All this negative energy just makes me stronger

This morning I awoke to find some reviews slipped under the hotel room door. Two good, one not so good. I think my Corporate Masters are taunting me—they haven’t fed me days, and all three sheets of paper had mustard stains on them. Naturally, I ate the paper.

But not before getting the link info. First, the two good reviews:

From Bookgasm: “The book is filled with great action, even with the view of the future as bleak as it is. Best of all, it will never bog the reader down with techno-babble. Not only will you never feel lost, you’ll never be bored.”

Then, Sci Fi Chick: “This is a dark, intense and suspenseful novel that had me on the edge of my seat.”

Huzzah! I am teh shit. Ah, but then, a bad review. Some people wonder why I post bad reviews—this is something I’ve done with my zine, The Inner Swine, ever since the beginning. And I should clarify that I am NOT arguing with or ridiculing the review or the reviewer—I believe that the moment I put writing out into the public eye, I lose control over it and must accept what people say or feel about it, no matter what.

No, I print/link to bad reviews because I think it’s better than pretending they’re not there. Someone disliked my book—maybe I can learn from their review, maybe you can. Either way, it’s always good to remind yourself that not everyone thinks you’re a superstar.

So, the bad review:

From Jeff VanderMeer: “Despite plenty of energy and desire, an ultimately disappointing mixture of noir thriller and science fiction fails to rise above its influences.”

Sigh. It can’t all be gravy, right?


  1. Jeff VanderMeer

    I do the same thing re negative reviews. And I look forward to your next book, btw. Sorry this one didn’t do it for me, but it’s clearly done it for others.

    All the Best,

  2. jsomers (Post author)


    Cheers—I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on the book. Best of luck to you!


  3. Adam C

    I think that JeffV up there missed the depth of Cates’ character and the setting and situations he was in. He is mostly a killer because there isn’t much else he, or anyone, can be. Well, he could be a monk, I suppose, but then, the book would be really short.

    So to presume that it’s illogical that he’s a “killer with a concience” to quote an oft used euphemism, would be to undermine the very detailed setting in which Somers’ creates in his futuristic world.

  4. Rafael Kayanan

    I’m sold – I’ve always loved this kind of subject matter!

  5. jsomers (Post author)


    Well, if even bad reviews are selling the book, who can complain!

    Love that illustration–all of them, actually. Anyone reading this should check out the whole site:


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