Remark: In case you wish to contact me, write to "morpheusNN@kabelmail.de". Please change NN against "13". It is a means of anti-spam. This address will be read more often and is more reliable.
My SF Experiences
I have read SF since about 1960 or earlier. In 1972 I participated in a Workshop with the late Dieter Hasselblatt, then managing editor at "Deutschlandfunk" for radio drama. At the end our group wrote our own SF radio drama, which was broadcasted approximately three times in the following years, which earned good money for the author collective considering that we were no professional authors.
Dr. Hasselblatt did employ me from time to time to write an approximately 2-page review of scripts for SF radio drama, so he could choose some of them to broadcast in Deutschlandfunk.
Authors are welcome to contact me, for example, if I am doing their book wrong or they changed a book so my review has ceased to be applicable. I do not believe to be that important, but I consider myself a committed critic and if I am aware that I could improve my view of a book, I will be happy to share the new findings with the readers. (My reviews, however, are *not* for sale).
How do I chose the Books I would like to read?
1. Read the plot, klicking on "more". Is it religious? Does it include magicians? Is it the 1-zillionth "after atomic war" Story? Then it must sound very interesting. In 99 of 100 cases, I would go to the next E-Book.
2. read "about" the author and, if any, the interview? Does he have a scientific education? Is he an experienced author? I will never sort out an author because he's not a pro (imagine, to have ignored the first book Crichton, or Franson, or Brin has ever written, offered for free?!) and the fun of reading e-books is that they are actual. I certainly do not wish to restrict my reading adventures to books from authors who are on the market since 100 or since 20 years, even if Verne or Clarke have been masters ... of their century). But if he is a pro, I will read more sample pages, if I do not like the first two of them.
3. read online, starting with two sample pages, e.g. 10 and 100 (in reality I chose other ones). If an author does not have any scientific or technical education and there are three pages from him explaining gravity or astronomy which everybody learns at school - next book, please. If style is boring - same, for example if there are no dialogues. Even if there are dialogues and the hero explains half a page to his co-pilot why you do not hear sound in vacuum or how huge a distance a lightyear is - thanks for uploading your book to smashwords, next one, please.
4. I never pay for a book from an author I do not yet know. Quite frequently, I purchase the sequels and other books of an author I like, if the price is not beyond what I consider appropiately to my living conditions, maybe two or three Euros, same as I paid in earlier years for used books at flea markets or Amazon.
Normally I do not award stars in my reviews, unless very few cases where I feel I should warn other readers not to waste their time on a really bad book. For me, five stars are reserved for the best authors of all times (e.G. Michael Crichton, whose Story "Jurassic Parc" I read many years before Spielberg made his Blockbuster film from it) or those SF Authors who have formed our culture, e.G. George Orwell. Everybody else gives five stars if he enjoyed reading so I find me decreasing the average review ratings of those Authors I liked most, even if I do award three stars (= worth paying money for) or four stars (= among the best and most enticing SF I ever read) to them.
Regrettably, I am quite backwards with publishing reviews of the SF stories I have read.
I have very much respect for people who write a book and offer it on platforms like smashwords (even if I don't like the result at all). Every one of them must have invested months, and the hope of a life, to do so.
I seek to pay back something for what the author gave away for free, by taking down notes about the mistakes which are to be found in any E-Book and sending them to authors. I do not doubt that the authors do everything to have errors corrected from their side, but inevitable, there still remain some which show up in the published version. I herefore use the "store remarks" function of my E-Reader and edit my file by global search and replace.
It started as a list I wanted to have for proof if I write a review in Smashwords.com, but I realized mentioning an error count in a review would not improve the books or the Indie SF scene; notifying the authors of any mistakes could.
Edit in 2020: in the meantime, it is seven years later and I am growing old. Some authors have become very good friends. On the other hand, my ambitions to participate in the SF scene has declined, as other interests and problems have grown in the foreground.
So, I do not much detailed reviews with error lists and applications for beta-reading any more. On the other hand, my retirement money causes me to chose the "free" category or even the "you set the price" with a zero amount (I still might purchase the follow-ups if the novel is really good, of course).
Now how can I express my gratitude to authors of a good novel? I have processed to simply write a review and assign ratings up to five stars (which I previously would reserve for all-time top authors like George Orwell or Michael Crichton) like everybody else. Thus, I still might help aspiring writers to promote good books, and readers to find those worth reading.
This member has not published any books.