The OF Blog: Poll on SF/F Masterworks reading/reviewing

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Poll on SF/F Masterworks reading/reviewing

For those who read this blog via RSS Feeds and might not see all the features of this blog without direct clicking, I have posted a feedback poll on the Gollancz Fantasy and SF Masterworks reviews that I have posted these past couple of months, both here and on the SFF Masterworks blog.  Please take the time to choose one of the five options I've listed (I think I covered most of the likely range of answers, but if I failed to include an option that best suits you, feel free to respond here).

Shortly, I plan on posting reviews of Geoff Ryman's The Child Garden and Arkday and Boris Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic here, with Fritz Leiber's The First Book of Lankhmar to be posted on the SFF Masterworks blog in a day or two, with vol. 2 soon to follow.  I do hope to have at least 30 reviews of the Fantasy Masterworks and 40 of the SF Masterworks complete by Christmas (it's about 21-23 each right now, I think) and all the current releases by mid-2011.  Oh, and I just learned a couple of days ago that there's also a Crime Masterworks series that reached nearly 50 books and if I continue to feel ambitious/insane, I might tackle those sometime in the next year or two, as my reading of crime/mystery classics is woeful and I do plan on addressing that in the near future.

18 comments:

Martin said...

I don't really see what the point of setting this up as a group blog was. Why didn't you just post them here?

Jen said...

I'm the lonely "no intention of reading them". Ok, I might be interested in one or two, but that's about it. I don't really see the... well, point of this. I don't read reviews to be talked into buying a book and I've never written them to convince people. Is it important? I appreciate your reviews for your style and how you present your ideas, the book you're reviewing doesn't matter much (after all I can enjoy a negative review just as much, if not more).

Larry said...

Martin,

It originally started as a challenge I made months ago to get others to read those books, since there were so few older books being reviewed on blogs. So a blog was started and I was asked to participate. Since I was going to be reading/reviewing each book on both list anyway, I agreed. That's why they're divided between two blogs (although I link them all in the two lists posted under my Recommended Reading links bar).

I do hope the others will resume posting their reviews shortly, as it was meant to show a variety of takes on these books.


Jen,

The point is really that of discovery, if one so chooses. Some of the books I've recommended, some I have not, but I don't think of my reviews as being oriented toward convincing someone to read/not read them as much as they are to strike up a sort of conversation. Lately, I've been connecting various books with others in the series, seeing how certain ideas, motifs, and expressions have developed over the years and that has been invaluable for me, as it's helping me grow as a reviewer and as a critic.

Sounds as though you just like the essays more than the books themselves, am I right?

Martin said...

I do hope the others will resume posting their reviews shortly, as it was meant to show a variety of takes on these books.

Well yeah, that was my point. I remember the genesis of the blog and what would have been interesting about it would have been a multiplicity of responses and styles with each reviewer writing a handful. But since you are reviewing them all at the rate of one a day, you've completely dominated it and I don't really see why anyone else would want to post their reviews there. If you wanted to read and review the whole lot, well, that is your project and you should have done it here.

Larry said...

Yeah, that's why I'm shifting most of it over here, because of that worry. It's hard balancing a project I announced back in June 2009 with this, since I do have more time (until next week, at least) than others to do this, not to mention my own rate of reviewing other projects.

solarbridge said...

Hi,

I've certainly been enjoying them. For two reasons. As regards the SF, it's purely because I have read many of them (and intend to also) myself and it's nice to get another perspective.

With the fantasy, it helps me a lot, as I am completely unfamiliar with everything there (though I've read, say, some of Moorcock's SF stuff).

Also, I started book-blogging myself recently, and the fact that this list was doing the rounds as a sort of meme, did encourage me to do some reviews of "classic" stuff too!

Keep up the good work, though. I'm enjoying the reviews a lot!

Richard

Larry said...

Cool. Hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of reading these books, as most of them are worthy of being read and re-read.

Jen said...

Well, for me it's a matter of time and interest. I can't read as fast as you, and for the moment there's other books I *want* to read (as opposed to being just curious about). Years ago I was making "to read" lists... until I realized I never get to read those book, so I stopped.

What I'm looking for in the project is:
- reading opinions books I've already read (extremely few have overlapped so far, sadly)
- reading more about books on my "maybe one day" list. For example, I've become more interested in Beauty after I read about it.

Niall Alexander said...

<< The genesis of the blog and what would have been interesting about it would have been a multiplicity of responses and styles with each reviewer writing a handful. But since you are reviewing them all at the rate of one a day, you've completely dominated it and I don't really see why anyone else would want to post their reviews there. If you wanted to read and review the whole lot, well, that is your project and you should have done it here. >>

This, Larry. Speaking for myself, at least, you have utterly wiped the floor with us. And here I was looking forward to a few classics each month, but it's like tilting at windmills, the rate you can parse these things...

Larry said...

It's not a competition and like I said above, I feel like I'm caught between my own personal project announced last year and helping out. I had planned on no more than 1-2 reviews a week there, but when everyone else dropped off...do I abandon posting there or just try to fill in the gaps? Neither way is fun, to be honest. But then again, the reviews have been good despite that, or so I think, even if over half of them should have appeared here rather than there.

Roland said...

Yeah, being a distant second in that blog, I was also a bit intimidated, to be honest. I mean, your reading speed is uncanny, and personally, I just can't keep up with it. And besides, it's a bit daunting, writing a review and having it being pushed to page 2 by the next day.

However, it isn't your fault that the rest of them (us) are slacking, that's what I think. If anyone wants to read and review a book, it's up to them to do it, and it's unfair to accuse the one person who actually does it cause of one's own laziness.

That said, I enjoy your reviews, although I could do with less quoting tbh :p But I haven't been influenced by you in buying/reading those books, as I already have an established opinion on most of them or their writers.

http://rolandscodex.blogspot.com/

Neth said...

Larry, the problem is that we all agreed to maybe post a review every 2 months over there so that we cover everything over a year, or maybe a bit longer. Your reading speed is orders of magnitude above everyone elses and you've continued to post reviews at your speed - which means that it's practically your blog since you've posted so much more than the rest of us. At least in my case it's reduced my enthusiasm about participating.

But I'm still planning on participating - my next review over there should be posted next week some time.

solarbridge said...

@Roland

"And besides, it's a bit daunting, writing a review and having it being pushed to page 2 by the next day."

I suppose that you hit on something there. I don't think (so far) that I'm reading this the same way as I might most other SF/F blogs. Normally, I'd tend to stick to the most recent articles and seldom go back (hey, there's a lot out there). With this, though, it feels a lot more like a resource than it does a blog. And one that I, at least, would envisage going back to older posts more than I would in other blogs that I regularly read. Does that make sense?

Cheers,

Richard

Larry said...

It is rather strange seeing the word "intimidating" being used here, since as I've said before, it's not a competition or anything. I just covered the lack of posting that took place after the first month, as I was limiting myself to 1-2 posts/week then compared to the 3-4/week recently. If it's detrimental, I can easily pull out for a while and return to my original solo project, I suppose.

Neth said...

Larry, perhaps an off-line conversation with all the participants is warrented to see where we are all at. I wouldn't want you to necessarily pull back, but perhaps just slow down on the output and keep a close eye on how many books you are reviewing vs. how many total there are.

Larry said...

Perhaps, but a pull back has to happen anyway; semi-work very soon plus something else that just came up that is in the process of being worked out that will take a lot of my "free" time shortly.

Karen Burnham said...

I'd been reviewing genre antecedent classics on my blog for the last three years or so, so for me the interest is seeing other views on books I'd (mostly) already read. Although I'm stronger on pre-1940's stuff and weaker on New Wave.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

Larry I'm currently setting up a review project over at Spinetingler that involves folks reading one short story that I assign from the collection The Best American Noir of the Century and sending me a review which I'll post when I have them all turned in to me.

If you want to participate let me know and I can send you the details.

Blindenmuth AT gmail dot com

 
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