Friday 29 January 2010

Meet the BoSS (Being an Explanation of the Bag o' Speculative Swag)

To my continuing amazement and bemusement, The Speculative Scotsman seems to be picking up new readers with every passing day, but let us not forget the sage advice of someone's dead uncle: with great power comes great responsibility. And so it goes. In this case, however, it's probably safe to substitute the "responsibility" part for "perks".

I mean ARCs, of course. Galleys, proofs, review copies, whatever you prefer to call them. Much as readers continue to wend their way to this humble blog, so too do publishers; publishers based here in the UK and indeed, from further afield.

Now, as I said in the blogosphere round-up a few days ago, I'm a firm believer in the points raised by Book of All Hours author Hal Duncan in his involved "Ethics and Enthusiasm" blog post. Do pop on over to Notes From the Geek Show to read that BSFA award-nominated essay addressing the concerns faced by both the reviewers who make their hearth and home here, on the internet, and the people who rely on those very reviewers for what purports to be objective criticism.

Let me be clear: much as I appreciate your appreciation, dear readers, the Bag o' Speculative Swag is not for you. This is neither a contest, nor a giveaway. There may come a point when TSS lords over such a thing - I certainly wouldn't rule it out of the picture - but for the moment, let me formally introduce you to the BoSS, as I like to call it; a feature that will present itself here on the blog as and when its services are required.

Each BoSS post will consist of a picture, a brief description and/or plot synopsis, publication details and a few of my thoughts on the received books in question. Please understand, these posts are not intended to be boasts - I urge you not to perceive them as such. Rather, the BoSS will stand both as a preview of things to come on the blog and as a quick, painless, even entertaining way to do right by the publishers and publicity reps who kindly send such books for The Speculative Scotsman's consideration.

Not everything featured in the BoSS posts you'll see on the site from time to time will be reviewed, although at this early stage in the development of TSS, the vast majority will see some sort of further coverage, even if we're just talking about a Quick Book to explain that something hasn't been to my tastes. Of course, I reserve the right to change this policy as and when I deem it necessary; depending on how many ARCs come through the door, there could come a point when I simply don't have the time to write something about everything. But we're not there yet.

Right then. For the moment, that's about all the explaining there is to do. Look out for the first proper BoSS later today, featuring Finch by Jeff Vandermeer, Sam Sykes' Tome of the Undergates and Horns by Joe Hill, among others. Well, two others.

Until then: ladies, gentlemen, one and all. A good day to you!

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