One thing I find interesting about being involved with both the writing community and the reading community is noting where these groups intersect–and where they should intersect but don’t. Last month’s meeting of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild discussed marketing books. Naturally, the topic of reviewing arose. With paid reviewers rapidly disappearing from news outlets, connecting with the book blogging community is becoming increasingly important for writers. However, that can be difficult if you don’t know where to look.
Likewise, when I was starting out as a book blogger it was difficult for me to find other reviewers who focused on speculative fiction (let alone Australian speculative fiction). I wanted to connect with these people because a key part of being a reader and a blogger for me is squeeing over books with other people. I still keep an eye out for SFF reviewers, especially those who match my taste.
Since I haven’t yet found a central listing of Australian SFF book bloggers, I thought I’d pull together some of the ones I’ve stumbled across since starting to blog here at Earl Grey Editing.
But first, a word on etiquette. If you are a writer looking for a review, don’t just spam these lovely people. This is their hobby and their time deserves to be respected. Approach them as you’d approach a publisher: first check the guidelines in their review policy (most reviewers have these) as well as their recent reviews, then send a polite query without attachments. Just as your book isn’t going to suit every publishing house, it’s also not going to suit every book blogger.
I’ve chosen to include bloggers who predominantly review SFF. There are many more who occasionally review SFF along with whatever else catches their fancy.
Australian SFF book bloggers
A Conversational Life: Tehani Wessely is the driving force behind Fablecroft Publishing. She has also recently started reviewing the SFF she reads at a voracious rate. Her focus is almost exclusively on female authors.
Book Frivolity: Kristy is a fellow Aurealis judge, on the panel for Best Fantasy Short Story. She also covers sci-fi and horror on her blog in reviews that are wonderfully short and to the point.
Dark Matter Zine: Nalini reviews a wide range of Australian and international material, including books, TV shows, games and more. There’s a strong SFF focus, but other genres are also covered.
Smash Dragons: Matt Summers is part of the panel judging Best Horror Short Story for this year’s Aurealis Awards. Over on his blog, he also favours sci-fi and epic fantasy.
Speculating on SpecFic: For a time, Shaheen convened #OzYAChat on Twitter and she remains a blogger with a strong commitment to reviewing Australian material. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she has a preference for YA.
Tea in the Treetops: Another blog that reviews a range of Australian and international books. Philippa and Angelya also review quite a bit of YA SFF as well as material marketed to adults.
The Forest of Books: Stephanie Gunn regularly judges the Aurealis Awards (and is convening the panel for Best Fantasy Novel this year). She’s an astute reviewer with a focus on Australian work.
Tsana’s Reads and Reviews: Tsana’s primary focus is currently comics, but she also reviews a lot of Australian SFF. She favours science-fiction with a strong scientific basis.
What If Fiction: Emma’s blog is just starting out but has some great SFF reviews.
I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of others, especially in the YA community. If that’s you, please say hi!