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Let's Put on a Show!
james_nicoll
Seen over at Matt Hughes website:

Special offer for reviewers, bloggers, newsgroup posters and people who just like to talk about books in public: in May, PS Publishing will release Template, a stand-alone Archonate novel that I consider to be my best work yet (even though it was written in 2003). I will send an rtf file of the book to anyone who commits to review, blog, post or otherwise harass the world about it. Just send me an e-mail at "himself(you know what symbol goes in here)archonate.com" and I'll shoot you a copy.

I find it tremendously annoying that Hughes is not better known than he is. My cunning idea is that it might be fun if a bunch of reviewers on LJ should all agree to read and review Template on the same day. LJ doesn't lend itself to the same kind of communal participation as rasfw but I think this could be worthwhile.

Any volunteers?

[Current Target Date: May 11th]

I probably should have encouraged people to mention this on their blogs and livejournal accounts. Consider this said encouragement.

I've sent off for the book. Oops, no I haven't, it bounced. Ah, my typo, this should go through.

Ahem.

Yes, I'll be reading the book. If you pick a date I can make I'll try to coordinate with it (anything nearer than two weeks from now looks unlikely, *this* coming week is very fully booked already, with little reading time).

And if I don't like it, I *won't* participate in the combined blitz, though I'll still post in my booklog as I've commited to.

Either should be fine for me, as well as I can predict the future.

I'm willing to try! My date preference is similar to dd_b's.

I liked but was not blown away by the three or four Matt Hughes books I've read so far; I'd be willing to cooperate with a coordinated review date.

What sort of review is this? I'd be willing to read and comment, but I don't know about "reviewing". I am certainly not a reviewer in any formal definition of the word.

Totally agree about Matt Hughes, although I can sort of see why - his arch style and setting take a little time to settle into, but because I've read Postscripts and F&SF for some time, I came across so much of his work that I ended up reading plenty and becoming quite addicted.

I'd rather like to buy the real thing though, and I'm not sure about reading it all on-screen. Maybe I'll request the rtf anyway, and at least blog about it enthusiastically on your chosen day!

It's funny, because I've heard people talk about proper manuscript format for years, but I'd never actually seen a document in that format, and wow, I find it completely unreadable with all the monospace and underlining and double-spacing and what-not.

I spent a good 20 minutes turning it into a nicely formatted PDF, with em-dashes and curly quotes and italics and better fonts and headers, and I suspect I'll enjoy reading it a lot more that way.

Not on LJ, but I'll play on Rixosous (www.rixosous.com). I've received my rtf file and will aim for the 11th.

Susan

Have requested and got a review copy; will participate both on my LJ and booklog.

Anyone else see the name Matt Hughes and wonder if the UFC fighter had written a book? In fact a look at his Wikipedia entry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Hughes_(fighter) ) indicates he has written a book, although not a sci fi one.

So, just out of curiosity, what is the proper etiquette if I read the book and dislike it? Write about it anyway? Write on a different day? I don't like to be negative about books I get for free (seems ungrateful), but I'm generally blunt about not liking stuff. I'm not a professional reviewer and have not participated in a blitz like this before.

(I haven't read Template yet, so this is entirely hypothetical - I may like it just fine.)

Susan
(Rixosous)

It seems to me that if we set out by eliminating the possibility of unfavorable reviews, we render the positive ones meaningless.

Thank you!

Susan
(Rixosous)

I'm with James there. And the terms as Hughes himself stated them on the website do not insist on favorable comment. He's apparently willing to bet that if people will just read his book, most of them will like it; this is a bet any author really has to take, since if they *don't* believe that, just how do they figure to make a living?

The synchronized reviewing is *not* the author's project, that's James' project; as I said above, my plan was to *not* go with the synchronized review if I didn't like the book, but just publish my negative remarks whenever I normally would have published them. At this point I have read the book, and that's not going to be an issue for me :-).

Yeah, it wasn't an issue for me either, to wildly understate the case.

I managed to miss yesterday's target date due to encountering Travel Hell at Chicago O'Hare and not getting home until 2am (instead of the scheduled 6:30ish pm), but I got my blog post (http://www.rixosous.com/2008/05/template.html) up before going to work this morning. Now I just need to print out that bibliography from Hughes' website so I can start shopping...

James, thanks for bringing Hughes to my attention. I expect lots of reading pleasure to come.

Susan
(RIxosous)