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Review Guidelines

So you want to write speculative fiction book reviews? Good! If you already have a review to submit, please email it to But before you submit a review, please read over the following to make sure it's the type of review I'm looking for.

SFReader will post a review of any speculative fiction book, newly published or timeless classic, out of print or the current best seller. If you have doubts as to whether the book qualifies as speculative fiction, ask pete by email me at

SFReader doesn't publish multiple reviews of the same book, so if you have a book in mind you want to review, check to make sure it isn't already on the site. If the book is already reviewed, feel free to offer your review of comments in the comments section (every book has one).

The Review
We aren't looking for reviews that are summaries of the plot or outlines of the chapters. I want reviews that tell what the book is about, not what happens. A subtle, but distinct difference. Think about some of the conflicts and issues the characters faced. Is there a theme at the heart of the story? Does it offer a lesson or caution? Does it deal with issues that have relevancy today? Does it take a moral stance? Ask yourself these and other questions as you read the book, then try to answer them as you write the review.

No spoilers please! Although I want you talk about issues and conflicts the book deals with, don't give away what happens in the story. Hard to do, I know, but if I feel a review gives away too much of the plot, we won't post it.

Most important: Take a stance in your review! Tell whether or not you liked the book and make a recommendation. Try to think of the type of reader who might like the book even if you didn't: "The technical science here is sure to appeal to fans of hard science fiction" or "The ideal reader for this book is a fan of space opera." Even though I want you to take a stance on whether or not YOU liked it, I still want you to consider other readers who might like it even if you didn't. You might want to say thing like "Although it wasn't quite my cuppa, this book would have definite appeal to Heinlien fans."

Part of taking a stance is offering an overall rating. I'd like you to include a numerical rating of 0 (worst) to 10 (best) along with your review. This rating will be converted to stars: a 10 equals 5 stars, a 9 equals 4.5 stars, etc. Justify your rating - if you think the book is one star, great, but explain why you think it's one star. If you think a book is bad, you must have a reason why and I want to hear it. And if it's good, I want to hear that reason too.

The satisfaction of seeing your name on the byline! The knowledge that you're sharing something you enjoyed with others who might enjoy it as well! The joy of steering readers away from what might be a waste of the time and money!

And maybe some free books.

If you're already a reviewer who has had reviews published in magazines or posted on the Internet, great. Send samples or links to so he can check them out. If he thinks you'll fit in with the SFReader reviewer family, he'll be in touch.

If you don't fall into the above category, we'll need some reviews on spec. This means you read a book, write a review, and send it to us. If we think it fits, we'll post it. Once you've done a few of these, you get the opportunity to choose from books we have available for free.

SFReader has been around since 2000. The site averages around 1500 - 2000 unique visitors a day. That's a lot of speculative ficiton fans checking out your review. Authors and publishing houses regularly send us books.

Pete maintains an online, available-to-the-public database of all the books that have ever come our way at Librarything. He uses tags to describe less obvious formats (ebooks, audio, chapbooks) from "regular" print books. He also use tags to describe where in the process the book is:

  • "Received" means we have received a copy of the book, and it is waiting to be reviewed.
  • "Selected" means one of our reviewers has chosen the book for review.
  • And of course "reviewed" is pretty obvious.

All reviewers have access to the list of what's available by way of clicking on the "received" tag, which then lists the books he can send them. Check out the SFReader Librarything profile.

An check here for SFReader list of books to review.

SFReader often gets pre-release gallies, uncorrected proofs, and even signed copies. These wonderful treasures can be yours, all for the simple price of well-done, insightful reviews.

Need more info? Read Pete's post about reviewing in the forum. And thanks for checking out SFReader!

Dave and Pete

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