One Star Challenge Roundup, Part the First

Last Thursday, you may recall, I posted a bunch of my one-star Amazon reviews and challenged other authors to do the same, the idea being, you know, that there are worse things in life than a negative Amazon review. And what do you know, authors have begun taking me up on the challenge, posting choice one and two star reviews they have received. How very healthy of them. Here’s a baker’s dozen of these brave souls, in no particular order:

Hugo winner Charles Stross

World Fantasy and Campbell Award winner Jo Walton

Myranda Sarro

Alma Alexander

Kim Werker

Kelley Eskridge

Nebula, Tiptree, World Fantasy and Lambda Literary Award winner Nicola Griffith

Rachel Caine

Anya Bast

Michelle Sagara/West

BSFA Award winner Ken Macleod

Sandra Barret

Stephen Leigh

See, you other writers? All the cool kids are doing it. Don’t you want to do it too? Sure you do. Post your one-star (or otherwise negative) Amazon reviews on your blog/LJ/whatever and let folks know you can handle criticism just fine, thanks (and then come back here and leave a link, because it makes it easier for me to find them). Also, feel free to steal the graphic up at the top of the entry. I spent five whole minutes on it!

So, who’s next?

30 Comments on “One Star Challenge Roundup, Part the First”

  1. I’d be delighted to post my one-star reviews if I had any. That’s not bragging, actually. My books have so few reviews on Amazon that I guess you could argue I’m blessed not to have one-star reviews.

    Tell you what, folks. Go buy all my books, then give them one-star reviews. I’ll post them on my blog. Go ahead. I dare ya.

  2. I’ve got a zinger! I thought it was damn funny when I read it.

    ***begin review***

    Sutable for Starting Fires and No More, April 30, 2006

    This book is a waste of money, time, and paper. A book with step by step instructions and screen shots would be a great way to learn to use XP, if XP were worth using. However, when you try to go step by step you will find that your XP does not have the same screen as shown in the book and you can not get there using this book’s instructions. This book is total garbage.

    ***end review***

  3. Who reads reviews? WTH! If we all followed the “reviews”, we’d all be reading the wrong stuff. Except wine reviews. Now that is critical!!!!!!! John, you need to start a wine review.


  4. Reposting this since it may have gotten lost in the comments on the first post: I collected a quartet of my one-star reviews on my blog.

    My favorite lines are RE: my book Teek.

    I couldn’t look at any of the characters and think of someone they reminded me of or that one of them might be someone I’d like to meet. They weren’t believable. Especially not Chuck. What teenager talks like that? He was full of annoying anachronisms.

  5. Thanks for the link! We crafty types love sci-fi. Mind if I add your badge to my blog?

    (I left my copy of OMW with my dad. It’s the first sci-fi book I’ve recommended to him, after a lifetime of pulling books off his full shelves. Thanks for that, too!)

  6. I thought I wouldn’t get to play, but found one for an anthology I’m in.

    “The title of this book clearly tries to capitualize on the popular sci-fi motion picture “Solaris” and the underlying work, but nothing could be further from the truth. These stories at are best second rate, and most are third rate. The plots are often interesting but the prose is pedestrian, the charaters are wooden, and the outcomes are guessed a mile in advance. Save your money for the Tessaracts series”

  7. Thank you, John, this is a great idea. I am a nobody author but this has helped me, I think, all the more. I posted my one-star Amazon review here

  8. Of all my books, the worst reviews I could find were two, 2-star reviews on Amazon, both of which made liberal use of the word “disappointing.” I posted them in full over at (my friend) Kim Werker’s blog. Hurrah!

  9. I don’t mean to be nit-picky (OK, maybe), but I noticed something in nearly all the one- and two-star reviews I read. It seemed there was one in nearly all of the links you posted. Most of these negative reviews contain typos. Nothing major, just leaving the “e” off the word “one”, but I think if you’re going to blast someone else’s writing, you should have the decency to spell it all correctly.

  10. Love this idea John!

    Here’s one of the one stars I got for my last novel THE REINCARNATIONIST – the book isn’t a conspiracy/coverup Catholic/pope basher in the slightest but this reader wanted it to be so simply said it was.

    I put the book down after so many pages when I realized that it was probably going to have just another Roman Catholic/Pope conspiracy cover-up theme. How tedious. There is a great book out there that should be read by all of the anti-Catholic authors titled How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Now there is a refreshing thought.

    And here’s the link at my blog:

  11. Your graphic made me laugh SO hard. That was a well-spent five minutes.

    I look forward to the day when I have a collection of one-star reviews. So far my first book (now long out of print) has gotten exactly one review each on Amazon and Library Thing.

  12. Excellent idea. Posted mine to my LiveJournal. I’d have also posted it to a group blog I’m a member of, but Blogger is not talking to me this week. One of the other members may post it for me later today.

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