Monday, 6 January 2020

What Retro Science Fiction Reviews is all about

Welcome to Retro Science Fiction Reviews. I'm Cora Buhlert, writer, teacher, translator and lifelong SFF fan. You can find out more about me here as well as at my personal site. As the name of the site implies, I review vintage science fiction and fantasy and link to other people's reviews.

Let's have a bit of background: I have been a Hugo nominator and voter for several years now and also participated in the Retro Hugos whenever they were offered. And like many a Retro Hugo voter/nominator, I have often been frustrated by the Retro Hugo finalists and winners. Because all too often, people seem to be voting and nominating based on name recognition and so we see weak works by big names get nominated or even win, while lesser known stories and authors are ignored.

Part of the problem is that while we have excellent crowdsourced recommendation systems for the current year Hugos such as Renay's Hugo Spreadsheet of Doom or the HugoAward Nominees Wiki, there is nothing of that sort for the Retro Hugos. So I thought, "Why don't I start an open recommendation spreadsheet for the Retro Hugos?"

You can find the recommendation spreadsheet for the 1945 Retro Hugos here and also linked on the front page. If there is a 1944 work of science fiction, fantasy or horror you feel is missing, please feel free to add it to the spreadsheet. The more of us contribute, the better.

However, another problem with the Retro Hugos is that while there are plenty of reviews for current works out there, which help us to find works we enjoy and may want to nominate, reviews of older SFF are much thinner on the ground. Of course, there are many fine sites which focus on vintage SFF, such as Galactic Journey, SFMagazines, who also have a 1945 Retro Hugo eligibility list on their site, Science Fiction Ruminations, M. Porcius Fiction Log, Strange at Ecbatan and others. However, there isn't any site that specifically focusses on works eligible for the Retro Hugos.

So I decided to do my part and review works eligible for the 1945 Retro Hugos at my personal blog. And if I could persuade others to do the same, we might manage to offer a good overview of eligible works to potential Retro Hugo nominators.

Then I thought, "Why not have a dedicated site for reviews of Retro Hugo eligible works? I could crosspost my own reviews there and link to those of other people." And this is how Retro Science Fiction Reviews was born.

Of course, I am only one person and cannot review everything that came out in 1944, just a small fraction thereof. Not to mention that there are many works and whole fields I don't know very much about. And like everybody I have my own biases. There are authors and works I just don't care for.

Therefore, I need your help. Have you reviewed an SFF work that came out in 1944 and is eligible for the 1945 Retro Hugos? Then mail me a link to your review. Would you like to review a 1944 work and don't have a place to post your review? You can also mail me the whole review and I will post it here, giving you credit, of course. You can contact me at cora(at)corabuhlert.com.

So let's work together to improve the Retro Hugos.

And once the 1945 Retro Hugos are over, I will keep this site open for future years of Retro Hugos. 

Disclaimer: This blog is an unofficial fansite and not associated with or endorsed by the WSFS, the Hugo Awards or CoNZealand, the 2020 WorldCon.  

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