A Reader's Guidelines for Reviewing Net Erotica
by Kim (Ghost@nym.alias.net)
Kim is long gone but her advice lives on. I thought it of merit, so I've reposted it here.
Reviewers are not here to promote themselves, they are here to provide a
review, for the benefit of the reader.
They are not here to attack any author, or denigrate the author's beliefs,
assuming they are even known (which is probably doubtful).
They should avoid assuming that an author practices the sort of acts
that may be portrayed in the story, even if the main character swears that
you are reading a "true" story.
They *must* mark the story's technical merits on grounds entirely divorced
from their views on the subject matter of the story.
They should be aware of the background to the story and adjust their
expectations accordingly. For example, is English the authors first language?
Is it their first story, or are they experienced writers. Is it one page long, or
a hundred, etc etc In fact, all the things you'd assume went into the craft of
They might well be expected to offer some form of personal opinion on
the story. In doing so, they must make abundantly clear any personal preference
that may be affecting this personal view, and not express it as if it were a
fact, or even a general consensus view of things.
They should attempt to make it interesting, or amusing (though not at the
expense of the story or author) and hopefully as informative as possible.
They shouldn't simply quote great tracts of the original story and then
say "There you are". That's not a review, that's a sample.
They should try and match the scores with the text of the review as closely
as possible. Giving a glowing review and low marks is unfair, as is the reverse.
It would strongly assist the reviewer to best understand the story if they
are fully familiar with the genre of the story they are reviewing. If not, then
at least let the reader know of their ignorance, so that the reader may make
allowance for the resultant review.