Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A sneak preview

The following titles will be appearing on the next HNS review book list, which I'll be emailing out tomorrow evening. (Among others - there are three other editors with books to offer, but the majority this time are mine.)

This means another painful trip or two to the post office next weekend. Unfortunately I don't get to keep any of these, but I will have a bunch of books arriving in my mailbox very soon, thanks to some earned Amazon gift certificates and a couple birthday gifts from nice people (the big day was Sunday).

Lately I've been working on my Christian fiction chapter, which means I've been learning all about things like Preterism and the Gerasene demoniac in order to provide sufficient historical and biblical detail for the annotations. Normally when I write these up, I have the book in hand if at all possible; if I haven't read it yet, I'll read the jacket copy and skim the first chapter to get a feel for writing style. I'll also go online and read as many reviews as I can.

However, some titles I'm attempting to summarize are proving problematic. Many appear not to have been reviewed by reliable publications, and I don't like using Amazon reviews as a primary source. In some cases, doing so would be impossible. Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer's The Last Disciple, for instance, has 75 "reviews" on Amazon, but apart from the PW one (which is vague), you have to wade through over half of them before you find one that gives the protagonist's name correctly or provides anything resembling a plot. Most of them consist of short, poorly worded theological arguments, but this single-line "review" tops everything:

"It was so bad I did not want to spill a lot of ink talking about it. "

My only consolation is that only 7 out of 42 people rated it "helpful."


  1. Gillian Polack10:30 PM

    There's a new Aussie histfic/histfantsy The Hollow Dove" by Belinda Cargill. It's a bit unusual to see this sort of book in a speculative fiction awards process (which is how I have a copy). I can't review it because of the awards process, but I can give you more info if you need it.

  2. Thanks for the info, Gillian - I'll drop you an email.

  3. Looks like a promising stack!