Charles Tan on Reviewers, Blog Recs, and a Few Other Things

Ever since I learned how to use Google Reader (properly, that is), I’ve found it so much easier to keep track of the blogs that have been languishing, unseen, in my bookmarks folder. Not only that but, because I’ve actually been able to read new posts as they come out, I’ve stumbled across several articles and new blogs that I plan to add to the list.

This morning on BSCreview, I read a great article about book reviews and reviewers entitled “The Paradox of Book Reviewing.” The author, Charles Tan, makes an excellent point: readers should be discerning about which reviewers they choose to believe. Not because any reviewer’s opinion of a book is wrong, but because some will jive better with a particular reader’s tastes. Readers should find reviewers who enjoy similar things; after all, it would be pointless to take suggestions from someone who dislikes the very things that you do like.

Definitely read this article. It’s engaging, well-written, and makes a sensible argument.

Additionally, reading this article on BSCreview directed me to Charles Tan’s blog Bibliophile Stalker. Here he keeps a series of links to blogs, articles, and news as well as, interviews, reviews, and rants of his own. I’ll definitely be watching this site–I find Charles Tan’s writing to be both professional and engaging, not to mention that the list of links that he posts each day are extremely useful (I’ve wasted hours browsing them already…). I can only imagine the time that it takes for him to organize and post them all; I can’t let all that work go unappreciated, now can I?

boneshakerOne of the first things that I noticed when browsing Bibliophile Stalker was the new book Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Now, I knew that I’d heard of Cherie Priest before, but I couldn’t put my finger on where. A search of her books yielded nothing that I’d ever read before, but it did produce more information on Boneshaker. There are already several reviews posted about the book–which releases on September 29–all of which are quite positive. The summary alone was enough to peak my curiosity (not to mention the book cover, which given my interests was quite eye-catching), but the more I read about it, the more determined I became to buy a copy when it comes out.

I then became curious about the author herself, so I visited her website as well as her blog, both of which I enjoyed reading.Leviathan

After that, I went back to Amazon.com in order to look at another book that I’d noticed while looking up Boneshaker. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld also sounds like something I might pick up on its release date. Of coure it’s a hardcover, so I may need to save a few dollars. But it sounds like an interesting alternate history meets steampunk novel, and I’d like to see how Westerfeld handles this altered version of the world.

Speaking of steampunk, I also came across the article (or rant…whatever you prefer to call it) “Getting Back Up to Steam (Hold the ‘Punk’)” via one of the sites I visited today (though which one, specifically, I can no longer remember). The writer here makes a few good points about genre naming conventions. I’m not sure that I agree with everything he says about moving the SF genre into a more “literary” sphere, but it gives you something to think about nevertheless. Especially when considered next to this article from SciFi Wire. While I’ve never had a problem with the terms “steampunk” and “cyberpunk,” I have to admit that it’s getting a little silly when you pull in terms like “elfpunk,” “greenpunk,” “mannerpunk,” and “nanopunk.” Can’t we think of any more accurate, not to mention more interesting, descriptors?

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