My first post of 2015 is a continuation of the series of interviews with the people behind the SFF blogs and sites that I began at the very end of last year.
My guest today is Galen Strickland, webmaster and principal reviewer at templetongate.net, a website devoted to science fiction books, movies and television series and which also includes a discussion forum.
SCy-Fy: Galen, what is your typical posting pattern?
GS: I think in terms of a typical week or month, since I don’t update my site daily, just when I’ve finished a book (or movie or TV series, which I also review).
SCy-Fy: What are your future plans for the site?
GS: To read more and post more reviews, but most especially to become a better reviewer. As it is I consider myself as much an amateur at reviewing as I am at fiction writing, but hopefully I can improve on both fronts.
SCy-Fy: Looking forward 3-5 years, what do you think will be the major challenges for SFF sites?
GS: To be able to maintain websites with increasing costs of web-hosting and domain name registration, as well as promotion of your page.
SCy-Fy: Any suggestions for reviewers?
GS: Do what you love. SF & Fantasy have too many sub-genres to keep up with it all, so concentrate on authors you like and ones you think more people should be aware of.
SCy-Fy: Which research resources do you use most?
GS: Wikipedia helps but is not totally reliable. As in most other things, Google is your friend, but don’t rely on just the first few links. Keep digging.
SCy-Fy: Hard-to-spot pitfalls?
GS: The biggest pitfall is not hard to spot. It’s promotion, which is difficult when there is so much on the web demanding attention.
SCy-Fy: What keeps you motivated?
GS: My son is usually able to give me a swift kick to get me focused again.
SCy-Fy: Speaking of kicks, what has caused the most controversy on your site?
GS: Controversy? Maybe my contention that late Heinlein is just as good as early Heinlein.
SCy-Fy: And what has generated the most positive feedback?
GS: My pieces on Gene Wolfe.
SCy-Fy: Have you decided yet on the best books of 2014?
GS: I’ve been concentrating on older classic titles since I have tasked myself with reviewing all of the Hugo and Nebula winning novels, plus other random titles I get the urge to read from time to time for various reasons. If I’m not mistaken, the only 2014 title I’ve read is Dark Lightning by John Varley, so I’ll have to hold off on naming anything the best of the year.
SCy-Fy: Which upcoming releases are you most looking forward to reading?
GS: It’s hard to think about upcoming books since I already have a long backlist of released titles I haven’t gotten around to yet. For titles released this year, that would include Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie and The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Something coming up for the new year, maybe The Just City by Jo Walton and the fifth Expanse novel, Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey.
SCy-Fy: Any last words?
A: There are no last words, only future words.
SCy-Fy: Spoken like a true science fiction reader! Thank you, Galen.