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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:38 pm 
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The point I was making was that this "review" was very, very poor, rather than its criticism of Interzone.

Fair enough.

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:28 pm 
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I think Dan summed it up very well.

What annoys me is when younger writers become discouraged by "critics" who who bring their own agenda to every review, and when those "reviews" demonstrate a blatant misreading of the text. It doesn't get to me because I've had hundreds of reviews of TV scripts and I've sometimes agreed with the reviewer's critique because I lost that battle with the Producer.

It's crucially important for a magazine like IZ to take risks, and allow writers to take risks. Without risks we will have a predictable, production-line, and ultimately tedious event. So I find the implied criticism of Andy C and Andy H more obnoxious than the one-liners about individual stories. This remains a brave undertaking, and let's support it.

As a writer what strikes me as extraordinary is the arrogance that allows one to set up a web site to dispense wisdom on the efforts of others as though Moses had come down the mountain and published some on-line reviews of the tablets. Let's have a few credentials, please.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:17 am 
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I have to disagree with you about credentials jim. What makes my opinion of any less worth than someone who studied English lit.? Or someone who has been paid for it for a while? Nothing. It all comes down to articulation and there are plenty of bloggers out there with absolutely no credentials that have a wonderful sense of critique.

Oh, and I am not one of them; I probably couldn't write a review if you paid me :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:39 am 
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Well, if it's credentials you want, then with 800+ published reviews, I think my opinion on the matter should be gospel, unless there's someone in the room with 900 that is :lol:

Mr Steel?

If Andy's sent the guy a free copy specifically for purpose of reviewing it, then fair enough. Everything Dan says is on the nail, and the guy hasn't done the job.

My impression though is that the guy's an ordinary punter who's bought a copy of IZ and wants to share his opinion on a social networking site set up specifically for that purpose. In those circumstances he's not obliged to have credentials or write an essay explaining himself. Granted that he's not very articulate, and it's a pity that he didn't like IZ more, but there's no evidence of malice in his post or that he's being insincere in what he says, so I can't see that there's any justification for burying him under a pile of 'expert testimony' or name calling.

It's as Lawrence said, IZ gets plenty of good reviews (and some of those have been just as badly written as this, but it doesn't seem to be a problem when it's positive - why is that?). We don't need to shout down dissenting voices. It's great that people feel passionate enough about IZ that they want to defend it, but the energy spent on 'shooting the messenger' might be more usefully expressed in discussing the stories and saying why they are good and the critics wrong (or, indeed, why they're bad if that's how you feel).

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:26 pm 
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And on that note, I loved Ingold's story, which is two for two from him for me (History of Poly V was great too). These are simply opinions (though my degree is in English Lit!). I have to also say that though I can sometimes fault the writing style of writers in various magazines, I can usually take something positive from the experience.

For me, though, Untied States and Water were my favourites this issue.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:56 pm 
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I have absolutely no idea how many reviews I've had published, Pete. It's somewhere in the hundreds, but I think you've still got the edge on me.

For that reason I don't tend to worry too much about other people's reviews of my own stuff because I know how easy it is to misread something or produce a rushed piece to hit a deadline. The nice ones are nice, and the bad ones aren't. Simple as that. And I try to pick up pointers from both if I can.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:26 pm 
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JimHawkins wrote:

It's crucially important for a magazine like IZ to take risks, and allow writers to take risks. Without risks we will have a predictable, production-line, and ultimately tedious event. So I find the implied criticism of Andy C and Andy H more obnoxious than the one-liners about individual stories. This remains a brave undertaking, and let's support it.

As a writer what strikes me as extraordinary is the arrogance that allows one to set up a web site to dispense wisdom on the efforts of others as though Moses had come down the mountain and published some on-line reviews of the tablets. Let's have a few credentials, please.


Agree with that.

I think though we're stuck for now with the two-a-penny blog-based reviews...that's the nature of the 21st century FaceTube/YouBook culture. And I'm massively enthralled by this culture, even if I don't take it too seriously. It's just humans doing what they've always done - having a natter.

The trick I think is to be able to filter out the superficial background noise (the nattering), and pick out the quality conversations. Not credential'd opinion as such, but at least opinion based on accrued knowledge, enthusiasm and yes, dammit, good old writing skills.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 10:20 pm 
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Actually, I didn't mean credentials in that sense. Perhaps, as Dan says, a bit of evidence of intelligent reading. It's possible to hate something in an interesting way!

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Pete wrote:
Well, if it's credentials you want, then with 800+ published reviews, I think my opinion on the matter should be gospel, unless there's someone in the room with 900 that is :lol:


I'm so glad you added a smiley face to that comment. For a moment there I though you might be serious.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:09 am 
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I'm very appreciative of Jim's kind words. I shouldn't speak for Andy C, but I don't think either of us is disposed to let the other stop taking risks. The world is too dangerous right now for any of us to stop thinking dangerous thoughts.
My view is that there's always a diverse response to each issue of IZ (and lots of noise in the feedback we get) so, while I take serious note of the brickbats and bouquets, I don't feel we can afford to let them steer us. And, to be honest, it always feels like we're starting from scratch with every issue. Which is a major strength of Andy C's approach to editing the magazine as far as I'm concerned.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:54 am 
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Lois Tilton reviews the "enjoyable" IZ228 on Locus.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:36 pm 
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One last time to "another weak issue". I appreciate that people may not enjoy it, fair enough but when he says "another" I have to wonder why he continues to buy it. It may be cynical but for some reaso I imagine this guy to be one who has been rejected once or twice by IZ. Just a thought and not in anyway meant nastily.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Or maybe he has a subscription...

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Very true Pete. :) Trust me to take the nastier route.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:51 pm 
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gileadslostson wrote:
One last time to "another weak issue". I appreciate that people may not enjoy it, fair enough but when he says "another" I have to wonder why he continues to buy it. It may be cynical but for some reaso I imagine this guy to be one who has been rejected once or twice by IZ. Just a thought and not in anyway meant nastily.

One of the problems with reading text communication and not speaking face to face is that you start to build your own annoyance into the text. The first time through, the guy's just annoying. By the third or fourth read-through, you can imagine the eye-rolling and emphasis that goes with "another weak issue". 'Course, he probably didn't mean it like that :)

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