One would think that an author would inure themselves against a bad review when they decide to become a writer. Apparently that is not the case. Looks like I ticked off the author with my recent review of “Riding the White Bull”. The funny thing is…I did not dislike the story.
Before anyone accepts the word of any reviewer, they should understand how they review. My two-and-a-half star rating means that the story was better than mediocre which means that, overall, I liked it, I just wasn’t ecstatic over it. And I also state I am reviewing the reading experience, not necessarily the book/story (and especially not the author).
Still, instead of taking away the good points (“interesting premise” and ” really powerful images”) the author chose to go on a tirade about it. I quote:
The “intelligent design” idiots are on my mind this morning, for one reason or another, but I’m going to do the right thing and resist the urge to waste keystrokes on them. But I have to complain about something. So I’ll complain about the inane review of “Riding the White Bull” (in a story-by-story review of The Year’s Best Science Fiction #22) at SFSignal. I quote:
“…the narrative kept jumping back and forth between multiple points in the story line, usually without warning. The result was to take what could have been a first-rate, hardboiled sf detective story and turn it into a hodgepodge of unorganized passages.”
For my part, as the author, I know that “Riding the White Bull” is a good story (and I do not say this about everything I write). And, for what it’s worth, the story has received heaps of praise and was chosen for Year’s Best. But it still pisses me off when I see people who obviously cannot master anything beyond the simplest narratives being allowed to review books right out in public where anyone can stumble across this crap. There’s nothing the least bit unusual or difficult about the narrative of “Riding the White Bull.” This reviewer is clearly the sort of person Warner Bros. had in mind when it forced Ridley Scott to add that hokey, gawdawful, “explain it so even the morons can understand” voice-over to the original cut of Blade Runner. I most emphatically don’t write for those people. It’s a shame I can’t also arrange it so that they can’t read and comment on what I write. They certainly are not welcomed at the party.
Seems I was mistaken in my beliefs. Apparently quality is inherent in a story and not subject to personal opinion. My bad. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll abolish free speech.
Seriously, Ms. Kiernan, do you really want to stifle your readers just because they may not like what you write? (and again, I did like what you wrote.) Until you reach the sales levels of, say, Stephen King, I would think that the more word gets out on your story, the better. Even bad publicity is still publicity. You would do well to trust people to form their own opinions and learn to respect them even if they differ from your own.
Besides, mine is just one opinion. Incidentally…your comment about Blade Runner is amusing to me since I am one of the only two people that I know who actually disliked it. (Oh. I see that can of worms was just reopened today. What a coincidence!)