Shorts, Awards, and Reviews

It’s book launch day, but really, the reason I don’t have an official review is that I haven’t had the time to read much of anything. I started a book, but it’s not an easy read, so you might get that one next week and you might not. In the mean time…

You can buy The God’s Woflling here. 

Hattip to D. Jason Fleming (and you should check out his lovecraftian novella, it looks good…) for this. It’s a site where you can buy reviews! I knew they existed, and if I recall correctly (and I might not, I’m only a half-cup of coffee into my morning) I’ve spotlighted another one where you could buy like five reviews for thirty bucks. Folks, so far from advocating this, I am saying stay away. Stay far away from get-rich-quick schemes like this. This is why when an author told me they were going to get a ‘rave review’ from a ‘professional reviewer’ I snorted in my coffee… I may be an amateur, but it means I can review with honesty and integrity.

There is a reason when I see a book (other than one by a major bestseller like, say, Butcher) with a hundred or more five-star reviews, I steer very clear of it. Every book is going to have those who love it, and those who hate it, and plenty in between. But a whole lot of rah, rah, rah, yay! reviews make me lift an eyebrow and start looking for linguistics. It’s fascinating how much you can tell with just word choices and usage. Most of the people who churn out these reviews haven’t bothered to read the book (who would have time, at $10 for the service?) so you won’t see a lot of specific detail to the story.

Speaking of specific details, rather than taking time myself to review the Hugo slate (I voted, did you?) I’m going to point you at Stephanie Souder’s insightful take on the short stories. She’ll be doing more later, and I’ll link as she posts them for those who are interested. She and I talked about the offerings overall, and we both think that there are more soap-boxes, messages, screeds, and general societal tracts in the tales than there are real plots… or magic, or science. So next year, we’re hoping a bunch of you join us in nominating and voting. It’s time to make the Hugos about great stories again.

Here’s what Stephanie has to say: “First of all, while all four stories are technically competent, only one can arguably be classified as sci-i/fantasy (“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket” — if you squint at it sideways); the others are mundane stories in genre dress. “Selkie Stories Are for Losers,” for example, would not have fundamentally changed even if the narrator’s mother had abandoned her family for wholly ordinary reasons, and “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” would’ve held together as a basic “coming out” tale even without – well – the water. Both “Selkie…” and “The Water…” may have included fantastic elements, but neither the Gaelic folklore in “Selkie…” nor the mystical lie detector in “The Water…” was critical to the flow of its story. The otherworldly element in both cases was mere ornament — and in my view, you can’t simply shoehorn a little unnecessary magic into a literary story and sneak it in under the sci-fi/fantasy banner. In sci-fi/fantasy, the magic – or the advanced technology – is an inalienable feature, not a careless afterthought.” 

Now, for a really great read, I have high hopes for the winners of the new Baen Fantasy Adventure Awards. Their stories will appear at some point on the Baen.com front page, although there is usually good stuff there to read at any given time. Keep an eye out!

In other news: You can pick up Stargazer for free, any time from now until Monday. A short story written while I was a young mother, it’s definitely from my ‘dark’ period. I’ve started a prequel to it, but still haven’t decided if I will ever finish it.

Cedar Sanderson

Science fiction, short story…



11 thoughts on “Shorts, Awards, and Reviews

  1. I don’t suppose there is a pdf version hiding in some forgotten sector of the drive? I still ain’t gotten around to getting one of them new fangled reader thingies.

    I did see you have some stuff up on Smashwords. Yea, I can pdf those.


    • You can read on your computer with the Kindle Cloud Reader – it’s free, and gives you access to a lot of fun stuff! Also, if you want to order a print, signed copy, I do sell them for $12, shipping free.

      I don’t plan to use Smashwords for The God’s Wolfling, but it will be up at other sites soon, distributed through D2D.


      • I am a total doof brain. I got so focused on Stargazer that I forgot you were also talking about GW. I’m sorry. 😦

        I’ll be getting a dead tree copy of GW as soon as I can scrape together the pence.

        My sister kindly lent me her Kindle to get Stargazer. (which is good, since I want to get her to read your work.)


  2. Got the new one and will read it tonite. Part of my is hating you a little after reading Stargazer. Your short stories captivate so quick and are over so soon. I personally think that you could easily extend some or prequel others but I’m just a reader not an author. So I don’t have any way of knowing if that would actually work.


    • In this case I have been toying with a prequel. I suspect if I come at it with time, I will wind up with a novel set in the boy’s adulthood.

      Thank you for the compliment!


  3. I’d love to be a professional reviewer. I mean to get paid to read, does it get any better than that? Its even a job I could do with my current challenges. That would be grand.


      • I’d have to insist on being paid for my honesty. This means you couldn’t order a made to measure review, uoid only get my honest opinion. Often it would be a rave. You have to beat Heinlein to get raves from me


  4. Read GW last night. As we talked about before it wasn’t written for me(41) but I enjoyed it. Loved your take on the old gods and your twist on how they came to be was really good. Even I had no idea where you were going with it. I normally have a above average chance of figuring out a books twist, not this time. Good reading last night thanks.


  5. Pingback: walking in the woods | Cedar Writes

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