When we were first asked to take on the Strange Horizons Reviews department, in the summer of 2014, we said yes for two main reasons: the first was that we knew each other already in various ways, and thought we would enjoy working together (in the years since, this intuition has proven more correct than we knew); and, secondly and even more importantly, because we thought reviews were important. That’s why, since our appointment and barring a week or so here and there, we have done our utmost to deliver three long-form reviews in every single issue of this brilliant magazine
reaching for tender branches / while the sparrows take flight
It’s classic meet-cute. He’s a seven-foot cyborg on a quest to rid the galaxy of an ancient evil.
the memory of echoes of the big bang
The binary is a complex construct, but for the purposes of this essay the following aspects are important: (1) It is coercive; (2) it is totalizing; (3) it is essentializing.
We tend to come to book reviews a-wondering: will this resonate with my current needs and interests? Does it contain signs and portents that might carry me fruitfully through the current fray? Does its existence tell me anything about where others can now be found in their own cultural landscapes, and which of their own needs and interests it might be answering?
Reading Garner is, for some people, like a treasure hunt. But to trace out all those connections is not in itself an act of critical writing; it’s a process of annotation. Criticism is about asking questions—and perhaps answering them, too.
Christopher Priest and Paul Kincaid discuss an involvement in fiction and reviewing that dates back to at least the early 1970s, as well as the present and possible futures of SFF criticism.
So I think both analysis and the personal are showing up in both forms, but the “argument,” insomuch as there is one, comes through in different ways.
In this roundtable discussion, Gautam Bhatia, Nic Clarke, and Abigail Nussbaum discuss the Amazon Prime Video adaptation of Robert Jordan's novels, and how to approach both the production—and its relationship to the source—material critically.
The Author and the Critic III: Alison Rumfitt and Marisa Mercurio