For the last three months I’ve had the nagging suspicion that I was a dead man walking when it came to writing reviews. As much as I’ve enjoyed the process of reading novels on shortlists and then sharing my thoughts, the time it was taking to write a half decent review meant I wasn’t keeping pace with my reading. And as the gap between reviews and books read widened that nagging suspicion became a cold hard reality.
I simply don’t have the time to produce reviews of a quality high enough that I’m happy to see them published. Yes, I could try to write shorter pieces, limit myself to 500 words, but every time I’ve attempted this my inner editor has taken a nap and before you know it I’ve spent five days writing a 1,500 word ramble. And, yeah, I could Patreon the shit out of this blog in the vain hope that asking for cash will compel me (more likely guilt me) into writing a review every couple of days. But fuck that. I’d rather enjoy the books I’m reading then feel weighed down by the responsibility of having to review them.
So I’ve made the mature decision to quit while I’m ahead. I’m proud of the 70 or so reviews I did knock out this year and there’s still a handful to come – they were originally published on my Facebook page. But from this point on I’ll no longer be publishing individual thoughts on each shortlisted novel. That doesn’t mean this blog is dead – for one thing I just renewed the hosting fees – or that I’ll stop discussing the nominated novels. I’ll still be announcing the finalists and, once I’ve read all the nominees, suggesting the book I believe should have been crowned the winner. In addition, I’ll be keeping a weekly journal (on a blog! I know! How innovative!) of the books I’m reading. I might quote a favourite passage, I might groan and moan about the state of epic fantasy or whether all awards, literary or genre, should feature the goggle-eyed face of Lovecraft. Whatever tickles my fancy.
Will it last? Will I be back in eight months with a similar post talking about how I no longer have the time to turn on my computer let alone snark about the Hugo Awards? Very likely. (I mean, it’s taken me three days to write this blog post). For now though I feel invigorated and a little bit inspired knowing that I’ll still be engaging with the genre and literary fields, just without all the bells and whistles.
So this is not an end… just a slight detour.