Friday, 5 June 2009

Not a review of David Langford's Starcombing (2009)

There’s been such a kerfuffle, recently, about the venality and rank corruption of the world of SF book reviewing that I may not review this title. Full disclosure is not covered by ‘Langford is a friend of mine’, not least because Langford’s many friends are so ubiquitous throughout SF&F. More, praising words from a review I wrote of an earlier item of Langfordiana are quoted on the back cover of this book. More more, I am the author of the book's 500-word preface, in which I discourse admiringly upon the Length of David’s, uh, Ford. This trio of facts perfectly disqualifies me from commenting upon the volume.

It’s shame, because it means I won’t be able to set down here how enormously enjoyable the whole book is; how the old prose is as lively as ever, the coverage of topics (these are collected reviews, columns and other pieces) as widely spread, the critical intelligence as acute. I won’t say that everybody seriously interested in the current state of the genre will want to have this on their shelves. I am not recommending this volume to you. You ought to buy a copy, but I’m not telling you to.


Peter Hollo said...

Dear sir,
You are a motherfucker, for which I thank you.

(I also thank you for mentioning this book, which I shall purchase immediately, not only because you didn't review it but also because I love what Mr Langford writes anyway).

Adam Roberts said...

That is by far the nicest thing anyone's said about me all day.