There was a time, not all that long ago, when "professional" book reviewers and "professional" publications were the only source for book reviews. I relied on genre 'zines like Locus, Asimov's SF, and Fantasy & Science Fiction for my monthly book reviews fix. And also non-genre sources such as Publishers Weekly. As years passed and the internet grew, we could read book reviews online, on sites like Locus Online and Tangent Online, to name just two.
But with the rise of blogs and blogging, and other social media sites like Goodreads and Library Thing, the sources for quality book reviews have grown exponentially. A new class of blogger -- the book blogger -- has taken his/her place alongside the "professional" book reviewer. Reviews from the likes of PW and Kirkus may still hold more cachet than a book blog review -- but the average reader neither subscribes to nor reads these publications, primarily because they can't afford them! [Besides, I'd rather spend my money on the books themselves, rather than on publications that write about those very same books.] And if readers spend much of their time online, then online is where they will find book reviews as well.
The first review (so far) that I have found for my forthcoming anthology Alien Contact (Night Shade Books, November 1) is courtesy of Ria on the Bibliotropic blog. The book was originally reviewed by Ria on Goodreads1 -- which is where I first read the review -- and then posted to her book blog.
Here are a couple excerpts from Ria's review:
I'm not normally much for short story collections, but something about this book just spoke to me, so I couldn't resist taking the chance to read it, especially after seeing such a stellar (if you'll excuse the pun) list of contributing authors. Neil Gaiman, Ursula K Le Guin, Stephen King, and yet more. There's all kinds of talent evident in this collection, and I'll say right off the bat that this is a book that no sci-fi fan should really be without.
The fun thing that I find about alien encounter stories is that they end up saying more about humanity than about any alien culture we can dream of. Whether it's displaying our own human arrogance about the universe and all within it, or displaying our sheer curiosity about what lies beyond us, all stories I've found that involve humans and some unknown sentient life form end up showcasing humanity in ways that a human-only cast of characters just couldn't....
If these snippets intrigue you, please take this opportunity to read the full review.
1. Goodreads requires a user account and password, so I was quite pleased to learn from Ria that her review was also posted publicly on Bibliotropic. If you do have a Goodreads account, and you haven't yet ordered a copy of Alien Contact, please feel free to sign up for the giveaway that I am sponsoring, along with with publisher Night Shade Books. (See the Goodreads widget at the top of the right column of this blog.)