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"Chain, chain...every shadow, every face."

Ellen Ripley 1
1. I've been reading the reports coming out of Haiti. In a nation where so many buildings are not built to withstand strong earthquakes, a magnitude 7.0 is very bad. The earth moves, in some places more than in others.

2. I see that the Vatican does not approve of Avatar, and I'm wondering why this is even news. Did anyone think they would approve? More importantly, why the hell should I care? I don't, of course. But I am annoyed that the media is treating this as relevant.

3. Yesterday, no work of any sort was done, not really, because I had to brave Outside, to reach the wretched fucking Providence Place Mall. The time to buy a few shreds of clothing had come. I loathe shopping. And I especially loathe shopping for clothes. Few things have the power to make me feel worse about myself than trying to find new clothes (which is why I only shop for them maybe once or twice a year). Finding clothes that will fit, clothes that will fit that I like, clothes that will fit that I like and can afford...I could go my entire life without ever having to shop for clothes again, and I'd be a happier woman. But, that said, there were sales, and enough useful items were found that the trip into that howling maelstrom of consumerism could be justified. So, I won't be forced to do the Lovecraft Unbound reading at the Montauk Club in the nude, which is a good thing, given the weather.

4. On the way back home, we stopped on Wickenden Street so I could get some photographs of the old I-195 overpass that's being torn down this week. I'm not sure why, but somehow it's an important Providence landmark for me. I remember it from my first trip up here, back in 2000. There are photos below, behind the cut. The support structure of iron girders that you'll see, those were added as the bridge became structurally unsafe sometime back. I'm going to try to get more photos later in the week, as the demolition progresses. I hope to get better shots of the murals and graffiti on the walls of the overpass before it's all reduced to so much rubble.

5. I have been very fortunate with The Red Tree, in terms of Amazon "reviews." From August 4th until this morning, it stayed at five stars, which is the longest any of my novels have managed that. However, when the book was included on Amazon's "Top 10 Books: Science Fiction & Fantasy" list and then the holiday sales spike, I predicted more negative reviews would begin to be posted. And I was right. Two or three are the sort that I struggle not to complain about publicly: readers who can't relate to and don't like reading about lesbians*, readers who don't like reading about flawed or unpleasant characters, readers who take issue with the book's extensive use of older texts by other authors, and so on, and so forth. However, I am more experienced, and very slightly wiser, and I understand that those reviews will likely have no impact whatsoever on sales. Sure, the stupidity and small-mindedness and what I suspect to be homophobia eats at me...but I need to look the other way. And also thank everyone who loved the book and has already posted a positive review.

6. Last night, we went to the Avon on Thayer Street and saw Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Gods, what a brilliant film. I see I was entirely justified in including it high on my list of the best fantasy and speculative films of 2009. I'm wondering, though, if it ought to be tied for the number one slot with The Road, with Avatar staying at #2. Yeah, I loved it that much. It flawlessly speaks the language of dreams, never wavering from dream logic, never succumbing to the "needs" of narrative or exposition, and it allows our eyes to roam among indescribable marvels. I was pleased that it was grimmer than I'd expected. Tom Waits is delightful. Really, there's nothing here to complain about. Nothing at all. I won't say for sure that it's Gilliam's best film, but it's certainly now one of my favorite Gilliam films. It was a perfect end to a pretty decent day (despite the fact that we almost froze on the way home).

7. Just something I scribbled in my Moleskine last night, a stray thought I want to remember: "Here is the future, and the future is ugly, and poisonous, and filled with wonder."

8. While we were in the wretched fucking Providence Place Mall yesterday, I heard The Sundays' "Here's Where the Story Ends." Back in the early 90s, the Sundays were one of my favorite bands. They were also one of Elizabeth's favorite bands. Something we shared. After her suicide, I could no longer bear to listen to the Sundays. But hearing the song yesterday, I began thinking I would like to try to "reclaim" the Sundays. I've managed to do it already with The Cure's Disintegration (but not with the Cowboy Junkies). So..we shall see. Few things are as poignant, for me, as music.

9. Today I have to go over production notes on The Red Tree for Audible.com, as a number of things that worked great on the page need revising for the forthcoming audiobook. They are small problems. I'll post more about this tomorrow.

10. I did promise photos, didn't I? Well, here they are (not great photos, but they get the point across, sort of):



















All photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan



* If you are one of that sort, be warned: The central characters in my next novel, The Wolf Who Cried Girl are lesbian and (maybe) transgendered.

Comments

( 47 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Jan. 13th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
'I especially loathe shopping for clothes.'

Right there with you on that.

Bedsheet and sombrero = the new look for 2010.

As regards reclaiming music, have you ever read Rob Sheffield's Love Is a Mix Tape?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)

As regards reclaiming music, have you ever read Rob Sheffield's Love Is a Mix Tape?


Nope, but maybe I should.

Edited at 2010-01-13 04:56 pm (UTC)
robyn_ma
Jan. 13th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
'be warned: The central characters in my next novel, The Wolf Who Cried Girl are lesbian and (maybe) transgendered.'

Thanks for the warning. I have no interest in reading about those terrible, horrible people.

Oh, wait. I am one of those terrible, horrible people.

Shit, this means the Amazon.com reviewers won't like my upcoming memoir.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)

Oh, wait. I am one of those terrible, horrible people.

I feel like that two or three times a day.
fusijui
Jan. 13th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
I do like your photos... but they make me think that it's not the future that's ugly and poisonous (and full of wonder -- NOT), but the part of the country you're living in. When I lived there I was amazed at how the region's cozy farms and industrial zones looked equally pinched and sour.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)

The comment about the future really wasn't related to the photos or the bridge. Personally, I think I live in an exceptionally beautiful part of the country, and even see beauty in much of the industrial ruins...even when it is a terrible beauty. I see nothing sour and pinched in the "cozy farms," but, then, different people see different things.
fusijui
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
No argument from me... de gustibus & all that! I had that sort of feeling about, say, Detroit; but the equivalent ruins in New England (hell, the whole Atlantic seaboard) just left me nonplussed and wishing I was elsewhere. Actually seeing New England made me think of Lovecraft for the first time in years -- a sort of Color Out Of Space(tm) casting its pall of dullness and crappiness across the landscape :)
fusijui
Jan. 14th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Er... I'm being a twerp, sorry. The fact is I've been trying to get back out to the Northeast to visit for a while now!
robmacanthony
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
5. I was just recommending THE RED TREE to a "friend" yesterday, and she said she didn't want to read a book about lesbians. After I stopped being baffled, which took a while, I pointed out that my best friend and mother of my two kids is a lesbian. She looked suitably chagrined, but my perception of this person is irrevocably altered. I can't even begin to fathom this as a basis for not wanting to read a book. What the hell is that all about?

6. I already wanted to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and now that I know Tom Waits is in it the desire to see it is magnified. Maybe I'll go this weekend.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)

What the hell is that all about?

Well...I can't know the mind of your "friend," but people do fear "teh gay." It baffles and angers me.

6. I already wanted to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and now that I know Tom Waits is in it the desire to see it is magnified. Maybe I'll go this weekend.

Do. It's a wonder.
txtriffidranch
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Let the idiots write their reviews. The important consideration is how many people buy copies and then get their friends and cohorts to buy copies as well. Count me in the latter.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Count me in the latter.

And for that, I thank you.

And I should be clear. I'm not objecting to the negative reviews because they're negative, but because the reasoning of the "reviewers" in question is so...questionable.

Edited at 2010-01-13 05:28 pm (UTC)
txtriffidranch
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, I understand completely. That's why I'm saying that what really matters are the sales. Those negative reviewers had already decided they weren't going to like the book the moment they learned "thur's lez-BEENS in it", and I'd bet good money that they didn't even buy a copy. I see a lot of dubious characters who spend their days hanging out in easy chairs at the local Borders and Barnes & Noble, with a big fat pile of books to read through, and I suspect that this is where a lot of those particularly moronic reviews are coming from.

Besides, look at it this way. I went out of my way to offend damn near everyone who's ever even seen the words "science fiction," and my books only got good reviews. Even worse, they got great reviews but no sales. You don't want to end up like me, do you?
robmacanthony
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
True, I suspect there are a number of reviews on sites like Amazon by those who didn't read the work. There has even been at least one case of an author posting negative reviews of the books of competing authors. I tend not to put much stock in book and music reviews in venues like Amazon because I know so few people who share my taste in either.

I do order books online, though, and I just got a few in the mail ten minutes ago. I received The Awakening, by Kate Chopin; Lamentation, by Ken Scholes; The Witch's Trinity, by Erika Mailman; and Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Anyone read any of them? Debating where to begin, and after lurking around here I doubt I've seen a single website with more people having interests aligned with my own.

The only reason there is no book by Caitlín in the stack is that I have them all (the novels, anyway).
hypanebliss
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
Music transports me to a completely different state of mind. I can pick out what mood I'm going to exhibit based on genre. Sometimes different artists remind me of friends or I get a great visual scene for a movie. Covenant's song 'Call the ships to port' is a personal favorite, I always see a troupe of vampires dressed in sailor outfits. They are snapping their fingers and doing an old vaudeville dance routine.

Vampire sailors. Yes, I went there.
shantih
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Vampirates, perhaps?
mckenzie34
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
I too have noticed the "Vatican Doesn't Like Avatar" news stories. In some of them, it goes on to say other movies and music the Vatican doesn't like. I have thought to myself, "This almost makes me want to go see it, because I hate the Vatican", and I also pity the poor fools who really live their lives on what the Vatican approves and disapproves of. Really? The Pope is reviewing music and movies now? I wonder, has he reviewed "Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita"? What's that? He can't decide if he approves or not? He might need to watch it a few more times? I personally would like the Pope to review the Bytches With Problems albums, and the last album by Pussy Tourette.
robmacanthony
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
For music, I'd send a dose of Peste Noire their way. Not only would they disapprove, we might find out whether they still actively perform exorcisms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJUgl-tKWM
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)

The Pope is reviewing music and movies now?

It's nothing new. The Catholic Church has done this for ages, and, until recently, it actually affected the marketplace and books that were published and so forth. Now, though, I suspect these views are all but irrelevant to society as a whole.
sovay
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I loathe shopping. And I especially loathe shopping for clothes.

Yes. Books, music, fine; clothes, shoot me.

"Here is the future, and the future is ugly, and poisonous, and filled with wonder."

Maybe that should be the epigraph for The Wolf Who Cried Girl.

Thank you for the bridge.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)

Maybe that should be the epigraph for The Wolf Who Cried Girl.

And maybe Albert Perrault "wrote" it.
sovay
Jan. 13th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
And maybe Albert Perrault "wrote" it.

Yes.
thimbleofrain
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
readers who can't relate to and don't like reading about lesbians

This is the sort of prejudice that is always going to be there, I think. When it comes to stories set in the modern day, people tend to like to read stories about people like themselves. Modern American Jewish people tend to like to read stories about modern Jews, for example. Non-Chinese Americans don’t want to read stories about Chinese people. Etc.

readers who don't like reading about flawed or unpleasant characters

It’s more subtle than that, I think. They want the protagonists to be likeable, identifiable. They can have flaws and they can have unpleasant traits, but the overall characters have to be people they can root for. Think of the beer ads that tout “drinkability.” Most people don’t want to acquire a taste for something.

As I read Alabaster, Dancy strikes me as extremely likeable. I think that as a “property,” you could potentially turn her into something marketable to a broad audience.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)

This is the sort of prejudice that is always going to be there, I think. When it comes to stories set in the modern day, people tend to like to read stories about people like themselves. Modern American Jewish people tend to like to read stories about modern Jews, for example. Non-Chinese Americans don’t want to read stories about Chinese people. Etc.

This view is so alien to my own reading habits. How did Moby Dick become a classic, when virtually none of its readers have been whalers? And so on...

It’s more subtle than that, I think. They want the protagonists to be likeable, identifiable. They can have flaws and they can have unpleasant traits, but the overall characters have to be people they can root for. Think of the beer ads that tout “drinkability.” Most people don’t want to acquire a taste for something.

Sadly, you're likely right.

As I read Alabaster, Dancy strikes me as extremely likeable. I think that as a “property,” you could potentially turn her into something marketable to a broad audience.

But lots of people didn't like Dancy (even her name pissed some off), pointing to the hopeless subjectivity at work here.
robmacanthony
Jan. 13th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Seems as though the difference between the time of Moby Dick and now is that popular literature (and film and television) have conditioned people to expect light entertainment, and little else. Give people a character whose shoes they can step into with little thought, and then entertain them. I've heard that rationale advanced for why Bella appeals to teen girls in the Twilight books.

I think we have, in large part, lost the primary value of literature. At least, many people have. I'm an average white guy living in the midwest (which is a hell, after southern California and San Francisco). I am not opposed to reading a well-written story about an average midwest white guy, but it isn't going to expand my understanding of people or the world at large. Literature can help us understand things we'd never otherwise relate to on an emotional level (rather than the logical level of simply knowing about something). I could be wrong, but it seems to me that literature was once predominantly that way, so that one could read Melville, or Dostoevsky, or Nabokov, or Bronte, or Pearl Buck and come away with at least some understanding of other people, lifestyles, philosophies, etc. that would be hard to achieve without literature. Of course, the stories are great at the same time.

Today, literature is predominantly light-weight entertainment, and has to compete with short-attention-span television and flashy magazines and web sites. It is unfortunate.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)

Well said, and there is much here I would agree with.
thimbleofrain
Jan. 13th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
How did Moby Dick become a classic, when virtually none of its readers have been whalers? And so on...

It doesn’t matter what the people do so much as who they are. People like reading about characters that have exciting jobs and do exciting things, but they need to have cultural traits that the reader can relate to, or there needs to be a foil who brings those things to the table.

And Moby Dick may not be the best example. It wasn’t well received in its time, I believe.

But lots of people didn't like Dancy (even her name pissed some off), pointing to the hopeless subjectivity at work here.

I adore her name.

There will always be haters. (Look at Avatar.) You can’t hope to please everyone. Admittedly, to broaden its appeal, I think there would need to be quite a few changes made to the story, and, even then, it could never hope to be Harry Potter. But I believe that, at its essence, Alabaster could have a broad appeal, yes. Think Supernatural Badass Movie of Your Choice meets Sixth Sense. Dancy’s innocence allows us to enter the story in a fresh way. She is her own “human” foil.

And don’t most of us feel like children among dragons? Isn’t the fantasy that the dragons must respect us, even least of us, enticing?

Imagine a cropped close-up Dancy, surrounded by darkness, pink rat’s eye staring at us gravely:

“All of us have angels.”
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)

And Moby Dick may not be the best example. It wasn’t well received in its time, I believe.

No, you're right. It wasn't. That's just the first thing that popped into my mind.

There will always be haters.

Sorry. I hate that term: "haters." What does it even mean? Disagreeable people? I'm likely a "hater" on many, many levels.

I adore her name.

Thank you.

Admittedly, to broaden its appeal, I think there would need to be quite a few changes made to the story, and, even then, it could never hope to be Harry Potter. But I believe that, at its essence, Alabaster could have a broad appeal, yes. Think Supernatural Badass Movie of Your Choice meets Sixth Sense. Dancy’s innocence allows us to enter the story in a fresh way. She is her own “human” foil.

Oh, I think you're right. At one point, I was working with a producer on a screenplay. I lost patience. It never came to anything. But I do think she has a lot of untapped potential. Still, I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to try to make her more accessible or palatable to the masses.

And don’t most of us feel like children among dragons? Isn’t the fantasy that the dragons must respect us, even least of us, enticing?

Enticing, I suppose. But also ridiculous. Which is why I write what I write, Much of understanding Dancy is getting that she herself is a sort of "monster" (see "Waycross," for example).

“All of us have angels.”

Those arrogant fuckers.
thimbleofrain
Jan. 14th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
Sorry. I hate that term: "haters." What does it even mean?

There are many connotations. In this case, I meant to say that there will always be people who find fault with your creative work. With every choice you make, you will alienate some people. That doesn’t mean that the work doesn’t have broad appeal. In fact many people will dislike it simply because it does have that appeal.

Oh, I think you're right. At one point, I was working with a producer on a screenplay. I lost patience. It never came to anything. But I do think she has a lot of untapped potential. Still, I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to try to make her more accessible or palatable to the masses.

Have someone else do it. They might even do a better job with it because they wouldn’t feel so invested in the character as she was on the page, in your imagination. Unless you simply couldn’t stand seeing her turned into a property like that.

Much of understanding Dancy is getting that she herself is a sort of "monster."

A common theme in stories of supernatural badasses, but it takes on a fresh dimension with Dancy, I think. I found it appealing at any rate.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 14th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
With every choice you make, you will alienate some people.

Which pretty much sums up the act of writing a novel.

Have someone else do it. They might even do a better job with it because they wouldn’t feel so invested in the character as she was on the page, in your imagination. Unless you simply couldn’t stand seeing her turned into a property like that.

That would depend on the financial arrangement.

As for the whole "haters" thing, one reason I dislike this phrase is that it always seems to imply that hate is necessarily and in all cases undesirable. And I strongly believe otherwise.



Edited at 2010-01-14 06:05 am (UTC)
odditie
Jan. 14th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
I'm Asian-American, and I don't really mind reading books about white people. Or big whales. :)

Regarding the people who don't like reading about flawed or unpleasant characters, I never really identified with that mindset, or the "unwritten" rule that protagonists have to be likable. Overall, I think, flawed/unpleasant/strange characters make for more interesting reading and storytelling, and are, in a way, much more real than pleasant, nice, cookie-cutter characters (not, of course, that all nice characters are cookie-cutter).

It's kind of ironic that readers tend to find nice characters identifiable, as, well, most people aren't that nice.

And I loved The Red Tree, and got a friend of mine to read Alabaster. Now she refuses to give it back.



greygirlbeast
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)


And I loved The Red Tree, and got a friend of mine to read Alabaster. Now she refuses to give it back.


I take that as a compliment.
thimbleofrain
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I didn’t mean to imply that Asian Americans only like to read about Asian characters. Sub-cultures are still a part of the predominant culture. But really, I think you just need to be familiar with and comfortable with the culture of a character who can be a gateway to the story; you don’t necessarily need to be a part of the culture. When people have close friends or close family members who are Jewish, lesbian, whatever, and they are exposed to that culture, it will often become more palatable to them.
odditie
Jan. 14th, 2010 03:46 am (UTC)
Oh no, it's fine! I was only joking...although it it is true that I get significantly happier reading about Asian characters in books that don't have being an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant (honestly, don't Asians have personalities besides being the picked-on nerd whose great-grandparents came from Taipei?) as a focus/main plot. Especially in speculative fiction, like Nikki from Silk or Kaye from Tithe and Ironside.
teacup_carousel
Jan. 14th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
"And I loved The Red Tree, and got a friend of mine to read Alabaster. Now she refuses to give it back."

Same thing happened to me and my copy of To Charles Fort. I've actually had to threaten to slash his tires to even get a luke warm promise from him that he'd give it back . . . eventually.
nykolus
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I honestly had no idea what that movie was about, but seeing the trailer, I very much want to see it now. That shite looks crazy!!!
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)

#3 -- I'd rather bathe in my own entrails than shop for clothes.

Oh, at least.

I certainly hope that your next novel has lesbian and transgendered characters.

I'm 100% certain of the lesbian "protagonist," but slightly less sure that her lover will be transgendered. I'm playing with the idea. Very oddly, I've written only a few transgendered characters, ones who have more than cameos (Alvin in "Escape Artist," Echo in The Dreaming, etc.). They appear now and again in my erotica. I'm really at a loss for why there's never been a transgendered central character in one of my novels.
elmocho
Jan. 13th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
It cheers me that at least the negative reviews have interesting spelling variants such as "sites" and "pendantic." This usually tells me all I need to know about their source. But apparently, quibbling about spelling these days makes one overly pendantic.

(My other half found a book and said "Oh look! The Rise of the Pendant!"

I glanced and said "That's 'Pedant'". Then I imploded in a vortex of irony. So that particular misspelling at least comes with a joke attached.)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)

It cheers me that at least the negative reviews have interesting spelling variants such as "sites" and "pendantic."

Groan. I was so annoyed, I didn't even notice that.
kousmichoff
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Do we "reclaim" songs or do songs reclaim us?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)

Do we "reclaim" songs or do songs reclaim us?

There's an interesting question.
birgitriddle
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
I loved it that the main character was a lesbian in The Red Tree. I'm one myself and I rarely, if ever, read books with lesbian main characters for some reason. I probably should change that. I am reading at least two this semester for one of my classes however.
robmacanthony
Jan. 14th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
In addition to anything Caitlin writes, I recommend a couple by Jeanette Winterson. 'Written on the Body' is my favorite, though I don't recall for certain whether the gender of the narrator is ever explicitly identified. Her book 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' is a story about a lesbian girl brought up in a very religious household in England (Pentecostal I believe).

Both are quite good.
teacup_carousel
Jan. 14th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC)
:(

Now I feel like an asshat because I didn't like the S Jackson referencing in it either. I just felt like the punchline was given up before the joke was even told when Sarah tried to relate what might or might not have happened on her picnic with Constance. I'm not a complete wad though - I work at a major chain bookstore and I still try my hardest to recommend it to anyone coming through with a horror or fantasy book in hand.
*goes to sit in the corner anyway*
abbadie
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
Funny, while I was once told by my psychologist ex-wife that I was somewhat homophobic (my gay friends say they've never noticed it), I can perfectly enjoy a book with gay protagonists, even those with erotic overtones, with no problem at all. I see it merely as well-written books, those which are able to pull me into whatever reality they describe, no matter how far it is from my actual personality.

On a different note, concerning Avatar -I stumbled into this odd piece... http://failblog.org/2010/01/10/avatar-plot-fail/ O_o
nullmode
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
A word on how I and many of my friends use the ratings on Amazon. The reality is i will buy a book with a one star average if I want it, but this is what I usually do-

First I look at how many reviews there are. More is definitely better. If there are just a few and they are all five or all one star reviews they usually all get dismissed as the authors friends or people with agendas posting.

Then I read the bad reviews. Ninety percent of these are pure schlock of the kind you mentioned. I'm homophobic, I actually don't read well enough to get this book, I hate (insert virtually anything here), I am a hopeless snob who gratifies my ego by posting bad reviews. All those get binned. Occasionally I do find a well written rational negative review which I do take note of.

Finally I read the good reviews. I'm selective here. I look for the ones with some meat to them. I skip the bubbling fan reviews and look for something done by a librarian, professor, or author.

After reading a few good and a few bad reviews I decide to buy or wait and see the book in a real store.

Most of the people I know follow this method..of course many of them are teachers, librarians, and others of that sort. So at least in my circle a few negative reviews will never hurt you on Amazon. Especially those of the sort you mention.

Besides everyone I recommend your books to likes them. And I do recommend you often.
cmpriest
Jan. 15th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
Two or three are the sort that I struggle not to complain about publicly...

One guy accused me of making up earthquakes in Seattle. You know. Here on the Pacific Rim.

( 47 comments — Have your say! )