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Old March 28 2013, 01:24 AM   #2021
Lieutenant Commander
Location: Burnaby, BC Canada
Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I am still reading "The Message of John" by Bruce Milne (1993) but hope to get back to reading "Bloodletter" (DS9) again soon. I think I may have read "Taking Wing" last year for the first time. I posted some perhaps slightly confused posts about 'diversity' as I thought diversity was more about variety in systems of science based on underdeterminism of theories.

As for criticizing of books: (1) I recently acquired a copy of "Glossary of Literary Terms" by M. H. Abrams (7th ed.) and have not adequately read it to give intelligent constructive criticism.

Spider Robinson has perhaps said that a 'review' is when you read something and give gut feelings and a 'criticism' is when you have literary standards or criteria to point to with an analysis.

Must a plot always move on? Cannot we enjoy characters and character development without overdetermining it with suspense and action? Spaceship surrealism aside, if I were to critique writers' works, I would like to give reasonable details about the work and the authors' full names and other information. Hopefully, I would not be working on only one work by that author (whether very good or very bad).

Science fiction in general and space opera in particular have had time to develop into mature genre and subgenre. Based on authors' idiosyncrasies, I can put up with a fair bit of wasted words as long as there are interesting parts to the work.

Generally when doing criticism it is helpful to sandwich one's remarks.... I enjoyed the part where ... but found the part where ... a bit frustrating because ... ; however, the part where ... was especially good. Oh, and a bad novel is a bad novel is a bad novel -- although it is surprising how little consensus exists even on this website! Are the exceptions to such consensus outliers? Do some people rubber stamp anything with the Star Trek trademark as a good read?

PS: I have not done any criticism or reviews nor have I really read the reviews accessible from this site. Well, maybe some though. And, I do have a large science fiction library as well as literary materials on the genre. I do subvocalize (although mostly silently) when I read and do know that this has been put down among some of the literary writers. Not well-read but persistently and gradually becoming more aware of the literature that's out there. In counselling you may have to earn the right to ask a person a question. In literary criticism you may really have to work to earn the right to give even a value judgment.
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