NYT Review Fallout
There’s been some interesting commentary and discussion following Dave Itzkoff’s NYT Book Review piece on me and my books, so I thought I’d post links to some of them I’ve found, for the edification of Whatever readers. In no particular order:
* Instapundit notes the piece, and has some thoughts on the idea of Starship Troopers being fascist, roping in Spider Robinson to rebut that claim and also making a point about some of the “chickenhawk” rhetoric from earlier in the year. Also commenting on the Heinlein tip are Blue Crab Boulevard and The Colossus of Rhodey.
* Sarah Weinman declares that “Dave Itzkoff makes a good case for reading John Scalzi’s work,” among the other things she notes, and Jenny Rappaport, Toby Buckell and Gwenda Bond congratulate me for showing up in the Times (with Toby and Jenny adding additional thoughts regarding the review itself). Thanks, I wish I could say I did any or the work for that, but I suspect that thanks should go to my ever-fabulous publicist, Dot Lin.
* SF Signal praises me for not attacking Dave Itzkoff when I wrote my response to the review; apparently authors getting bent out of shape with reviews is the new black. Well, here’s the thing. First, of course, the review is generally positive concerning my work, so getting all bent out of shape would just be churlish. As I’ve said before, I’m happy with the review, and pleased Dave Itzkoff took the time to think about the books.
Second, even in the theoretical scenario where I wanted to scoop out a reviewer’s eyes, pour gasoline into his sockets and then light them aflame and chortle as he went howling blindly into the night, it’s just not a good idea. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and in the long run, we all know if what we’ve written or created is good. I remember once I panned an album by The Cult, which led to lead singer Ian Astbury sending me a scathing e-mail. To which I responded, basically, “Dude, what are you doing? In a month people will forget I wrote the review, and you’ll still be Ian Astbury. The next time you have a groupie on top of you because you wrote ‘Love Removal Machine,’ you’ll look back on this and laugh.” To which Mr. Astbury admitted I had a point.
* Sarah Monette uses the moment to discourse on what reviewers don’t get about science fiction, fantasy and horror, which leads both to a lively discussion in her comment thread, and an amusingly rueful followup post.
* Andrew Wheeler is not impressed with Itzkoff’s review in the slightest, and GalleyCat’s Ron Hogan pretty much declares war on Itzkoff in his commentary. Note to self: Don’t invite Itzkoff and Hogan to the same party. Or, perhaps, do, and make sure the walls have been securely tarped.
That’s what I’ve seen. If you’ve seen other commentary about it, feel free to drop it into the comment thread.