the Little Red Reviewer

Happy 10th Birthday, Little Red Reviewer! Ask Me Anything!

Posted on: March 28, 2020

Little Red Reviewer turns ten years old today!

Yes, it’s true!  the first time I posted to this blog was March 28th, 2010.  It seems like a lifetime ago.

To celebrate, I’m doing an Ask Me Anything!


Whatdya wanna know about blogging? about blogger burn out?  about getting ARCs? about characters I’m shipping? about growing a following?  about getting blogging/interviewing gigs elsewhere? about trying to do a kickstarter while starting a new job during a polar vortex? about my day job? about used bookstores? about recipes and gluten free cooking? about being a couch potato?   about talking on panels at conventions?


Ask me Anything in the comments!


but first, a public service announcement for #SaveOurBookstores , #SaveOurIndies :

Your local bookstore might be:

Closed: but still selling gift cards on their website and possibly still taking orders online to ship to your house

Mostly Closed: but will answer the phone, take your order over the phone or over email, and ship the books to your house.

Sort of Closed: Customers aren’t allowed in the retail space, but they’ll take your order over the phone and bring your order to your car. It’s like the McDonald’s drive through, except it’s at the bookstore, and you’ll feel much better afterwards!

Our family-run, independent bookstores are struggling like they have never struggled before. They have always been there for us. now it’s our turn. If you see me tweeting hashtags like #SaveOurBookstores and #SaveOurIndies, retweet and share widely.


AMA . .  ready. . .  GO!


He’s Also Ten.

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50 Responses to "Happy 10th Birthday, Little Red Reviewer! Ask Me Anything!"

Happy blog anniversary.

I don’t think I ever asked you this–where does your Internet name come from?


the “redhead5318”? this is a fun, super lame story from my earliest adventures on the internet. It’s 1997, I’m starting college, and everyone tells me to get a hotmail or yahoo or whatever email address. everyone says “make your e-mail something you’ll easily remember! Make it have letters and numbers so you don’t get hacked!”. Password reminders, auto-fill, that stuff didn’t exist yet, it was 1997. the late 90s was a really funny place to be getting your first email.

well, i knew wasn’t going to forget “redhead”.

the house I grew up in had the street address of 5318 such-and-such drive. I must have wrote out that return address a thousand times. So I couldn’t forget that number.

So, a combination of letters and numbers that I wasn’t going to forget.

And i just kept using it.

you know how they always tell you to put a “professional” email address on your resume? I never did. when the interviewer comes out into the lobby, looking for their next appointment, they always know it’s me, from the e-mail.

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Is there a book that stands out as surprisingly enjoyable to you?


oh gosh, there is like a million.

I was surprised how much I liked Cody Luff’s novel Ration. It is much, much darker than I usually read, kinda a depressing story. But I loved it, and I loved that I couldn’t put it down!

Same with Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit, I was like “military scifi? this is so not for me!”, and the math/science in the beginning is acme-anvil-to-the-head heavy. I had to read the first few chapters a couple of times to be able to wrap my head around what was going on. And now? that trilogy is easily my fave books that I’ve read in the last few years!

I’m no longer surprised at how much I love Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s books. at first, I was like “is this genre mash-up of freakin’ everything really going to work?” But I love everything she’s written, so I’m not surprised any more. I just buy her stuff as fast as I can, and typically read it three or four times.


Congratulations! Happy blogging birthday! 🙂


Happy blogiversary! My question is this: how do you choose your next read? I know your TBR pile is overflowing with gifts from publishers and books you’ve bought yourself. How do you prioritize?


something i’ve learned the hard way over the years is that I am 100% a mood reader. If I push myself to read something i’m not in the mood for, no matter how good the book is, I’m not going to have a good time with it. Sometimes i’m in the mood for comfort reads, sometimes i’m in the mood for #allthefeels, sometimes I just want action adventure, sometimes I want weird surreal stuff.

unfortunately for the publishers, this means there are unsolicited ARCs people have sent me that I have never read, and probably won’t ever read. Publishers have been really cool about stopping sending unsolicited print ARCs, it saves them the shipping costs!

fortunately for me, when I listen to my moods, I’m more likely to enjoy what I’m reading!

lately, I’ve been in the mood for character driven stories, funny/snarky dialog, and weird short fiction that asks more questions than it answers.


Amen, sister. Only read what you’re in the mood for!

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I notice that your first post is excellent but lacks some of the personality you now inject into every line you write. How long did it take you to add the quirky humor and inimitable personal touch to your blogging style?


that first year (or two!) was pretty bland. It took a good 3-4 years for me to figure out my voice, and then another 3-4 years to hone it. Some people get there a lot faster than I did.


Do you have a favorite author?


always changing/updating/discovering/enjoying!

this week it’s a cross between Kage Baker and Yoon Ha Lee. Ask again in two months, answer will be different.


How do you find the time and energy to blog at a time like this? I don’t even have the time and energy to read all your posts. 😦

Any interest in videoconferencing to drink whiskey and talk books and recording it for cheap blog content? I DO have a fancy new microphone setup to show off.


time is easy – I suddenly don’t have a 2 hour commute. When the world opens up again and I’m driving to the office every day, goodbye free time and mental energy! I’m only reading comfort reads right now, it’s easy and enjoyable to binge read Kage Baker. And i’m not really writing formal reviews at the moment, so that also takes the pressure off.

hell yes to this! text me! sound quality over Skype and Facetime isn’t too crappy.

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Happy birthday!


Woohoo, congrats! What a milestone!


thank you! it has been a long road, that is for sure.


Happy blogging birthday! 🎉🎉🎉


Happy blog birthday! ❤
Soooo … what's your favourite recipe right now? If you were an animal hybrid, what would you be? And how did you start blogging elsewhere and doing interviews and such like?


hey, great questions!!

fave recipe right now – been making a lot of gluten-free pear oat scones lately, I’m also in love with apple cinnamon pancakes.

animal hybrid – i wanna be half person, half Savannah cat!

How did I start blogging elsewhere and doing interviews? I basically became friends with people at other sites. We’d chat over twitter or facebook or over email, and in the case of Apex Magazine I met Jason and Lesley at a Convention in Ohio and we got along and kept in touch. I learned how to do author interviews by reading a bazillion interviews to get ideas for interesting questions, learned not to ask questions that can be answered with Yes or No, read the authors websites to learn more about them. I got involved with Nerds of a Feather when they advertised they were looking for contributors, I applied, just like anyone else would. There’s also been PLENTY of websites and ‘zines that I applied to be a contributor at and they very politely said no thanks. You gotta find the right fit.

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Thank you! 😁
Apple and cinnamon pancakes sound particularly good right now! Can I pinch a recipe from you? (Or could you point me in a site’s direction?)
Brilliant hybrid choice! 😄
And thank you for sharing on the last question too. I’ve wondered how those kind of relationships start up and am kind of in awe of the whole thing!


I’ll email you the recipes! 🙂

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Thank you! 🙂


10 years is a long time to be blogging, I know only a handful of people that have been doing it for so long. Congratulations! How have things changed from when you started being a blogger?

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thank you! I started this blog because I needed a hobby, never expected it to run this long! not every year was easy, that is for sure.

i think the biggest thing that has changed is how I get books to read, and how bloggers in general can get books to read.

When I first started blogging, i didn’t have any money and getting ARCs was hard. Most of the books I reviewed came from the library. Netgalley didn’t exist yet, twitter and insta were in their infancy. Publicists weren’t sure yet if bloggers were good for business. I used to travel for work, so I could visit bookstores in other cities.

Ten years later: I’m in a much better spot financially, so I can afford to buy whatever books I want. Netgalley allows bloggers much easier access to eARCs, publicists have realized bloggers are free advertising so they will mail out physical ARCs on request. If you’re willing to read an eARC, you can pretty much get whatever you want on Netgalley. Authors, publicists, publishers, everyone is on social media, it’s much easier to start a conversation. Short Fiction Magazines put a ton of fiction online for free, so you can sample authors and see if you like their writing style.

other things that have changed – Self Publishing has a much better reputation and print on demand is no big deal.

It’s the same that I went through 9 years ago, I was a brand new blogger, and people who had been blogging already for 5 or 6 years were like “you have no idea how easy you have it now, none of this existed when we started!”

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Oh wow, that is a lot of change! I’ve only been doing this for 2 and a half years now so all this history is so interesting to me! Especially because it feels like maybe there are so many more bloggers now than before? I know when I first settled into general ‘sff book fandom’ on the internet about 7 or 8 years ago, it seemed like there were a lot less bloggers to follow.


Happy blogoversary🎉🥂 have you found a new favorite genre or authors since you’ve been blogging?


thank you!

i’ve found probably a hundred new favorite authors! as for new genres, I used to read a ton of hard scifi, and have shifted over to more character driven, relationship driven, “soft scifi” novels instead. It’s great that the spaceship works and that you are flying through space, but why are you going there? what did you leave behind? what do you think of your fellow astronauts? are you excited? are you scared? do you miss home? Stuff like that. And time travel! i LOVE me a time travel story!


Glad for your blogiversary, Kiddo. Here’s my question:
How much of what we’re once called “the big three”, Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, have you read, and what’s you opinion of their books?


I cut my teeth on Asimov and Heinlein, my parents had a ton of their paperbacks and so did the library. All these guys had groundbreaking ideas, and science fiction is built on ideas. All these guys, they sucked at writing interesting characters, except for Daneel Olivaw, who rocks.

Asimov – love love LOVE the Robot books and short stories, everyone should read I Robot, just to know where our modern “standards” were born. Foundation was good/important, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Robot stuff. Outside of that, I’m woefully under-read on his works, never read any of his non-fiction.

Clarke – read 2001 and 2010 because I loved the movies when I was a kid. Books are great too, so is Rendezvous with Rama. I’ve read Childhood’s End, I think my timing was off – where I was in my life when I read it, so it didn’t have the expected affect.

Heinlein – this is a toughy. When I was 20, I thought he was a god of science fiction. Read everything I could get my hands on, i got so many headaches from reading musty books out of people’s basements. I was so proud of my Heinlein collection of paperbacks! Sometime in my late 30s, I went back and tried to re-read some of his stuff, and had trouble getting through it. to be honest, I’m not sure that I’ll ever read another Heinlein again. It’s weird, some authors are problematic, and I read their stuff and really enjoy it. Heinlein, i’m just not enjoying it anymore, I feel no need to spend my time on it anymore. Give me some Hal Clement, give me some Cordwainer Smith instead!

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Hal Clement, absolutely, Smith too!

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I enjoyed the survey I did of Heinlein’s complete juvenile books last year, found them quite readable, if light. I’m sure I’ll never read TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE again!


Happy 10th birthday! We’ve been doing this a long time, haven’t we? 😉

I enjoy reading other people’s blogs (like yours!). Is there a blog you used to follow that’s now gone and you really miss it?

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yeah, it’s been a while!! gosh, a bunch of great blogs have come and gone, lotta these folks had been already going for years and years before I showed up. I’m still in touch with a lot of these folks, and I miss their blogs and posts.

Dark Cargo – I have no idea how I found this blog, but Elizabeth and Susan adopted me. They have no idea the impact their friendship had on me.

Stainless Steel Droppings was going strong for years, running reading challenges left and right, and now Carl posts a few times a year.

My Bookish Ways had TONS of reviews, interviews, give aways, I have no idea how Kristin put up a post nearly every single day! She and I chit chat all the time these days, and I still haven’t figured out how she posted so much!

SFSignal – Another group who adopted me. This was where I became.

I’m sure there are a ton more, but these are the ones I miss the most.


Hey I’m late on my blog reading but Happy Birthday! 10 years is awesome.

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thank you so much! 🙂

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I know I’m very late… But, still,
Never too late to cheer a decade of blogging! 🎉🎊🎁
Happy blogversary and here’s to many more!💜

Stay safe, strong and sane!🍁

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thank you!

staying mostly sane. only a little bit cabin fever these days!

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Aww, I’m super sorry I missed this. I think your blog was one of the first blogs I ever got involved with – and Dark Cargo and Stainless Steel Droppings. Fun times, readalongs and the GBs.
My head has been super mashed with everything.
Hope you’re well, if you’re still open to questions – how would you say your reading has changed over your blogging period?
Lynn 😀

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no worries AT ALL, and no sorries allowed!!! my head has been super smashed too, it’s like i can not concentrate on anything for more than 5 seconds. I miss Dark Cargo. and omg, those read alongs!!

oh, for sure my reading has changed over the years! for example, I got completely burned out on grimdark fantasy, and still haven’t gone back. As the years go by, i find myself less entertained by stories where the only roles available for women is to be prostitutes. I’m less likely to read things because they are hyped, or “i should be reading this”.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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