Blurbs and context

When we get reviewed in the theater, there’s always a moment of scanning the review looking for the pull quote. We’ve got to have something we can plaster on brochure’s and flyers. It is always tempting to pull something out of context like pulling, “Amazing!” out of “It’s amazing that anyone came back after intermission.” (Completely fictional example.)

In the writing arena, I quote reviews and mentions here, and yeah, usually focus on the juicy stuff. For instance,

Gardner Dozois talked about his picks for the Nebula short story categories, saying:

My vote would go to Andy Duncan’s “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” … My next choice, I guess, would be “For Solo Cello, op. 12,” by Mary Robinette Kowal … followed by “Titanium Mike Saves the Day,” by David D. Levine…

Woot! Gardner Dozois puts me in the number two position! Except… if you read the whole quote.

This is the weakest of the categories.

My vote would go to Andy Duncan’s “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” although it’s not even really a fantasy let alone SF–what it is is an Andy Duncan story, who’s a genre to himself, much like Howard Waldrop. Since Duncan is popular with the membership, it might have a chance, although it did appear in an expensive hardcover anthology from a small press.

Not much else here I’m really enthusiastic about. My next choice, I guess, would be “For Solo Cello, op. 12,” by Mary Robinette Kowal, which is SF (but which is probably unlikely to win), followed by …

Ow. Gardner Dozois says, “Not really enthusiastic!” and “Unlikely to win!”

Ah, context… Think I can put that on a poster?

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9 Responses

  1. Evan Nichols

    Ouch, indeed. But hey; you’re on the short list for the Nebula Ballot! Even when you’re getting faint praise from some reviews, it’s still an impressive accomplishment to be talked about.

  2. David D. Levine

    There’s nothing like getting nominated for a major award to find out how much you suck. (The nomination calls for a response from people who might otherwise have passed the story by without saying anything, so it drives the bad reviews out of the woodwork.)

  3. Zoid

    But think!!! If you paraphrase him, you can say you’re the choice of guessers!!!!!

    And yes, this is the reason I’m a prep-cook and not picketing outside of the tonight show.