A thousand words – give or take one or two

A thousand words. Actually, it is probably a whole damn sight more than that. What do I mean? To what do I refer? Today I reached the figure of 1,000 reviews on the Archive.

:cue ticker tape parade and thunderous applause:



So ok, not a big deal. Of course, making a thousand reviews is not the purpose of reading and reviewing. However, I am proud of the reviews I have made. Not all of them are essays and I dare say there is nothing insightful about them for the authors for whom they are given. But they are an expression of my enjoyment and immense pleasure in reading the many wonderful stories here.

And I have enjoyed a lot of stories here at Ad Astra. Dear reader, one of those stories might well be one of yours (failing that, it might be one of them in the future).

Actually, this is my second time reaching the 1,000 reviews figure. A huge number of my reviews were deleted when a bunch of stories were deleted by their authors.


The crying shame is not that I lost the reviews – though it is – but that those great stories I got such enjoyment from are no longer here for other readers to enjoy. And therein lies the reason for so many reviews made. The many wonderful and terrific stories to be found. And I have only but scratched the surface of the stories to be read here.

As I write this, the front page tells me that there are 997 stories to be found on the site. Theoretically, I could share a review for each one of them. Alas, I am far from that statistic. I do intend to read as many stories as possible. There’s a whole ton of them I haven’t read yet, a ton more I haven’t finished reading yet and of course there will (hopefully) be a ton more new stories to come. Heck, there’s a hopeful chance I might get some more stories up here myself, though of course I won’t be reviewing them.

I do not claim to have made hugely informative reviews and I do tend to find myself rambling on in my reviews. There is good reason for this – I review as I read, often chapter at a time, and so am reviewing in the middle of it, as I get caught up in the story – all too often swept up and away in the stories themselves. And, on a number of occasions, I have even found myself lost for words when it came to reviewing something particularly brilliant.

My reading tastes vary depending on my humour and what time I have to read. I like to think I give most genres fair game and whatever the style or tone I am usually willing to go with it. That, therefore, has allowed me to explore a lot of different stories – some fluffy, some dark and twisted, some madcap, some nail biting and gritty, some soul searching and some wham, bam thank you mam kuul ‘plosions and stuff. There’s a lot out there to try that’s for sure.

As to my reviewing style? Well, I won’t nitpick you for grammar – there are better qualifies persons for that and the way I see it, I’m there for the story. I like to get invested in the characters and the choices they are facing and seeing the consequences of their actions or the fallout of what befalls them. Do any of that, and I am likely to tell you so and tell you how you blew my socks off with your story. Generally, I am positive in my reviews and dread coming across as lecturing. At times, I have shared some constructive criticisms if you will, but these normally come when you have managed to grab me in some way – maybe a character, a premise or overall story. They’ll be my thoughts because you managed to get me invested, but at all times I understand that it is your story, your characters and you’ll tell it your way.

So, upon reaching the threshold of a thousand reviews I thought that maybe I could on occasion use this blog to share some of my thoughts on the stories I have read, continue to read and plan to read (and re-read) in the future. A means of highlighting what were to me some of the finest stories, most memorable characters, most compelling of situations and complex of plots in my time here.

My hope is that in doing so, I show some of my appreciation for the terrific stories I have read and maybe introduce some stories to you that you might have missed or not tried out. Perhaps engage in some discussion about what made a story particularly great and have you share your kind thoughts on the stories I choose to write about.

Thanks for the stories folks. Here’s to the next thousand or so.