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September 29th, 2001, 09:04 AM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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, 01:06 PM #2
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
Just my opinion though!
September 30th, 2001, 08:22 AM #3
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.