Heidi Benson has a definitive report on the LATBR‘s current state: The Book Review will lose four pages and merge with an eight-page opinion section. It could launch as soon as this month. These are unsettling developments to say the least.
Much to my regret, I was too fried this weekend to attend Wondercon. (I plan to do penance by vigorously reporting at the forthcoming APE.) But Newsarama has a definitive roundup.
Laura Miller on Un Lun Dun. I have enjoyed Miller’s reviews in the past. But I’m troubled by her Malcolm Jones-like pronouncement, “I’d never been able to get past the first chapter or so of the books I’ve tried.” Again, I must ask if today’s book reviewers are lazier than previous generations. It’s one thing if a critic didn’t care for a book, but if a critic is being paid to review something, is it not a critic’s obligation to remark only upon books that she has read? These revelations reflect badly on the reviewer and badly on the pub. Miller dismisses Miéville’s style in these earlier as “half-baked” and “callow,” but it seems to me that if she didn’t read Perdido Street Station and The Scar in full, then Miller’s modifiers are best applied to her own review, particularly since this idle speculation comes with no supportive examples.