If I may call it that :P
I've been tinkering on this blog for a while now. Until recently most of my reviews were posted at BSCreview, there's about a 100 reviews of mine in their archives. I very much liked working for fantasybookspot and later bookspotcentral/bscreview but as all websites, this site evolves constantly and recently it evolved into something I am not comfortable reviewing for. Earlier this month I made the decision to move on.
The remainder of my reviews was posted at my personal livejournal. Livejournal is a nice blog site but it does have some disadvantages. I also didn't like the idea of mixing the book stuff with more personal posts, which is one of the reasons why I haven't been writing many of those.
So, a new blog it is.
What can you expect here? Let me first tell you a little bit about myself, for those of you who don't know me from either BSCreview or Livejournal. My name isn't really Val, it's Rob Weber. Although chances are I will respond to Val too. I've grown rather attached to my internet alias. I'm a thirty something guy currently living in Almere, the Netherlands. My first language is Dutch but I can also make do English (so ignore the mistakes, my English is as good as it is going to get). During the day I have an office job, which probably explains the escapist tendencies of what I read. At the moment that is mostly science fiction and fantasy, although I do throw in the occasional historical novel or even a bit of non-fiction.
About the name... allright, I admit I st.. er.. borrowed it. Simply because I am not very good at coming up with good names and the ones I like have already been taken. Random comments will do though, my writing is not always the most coherent. I will write about what strikes my about a book and completely ignore other areas. It may certainly appear random. I will try to make it less so.
It took me a while to get over my hesitation to start a new book blog. There's a million of them out there of varying quality and I don't pretend to be able to offer something new. I'm not even going to try to keep you updated on what is going on in the speculative fiction field, who is winning what award, who is topping the best-seller list and who said nasty things about this writer or that. I consider that filler and more often than not, it is not even interesting filler.
On the other hand, it is pretty hard to create enough content to keep a blog going without these things. I read about a novel a week (in the 250 - 300k words range), with a noticeable increase during my vacation. The best I can hope for is about 70 books a year. That's not a whole lot of posts but it will have to do.
What I am going to do here is tell you what I think about the books I read. It's my totally biased opinion devoid of any knowledge about the actual writing process. I read a lot, that is as far as my expertise goes. It most likely won't be the most recent of books either. I don't have any contacts in the publishing world to speak of, so chances of receiving advance copies are remote (if you have the means to change that, do send a message at valashain [at] gmail [dot] com). If I do come up with something book related worth writing about I will of course put it up here but most of the content will be reviews and I strive for a review of every book I read.
This blog is very much a work in progress, there's quite a few things I still want to do (review index for one, probably some links, figure out how to get some rudimentary stats, tinker with the lay out etc.) All of which will be realized in good time. I am too impatient to wait getting this thing started until I figured all that stuff out.
I put up the reviews I wrote in the past six weeks or so. There will most likely be a new one later in the week. I have just finished reading The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham. Enjoy reading and don't be shy about commenting.