Introduction to Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

After decades of reading science fiction and fantasy literature, I know what I like. However, reviewing science fiction and fantasy books is now a learning process. Here’s what I do.

A Decision to Buy

In the last year, I’ve purchased forty-three books of which I liked thirty-four well enough to keep and not give to charity. Is a 79% success rate good? I’m not sure.

This result isn’t an evaluation of what percentage of published science fiction and fantasy literature books are good. It’s about how good am I at buying books I’d like. And I dislike just over 20% of my book purchases.

Book purchases at a store [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]
Book purchases at a store [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]

Book Evaluation at a Bookstore

There are several cues I look for when performing a book evaluation at a bookstore. These important cues are:

  • Cover art
  • Synapsis
  • Length

I don’t yet know how to share my 80% positive evaluation process for these three cues. What makes good cover art, a good synapsis, or the length based on font size and number of pages? And is that everything I use when considering my purchase?

I will try to define these evaluations in the future. But I know I ignore other author’s endorsements on the book. So, it’s not just about what I see, but also what I ignore.

So many books, so little time [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]
So many books, so little time [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]

My Evaluations Now

For now, I offer two different evaluation results. They are:

  • I like this book and have decided to keep it so, when time permits, I will read it again.
  • I didn’t like this book enough to keep it so, when time permits, I will donate it to charity.

I respect that your tastes in books may not align with mine. And that’s okay. But I will endeavor to provide more comprehensive book reviews.

Yes/No decision [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]
Yes/No decision [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]

Future Evaluations

My initial considerations on provided more comprehensive book reviews is to give each book an overall ranking score based on an evaluation matrix on multiple factors, each weighed by importance. It’s what a good engineer would do, right? So, I’ll go with what I know.

Building an evaluation matrix isn’t difficult. But choosing factors to evaluate with take time. And I read a lot, so the score card will need to be practical.

Book evaluation matrix [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]
Book evaluation matrix [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]

Interviewing Authors

What I’d like to do is have a conversation with each author. And I’d like to share that discussion on my J. Hiram Peacel podcast. And embed it into my book review article.

I’d also like to capture author interviews on video to share with you on my YouTube channel and Facebook profile. It’s not hard. The only real issue to logistics.

What do you think? Comment below if this is something I should provide.

Podcast interviews [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]
Podcast interviews [Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books]

Summary of Reviewing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

I’ve learned what I like about science fiction and fantasy literature. I know what I like. And I share my ongoing process for reviewing science fiction and fantasy books.

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  • Next: Forthcoming!

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