What did Bluejack Miss?

Feb 21, 20:42 by John Frost
Did he get blow any reviews? Did his miss your favorite story? Share your thoughts, here.
Feb 22, 09:12 by Russell Davis
While I'm not speaking specifically to January and February, it seems to me that a substantial number of critics and reviewers don't bother with anthology titles, such as those published by DAW on a regular basis. Individual author collections are also frequently overlooked.

This lack of substantial, considered coverage doesn't make life for many of the high quality, smaller presses such as Golden Gryphon or Five Star, any easier.

Food for thought...
Feb 22, 09:47 by Anthony Murfet
I agree that anthologies are not adequately covered, however a pet peeve of mine at the moment is that the most popular SF mag is not covered at all anywhere. Locus does cover anthologies, as does Tangent. Analog on the other hand appears not to exist in the minds of both Tangent and Locus reviewers. This is not just sad but a serious omission given the 1st rate quality of some of the work appearing there in the last year. Where is there a review of the Vernor Vinge's "Cookie Monster" or Joe Haldeman's "Camouflage"? "Tea with Vicky" in this month's issue deserves to be reviewed if nothing else. Perhaps I should start writing them myself. Y'all really don't want that as I am apt to be severely myopic in my opinions.

Best, Tony Murfet

While I'm not speaking specifically to January and February, it seems to me that a substantial number of critics and reviewers don't bother with anthology titles, such as those published by DAW on a regular basis. Individual author collections are also frequently overlooked.

This lack of substantial, considered coverage doesn't make life for many of the high quality, smaller presses such as Golden Gryphon or Five Star, any easier.

Food for thought...
Feb 22, 10:03 by Brendan Hogg
As a lowly SH proofreader, it's probably best if I avoid commenting on the story itself in detail (since I doubt anyone cares about missing spaces and so on), but I was interested to see bluejack citing Brin's "Uplift" novels as its main intellectual forebear. The underpeople in Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality stories strike me as much more directly relevant to a discussion of enhanced animals and Christianity.
Feb 22, 11:49 by Bluejack
I will be doing some anthologies this year. In previous years I simply didn't have time, but now that I am focussing only only a few stories per volume, I hope to cover more short fiction overall. I will probably only be doing anthologies in cases where review copies are contributed.

I do cover Analog. This edition discusses one Analog story from the Jan-Feb double issue, and in last month's 2003 wrap-up I included mention of "A Good Offense" by Don D'Ammassa from the May issue, "Aloha" by Ken Wharton from the June issue, and yes, even "Cookie Monster" from the October issue. Three more Analog stories made my honorable mention list.
Feb 22, 14:21 by Chris Dodson
. . .was my favorite story for January/February, although Ben Rosenbaum's "Embracing-the-New" came in a very close second. I've seen several reviews that didn't care much for the Popkes story, but I found it very intriguing, one of those stories that keeps me thinking for awhile after I'm done with it.
Feb 22, 22:30 by Elizabeth Thomas
I really liked "Embracing-the-New" when I read it, and I think I like it even more now. It is one of those great stories that just sticks with you. My favorite picks for that issue were Stableford's "Nectar," Rosenbaum's "Embracing-the-New," and Steele's "Garcia Narrows Bridge."
Feb 24, 18:49 by Elizabeth Thomas
Just to clarify, I can only talk about the <i>Asimov's</i> issue right now because I am waaaaay behind in my reading.
Feb 24, 19:47 by Chris Dodson
All I was able to find time for were the ASIMOV'S issues and a couple of the SCIFICTION stories. I have a HUGE backlog of stuff to read, and it's getting bigger every day; at this point, I'm still trying to catch up on 2003 stories so I can vote for the Locus Awards.
Feb 24, 20:49 by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Hi Bluejack -- it was great to see an ASIM story reviewed in your column this month. Just a note for the future, though: ASIM is bi-monthly, not quarterly.

Feb 24, 22:40 by Bluejack
Oh, great! That must mean I'm about due for a new issue!
Feb 25, 14:18 by Chris Dodson
"Tohil", by Edo Mor (I wonder if that's a pseudonym.) Appearing in the January Chizine, "Tohil" is a moody, engaging fantasy that compares comic-book superheroes with a certain Mayan fire god. It's a deceptively simple story with a whole lot going on between the lines; it bears careful re-reading.
Feb 25, 15:24 by Chris Dodson
. . .all the "&amp"'s are gone. I was just starting to get used to 'em. :)
Feb 29, 16:13 by Heywood Jablomi
Did he get blow any reviews? Did his miss your favorite story? Share your thoughts, here.
Feb 29, 16:16 by Heywood Jablomi
"February included work by Tom Purdom, Jack Skillingstead, Matthew Jarpe, and R. Garcia y Robertson."

What am I, chopped liver?

Say you didn't like the damn story, say you couldn't be bothered to read it, say you never read anything by me because I once groped your old lady at Worldcon, whatever - but don't just pretend I'm not even there.

Christ, my name's even on the damn cover.

Feb 29, 17:43 by Heywood Jablomi
And by the way, I know exactly why you did it. Still pissed off because I made you take down those copyrighted photos that you stole off my website, aren't you?

I suppose I should be grateful that you didn't write a nasty review of the story, but settled for pretending it didn't exist. Still, this is pretty damn petty even for you.

I hope this isn't an example of the standards this new magazine is going to adhere to.

William Sanders
Feb 29, 22:42 by Chris Dodson
What's the big deal? So he didn't review your story, get over it. There are dozens and dozens of stories published every month, and if Bluejack wants to pick and choose what to review, he has a perfect right.

FWIW, I like most of your stories, but I thought "At Ten Wolf Lake" was a bit too heavy-handed and preachy.
Mar 1, 17:47 by Bluejack
Just so we're clear, William Sanders hates me because I'm a punk and I onced used some photographs from his website to adorn my bio-page on him over at my old site. I didn't ask permission. Sanders was pissed off and had me take the photos down, which I did, although I did alter my little bio of him from something entirely laudatory to something a bit more irritated.

I have a notoriously bad memory, however, and had completely failed to make the connection between the cranky author I once pissed off, and the author of "At Ten Wolf Lake". There was no ulterior motive, and there are many authors, of many worthy stories I did not review in this column in this place simply because I can't do everything. I didn't feel I had any particular insight to bring to "At Ten Wolf Lake," and it was not the story in the issue that stood out as most noteworthy or memorable at the time. I stated up front that I had no intention of trying to be comprehensive in this space, but refer readers to Tangent Online, which is.

So, sorry Mr. Sanders, there was no petty intent on my part in this instance.
Mar 23, 15:24 by Allan Rosewarne
I just read St. Ailbe's Hall last week, and I thought it was a wonderful short story, and the reason I took the time to read was probably because of the IROSF review. Can not comment on its similarity to "Uplift" series cause I do not know them. However, I will say, IMO, it's stimulating to find an SF story that takes religion seriously (and not be preachy and proselytizing), not saying other stories do not, but in my experience many do not. And I am not a believer.

Was the characterization of the reactions of the other parishoners too stereotypical. Well, sometimes stereotypes have much, much more than a grain of truth. BTW, lots of people believe the way to deal with opinions that are different than their own are with arson and bricks through windows. Therefore, IMO, while the descriptions of the actions of the other parishioners are maybe far afield and maybe extreme, they are unfortunately very believable.

Maybe I am just babbling here.
Mar 23, 15:33 by Bluejack
I should clarify that there is just about no similarity between St. Ailbe's Hall and the Uplift books... in the review I was just noting that the animals were given the ability to use language, and presumably somewhat intellectually enhanced, which was previously imagined by Brin. But there the similarities stop. I should have expressed that better.

With regard to whether the knee-jerk parishoners were realistic or not, of course that would vary from parish to parish. I think my main objection was that having the lines that clear cut, and the villains so flat made for less interesting fiction. Sure: it's believable that there is a parish like that somewhere; it would be just as believable that there would be some other, more diverse parish somewhere that would entertain a more interesting internal debate about the issue. I think the latter could have made for a subtler, albeit more complicated story.

That said, it was a *very* memorable story, and I do really hope that Kritzer writes more in this world. It's a great topic, and she clearly has the chops to do it justice.
May 4, 16:06 by Thomas Reeves
Hey William! I know him from elsewhere. He might've come off wrong, or not I'm new here, but he's interesting and knows history well.

To be honest I'm missing my February FSF which irritates me. Also the January and February issues of Asimov's didn't do much for me. Those are the zines I subscribe to.

Still like to say I'm glad for you that you have a reviewing job again. For all the disagreements I had with your reviews, it's nice to have several voices in reviewing. That's why I kind of hate to say that so far I'm not enjoying this as much as your work in the Bluejack days. It just seems like you have to review so many things at once you don't get to do any of them as well. Also I miss the complete reviews of an issue. Could you do one issue completely if it's really good?

D'oh, he likely doesn't know who I am to know him. I'm Thomas R, I started as T@S.gov at sff.net. I would've used Thomas R, but I assumed this was a big forum like Sci-Fi.com so could not have that option.
May 4, 18:27 by Chris Dodson
Hey Thomas, nice to see you here. This is a pretty small forum (nothing at all like Scifi.com, which is way too big for me). I thought about starting some somewhat off-topic threads to get more people posting and give it more of a "community" feel like the Asimov's board, but I wasn't sure if that would be okay with John and Bluejack, so I haven't.

Oh, and E Thomas is around here, too, I think.
May 4, 19:44 by Bluejack
Thanks, ThomasR/Camden. Or I thanks, I think...

I am working on a project that may bring back the 'bluejack days' to some extent, but I am surprised to hear you say I'm not doing them as well: I've actually been putting *more* work into these reviews than I did in when I was reviewing every story in every issue.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, gives me something to think about. One possibility is that trying to cram a whole month's worth of reading into a single page is simply too much. Once I get the other project up and running, I'll talk to jf about refocussing this column.

May 4, 22:54 by Thomas Reeves
Well there was the things about the actual writing of the reviews that improved. It's just our tastes are different enough the kind of story's I might wish to read would often get a sentence or two in this style.

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