Saturday, October 06, 2007

A note to book reviewers: fuck off!

So my brother's very excellent novella was included in three separate anthologies, as I have noted in my previous post. I'm not saying it's excellent because he's my brother - as I've told him, I don't know what the fuck I would say if he was a terrible or mediocre writer.

And among the many contributors to each anthology, he has gotten high praise from several reviewers. But two of them have singled him out for what I feel are nasty, petty, snippy comments that could be motivated, I believe, by professional jealousy.

I've been tempted to send profanity-laced, completely inane e-mails to these people - not because they didn't care for his writing style or the topic, but because they were so goddamned petty about it. But I thought I'd use this more public, wider venue instead.

And mind you, how does one receive the qualifications to become a book critic (or music critic, or art critic, you fill in the blank) anyway? Have a big mouth, a mean pen, and a total inability to produce said art yourself?

For his part, my brother is still in good humor, and thinks (rightly, I believe) that any publicity/review is good in that it gets his name out there.

But still, I'd like to give these idiots a tongue-lashing in the blogosphere.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO.........., which isn't even a real review, mind you, but a blog like this one, albeit withsome corporatet whoring advertisements, ripped him a new asshole by saying his writing was "sloppy and rambling." Hey Book Bitch, I work at a publishing company and I can show you sloppy and rambling! His novella is anything but that. If you don't care for it, fine. But don't bash something totally inaccurately. It's tightly written and to the point, and, unlike your writing, actually has a point.

Gwyneth Jones of Strange Horizons seemed to have a problem with the entire concept of fantasy, period, and pissed on just about every writer in the anthology. I think it's absolutely unprofessional to take an assignment reviewing a genre which one clearly does not like; then again, she seems to enjoy watching herself write for the sheer hell of it, even though she has nothing original to say. (I'm wondering if her novels for teenagers, which she writes under the pen name Ann Halam, are the same whiny dribble?) Another funny tidbit, seeing as how she criticized my brother's novella as "seeming to go on forever," is the fact that she wrote a whopping 1,644 words to point out the alleged flaws of his and the other contributors' stories.



leftcoastbob said...

Those who can, do; those who can't, critique.

Darth Weasel said...

now, in the interest of fairness, I have not read all of his book, just that blurb you once forwarded me...but unless that blurb was the only part of the book written in that fashion, I do not understand those reviews at all. He had a fresh take and a fun bit of writing. So nonsensical.

I guess I should also say it is fun to complain :-)and I will agree w/left coast...sounds like people who want to write but can't get past their lack of talent

boychik said...

I'm an author and I see trash reviews a lot on It's more prevalent in the nonfiction space, I think, by competitive authors who either use email aliases or get friends to post. The lame ones just flame, and many times a complaint to Amazon will get the review deleted. But the clever ones actually read the book so it looks like a legit submission, even though they say nasty things, and only the originator can get such a review pulled.

The Net is a free-for-all, so just expect that even sites that have rules can get badly abused.