Thinking Irresponsibly Archives

My opinions on everything reading

  1. Trashing books and book bloggers

    Book on Garbage Can
    Via James Nicoll, I saw Anne Rice sent her rabid fan base over to an obscure blogger’s web site after the blogger posted a not very kind review of Pandora, one of Ms. Rice’s books. On the one hand, I’m of the opinion that posting one’s thoughts on the public internet makes them fair game for criticism. I provide a comment section here and only rarely do I ever censor comments. And I never do so simply because someone calls me names. I’m always amused when I get called names on the internet, though I don’t really encourage the practice. But on the other hand, boy are Ms. Rice’s fans…
  2. Not so independent book blogger awards

    Update (30 Mar 2012, evening): Well that didn’t take long. Within a couple of hours of posting this Goodreads has changed the terms and conditions for this contest. Part of the new terms reads: Sponsors may use Posts for any purpose in connection with the promotion of the Contest, including but not limited to displaying the Posts, or any portions thereof, of the Finalists (as defined herein) … Several other clauses have language similar to the part emphasized above (emphasis mine, not theirs). I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know if the new language allows the use of submitted materials for other purposes through other clauses. Nevertheless, even…
  3. On Gender in SF Blogs – Brainstorming Needed

    Science Fiction has never been the darling of mainstream book review coverage. Newspapers, magazines, television, and other venues where reviews of books are published do not make a huge effort to cover the genre. There are a number of science fiction focused magazines such as Asmiov’cs, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Locus. But their circulations have been dwindling overall. Zines have been another set of venues for discussion of science fiction. I don’t have any kind of documented basis for the following, but my sense is that zines as a whole do not have the importance in science fiction coverage that they have had in the past. So where do…
  4. Responding to Amazon’s dick move

    Last week one of the book world’s outrages was Amazon going after independent stores by offering $5 off an order for using their price check app on a mobile phone inside an independent store. No, it’s not a very nice thing. Authors and book bloggers are almost universally pissed. But you know who isn’t pissed? Amazon customers, who are growing in number every day. Amazon offers a lot features, unprecedented selection, and best in business pricing. It’s pretty hard to compete with that. Most of the responses to this promotion strike me as pretty unproductive. It’s not that they are wrong, it’s that the retorts aren’t going to get people…
  5. Buy Irresponsibly – My Best Reads of 2011

    Welcome to my buying guide for 2011, also known as my annual best read of 2011 list. I like calling these buying guides because that’s what most of the Best Books of 2011 lists really are. They come out now so that a business (Amazon, B&N, etc.) can talk customers into buying stuff for Christmas. This is one of the few times of the year where I’m going to get specifically promotional about books. I think you should read these books. These are not books published in 2011. They are books I read since Thanksgiving last year. In fact, one of them won’t be out until January. In no particular…
  6. Kickstarting a book

    I know it isn’t a completely new phenomenon, but a couple of writers I follow put up Kickstarter projects for books they would like to write. I’ve read a couple of Tobias Buckell‘s books and a few of his short stories. I really enjoyed Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin in his Xenowealth series. I still haven’t read Sly Mongoose because I’ve been waiting for a mass market paperback version to match the M.M.P.B. editions I have of the first two books in the series. As it looks like Tor isn’t actually going to put out that edition, I may break down and buy a hardcover. Mr. Buckell created his Kickstarter project…
  7. Book Blogging with a Side of Payola

    So, over the last few months I’ve been somewhat vocal (typal?) with the book blogging crowd whenever a post gets written about blogging independence. Taking free books, accepting sponsored blog tours, and other such things compromise your independence as a blogger. How much of your independence you want to give up is entirely up to you. At a certain level, I don’t really want to read your reviews if you aren’t really independent. I’m already a bit iffy if the blogger takes free review copies or when they participate in . But if you are okay with reading blogs that do that, that’s your call. But what really chaps my…
  8. Virtual blog tours and other pitfalls of book blogging

    Beware Pitfalls sign
    I’ve been doing the Free Books roundups for about a month now. Doing so has crystallized my opinion regarding so-called virtual blog tours. For those who are quick with their web surfing fingers, the short version is I don’t like them so much. To explain why, first I have to retell why I blog at Rat’s Reading. First and foremost this is an electronic substitute for a book reading journal. Over the years I’ve kept a journal of my reading, but invariably my journaling would falter when I would misplace the notebook or it wasn’t handy when I finished a book or I just didn’t feel like gripping a pen…