I shall link to the Paperback Warrior blog I found, as it has many reviews of many old books in the genre I call “Cheap Thrillers”. As Fuldapocalypse is a similar specialty review blog, I feel like I should link and recommend it.
So, after a few months of reviews on Fuldapocalypse, I can say it’s helped me a lot. It’s made me realize I was looking at WWIII and military fiction in too narrow a light beforehand, and my resulting broadening of scope has been very good for me, and (I hope) very good for the blog as well.
The kind of impression I had going into the blog was that I’d be reviewing on a pretty narrow spectrum, with the sort of Hackett-style more pseudo-textbook on one end and the Chieftains/Team Yankee style story on the other. And most of my reviews still fall at least somewhat into that category.
But I think two things have influenced me more than just a simple bean count of what reviews were “conventional” World War III fiction and which ones were not. The first is that when it comes to me looking for new stories, as opposed to existing ones, I’ve been steering myself away from stuff that appears too cliche and Hackett-knockoff-y. Is reading something that’s going to be dry and infodumpy and then saying it’s dry and infodumpy really going to be productive or enjoyable to me or a reader? Especially if I do it several times in a row?
The second is the more pleasant surprise I’ve gotten, and that’s that moving away from internet, I’ve seen more characterization and more plot/setting diversity even in the ones I’ve already read. Granted, I had low expectations, but still. There’s that, and then there’s some of the stories moving outside the narrow corridor acting as a “springboard” of sorts for me to read even better and more different cheap thrillers.
So Fuldapocalypse has helped reinvigorate my interest in a genre I thought I knew, explore subgenres I didn’t, and made me rethink some of my critiques. I hope my readers have found it just as fulfilling.
I did one of, and quite possibly the longest Fuldapocalypse review yet. The subject is Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders. The short version is: he’d definitely jumped the shark at this point.
I have a review up of Jerry Ahern’s Total War at Fuldapocalypse, a pulp thriller extraordinaire. I know 80s cheap thrillers, and this is one of the better ones. In it, I also talk about how my broadening of books has affected one of my formal review categories, so there might be changes there later.
So I’m very critical even of things I like. The problem is that this can frequently come across as too negative. Because of this, and because I wanted to shake things up so that my formula wouldn’t become a pit, I decided to do an experiment on Fuldapocalypse. I’d take three books I love and talk in some detail about the positive and only the positive effects.
It’s here , and while it was a little challenging to write, it was also very, very fun and much-needed practice in me expanding on positive, as opposed to negative, critique.
Over at Fuldapocalypse, I review Mike Lunnon-Wood’s Dark Rose, a cheap thriller with a premise bizarre even by my standards.