FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
Reviewing Literature: The Nature of the Beast

A few thoughts on the benefits and failings of literature reviews.

The following essay is something of a disclaimer for anyone who reads the reviews posted on this site and will hopefully help you understand things like 'why your favourite book was slated' or 'why that piece of crap got 5 out of 5'.
The single most important thing to remember about literature reviews is that NO TWO PEOPLE EVER READ THE SAME BOOK. 
How can that be if all the words are the same (or, for that matter, if it is indeed physically the same book)?
What we read is, like just about everything else in life, coloured by our own knowledge, experiences and personalities.  We use the words of the author to build the structure of the story in our minds, but it is us who fill in the gaps from our own experience. 
For example, someone who has never been to Dartmoor, England will not be able to conjure the same mental picture of someone who has, making their experiences of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' completely different.  Equally, someone who has seen the Lord of the Rings movies will likely have very different mental images whilst reading Tolkien's masterpiece than someone who has never seen the films.
These differences in experience have a butterfly effect across the entire reading experience; leading people to identify with different characters or have different emotional reactions to the same set of circumstances.
So, the concept of no two people reading the same book is simply an extension of the immutable truth that no two people live the same lives.
Perhaps, after all that rambling, you are wondering as to the relevance of all this to the Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Book Review.
The relevance is this; the reviews offered here are based entirely on the experience of the reviewer and cannot be considered in any way truly objective.
As to my own reviews (the vast majority here), I always try to take into consideration the objective standpoint.  I may well mark down a book because it's not as good as an author's other works, but that does not mean that someone completely new to that author wouldn't enjoy the book immensely.
Also, it should be considered that our personal tastes become increasingly particular the more variety we experience.  For example, if you'd only ever tried the cheapest wine in the world, it would still be the best wine you'd ever tried.  Similarly, if you then went on to try the most expensive wine in the world, to you the cheapest would still be the second best wine you'd ever tried.
What this means is that I, as a reviewer, become more and more picky with each new book I read (and with more than 600 under my belt, that makes me pretty picky!).  This is the same principle that leads movie critics to slam movies which go on to be vastly popular with the general public.
So, after all that stream-of-consciousness, what exactly am I getting at?
Simply that, whilst these reviews will hopefully help guide you to the best books to spend your time and money on, nothing compares to reading and judging a piece of literature yourself.  Don't be afraid to take a risk.
Ian Tapley
(the fragrant wookiee)
January 2009


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