Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


PBW gets a bad review and her fans jump to her defense. PBW, naturally, behaves with class, and shrugs it all off, but this got me thinking about reviews.

Every time something of mine gets a "delayed" publication date, I figure, well, that puts off the inevitable--reviews. I think I'll follow PBW's example and not read them at all. I know some authors will defend themselves against a bad review. Hey, why not? Different strokes.

But what about fans who rush to their favorite author's defense? Fan Girls? I loved Janet Evanovich's first five Stephanie Plum novels, but the ones that followed have been weaker and weaker. If I run into a bad review, on a blog, LJ, or elsewhere, I'm going to shrug and move on. What about a review that skewers a book I love? I think, "What a wanker," and forget about it. I suppose, if the reviewer's complaints were especially stupid, I might take the matter up here on my blog. Emphasis on especially stupid. (Haven't done this thus far.)

The thing is, I wouldn't be doing the author any favors by rushing to his or her defense. What's the point? Will the reviewers change their mind? Don't think so.

Typically, I don't let petty crap, like out-of-control fans, affect my view of an author's work. But a recent incident put me off any desire to read one author's work. Someone I know, let's call him/her Sean, recently posted a review of a novel on an LJ. "Review" is stretching it, since Sean was simply venting about a bad book. (I trust Sean's judgement; I suspect it was a stupid book.) Sean then gets a nasty comment from another writer who scolds Sean for the review. "It wasn't nice; too snarky; this author is my idol," blah-blah-blah, fangirl cakes. (The person is a "SFWA Pro," which doesn't lend much credibility to the designation.)

So I wandered over to Amazon and looked up "exhalted" author's book. It has legions of fangirls--teenage girls--who "looooved this book." Among the superlatives were a few who hated it and agreed with Sean. Basically, the book works for its audience.

So why did fangirl feel she needed to defend the writer from a posting on an obscure LJ? God only knows, but it makes defender and sadly, the author look petty. I'd wager the poor author knows nothing about this, but again, what was the point? Worse in this case, was an implied friendship between the two, which casts further aspersions on the author. Guilt by association and all that.

Of course, if anything, this is a lesson in waiting a day before blasting back in blog/LJ comments when you "think" someone has insulted your hero. There's no point in attacking on someone else's turf, when you can eviscerate them on your own blog. [wink]
I wrote but didn't post the above months ago. But I'm all consumed with finishing the blasted manuscript, and fiddling with the beginnings of character design (drawings), so I'm digging up tired old bones out of the depths of the hard drive.

Amusing me this week:
LinT: Interesting evolution of a webcomic artist, from very rough to quite nice drawing. Funny story line that makes fun of fantasy tropes.

Talisman: Well-drawn and wonderfully coloured. A modern day Marine in fantasy world.

Inverloch: Another full-color comic.



Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005