, partly because it probably looks more than a bit arrogant, and partly because I’m not actually sure how much good it does. Sure, if I say something stupid or make a glaring error in a review, absolutely I want to be called on it, but … you know, it’s probably just frustration from not being able to talk about the books I’m reading, taken out on people because they haven’t written the review I want to write. [g]

  13. Hannah Says:

    Ahhh. Fair cop. *g*

  14. Kathryn Cramer Says:

    What a concept, party animals that we all are! Greg Feeley, Paul DiFilippo, Charles Platt, Lucius Shepard, & Spider Robinson LIVE ON STAGE! Reviewers Run Amok!

  15. James Nicoll Says:

    The reviews of reviews of reviews have themselves been reviewed, here:

    http://peake.livejournal.com/98955.html

    Are we post-modern yet?

  16. Paul Kincaid Says:

    I’d hope none of us would be so old-fashioned as to be merely postmodern.

  17. Kathryn Cramer Says:

    Nolonger Postmodern, now we are Singular, (as in The Singuarity). Soon we can be post-Singular.

  18. Sigh « Torque Control Says:

    […] been here before with regard to the invidiousness of “mostly positive” reviews, but this […]


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