Enter into Neth Space and you will find thoughts and reviews of books and other media that fit the general definition of speculative fiction. This includes the various genres and sub-genres of fantasy, science fiction, epic fantasy, high fantasy, hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, new weird, magical realism, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, slipstream, horror, alternative history, SF noir, etc. Thoughts are my own, I'm certainly not a professional, just an avid reader avoiding his day job.
Right now, I
feel that I’m at a crossroads, perhaps a fork in the road, or even a simple
dead end. This blog has been around since early 2006 and I’ve been a part of
on-line fandom in one way or another since the late 1990s. But I’m worn out and
questioning whether or not to continue.
me say, this is not a post to say I’m shutting this blog down or that I’m
quitting reviewing. I don’t plan to do either, but I am considering both
options. This is not a post where I’m seeking attention and an ego massage from
those saying how great I am and that I should stay around – frankly, I doubt
many would notice if I closed shop (hell, it’s been 2 months since I posted my
last review). From the beginning I’ve simply blogged what I feel like blogging
about, and today it’s my mid-blog crisis.
I won’t belabor
how busy my life is with work, family, social, and other commitments. How I
simply don’t have the time and energy for perusing much outside of the
immediate. Though to be entirely frank, watching my son play t-ball is simply
way more appealing and way more important in my life. But it’s more than that.
blogged lately about the evolution of blogging and reviewing and where it’s
been and where it’s come to. Again, I can’t be bothered to link those right
now, but Tobias Buckell and Larry Nolen are two come to mind, not that I’ve had
time to read either (bets on me eventually linking them anyway?). The main
thing is that blogging has begun to affect my reading in what I consider a
negative way. In the past blogging has been a very positive influence – it’s
made me a much more critical and informed reader and it’s lead me to books that
I likely wouldn’t have found otherwise. But now it leads me away from the books
I want to read.
at least the clique (or tribe) of bloggers that I’m generally apart of, has
become a bit too insular in many ways. Everyone seemingly reads the same stuff.
A book comes along, I’m excited and think it’ll be great – but then I see that
4 other bloggers read it before I did and have already reviewed it. Suddenly, I’m
not as interested – simply because the book has gotten quite a bit of coverage
and I don’t want to just blog about the same thing as everyone else. No longer
am I choosing books because I want to read them, but because of how much
coverage other bloggers are giving them.
I can’t keep
up with bloggers that have the time and energy to read and review way more than
I do. Much less keep ahead of them. And what’s worse, I hate that I’ve come to
think in that way.
This is not
what I read for and it’s draining the energy out of me. I’m tired of it and
fuck it, I’m not going to read that way anymore.
the same way. Search out the oldest review on this site, then read the last one
I published. In my mind the contrast is striking. I’ve come a long way. My
standards have as well. If I write a review I need to put a lot of thought
into, and make it a ‘proper’ review (though I’ve always defined proper in my
own way). Long gone are the days of simply saying what I feel about a book. I’m
not sure yet, but I think I’m done with that as well. While I think I’ll always
write occasional long, in-depth reviews, right now I’m just interested in less
than 400 words about what I think. Gone will be in-depth explanations, clever
openings and closings, plot summary, etc.
Hell, I don’t know. For a while anyway I doubt I’ll post anymore than once or
twice a month. I don’t know how many of those will be reviews, mini-reviews or
whatever. I think there will be fairly regular and long periods where I’m generally
absent. And those may be punctuated by periods where I do 4 or 5 posts in a
week. We’ll see.
So, I only managed 1 post in April. Hopefully May will be better, though life is just crazy. Work is as busy as ever, which is a good thing, though it doesn't leave much time for blogging. I'll probably do some travelling for work in the next few months which could cut things back even more. And the usual personal/family challenges have kept me away as well. But I do hope to get more than 1 post in May. In the very least I'll do a post for book that I'm being published in because I do like talking about myself. I've got 3 reviews partially written and hopefully one or two of them will be posted this week.
Anyway, below are the books I've received in the last couple of months.