Not the Friday Five

Well, this little lot has been building up for a while. For various reasons – being busy, being unmotivated, not feeling in love with reading, illness – I’ve not posted Friday Five for a while. I could keep them for the next one this week but there’s such a build up that I’ve decided to post what I’ve got now and do another one on Friday. There’ll also be a wee rant at the end. Let’s crack on.

1) The coolest thing I saw over the month was a list of SFF stories written by women from Beth Tabler at Before We Go. It was broken up into three lists by date and was a hundred strong. Here’s the links to the three articles – go have a look and fatten your TBR

100 Fantastic Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories Written by Women #100 – 70 (beforewegoblog.com)

100 fantastic Fantasy Stories Written by Women #69 – 34 – BEFOREWEGOBLOG

100 fantastic Fantasy Stories Written by Women #33 – 1 – BEFOREWEGOBLOG

2) There were a bunch of cool reviews too, some of which I’ve only glanced at because I’m intending to have a read of the book later myself (so maybe this will persuade others to read them too). Here’s the ones I’ve got marked down

Sistersong, Lucy Holland – Book Review – Bookends and Bagends

Review: Triggernometry by Stark Holborn (Triggernometry #1-2) – To Other Worlds (wordpress.com)

Review – A Prince’s Errand (Tales of the Amulet #1) by Dan Zangari and Robert Zangari – FanFiAddict – A Bookish Blog

suncani | The Beautiful Ones – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (dreamwidth.org)

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Black Forest Basilisks (home.blog)

3) Now for some articles! An event now long passed but still worth checking out was the Dragonlance week at Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub. Below are two articles, one a staring point to all the Dragonlance books on Krynn and another set of character profiles that I particularly enjoyed. There was also a pretty cool

Dragonlance Week: Character Profiles- Tanis, Laurana and Sturm – Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub (home.blog)

Dragonlance Books- Where on Krynn Should You Start? – Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub (home.blog)

Corsairs & Cutlasses: 10 Swashbuckling SFF Books – FanFiAddict – A Bookish Blog

4) Now time for some author articles about writing. One’s an author and bookseller talking about where sales seem to come from. Another’s someone talking about launching her debut novel, and that’s one I’ve meant to have reviewed already so oops will try and get on top of that. And finally, an author talking about their trans identity and their books.

Word of Mouth – Jo Zebedee

What a time to launch a debut novel – Kerry Buchanan

Torrey Peters on writing about detransitioning, babies and ‘The Sex and the City problem’ | Evening Standard

5) Finally, story time! Here’s a short story and a story excerpt for you.

Exclusive Excerpt From ‘Last Gate of the Emperor’ by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen | The Nerd Daily

The Inaccessibility of Heaven – Uncanny Magazine

6) You still reading? Good grief, why?

Well, here comes the rant.

About a month ago, an author – and that’s as far as I’ll identify for them for reasons that will become apparent, although I imagine plenty know – posted a tweet complaining about four star reviews. Then the online book community exploded and after two days of it being everywhere in ever different forms, I just found myself completely uncomprehending the need for this drama and really disgruntled at it.

Not everything we find disagreeable needs, or deserves, our public response. It is not like the view expressed was a particularly widespread or corrosive one that had to be challenged at all costs. The author is well followed on Twitter but isn’t a mega-icon whose views will change that of massive number of people. It wasn’t part of a campaign. It’s just one eccentric view that would have slid away if not mentioned. There’s no shortage of eccentric views out there; I do not see what can be gained from blowing them up to cause drama. The main effect just seems to be to sour everybody’s mood.

If you disagree with me about there needing to be a response then fair enough, but do please consider the nature of the response. If the idea was to promote the validity of four star reviews, then tying it into the drama obscures the issue. If the idea was to somehow punish or deter the author, then that would appear appear to have backfired, as far more people knew about the author than before and they’ve gained book sales as a result of backlash to the backlash. The sight of a hundred people arguing with one is never a pretty one for whatever reason. And for all we know, it wasn’t pretty for the author either for all it did not appear to be the case at the time..

The book community will always seek to protect its own but not every form protects everyone. Not everyone enjoys the drama thrown out over the smallest things. This isn’t a call for silence, it’s a hope for discretion.

9 thoughts on “Not the Friday Five

  1. Oooh I really loved Morgenstern’s “The starless sea”, but it’s really one of those books that requires the right mindset, as it’s definitely not a straighforward sequential/plot-based book.
    I read it at the end of March last year and it was perfect timing for me (similar to Clarke’s “Piranesi”, which I read in November – I call them my “calming books in the storm outside”).

    As for the 100 stories written by women: I understand the need for this kind of lists, as some people are totally blind to the hundreds of great SFF books written by women (although if you’re online even a smidget, you have to work hard *not* to notice them, rather than the opposite…) – however for me they are totally pointless. The variety of genres and types of books is such, that together with books I found great, there are others I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, which makes me really wary of trying out unknowns in the lists.
    I think I’ll continue just trusting the FF forum, and people I know have similar tastes to mine, for recommendations.

    These lists also trigger my “guilty” feeling – which is why I loved this article on Tor.com, https://www.tor.com/2021/05/03/stop-feeling-guilty-about-the-books-you-havent-read-yet/ (forum thread available, if you’d like to comment :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see what you mean about them being too big to use as sources, but I found that I could go by title and cover to judge whether it’d be worth me looking up a book – and hell, sometimes I just enjoy reading a thoughtful list!

      And I did see the forum thread, but haven’t read the article as the title sets off my irrational grumpiness – don’t tell me what to do dagnabbit!

      Like

      1. Hehehe, for me that title is rather a confirmation, an allowance maybe, that I *can* stop feeling guilty 🙂

        By the way, I also really liked your sentence and then Jonbob’s reply:
        #“Not everything we find disagreeable needs, or deserves, our public response.”
        This should be be displayed in bold capitals every time anyone opens Twitter.#
        and I’d replace “Twitter” with “anywhere online where there are comments” 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Not everything we find disagreeable needs, or deserves, our public response.”

    This should be be displayed in bold capitals every time anyone opens Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for including my list! I know lists can be stupid, but for some people, it really helps them find cool new books they hadn’t thought of and If I can introduce someone to a cool new book then it was all worth it. Also, thank you for adding Jodies’ Dragonlance stuff. She is a proper badass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure! I definitely found it useful for adding some of the early stuff to my TBR list.

      And yes, Jodie’s writing some awesome stuff on her blog. Big fan.

      Like

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