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WFC and a clarification about reviews

I'm going to Tempe for the World Fantasy Convention this year. I'm going to arrive at 9:24 a.m. Since it's my firm belief that in a kind universe, no one would actually be awake at 9:24 a.m. (and yes, this does make my belief in the kindess of the universe a tad on the shaky side overall), I'm not really looking forward to getting to the airport. As in, on time. As in, while they'll still let me on the plane.

Assuming I'm awake enough to stand in the right line.

It occurs to me that I should clarify things a bit. Which usually happens when I'm off in rant territory <wry g>.


I really love reading book blogs and LJs in which readers discuss the books they're reading. I realize that I don't discuss this much myself -- and that's partly because my reading time has been so vastly diminished over the years that I mostly read for F&SF. I start a lot now that I don't finish -- and when I was younger, I finished everything.

But there are books I do get to read for the sheer pleasure; when I can mix work and pleasure so much the better. Sometimes I read things that I don't review but liked, and I hand sell those.

When I said I don't care about amazon reviews, what I really meant was that I don't care about their ratings, their star systems, etc; there seems to be some external sense, at times, that it's like a contest with booby prizes.

I don't get a cogent sense of the reviewer when I browse amazon.com, which is why I don't do it anymore (for fiction, as others have pointed out). Reading someone's book journal is entirely different -- there's a context, and an established tone and voice that tie in the book talk in a way that makes it seem -- to me -- somehow more vital; less about a single book and more about the sheer energy and joy -- and frustration -- of the process of reading itself.

Since reading compulsively was what, in the end, brought me to writing, it remains a joy to me, and also a curiosity; even though I've worked in a bookstore for years, there's a keen anticipation when opening new covers that is unlike almost anything else. It's magic.

This doesn't, sadly, mean that I'm not opinionated -- I'm well aware that this could be considered one of my cardinal sins. Well, sharing so much of the opinion, at any rate <wry g>.


Is anyone here going to be at the World Fantasy Convention?

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
oneminutemonkey
Oct. 26th, 2004 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'd planned on it, even bought the membership, but... airfare fell out on me so it looks like I'll have to miss. Really disappointed.

I wonder if I can sell my membership, cheap. :
janni
Oct. 26th, 2004 10:58 pm (UTC)
You already know I'll be there. :-) Though, even being a morning person, I'm not planning to hit the interstate until closer to noon. Which should still allow time for a nap before dinner and my late-Thursday-night panels.
(Deleted comment)
irysangel
Oct. 27th, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Amazon reviews
Oh ghod, not Harriet Klausner.

Whenever I read a book reviewed by her, I automatically click 'No, this was not helpful'. She drives me crazy, because she does not READ the books she reviews. I 'loved' her review of 'The Scar' by China Mieville where she referred to China as 'she' through the whole review, which if she would have flipped over any Mieville book, you would see a big picture of a MAN on the back.

Unless she's getting some sort of backless, coverless books that I'm not aware of, and then I'll just shut up. But it's obvious she doesn't read the books.

/Rant Off
(Deleted comment)
naomi_traveller
Oct. 26th, 2004 11:59 pm (UTC)
me! me!

(i have 5 minutes of fame in the rapid fire readings on thurs)
janni
Oct. 27th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC)
Hey, I'm doing a rapid-fire reading, too. :-)
chance88088
Oct. 27th, 2004 04:00 am (UTC)
I shall be at wfc. (wfc!)
pixelfish
Oct. 27th, 2004 04:20 am (UTC)
Not going to be there, but I have to mention that because Lee, my boyfriend, used to be in charge of grabbing tickets for us, we used to end up with flights out of places at hours like....6.25 AM. This lead to us coining the terms "obscene o'clock" and "godawful o'clock."
thinkum
Oct. 27th, 2004 06:29 am (UTC)
Urk! I have been known to kill men for less. ::grin::

Around here, we refer to any ungodly hour as wicked-dark-thirty.
msagara
Oct. 27th, 2004 04:34 pm (UTC)
Around here, we refer to any ungodly hour as wicked-dark-thirty.

I've heard oh-dark-thirty as well, come to think; in university, we made a general all-purpose lovecraftian gurgling noise when referring to any time before 11:00 a.m <g>.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 28th, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)
Whereas it is 05h23, three minutes after my alarm goes off (and went off) and about fifteen minutes after I woke up. This is the normal get-up-on-a-workday time for my present schedule.

It only counts as oh-dark-thirty if one has been kept awake that long, I think.

-- Graydon
msagara
Oct. 31st, 2004 05:36 pm (UTC)
It only counts as oh-dark-thirty if one has been kept awake that long, I think.

Not that this will come as a big surprise, but I completely disagree. It counts if one has to get one's backside out of bed at that hour; if you're awake until 5:23 in the morning, it's just been a loooong night.

Otoh, if this is your regular schedule, then you are a Morning Person, and there is no known antidote for this. Some envy, at times, but no antidote .
domynoe
Oct. 27th, 2004 05:10 am (UTC)
I wish. Heck, I wish I could afford to go to almost ANY convention. Maybe some day. Sadly, not today . . . or any other time this year. :-/
thinkum
Oct. 27th, 2004 06:22 am (UTC)
This doesn't, sadly, mean that I'm not opinionated -- I'm well aware that this could be considered one of my cardinal sins. Well, sharing so much of the opinion, at any rate

In today's wishy-washy, lackadaisical, idiotically complacent world, having an honest, heartfelt opinion -- and bluntly sharing it -- is not a sin, but a virtue.
lnhammer
Oct. 27th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
<waves>

I'm currently reading How NOT to Spend Your Senior Year. I have nothing intelligent to say about it, aside from it's a reasonably intelligent YA romantic comedy with a few logic issues.

---L,
oyceter
Oct. 27th, 2004 08:06 am (UTC)
I don't get a cogent sense of the reviewer when I browse amazon.com, which is why I don't do it anymore (for fiction, as others have pointed out). Reading someone's book journal is entirely different -- there's a context, and an established tone and voice that tie in the book talk in a way that makes it seem -- to me -- somehow more vital; less about a single book and more about the sheer energy and joy -- and frustration -- of the process of reading itself.

As an addict of book blogs myself, I agree. While I do read the Amazon reviews in case the book I'm thinking of completely disappointed everyone, most of them aren't very well thought out. Plus, you can tell there are some people just writing the equivalent of "This book rocks!" or "This book sucks!" which tells me nothing about the book, really. Plus, when you get to know a reviewer you get a better sense of what they will like and what they won't, which also helps.

I wish I were going to the WFC instead of going to work!
zhaneel69
Oct. 27th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
Wish I were. But I didn't know about it in time to arrange. Next year!!!

Anyone know if there are going to be blog about WFC like there were for WorldCon? I'd be interested in hearing about the Con.

Zhaneel
msagara
Oct. 27th, 2004 04:30 pm (UTC)
Anyone know if there are going to be blog about WFC like there were for WorldCon? I'd be interested in hearing about the Con.

I doubt it; WFC is a much smaller convention than Worldcon. There's generally less programming, because of the smaller number of people in attendance (although it varies, I think, from year to year).
wood_dragon
Oct. 27th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
Is anyone here going to be at the World Fantasy Convention?

I will be there. And I have my very first public reading on Friday afternoon. ::eep::

Ruth
trektone
Oct. 27th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
Not me. After attending a few WFC's I came to believe they're for professionals and wanna-be pros.

Have fun! And please return with at least one good rant, okay?
msagara
Oct. 27th, 2004 06:29 pm (UTC)
Not me. After attending a few WFC's I came to believe they're for professionals and wanna-be pros.

I find them smaller than a Worldcon, so it's a bit easier to meet up with people -- but I think there is some push to have WFC considered the professional convention, (except run by fen). I like Worldcons a lot, but part of the reason I started going to WFCs in preference when I could only go to one in the early years was that WFC is a shorter con (or was), and it meant I could go for two days, be away from the kids for two days, and still get things done without feeling as if I'd missed every panel and author I might otherwise desperately want to see.

DAW editors go to both, which is why it was a choice between the two; as the kids have gotten older, I try to go to both -- but I had a great time at Confluence this summer.

Have fun! And please return with at least one good rant, okay?

LOL!
(Deleted comment)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )