THOUGHTS ON BOOK REVIEWING
My first book review appeared in Analog just weeks ago. Hope nobody missed it! Amid the excitement of seeing my work in print, I’ve already turned in my next column for the July/August 2023 issue of this venerable science fiction magazine. I’m not ready yet to tell you what I picked to review, except to say that these works of fiction are all quite recent, with some not yet published. This means that I am reading 2023 works ahead of most everyone I know in the field. Doing so feels weird. Sure it’s kinda fun having a secret, but at the same time I cannot yet say, “wait until you crack open this one!” or “What did you think of the way Author X handled Y?” Alas, alas, at this point I can’t even let the writers themselves know my reactions to the product of all their hard work and hopes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this gig. I mean I get paid to read wonderful new stuff of my own choosing and then promulgate my opinions about it. And yet, there are two other constraints. First, there are deadlines for turning in a regular column. That means there are times when I sit down at my computer and would dearly love to commence crafting my own fiction but I must open up a partly-completed review, instead. It also means I must set aside books I won’t review because I haven’t finished reading the half dozen or so that are on my plate for my next column.
And yet, and yet, it’s a great gig!