I got reviewed in New Podler!

So, all that sending Trang out to review blogs paid off--I got a nice one by David Drazul on The New Podler Review of Books.

Ever since receiving a "magna plus!" on my senior thesis by someone who clearly did not even remotely get it (he liked it because he was the department's token Southerner--he wasn't the only Southerner, he was just the token one--and I wrote about Eudora Welty), I've distinguished between positive reviews and good reviews. In a way, it's more annoying to get a positive review that is bad ("I like Trang because this guy named Patch has weed tattooed on his arms. Wouldn't it be awesome if weed tattoos actually, like, got you high? And then you'd, like, be high all the time? Because tattoos don't wear off? That would be awesome. I really loved this book, man.") than a really insightful review by someone who, in the end, didn't like the work--I mean, I doubt the latter sort of thing helps sales, but at least you can respect it. (Actually, come to think of it, it might help sales anyway--I've certainly checked out things after reading negative reviews if the reviewer was made to think.)

Drazul's review, I thought, was both fairly positive (and it gave me a good pull quote, which I certainly appreciate--"Trang is a clever return to the social sci-fi days of yesteryear" is everywhere now), and it was good. He has my number: I'm not interested in how the technology works, and I have a main character who couldn't tell you even if I was. I put a lot of effort into the dialog (and, see--the cussing is important for purposes of story!), and one of the little underlying themes is that the Special Forces are almost as alien to Trang as the actual aliens. I was rather obviously inspired by the social sci-fi of Star Trek and Babylon 5--I love that kind of thing. (District 9, Firefly...ah.)

I also don't doubt that an editor or at least a real copy editor would have improved the book--that's true of everybody, and it's much, much easier to edit and proofread someone else's work rather than your own. (Although I don't think I'd do a hard-core edit at this point--I know people do that, because nowadays you can without too much trouble, but it seems weird to me to have two markedly different versions of the same book floating around.) Hopefully now that I'm poking around writers' groups I can connect with someone...well, apparently someone like me who isn't me who would be willing to proofread. We'll see.