Into the Unknowable

Into the Unknowable

Into the Unknowable

I suppose I ought to simply ignore bad reviews of my fiction and indeed this review of Into the Unknowable by Austin12345 is so unambiguously bad that perhaps that’s exactly what I should have done.

However, he is right. There is a great deal of what could be called pornographic in the novel as indeed there is in the whole of the Anomaly Trilogy. I can only accept the criticism as it stands, though I think the sexual element isn’t really much more prominent than in many other Science Fiction novels and is mostly there to justify the novel appearing in Sex Fiction sites (many of which are becoming increasingly queasy about the darker side of sex or indeed of life as a whole). Perhaps I should just eviscerate the sexual content. It wouldn’t make much difference to the length of the novel and would require only a few tweaks to maintain the narrative. By this I don’t mean that I’d remove the incidence of sexual activity, just the explicit depiction of it.

However, out of interest I looked at the rest of Austin12345‘s reviews, of which there are many. They are all reviews of Science Fiction novels, many of which promise similar Space flight adventures as in the Anomaly Trilogy, and most of which also earn the reviewer’s scorn.

I think I’d probably agree with Austin12345 in his assessment of much of what he’s reviewed (although I’ve not actually read any of the novels that he covers). His criticisms relate to poor editing, poor use of English, repetitive style and being derivative. None of the others, however, are criticised for being pornographic so, whereas Into the Unknowable is not criticised for the stylistic reasons most of the others are.

Where I might disagree with Austin12345 is his belief that the Science in Science Fiction has to be Scientific. Although that’s what I prefer and I really have problems with novels with faster-than-light space travel, unrealistic distances between bodies in space and countless misunderstandings of the physics, biology and chemistry of the universe, those Science Fiction stories are generally the ones I avoid. But if I reviewed a novel which contravened the Laws of Science, I’d generally let this pass rather than use this factor to be the reason for damning it outright. (Though with universal access to Wikipedia one would have thought it would be dead easy for a Science Fiction novelist to check the facts).

What these reviews tell me is why I don’t and wouldn’t post negative reviews on the internet. There are too many targets and there is too much opportunity to be critical. It’s great fun to read Austin12345‘s reviews and I have been tempted to write such fun reviews myself on the huge body of shoddy amateur fiction on the internet.

But, beyond being fun, what would the purpose of it be?

I’d just upset a lot of people (often in a very hurtful way) and nothing would be gained. The badly written novel would remain bad. And the only ones to get satisfaction are those like me who don’t mind a chuckle at someone else’s expense (and no doubt shouldn’t).

That’s why the only story reviews I shall ever post will be ones of stories where I believe there is considerable merit.



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