"A bunch of rats, in a gutter, fighting over some piss."
December 26, 2012 § 8 Comments
It goes back two years to the release of the previous WoT book and the questions of “an embargo” on reviews and so forth. I blogged about what transpired, including the flack that I caught for giving vague impressions (which probably sounded more laudatory than the decidedly mixed-to-negative opinion I had of the book as a whole), in a few posts back in October 2010. Although not the sole determining factor in a shift in reviewing philosophy, that mini-tempest certainly accelerated my departure from the rat race of those who appeared to have come to view review copies/galley proofs as some sort of status symbol or some semi-sacred trust that had to be kept with the publishers. If “reviewing” meant kow-towing to publicist requests/demands, then it would be better to walk away from a potentially incestuous relationship, one fraught with the possibility of feeble paeans to the marketing sheen of a book rather than a substantive look at whether or not the book in question would be remember five years hence.
That is still my stance 26 months later, although I do on occasion agree to consider books from certain non-Anglophone presses because of my curiosity about what is being produced in Spanish and Portuguese and because there is nothing of the entitlement that seems to permeate Anglo-American presses and certain online venues. So no, I never was going to receive a review copy of the latest WoT and why should I, seeing how I said in one of the linked posts above that I wouldn’t accept it under any terms? So it is with some bemusement that I learned of discussions where I would explicitly not receive the said book (which will be purchased for me to send soon afterward to someone dear to me overseas), as if this is some sort of punishment.
McCalmont’s right. If such things have to be discussed in terms of who gains access, then it really has become akin to “a bunch of rats, in a gutter, fighting over some piss.” Pardon me while I clean any rat sprayings off of my clothes and resume reading books that I either purchased with my own money or which were sent to me with only the hope that I would consider reviewing them. The rats can fight for their “access” and “privileges” without me.