One of the things I didn’t foresee about becoming a professional writer is the impact this has on my own reading. I have much less reading time, for a start. I also find it very difficult to switch off and read fantasy fiction purely for enjoyment while I’m actively working on a book. I’m thinking so critically about my own work that I cannot escape that mindset. So I save up the fantasy fiction that I really want to escape into for my holidays now and mostly read crime and mystery fiction for relaxation.
Mind you, I find my tolerance for any kind of fiction that’s poorly written, under-plotted, inadequately characterised etc, has pretty much evaporated. I don’t have reading time to waste now, where I used to always finish a book I’d started, no matter how unsatisfactory I found it.
Reviewing is a way I can still read fantasy and SF while I’m engaged in writing my own books. I can apply that critical mindset in a positive way. It helps me keep current with the state of the genre as well.
On a personal level, the discipline of concentrating on things like characterisation, plotting and the most effective use of description and dialogue means I go back to my own work with a clearer perspective. I can’t allow myself sloppy work if I’m criticising it in others.
Essentially though, I just like recommending books that I’ve enjoyed to other readers. I’ve been doing it ever since I started reading. It’s what book-lovers do.
So far, I’ve reviewed for the webzines The Alien Online Emerald City SFRevu and the print magazine Interzone. Links to those reviews can be found below.
I have also written a number of review columns for Albedo One magazine and will be adding them here in due course.
- Anderson, Poul: The Broken Sword
- Armstrong, Kelley: Broken
- Armstrong, Kelley: Haunted
- Banker, Ashok: Demons of Chitrakut
- Banker, Ashok: Siege of Mithila
- Bedwell-Grime, Stephanie: Guardian Angel
- Clarke, Sir Arthur C.: A Fall of Moondust
- Connolly, John: The Book of Lost Things
- Cornell, Paul: British Summertime
- Dick, Philip K.: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
- Elliott, Kate: Crown of Stars
- Elliott, Kate: In the Ruins
- Flewelling, Lynn: Hidden Warrior
- Flewelling, Lynn: Oracle’s Queen
- Flewelling, Lynn: The Bone Doll’s Twin
- Gardner, James Alan: Ascending
- Gardner, James Alan: Trapped
- Gentle, Mary: Cartomancy
- Glass, Isabel: Daughter of Exile
- Greenland, Colin: Finding Helen
- Gribbin, John & Mary: The Science of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
- Hamilton, Laurell K: Cerulean Sins
- Hamilton, Laurell K: Incubus Dreams
- Holt, Tom: For Two Nights Only
- Houston, Charlie: Already Dead
- Huff, Tanya: Blood Price
- Huff, Tanya: Smoke and Shadows
- Marillier, Juliet: Wildwood Dancing
- McCaffrey Anne – The Ship Who Sang
- Miller, Deborah J: Swarmthief’s Dance
- Nicholls, Stan: Quicksilver Rising
- Rawn, Melanie: Dragon Prince
- Smith, Kristine: Code of Conduct
- Strauss, Victoria: The Awakened City
- Strauss, Victoria: The Burning Land
- Stross, Charles: Singularity Sky
- Wells, Martha: Wheel of the Infinite
- Whitfield, Kit: Benighted (US title)/Bareback (UK title)
- Wilks, Eileen: Mortal Danger