If you’re on Twitter you might be interested to know I am now as well. While I will link to posts here I am less concerned with promotion and more interested in it as another forum for talking about stories, Twitter seems capable of filling an arbitrary amount of time and I expect it’ll be a while before I figure out how to balance it.
This blog has been pretty sparse of late as I have been spending most of my time on other projects, but in the next month or two I hope to whittle down my substantial review backlog (I have notes on 10 different books) while continuing to work on the ever-growing to-read list (if you want a shorter to-read list, don’t go to Worldcon).
I originally ran this site on my own domain using scripts I had written producing HTML I designed. While there was some satisfaction in having built it all myself, this ended up being more than outweighed by the fact it was a pain to maintain. Using WordPress was easier in almost every way, at the cost that those few ways that weren’t easier were now harder.
One of those things was proper indexes. Unlike most blogs, a blog that’s basically book reviews really ought to have an index by author and (for sites like this one that are sufficiently lowbrow to have them) rating. Years after moving the site to WordPress, I’ve finally gotten around to writing some scripts to generate them. I’m not going to update them every time I post a review, but hopefully I’ve got a process that’s streamlined enough to run every few months as stuff drops off the (very large) first page. I may add an index to my short story reviews at some point, but for now there’s always the category on the right.
I thought about changing the theme, since there are some things I don’t like about this one, but fifteen minutes in WordPress’ themes catalog revealed I dislike the other options even more.
Finally, while double-checking some things, I saw that I had spelled China Miéville’s name sans accent when reviewing Iron Council in 2004. I added it, updated the post, and WordPress in its infinite wisdom republished it to the RSS feed. So some subscribers may have seen my seven year old review of Iron Council pop up…sorry.
I put my first book review online in January 2004. My main audience was myself. I read a fair amount and without assistance I have a hard time remembering what it is I’ve read before. People were asking me for recommendations and I was finding it hard to remember my favorite books. So I went back and rated every book I could remember reading and wrote at least a brief review of everything I read from then on.
That I kept at it for 100 reviews is something of a miracle. In the best of times I lose interest in such projects quickly, but I made it through two years of frequent updates before pretty much dropping it. Through 2007 and 2008 I kept wanting to get back to it, but while I was proud of having made my own site entirely from scratch the time required to update it was just too much.
Time to join the twenty-first century and let someone else do the hard work of writing blog software for me. So this is my new site. I’ve moved over all the old content, but going forward I plan on abandoning some of the oddities of my old site. Entries will be dated when they are posted, not when I read the book being reviewed, for example. Also, the jury’s still out on whether I’ll actually do this, but I aspire to a higher standard of writing. The old material was never supposed to be more than quick thoughts for myself, but a lot of people ended up reading them, so going forward I will try to do a little better. Finally, on the old site all the writing was supposed to be fresh, but here I plan on filling in thoughts on books I read during the two years I wasn’t updating. Finally, although I can’t say I watch very much of either, television and movies may see a little discussion too.