Interview with Only the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy

My guest today is an attorney by day and a husband and father of three with one on the way by … early evening: Bryce aka seak from Only the Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

SCy-Fy: Tell me about a typical blogging day, Bryce.

OTB: If only there were more of them, but it usually begins with me going “oh crap, I haven’t written something on the blog for a while,” or “oh crap, I never put that review up I wrote on Goodreads,” or “oh crap, I just bought a ton of ebooks really cheap, I should post about that.” I think you get the picture. Some weeks I get lots of posts going, but other weeks I’m just too busy. Associate attorneys tend to be overworked, and if you ask my wife, I think she’d agree.

SCy-Fy: What are your future initiatives?

OTB: Oh I get it, trying to take my ideas, are you? Copyright infringement, eh? Did I mention I’m a highly suspicious individual? But seriously, I used to have tons of ideas, but for the moment I’m sticking with the basics – reviews, some news announcements, and eBook deals. I’m usually working with an author or two as well to set up some sort of interview or guest post. I’ve got an interview lined up with Peter Orullian soon and some other things in the pipeline.

SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major future challenges for SFF blogging?

OTB: Attention spans? I’m honestly not quite sure. I know Goodreads competes a lot for my time, though I try to update reviews on both fronts. Goodreads is great for reviews, but it’s much easier to post articles (such as an opinion piece on the Sad Puppies debacle) on the blog. I think blogging is a great avenue for posting your ideas and I hope it doesn’t go away. You’d think people who read hundreds of pages could focus and read an entire blog review or article, but I find myself suffering from the phenomenon we’re seeing with people reading from their computer screens – I scan more than read online.

SCy-Fy: Tips for bloggers? For reviewers? Writers?

OTB: For bloggers and reviewers – be consistent (i.e. don’t follow my lead of late). And that goes for every front. Whether it’s posting regularly or reviewing books, just be consistent in your output and don’t be wishy-washy about your opinion. Give it straight, that’s what people want to hear, whether it’s hard to hear or not. I think one of the difficulties is that you become friends with authors, and suddenly it’s more difficult to post a harsh or negative review. I always thought Justin (Justin Landon at Staffer’s Book Review) did a great job with balancing the two, which is why I think he could always be trusted to beta read for those authors too.

For writers – write me awesome things to read.

SCy-Fy: Just between us – your secret list of useful resources?

OTB: r/fantasy on reddit is a great place. Goodreads is huge, too. Honestly, just going to the authors themselves, their blogs and websites, has always done well for me. They’re usually pretty straight-forward with information, much more so than the publishers, and also approachable. That’s win-win, because you want to get to know the authors (I would assume, being a fan and all) and they want exposure.

SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?

OTB: Being honest, I’ve debated giving things up and moving on. But the thing is, first, I’ve made many friends doing this, so giving up would mean not staying in contact with those people. Second, there are so few genre readers out there in real life that it’s nice to be in the middle of them online, where they congregate and talk about who would win in a fight, Logan Ninefingers or The Mountain that Rides.

SCy-Fy: Posts of yours that have had the most impact?

OTB: I can’t say I’ve had too much controversy at my site. Our all-time most popular post is a passionate one (to me at least) I did on Why You Should Read Malazan Book of the Fallen. It’s still one of the top posts weekly. Alec, the other reviewer on the site – who’s even busier than I am – does a great job with snarky reviews, such as this one on Terry Goodkind’s The Law of Nines.

SCy-Fy: What have been the best books you have read recently?

OTB: Recently, I’ve really enjoyed The Vagrant by Peter Newman and The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett. I’ve become a huge fanboy of Brett’s and this one was so good. There’s so much that happens in The Skull Throne and I loved every moment I was reading.

SCy-Fy: Which upcoming releases are you most looking forward to?

OTB: Mark Lawrence has been one of those authors I’ve gotten addicted to. His prose is beautiful and The Liar’s Key just came out. That’s high on the list. Janny Wurts is hard at work on the penultimate volume of her Wars of Light and Shadow series, which I’m really looking forward to. I just found out John Marco’s The Bloody Chorus has been pulled off the publication schedule at DAW and I’ve been dying to get my hands on that one. That’s really frustrating, because it’s just about complete – edits are still needed – but since this has happened to him before, it’s really aggravating.

My problem is, there are so many, it’s hard to even begin.

SCy-Fy: Thank you, Bryce.

OTB: I’ve enjoyed this series of interviews and I’m both excited and humbled to be included in such a list. Thanks for taking the time to read and I wish you all the best!

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5 thoughts on “Interview with Only the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. I always learn something from you, Bryce. I knew The Bloody Chorus was postponed (disappointing news, for sure), but I had no idea Janny Wurts was finally coming to the end of her Wars of Light and Shadow. I’m way behind, but more inclined to catch up now that there’s an end in sight.


  2. Great interview! Bryce has always posted some of the most balanced and fair reviews in my opinion, even of those novels that he didn’t particularly enjoy. Hate to hear that the legal business is interfering with his reviewing, but being a lawyer myself, I totally understand and wish him the best with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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