Some advice for science fiction reviewers…

… from Jonathan Strahan, who I hope won’t object to me reproducing almost the entire post here:

“… all reviewers of science fiction should be banned from using the phrase ‘what it means to be human’. If they were, then they might explain what it is they think they see in an SF novel without dropping into safe cliche.  I’ll never forget when I was maybe fifteen years old, an English teacher of mine said it wasn’t enough to say that something in a book was evocative, you had to say what it evoked and what that meant. This phrase, which I’ve used often myself, is SF’s equivalent of ‘the imagery is evocative’.  Surely we can be smarter than that?”

Surely we can – though I still find that it’s only at the rewriting stage that I catch myself making mistakes of just that very type, and even then only recently. Life’s a learning curve, after all.

On the subject of reviews, here are some goodies:

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