Tag Archives: reviewing

Writing diversity: sensitivity readers

23 May

Originally posted to the Literature forum at MyMedia. I have imported a few
of those posts here under the Publishing tag, if you are interested.

While it may seem, particularly when reading the “classics”¹ and the ‘great literary fiction masters’¹ that there is a default in characterization (heroes are straight able bodied white cis males, and most often, of Anglo Saxon descent), the reality is that people come in many more flavors than that.

In the past few years, readers who do not fit this ‘universal’ characterization, have started seeing themselves represented in the fiction they pay good money to read, in still small but increasing percentages.

All good, right?

Except, not all representation is good representation.

If the one homosexual/non-binary/non-gender conforming character in the work is written as a deviant.
If the one person of color is either a criminal or a victim.
If the one immigrant speaks broken or no English.
If the one female character with speaking lines is there exclusively to either be killed or rescued.
If the one neuro atypical person is either a savant or an idiot.

In short: if whatever diversity is there, consists of clichés, that representation is more harmful than the outright absence of anyone who doesn’t conform to the white, straight, male characters of yore.

Enter sensitivity readers.

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So, about that “writing reviews” thing…

19 Apr

As some of you may know, I am a moderator at MyMedia, which started as one of the biggest LOST discussion forums back in September 2004. I cross-post most of my reviews over there, and recently I was asked to write a quick and dirty primer for the movie review subforum.

After a bit of thought, I realized it addresses one of my main pet peeves about reviewing (i.e., what makes for a good review). The post is after the fold, minus the bits that pertain specifically to MyMedia; I also have added a few further thoughts after it.

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State of things chez aztec

3 Jul

Those of you who check this place regularly may have noticed that I have been…well, mostly absent, for the past few weeks.

Without going into detail, life is sucking out loud at the moment.

Among other things, I’m in the midst of the worst reading slump I remember–ever.

I have not read anything new since the last TBR Challenge book I reviewed, Boots & Bagdes, sometime mid-May. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I haven’t been able to read anything–at all–since mid-June.

For someone who usually reads four to five books a week, this has been hell.

In desperation, I looked up audiobooks.

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Well, then, that’s a hell of a note.

5 May

Yet another rant, yet another what the fuck moment chez aztec.

On Sunday, Wendy posted her feelings about the current state of the romance blogging community.

On Monday, Sunita posted her reaction to that post.

Below are my responses to both blog posts, in the order I posted them.

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Some ways in which reading romance novels improves your life

12 Mar

I wrote the post below the fold for this forum, and published it there originally on March 5th, 2015.

I have been a member there (in both its incarnations) since September 2004, most of that time as a moderator. It is hard to keep a place like that afloat, for it costs money and there’s never a lot of that around. The owner of record most often has to bail us out and pay for server space, etc out of his own pocket. To encourage people to stick around and perhaps use the affiliate links, I try to create content when I can. I also re-post my reviews there, eventually (I’m a couple of months behind at present).

There are over 250 of my reviews posted there. I would say that about 99% of them are for romances of one flavor or another. In all the years I’ve been posting all those reviews, I can count with the fingers of one hand the people who have come out and said, “Oh, I read romance” or “Oh, I’ve read that one.”

The number of people who have read those reviews, though, can number in the thousands, and I’m told there are some purchases from the links therein. The stigma of being a romance reader, at least in that community, is very marked. Hence, my occasionally tweaking the members a bit.

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Holy shit, is this for real? (Yet *another* post on entitlement)

16 Jan

My list of people whose work I’ll never try because they are assholes towards readers grows by the minute.

Which is kinda sad, because I’ve heard that some of those books are awesome.

On the other hand, there are thousands upon thousands of new books out there, many of them written and published by writer-type people who respect readers even when they disagree with them. I know. What a concept, right?

Plus my TBR pile is scary, so it’s not as if I’m going to be running out of reading material any time soon.

I have been pondering the whole dust up going around over an author doing a Kickstarter for her book. Jane at Dear Author talked about it here, and Lori poked some fun here.

(edited 3/29/15 to add: excellent piece by Jenny Trout)

(edited 4/7/15: storyfy with hard numbers and discussion)

Me? I’m just a little fed up with how some people feel entitled to my money and my time.

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DNF – or will I?

5 Jan

This post started back in July 2014 as a reply to KristieJ’s DNF review of Sarah Mayberry’s Her Kind of Trouble. As you can see, it’s pretty long for a reply, but the actual reason it ended up as a post in my own blog is that, before I was done rambling, my internet crashed and I lost the whole damn thing.

Ah well, c’est la vie, shit happens, etc., so I started blathering over here until I lost steam and ended up saving the draft instead.

Then, a week or so ago, the inimitable SuperLibrarian Wendy posted one of her DNF roundups, which made me think about the topic once again.

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