Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Reviews, Rebuttals and Other Interactions

Well, book 3, The Ascendant Stars, has been out for about 2 1/2 weeks now, during which its had a sparkling review in the Guardian, and….hmm, a few downgrading consumer review/comments on Amazon. Those of you who follow these things might have spotted my ripostes to a couple of these, specifically the 1 and 2 star reviews. Aye, well, perhaps its an ego thing (heh, perhaps…) but I`m pretty sure that there are in existence on this planet books which actually do thoroughly deserve 1 or 2 star reviews and, yep, I don’t think they include mine.

Which is why I took time out to defend my work, contrary to the received wisdom that writers should be aloof from the fray. Then just in the last couple of days a friend or two pointed out one basic flaw in this approach, namely that responding to criticism of a work of fiction can potentially open a can of worms of idiocy. Yes, the can of Idiot Worms! Or, in other words, getting dragged down into tit for tat exchanges that could all too easily degenerate into all-out flame wars. Such an undignified and public word-ruck could have negative consequences (in all kinds of ways) so after some reflection I’ve decided to hang up my Amazon comment pencil and let the readers, however they are motivated, have their say.

In the end I’m pretty sure that I did the best job I was capable of when the books appeared, and the broad spread of responses, including Amazons, seem to show that I am writing stuff that readers enjoy. Immortality exists for writers, on a shelf somewhere in the future, and I hope, aspire to create something that will find its place there.

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Other Posts of Potential Interest:

  1. Seeds of Earth Reviews – Link Page
  2. SFX Reviews Orphaned Worlds
  3. Ascendant Stars Review – The Guardian, Friday Nov 4th
  4. Odyssey Eastercon – After The Hurly-Burly part 2
  5. Review Avalanche!

5 Comments already, do join in...

  1. Michael Mooney Says:

    November 22nd, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Yup, “Don’t Feed The Trolls” is a lesson we all learn the hard way… But having learned it, you are a wiser and (I hope!) happier person.
    And hey, if they don’t like your galaxy spanning work of genius, they can eff off and write their own.

  2. rockitboy Says:

    November 22nd, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Oh yeah. Takes me a while, but I get there eventually.

  3. Jon Says:

    November 23rd, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I’ve been in that situation, and generally associating yourself with a troll (engaging in “conversation”) can be as bad as not replying or worse, since from the outside it often seems petty and you give their opinion weight. The best you can do from my experience is to just sit back and hope everyone else sees them for what they are and moves on.

  4. Freeman Says:

    December 2nd, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    First of all, a big thanks is in order for a solid wrapping up of a punchy little trilogy. Unlike some of your Amazon reviewers I didn’t have any problem following the plots. Much like the oh-so-sure-of-himself, Mr. I write Math Text Books “M-I-K-E 2theD”, I reread the previous 2 novels before starting up Ascendant and thought each flowed very well into the next, one of the only hiccup being that Ascendant seems to take a little longer to get its engines burning on its voyage across those stellar empires you so thoughtfully and carefully envisaged.

    Now what I’d really like to sing my praises for are the virtuality chapters of both Horst and Bryce. This is something I’ve been experimenting with myself over the past year and a bit, trying to find a comfortable and fairly believable manner in which to develop the narrative of a character inside of a virtuality, I think you did quite a commendable effort in those regards and I will definately be taking some inspiration from those chapter in my future scriblings.

    Can’t wait for the next one Mike,

    [P.s. Any plans to tour Australia in the furture?]

  5. rockitboy Says:

    December 3rd, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Hi Freeman – many thanks for the appreciation, so good to know that my readers have got a handle on what I`m trying to do. (That said, if I could go back, I think I`d have tried to do more with less characters – man, I was juggling and dancing like crazy at the end!).

    And so glad that the virtuality sections were to your taste – I am a longtime Gibson fan, and have wanted and waited for the chance to do MY version of cyberspace, and with the Glow I just decided to let er rip. I have a feeling that I`ll be returning to the Glow at some point (although not with the next book) And if my scribblings offer any kind of clue or help that’s even better.

    And I would love to come over to Oz – it would be a kind of return for me since I lived in Perth between 1964 and 1967, during my parents temp emigration there. Things that stick in my mind are the heat and the smell of burnt grass (for some reason). I understand that the HF books are doing pretty well in Australia, but as to whether my publishers would pony up for a return flight for little ol me….doubt it somehow. But who knows what lies around the next corner – could be a movie deal (hope springs eternal)?

    Anyway, thanks for posting and take care



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