[FoRK] Kindle price slashed...

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Thu Oct 8 15:43:10 PDT 2009


On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 5:30 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo
<ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> --- On Thu, 10/8/09, Ken Meltsner <meltsner at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Traditional publishing does "add value"; if nothing else,
>> it filters out quite a bit of the dreck.
>>
>
> While I agree with that as a general statement, it still lets some dreck through. I just finished reading a science fiction novel, "Genesis" (Ken Shufeldt), that was about the worst dreck imaginable.
>
> It was published by TOR books. I have generally expected anything coming out under their label to be something readable. Not this one. I finished it yesterday and I'm still asking myself, "Why?". I suppose I continued after the first few chapters in hopes that in a book from TOR, with some glowing praise from other authors on the covers, I would, somewhere before the end, discover what they saw in it.
>
Possibilities:

1.   Good book, not to your taste.

2.   Popular book that pays the bills (cf. Robert Jordan...)

3.  Even Jove nods.

4.  You cannot imagine how bad some unpublished novels are.  And many
published ones (cf. TSR Books a decade or so ago.)

It works both ways.  I like some Baen titles despite myself -- good
storytelling trumping hefty doses of libertarian politics, for
example.  And in among the mostly military SF titles in Baen's free
online library was _Resonance_, a genuinely thought-provoking and
interesting novel mostly free from things exploding, and entirely free
of  long passages describing the various multiplier effects during
combat, thinly-disguised libertarian/objectionabilist propaganda, or
easily skipped B&D/rape fantasies.

I'd leave it as an exercise for the reader to match up the various
cranky comments to specific authors and books, but there are too many
valid pairings.


Ken "Yes, I am a pinko liberal science fiction reader" Meltsner


-- 
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