Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Regarding book reviews

I was told not to smile for this
picture, but I love this MINK Viking
photo too much not to use it.
"Welcome stranger. The paths are treacherous today." - Binabik

Evidently this humble blog has gained enough of a reputation that I am now getting requests to do book reviews with greater frequency. If you are one of those newly published and/or established authors or publishers who wish me to review your book(s), this post (and identical page) is for you and I have formatted it in an FAQ manner. Please read the ENTIRE page if you are thinking of contacting me. (I am only making a post out of this to make sure people see it.)

Will I answer emails?

If you want me to review an actual book and if I can find unimpeachable evidence online that the book exists and it is not a spam email, then yes. However, I might not if comic books is what you want me to look at and absolutely will not if you want me to watch a movie. (Someone wanted me to review a zombie-apocalypse style comic once and the cover alone made me ill).

Do I write book reviews?

Tough question. I suppose I end up writing a book review for everything I read yet, as was the case with the Monarchies of God by Paul Kearney, the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson, The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon, George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and even The Book of Dust by Sir Philip Pullman, I do the same for books I quit and am seldom complementary. I would feel terrible accepting a book to review only to find myself less than fond of it. So, in answer to the question "Do I write book reviews", the short answer is: possibly, but do not hold your breath. The long answer is that I love the freedom of reading and fear that knowing I was reading a book purely to review it would sap my enjoyment of it; so while you are welcome to send me book-review requests there is a strong possibility that I will say no and a better one that, in the event that I say yes, I will hold off until I finish my current book. (I only read one book at a time, as otherwise I would spread both my mind and concentration too thin.) Remember that Stars Uncounted was meant to be a public diary of sorts rather than a review site, so please do not take a "no" answer personally.

What books would I review?

Not Dark/Gothic Fantasy. Not Science Fiction. Not Grimdark. Not graphic novels and/or comic books. If you want to know why then read my Types of Fantasy page. I read high-minded High Fantasy as per the Spirit of Tolkien. In short, I would review books I would naturally pick off the shelf and buy at a bookstore. Best just look at the Bookshelf here to see what I like reading and/or the other pages on Stars Uncounted.


If I agreed to read and review a book, how long would it take me?

As long as it takes. I read at the my own pace and will not be rushed. If you need a quick review then do not bother asking me. Given my busy schedule and the other hobbies any well-rounded person has (such as Kung Fu), I can usually read a 400+ page book every month or so.

One last thing...

If you were not thinking of asking me to write a review and only got the idea from reading this page then please pretend you never read this page. The point of this was not to open the floodgates but rather lay out basic expectations and ground rules. Why? Because most of those who have asked me for a book review have clearly not read much of Stars Uncounted, asking me to read and review urban romances, Dark Fantasy Horror novels, or a mix of both – and write as if I was an active fan of such things. If you are one of those authors and/or publishers and are reading this page now then I apologize for what might be justly called uncharitable bluntness; I am merely trying to make a point, because I get no joy out of refusing people and thus wrote this page in hopes that those who do desire to contact me will do so knowing both their chances and what sort of books I might actually agree to read and review.

What about the red ship on the horizon?

If you are a publisher and are interested in looking at the Fantasy series I wrote then by all means contact me. (Forgive any perceived conceit, but did anyone really expect me to write a Contact Me page without including this question? Everyone knows how difficult it is getting published these days, so I will use every advantage I have to do so – this my not always entirely humble blog included.)

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after." - J.R.R. Tolkien

"Follow your bliss." - Joseph Campbell

"Each of you is a separate, individual you. You are a unique person, with wild ideas about what's truly important. Each of you has a gift that only you can bring to the world. A way you can help that others couldn't. And the way you express that gift is to hear this: trust yourself. Trust your gift." - Chandra Nalaar

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