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THE INTERACTIVE VERSION OF
Grasping for the Wind (The Linkup Meme Song) by John Anealio

Bookspotcentral and the Bibliosnark
SF Signal and the Accidental Bard
The Crotchety Old Fan and Blood of the Muse
OF Blog of the Fallen and Fantasy Debut

Andromeda Spaceways and the Deckled Edge
The Fantasy Cafe and AurealisXpress
The Antick Musings of the Hornswaggler Gent.
A Dribble of Ink and the Galaxy Express

Chorus
I’m Grasping for the Wind
with this Linkup Meme
I don’t know where to begin
with these RSS feeds

Speculative Fiction Junkie, Hyperpat’s Hyper Day
Cheaper Ironies and Neth Space
Dragons, Heroes, and Wizards and The Wertzone
the Sudden Curve and The Agony Column

Robots and Vamps and the Sci-Fi Guy
Urban Fantasy Land and io9
Adventures in Reading and Galleycat
Cheryl’s Musings and The Sequential Rat

Chorus

Dark Wolf Reviews and Darque Reviews
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review,
The Spiral Galaxy Reviews
The Highlander’s Book Review
Sandstorm Reviews and The Sword Review

Chorus

Enter the Octopus and Walker of Worlds
Rob’s Blog of Stuff, The Discriminating Fangirl
Bibliophile Stalker and the SciFi Chick
Hasenpfeffer and the Fantasy Book Critic

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist and Critical Mass
Jumpdrives and Cantrips, The World in a Satin Bag
Fruitless Recursion and the Book Swede
Bookcrastination and Reading the Leaves

Chorus

Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Feminist SF the Blog!
Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ Blog
and the Fantastic Reviews Blog

Sci-Fi Fan Letter and 7 foot shelves
Author 2 Author, Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
SF Gospel and the Bookgeeks
Danger Gal and NextRead

Chorus

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THE INTERACTIVE VERSION OF
Grasping for the Wind (The Linkup Meme Song) by John Anealio

Bookspotcentral and the Bibliosnark
SF Signal and the Accidental Bard
The Crotchety Old Fan and Blood of the Muse
OF Blog of the Fallen and Fantasy Debut

Andromeda Spaceways and the Deckled Edge
The Fantasy Cafe and AurealisXpress
The Antick Musings of the Hornswaggler Gent.
A Dribble of Ink and the Galaxy Express

Chorus
I’m Grasping for the Wind
with this Linkup Meme
I don’t know where to begin
with these RSS feeds

Speculative Fiction Junkie, Hyperpat’s Hyper Day
Cheaper Ironies and Neth Space
Dragons, Heroes, and Wizards and The Wertzone
the Sudden Curve and The Agony Column

Robots and Vamps and the Sci-Fi Guy
Urban Fantasy Land and io9
Adventures in Reading and Galleycat
Cheryl’s Musings and The Sequential Rat

Chorus

Dark Wolf Reviews and Darque Reviews
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review,
The Spiral Galaxy Reviews
The Highlander’s Book Review
Sandstorm Reviews and The Sword Review

Chorus

Enter the Octopus and Walker of Worlds
Rob’s Blog of Stuff, The Discriminating Fangirl
Bibliophile Stalker and the SciFi Chick
Hasenpfeffer and the Fantasy Book Critic

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist and Critical Mass
Jumpdrives and Cantrips, The World in a Satin Bag
Fruitless Recursion and the Book Swede
Bookcrastination and Reading the Leaves

Chorus

Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Feminist SF the Blog!
Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ Blog
and the Fantastic Reviews Blog

Sci-Fi Fan Letter and 7 foot shelves
Author 2 Author, Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
SF Gospel and the Bookgeeks
Danger Gal and NextRead

Chorus

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THE BIG UPDATE

Which you’d know all about already if you were linked to the right version of the blog. But since you aren’t, you can find it here.

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And the Beat Goes on…

My encouragements to you all to switch over to the new version of the blog here have been so successful that I am going to provide further incentive to make the switch(es) permanent.

I will no longer be posting full length posts here, merely a summary and a link to the new site.¬† Maybe after a month or so, I’ll be able to shut this one down.

The newest post covers changes to my methodology for reviewing the reviewers, a few observations regarding that task, some new blogs added and an updated copy of John Ottinger’s GFTW list.

Top read it all – go here

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Housekeeping: Again, thanks to those folks who are linking to the new version of the blog and/or who have bothered to change their links. It is making a big difference: Over the past (approximately) two days, the traffic relationship between the two has shifted, with the new version now receiving the majority of unique visits. Yay!

Please do not forget to send in your self-descriptions: John Ottinger over at Grasping for the Wind (the originator of the review blog meme) said “use my existing description from the site” – so you all may already have written yours.

Note: A few of the links in John Ottinger’s list do not take you to the front page of the blog. So, when visiting, make sure you’re linking to the root and adjust things in the address bar if necessary.

***

The Specusphere: Group blog from – Australia! Seems to be more of a front-end and archive for their webzine, now in issue 5. Reviews cover everything including southern hemisphere writings – which, if you haven’t been paying attention for the past couple of years is a hotbed of new talent and innovative ideas. Add

SpineBreakers: Very interesting concept/social networking site from Penguin Books. Targeted to ‘spinebreakers’ – “any story-surfing, web-exploring, word-loving, day-dreaming reader/writer/artist/thinker aged 13 to 18”. If you want to see what the targets of YA marketing are exicted about, reviewing and reading, check out this site. Add (for research value).

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: Two self-proclaimed (smart) bitches review romance novels and give it to you straight. Pretty funny, even if you aren’t into romance novels. Might add it for the humor.

Speculative Fiction: Not sure how current this blog is, as the 6th item down (as of reporting) chronicles my debate with Ian Sales that drew in IO9, Technorati and a bunch of others over whether there’s any ‘classic’ science fiction worth recommending. (They refer to it as ‘golden age’ SF and others use the term “vintage”, but it all translates into the same thing: good, solid science fiction, unencumbered by angst, psychologically conflicted characters or literary affectations. You know – stories, rather than philosophical treatises.) If you’re keeping track, I think I won that debate and if you aren’t – don’t worry about it. The whole thing was just one of those internet spasms anyways. Or proof that I know how to stir up controversy. Anyway. The site right now features link-o-rama – and I already have them in my blogroll.

Speculative Fiction Junkie: Good reviews focused in equal parts on fantasy and SF. Also focused on identifying the ‘true first edition’ of each work – so if you are a collector… Add.

Speculative Horizons: Interviews, reviews, giveaways. Covers everything – books, games, multi-media. More fantasy than SF, and primarily focused on new works. Probable add.

Spiral Galaxy Reviews: Lots of other review blogs link to and/or reference this one – and I can see why. The author is now a slush reader for Strange Horizons and is guest blogging for several other blogs, and has a very nice mix of a wide range of product – including a fair amount of esoterica (William Atheling/James Blish’s critiques, for example). Add.

Spontaneous Derivation: Ocassional contributor to the TOR site. A celebration of the Kindle, SFF on the Kindle, epubbing and ‘everything else’. I need to keep track of epubbing, so – add.

Sporadic Book Reviews: As advertised in the title, infrequent postings and short, short reviews. Unlikely add.

Stella Matutina: Very nicely designed site, but for me the gold and red and black colors make it difficult to read. It is nice to look at though. Mostly fantasy, YA and ‘creative non-fiction’, but the blogger is beginning to ‘get into’ SF, so I will check back as that progresses through the year.

The Sudden Curve: Looks like a guy having way too much fun; more clip gathering than anything else right now. Nice GGA graphics at the top and – anyone who proclaims Johnny Quest opening credits as ‘The Best Ever’ get’s the nod. Add. (Is the title from the Meatload song?)

The Sword Review: Way slow to load – but who knows whether that’s my fault or the page’s? E-zine that has ceased publication, now serving as an archive of that magazine’s contents and as a link to MindFlights, another e-zine. I’ll link to Mindflights.

Tangent Online: Site is being updated and therefore, currently no new material. Primarily reviews of short fiction from small press and e-zines. Gotta keep up with those markets. Add.

Tehanni Wessely: More personal musings/life experiences than reviews. The author is tied in to Australian small press and things spec fic. Probable add.

Temple LIbrary Reviews: Sci-Fi, horror and literary fiction. Mmmm. Interesting, but my impression is that it’s kind of all over the place. I’ll have to think about this one.

TOR.Com. Add. Add. Add. Patrick and Theresa are amongst the best (and most repected) editors in the biz. Often features free fiction from headliners and almost always has interesting bits, as well as good reviews. (Already added btw.)

The Road Not Taken: A few reviews but, perhaps more important to bibliophiles – coverage of book sale deals, coupon availability & etc. I got me some gift cards and this site’s coupon codes are going to help me stretch them to cover additional purchases. Add.

Un:Bound: Mostly horror/urban fantasy, but starting to branch out via membership in two book clubs. A first work is A Clockwork Orange, Burgess’ tour-de-force (and a great movie as well). Might add once they get around to reviewing ACO…

Urban Fantasy Land: Hmmm. Title says it all. Books are conveniently grouped into Grades A through F, though nothing is to be found in the D’s or F’s. (What, no one flunks out of urban fantasy?) In-depth reviews, just not my cuppa.\

Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic. One of my favorite book openings – Wells’ from War of the Worlds. (Particularly excellent as read by Richard Burton on the album of the same name.) And a perfect title for a review column. Not a daily blog, but a good read when posting and primarily SF oriented. Reminded me of the SFSignal/Buzz Aldrin discussion over whether SF has destroyed the space program or not. I’ll have something on that later today on the blog. Gonna add this one.

Variety SF: Short reviews – mostly of free online fiction, as well as links to free fiction finds. Add.

Walker of Worlds:Totally SF oriented. Wide selection of reads and some interesting finds. Add

Wands and Worlds: Publisher’s blog (well, personal review blog of a small press publisher of YA F & SF). Covers just about everything YA in those two categories. Add.

The Wertzone: Games, television and books, cross genre coverage. UK based, so some of the items may be unfamiliar to US based readers/watchers. Some news coverage as well. Mmmm. Thinking about this one.

With Intent to Commit Horror: Totally horror. Mentions rats (again) in the actual url. I think this might actually be a companion blog to another reviewed earlier. In-depth reviews, but – its still that same cuppa that ain’t mind.

WJ Fantasy Reviews: Comics, books, movies. Mostly fantasy as the name suggests. The blogger is having some internet connection issues and promises to get them sorted out. In the meantime, posting is sparse. Unprobable add.

The World in a Satin Bag: SF, right now devoted to Star Wars geekery and twitter. Working writer, also features submissions and novel-in-progress. Most likely not.

WriteBlack: Two minorities in one over here (so if you’re looking to save on your minority interests…). The author is not “too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time”; reviews and musings on genre writing by black authors, by a female black editor. As the old joke goes, if she had a Spanish surname, she’d have all the bases covered… Nice writing and a very interesting perspective. I’m tempted to make all kinds of off-color jokes (pun-intended) but I’m not sure if black or white america is quite ready as we haven’t really seen what the post-Obama world is going to be like. Will it mean more space for black authors on the shelves? Go to this site and I’m sure you’ll find out. Add.

Young Adult Science Fiction: Infrequently updated due to pregnancy. Right now, more links to interesting science/space tidbits than anything else. Linked to three other blogs. I see few actual reviews here. Hails from Alaska: I wonder if she can see roosians out her kitchen window? Hot on internet safety for kidz (can you really advocate internet safety and YA SF together? My take is: sit them down with all the RAH juvenovels and when they’re done, you’ll have little to worry about.)Probably won’t add.

And, we’re done – except for a couple of follow on reviews and investigation of the foreign language blogs.

I sincerely hope that A: I did not offend anyone (it wasn’t my intention to do so if I did) B: that you find this useful C: that you send in your own take on your blog so I can add it D: that you visit all of these blogs for yourself and make your own decisions about adding to your rolls (a little spicy mustard never hurt) E: that some of you will take the time to return the favor and review my blog F: and that once I announce the creation of the pages that archive these reviews, you link to it so that fellow travelers can utilize it as well.

***

It is currently 7 degrees (feels like -19) outside and I have to go shovel the walk and the back porch. I’d MUCH rather be doing more reviews…

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Housekeeping: Thank you to those who have already taken the opportunity to self-define their blogs. Those responses are currently in the comments and will be added right underneath my reviews once I: get a few more and finish out the list. They will also be added to the website page once that is compiled.

Thank you also to those who have been understanding and those who have sent comments of encouragement and approval – I really appreciate them.

NO thank you to the folks who didn’t send in instructions to my wife to get naked.

and finally – my best wishes to all of you during the coming New Year.

***

There are some 28 review blogs beginning with the letter S; not surprising as we’re dealing with a double whammy with that letter. It is both one of the most popular consonants in the English language, and the initial letter in Science Fiction, Sci Fi, SyFy, SciPhi, SpecFic, SpecLit and SF (which does not stand for San Francisco).

I’ve entitled this post as part 1, anticipating that I will not make it through all 28 in one sitting – but I might depending on how the morning goes; today’s laundry list of tasks includes the laundry (we rent and must, therefore, endure foraging trips for quarters as well as establishing temporary encampments at the local lint factory), puffing up my courage and selecting a couple of short stories to send in to SFReader.com’s story contest (deadline is today), call the attorney (minor stuff – as well as wishing him and his a happy New Year) and draft a response to the response from my book distributor friends for the paintball book coming out in 2009. (That won’t take long, their changes/requests are very minor and well-within the confines of the deal I was hoping to make with them.)

And, as predicted, we have another winter storm gently floating to the ground and freezing all over everything. Which means I’m pretty much stuck indoors (or at least have an excuse to be stuck indoors).

***

Sandstorm Reviews: Wide ranging (crime, history, SF, fantasy) and infrequently updated. Appears as if this blogger is trying to make time to blog but just can’t find it. Probably not.

SciFiChick.com: She has a new puppy! (Cute too – the puppy I mean. Oh, what the heck, SciFi Chick is pretty cute too. So sue me for the sexist remark.) Mostly television and film, news and links, but book reviews, mostly of an SF and fantasy nature, as well. Without the puppy – not sure. With the puppy, it’s an add.

Sci Fi Wire: Already monitoring this one. Has an annoying tendency to launch videos that you can’t turn off. A creature of SkiffyTube. Commercial and obviously so. Sometimes has breaking news, but usually follows the better news sources like Locus, BoingBoing, Signal, etc.

SciFiGuy: Not Bill. Doug. From Canada. Good grounding in classic SF, but is conentrating on urban fantasy just now. Nice layout and concept – features and author, a work and provides lots of background, supplementary material. Add

Sci-Fi Fan Letter: Bookseller. Long interviews with selected authors. Currently on fantasy. Mmmm. Probably….

Sci-Fi Songs: Probably THE most unique review blog on the list and will be added for that reason alone. Reviews music and ties it in to science fiction; also covers his own singing/songwriting efforts. Interesting and fun.

The Sequential Rat: What is it with the rat thing? Oh, after reading the “About’ over here, I have my answer. You’ll have to visit to find out for yourselves. Graphic novels are the focus here, right now particularly crime and horror and crime/horror. Probable add as I need to learn more about graphic novels (beyond what Watchmen and Dark Knight taught me).

Severian’s Fantastic Worlds: Begins with Gene Wolfe’s contention that “all literature is fantasy”; true to its self-description of being eclectic, devoted to writing, other things of interest (to the blogger) and reviews of both the fantastical and the mundane. Maybe an add. My counter quote for Wolfe would be: “anything not science fiction (or fantasy) is mundane”.

SF Diplomat: A blog that “has run its course”; permanently mothballed according to the author, who has gone off to do more film-critiquing elsewhere. Won’t be adding the flying insect deterrent.

SF Gospel: Author’s blog (author of The Gospel According to Science Fiction). Well, here we go with the mixing of genres once again. Although I must say that I didn’t feel drowned in biblical quotations, only that McKee (author) simply looks at everything through a theological lens. His view on Science Fiction, as quoted on Amazon is that “The main goal of SF is to show us how we can face the future and overcome the new challenges that our changing world may develop.” a contention that is arguable (but won’t be argued here). Well written and apparently well-researched, nevertheless the focus is one that I personally find – A: confusing and B: on a par with analyzing everything through a Freudian lens, Campbellian lens or any other affectation you might care to impose. But it is a well-presented argument for this point of view. On a slightly more picky note – the review of The Day The Earth Stood Still contains some inaccuracies that detract from the overall comparison of the two films (Klaatu was never allowed to speak to the UN in the original) and, if the director (Wise) says he was not deliberately engaging in re-writing christian parable with that movie, we’ve got to take him at his word. I will continue to point out the scene in which Klaatu reads the laundry tag with the name Carpenter on it, almost looks into the camera, smiles wrly and then throws it away as evidence that cast and crew were aware of the possible connection and deliberately denied it, in the film. But then that’s me. McKee’s point of view is intriguing enough that I’ll be adding this one, even if I’ll probably disagree with just about everything in there.

SFReviews: Ooodles of reviews, covering everything SF. Can’t fault a reviewer who gives 5 stars to Asimov’s Foundation trilogy – even if I think short shrift is given to Niven. Add

SF Revu: Blogazine. Covers – everything. Seems to be released as a monthly issue with archives. Add (but then, I’m adding all the free e-zines)

SF Signal: Oh Sf Signal. First – if they gig one of your entries, be prepared, since you’re gonna be seeing a lot of traffic. Next – their Mind Meld feature (asking a bunch of folks from the field to respond to a particular issue) is legendary, fun and informative. Reviews equally so and their TidBits (capsules of the day’s genre news) more often than not, scoop everyone else. If you had to pick one (free) genre news source/blog, this is the one. I just wish they’d pick on me every day, or at least once a week, instead of about once every month. Oh – already added.

SF Site: Home of the folks who maintain the F&SF website/forum, several author pages and hosts it’s own kinda-bi-monthly ‘magazine’ with reviews, interviews and articles. Lots of good stuff and already added.

SFF World’s Book Reviews: book review section of a lively forum that I regularly frequent. Wide selection of reviews by numerous reviewers (many of whom frequent the forum, where further discussion ensues). Already added.

Silver Reviews: A site hosted by the aforementioned SFSite. Hosts a book reviewer’s webring as well (probably worth checking out given the current subject) HUGE number of reviews archived, along with a nice little graphical index to such things as awards, nominations and etc. Covers other media in addition to literature (oops, I mean, ‘written science fiction’). Add.

OK for today! Tomorrow should see me wrapping everything up (once again, apologies to our foreign language friends; I’ll go through them and any I can understand I’ll review, but those I can’t…)

I will be fixing my rss feed link on the new version of the blog; traffic there is now achieving parity with the old blog, which means that at least some of you are going there (thank you!).

One more mention of sending in your own description of your blog – please, I think between my look-see and your own description, folks will be able to find everything they are looking for) and

even though I am guilty of this myself – think about adding a little more info to your “About” tabs…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be Safe and Be Well!

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It is pretty obvious that in the course of scanning, overviewing, encapsulating and perusing some ten plus blogs a day, I will inevitably get some things wrong.

Getting it wrong ranges from the prosaic (you forgot to include a link) to the esoteric (I’m not a scientist, I’m an economist) to the incorrect (hey, I review SF too dammit!)

This is annoying to say the least (not the commentary, but the fact that I missed something).

It ocurred to me that there is a solution, and a solution that will enhance both the reviews, the webpage that I’m compiling for them and, potentially, YOUR traffic.

It’s very simple. All you need to do is self-characterize your site and send it along to me either in a comment or to my email. (If you take the email route, please include the name of your blog and/or a link.)

I believe that the most effective way of self-characterizing your (review) blog is to provide some assessment of the distribution of your reviews amongst the various genres (I review equal parts hard fantasy, lycanthropic romance and urban vampiric techno-thrillers) along with a nod to other esoterica that may sneak in to your blog (I mix coverage of my personal interest in caves that have been visited by Franklin Pierce, transgender delphinoids and jello sculptures of well-known fictional characters in with my reviews).

I’d make this a poll type thingie, but as I’m learning, there are far more genres, sub-genres, sub-sub-genres (those are the stories featuring whatever taking place in submarines) and particularly defined cross-overs that I’d spend more time adding possible answers than it would be worth.

To get started, I’ll attempt to characterize my own blog:

The Crotchety Old Fan is primarily devoted to commentary on Science Fiction drawing inspiration from contemporary sources, the defense of classic science fiction (against all-comers) and ocassional reviews of movies, television shows, books, comics and other art forms with a connection to classic science fiction. It also features personal silliness, makes frequent forays into whatever strikes my fancy at the moment and is an homage to my wife, who is currently NOT naked.

Go on. Give it a shot.

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