Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Looking back upon SF reviewing as something I used to do (a few long-tail exceptions notwithstanding) is a good time to take stock. I wrote some good reviews -- I mean, the reviews themselves were well-written, not that they were positive (though I did write some positive reviews too) and some that weren't so good, mostly because they were rushed.  In three instances posterity has caused me to think again about my negative judgements.  Never easy to say 'I was wrong', but it would be alarmingly egotistical to act as if I believed I never was. Of course I have been wrong, often I daresay, and in the case of three specific novels it stands out.  I disliked, when I reviewed it (as part of the Clarke shortlist) Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go; I can't say that I like the novel more, but it's clearly an important and powerful novel, it seems to be enduring, and my judgment was too harsh.  I said some foolish things about Harrison's Light when it came out (though in my defence I also recognised great power in it); now that I've read all three of the Kefahuchi Tract books I feel both that I have a better sense of how the first novel works, but that the sequence as a whole is a major work of contemporary fiction.  And I was snippy about Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, a sequence I now realise is the A la recherche du temps perdu of our age.

Not that last one, obviously.

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