State of the Nation
And these two are special. They’re not special because they’re any more positive than most others – in fact, they’re about as positive as usual, which never fails to be humbling – but specialness is added to the mix because of where they are, and just how freaking eloquent they are. These are some seriously comprehensive analyses, and although that might make them tedious to someone who’s already read the book, it magnifies their value to me a hundredfold.
The first is for Soul Hunter, and is notable not just because it’s so comprehensive and killer, but because it’s on BSC Reviews, which is a huge site with serious traffic, and that kinda-sorta bodes well.
The second is for Helsreach on Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, which is sorta nice because that’s the main review site that I read myself. The keenly observant among you will note that GFBR has been in my links for a while now. In fact, in the past, I’ve nagged the owner to review Conrad Williams way, way more. I like GFBR so much because I pretty much tend to agree with the guy, which means 2 things: Firstly, that if he ever says something I do is shit, then I’d give his words serious weight, and secondly, I like the way he dislikes the same stuff I dislike, which is somehow more reassuring than mutual like.
Mind you, I don’t always completely agree with Graeme. While I think Helsreach is a good book, and one of the best examples of its subject matter, I don’t think it’s better than Soul Hunter. But then, I had to live through writing Helsreach, which was 9 months of absolute torture.
Banging on about reviews is something many authors do, to a certain degree. As a writer who’s pretty new to all of this, I find my reviews are the best way to get a detailed look into the minds of the people who slice their eyeballs across my brainjunk’s jagged edges. Bullshit aside, there’s a part of me that feverishly compares my reviews to all other BL ones, and exalts in the stupid, stupid pleasure of… y’know… doing better than the rest. And that’s treading the disputed border between arrogance and self-confidence, sure, but it also carries the faint, spicy reek of hyperbole. That’s not really what it’s about, and although it’s funny to highlight it, there’s no actual value there. Anyone reading this with a background in writing, or aspirations to work as a writer, will identify with that on some level. Whether positive or negative, detailed reviews offer a new angle, and while you may want to take any opinion bar your own with a pinch of salt when it comes to your art, I think it pays to keep your eyes open.
And now, questions. I’m going to answer them here and sum stuff up, because replying to them across various forums, Facebook messages and emails is an exercise in futility.
- When is ‘Throne of Lies’ out?
- Why haven’t you replied to my email? I thought we were friends.
- Is TFH done yet? How about now? What’s next?
- What about that Night Lords ‘Horus Heresy’ novel?
- On B&C / in Chicago, you mentioned <fact> about Blood Reaver…
- I heard you were having a birthday party.
- What do you want for your birthday?
I would also accept my head being crushed like an eggshell between them.