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in which we are reviewed for the first time - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-09-15 13:15
Subject: in which we are reviewed for the first time
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Mood:calmcalm
Music:news 24
I just saw what may be the first advance review of Under The Rose, at Publishers Weekly, and it's a bit of a curate's egg. It goes like this:

`The quality of the 27 original short stories in this fantasy anthology is wildly inconsistent, but there are a handful of real gems, including Mel Sterling's “Perambulations,” a horror-nuanced tale of carny Mister Strange and his enticing clockwork creations; Justin Stanchfield's “A Distant Scent of Rain,” which chronicles the revelatory ceremonial first contact between humankind and an alien delegate; and “Sagekites' Land” by Ekaterina Sedia, a poignant story about a boy's struggle to come to grips with his father's looming death and the loss of his family's homestead. Readers who get past Pauline E. Dungate's clunky “Plant Hunter,” Tim Lieder's self-satisfied “Office Job” and William John Watkins's tell-don't-show “Five Hundred Vinnies”—all far too weak for their cushy opening spots—will find enough good stories to make the effort worthwhile.'

Needless to say, I disagree very strongly with their assessment of Pauline, Tim and Bill's stories, all of which I've loved from the moment I first saw them.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-09-15 15:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey, congrats on the review, Hutch.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-15 15:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, but as I said, I'm a bit in two minds about it.
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Norilana
User: norilana
Date: 2009-09-24 02:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We got a PW review? Drat, how did I miss that? This is excellent, regardless of the actual review, it means library orders!!! YAAAY! and, judging from this quote it is a decent mixed review! :-)
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2009-09-15 16:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It looks as if they had to choose just one or two words to describe the stories they didn't like.

And if there's one thing I've learnt over the years, one persons telling is another persons delightful explication.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-15 16:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll grant you it was just one brief review in a big page of reviews, but their choice of words seems unusual.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-15 17:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Noob? You? Never.
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Norilana
User: norilana
Date: 2009-09-24 02:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Okay, folks, I found it, here is the Publishers Weekly review.
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jmward14: kick
User: jmward14
Date: 2009-09-16 04:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:kick
Wheeeee! {{{{hutch0}}}}, you know there's no such thing as bad publicity, and a review in PW--ANY review in PW--guarantees more sales.
Big hugs and happy dances,
Jean Marie
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-17 23:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, there is that, I suppose.
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Norilana
User: norilana
Date: 2009-09-24 02:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Exactly!!!
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2009-09-17 02:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Myself, I think the standard of reviewing in PW these days is totally dismal -- probably because, where once the reviewers were sensibly paid, now I gather the reviews editors are reduced to offering peanuts. Twenty years and more ago (insert phthisic wheeze here) they were always at least competent and often they were masterpieces of the concise review. No more.

I'd regard the good bits of this as genuine praise, the rest as being just the manifestation of some little compulsive masturbator's conviction that it marks him as clever to sneer at his betters.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-09-17 15:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"it marks him as clever to sneer at his betters."

Well said.

I've always been of this opinion where most critics and reviewers are concerned.

And, Dr. Livingston, you are correct in your observation regarding reviewers and peanuts.



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