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September 29th, 2001, 10:04 AM
I'm not going to mention my preferences, but I was wondering whom you all think do the most credible, workmanship critiques in the SF/F business? There are a lot of reviewers that fail to write in depth or make their meanings clear. Some make their bias obvious and others praise without giving substance. Yet there are a few who go about their analysis in such a way that you really become more informed about an author's talents or lack, become intrigued enough to give a book a chance or actually turned off. Perhaps that what they should be doing. So what do you think?

September 29th, 2001, 02:06 PM
Personally, I don't read reviewers at all. I read books myself and then form my opinion on them. I choose books initially based on their cover illustration (yes, the most evil of sins) to determine what genre it is likely to be. Then I read the short bit on the back, or inside the cover, to make a final decision on whether to read. Occasionally, if many people recommend an author I haven't tried then I'll give it a crack. Everyone's tastes are so unique that I believe the only critic you'll ever find acceptable, is one that shares your particular outlook. Consequently, I've yet to find one that works http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

Just my opinion though!

September 30th, 2001, 09:22 AM
I like the reviewers in Analog magazine. Generally they give an outline of the story and say a little about the authors style or give a report about how the author effected them without giving much of an opinion, which is the best kind of reviewer I enjoy.
I like to read the sci-fi-fantasy magazines because if I like an authors stories in the magazines I'll probably like their longer books. So that's how I often pick my reading.
Other than that I'll just pick up any book and skim through it, somewhere at the end of a chapter, mostly to get the mood of a book. If I find myself while reading skipping passages to find out what happens...I figure that I don't like the writing or maybe I've been too sucked into the story! Even books that are questionably written I don't mind reading sometimes - but that's because I'm such a fast reader. What I do not like (and I hate to tell you this, but Steven Donaldson did this to me) is when an author stretches my belief in what the character might do too far - when I find myself thinking,"nobody would do that." Then my sense of being in another world snaps back to comparing the book's believability to this reality I know.