Resumption of service

Well, I don’t know that I thought I’d ever be writing this particular journal entry. I started reviewing for Locus back in mid-1997. It was easy, it was fun, and I enjoyed it. Books began to flow to the little apartment I shared with Marianne in Oakland, and all was right with the world. I returned to Australia in early 1998 thinking my reviewing days were over, but by mid-1999 I was back in the saddle. Within a year of that, I was reviews editor for the magazine and doing more than ever (editing etc). The thing that suffered was my reviewing. Each individual review was increasingl torturous to write, each deadline harder to meet. Early this year, facing a cavalcade of deadlines, I effectively stopped reviewing.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t such a great sacrifice, but it was something I wasn’t sure about doing. Unsurprisingly, and quite reasonably, publishers realised this, and began to stop sending me the reviewer’s lifeblood, books. Well, things hit a definite crisis point today. I realised books weren’t coming in and, more importantly, books were slipping through the cracks at head office, and not getting reviewed as they should.

Although I have other commitments, I take Locus very seriously, and this is not acceptable. It must have the best coverage in and of the field (and I like getting books in the mail). So, pretty much effective today, I’m returning to active service. I don’t know if I’ll quite make this month’s deadline (though I’m trying), but I have reviews in train of Gwyneth Jones’ Band of Gypsys, Paul McAuley’s Little Machines, Jeff Ford’s new PS novella (if I get a copy in time), and maybe either the new Tricia Sullivan or Justina Robson novels. Publishers should know they can send books Down Under with confidence that books will be reviewed. Game on!

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