About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review of the Human Division by John Scalzi and a Rant

First the Review:

This is typical Scalzi;  brilliantly written, very funny and imaginative. 
On to the Rant:
There’s a relatively new phenomena in publishing, only it isn’t really that new, just an old form updated.  I’m talking about serial writing.  In the early days of publishing, stories were serialized in magazines and readers would have to wait for their next monthly installment to find out what happened.  Well this form has reared its ugly head again in the form of episodic chapters written for e-readers and audio books.   I experienced this recently with the novel by John Scalzi called the Human Division. 

As you will know from my other reviews of Scalzi’s works I’m a big fan.  His view of alien/human interaction is funny and I enjoy reading his books.  So I was pleased to see the Human Division in my Kindle Store.  It was written in episodes and I immediately downloaded several and began enjoying the story.  It wasn’t until I got to the end of the available episodes that I realized that this was still a work in progress and so I’ve had to download the final several episodes weekly to find out the end of the story.  At $1.15 per episode this seems reasonable until you discover that there will be 14 in all.   This irks me as I have steadfastly refused to pay the rising costs on Kindle and would never have started the novel if I had realized what was happening.

I don’t understand the appeal of this form of writing from a readers point of view (I fully understand it from an author/publisher point of view).  These episode are short and the cliff hanger aspect of waiting for the next one gets old really fast.  Moreover it’s easy to lose track of the characters especially in this case as each episode tends to feature different people and that loses some of the continuity for me.  I suppose if you’re a slow reader or an especially big fan of short stories you might enjoy this type of reading.  I’m not and I don’t.  Maybe it boils down to what my mother calls “chicken today feathers tomorrow” philosophy.  I’ve always been the type of person who wants the whole chicken today and I’ll deal later  with only having feathers tomorrow.  If you’re the type of person who likes to prolong their pleasure then maybe this type of reading is for you.

I have no idea how many people read this blog so I could be ranting into thin air.  I know there a couple publishers that stop by occasionally  and I hope they take note of this. ( Incidentally, the book I previously reviewed Wool was also first published as a serial.  I’m glad I didn’t get it until there was a fully published novel!)




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