Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Interview with Gregor Xane

My guest today is author Gregor Xane. I met Gregor on Goodreads, where he actively reviews and participates in discussions.


Gregor Xane has been reviewing books on Goodreads since March, 2009. He's posted 216 reviews so far (and ratings for well over 500 books). He's also the author of the horror novella Six Dead Spots. You can read his reviews here:

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/GregorXane
Blog: https://gregorxane.blogspot.com

Do you have specific genres that you review, and what is your favorite one?

I review mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror titles. I especially like books that combine elements from all three of these genres. But I'll review anything I read. I don't only read SF/F/H.

On average, how many books do you review each month?

I post around three reviews a month. I'm not a fast reader.

Do you accept unsolicited review requests, or do you only review books you select yourself?

No. But it's not like anyone's asking, either. If I did receive requests to review books, I'd likely turn down 99% of them. I'm very selective and want to read what I want to read when I want to read it. I don't want reading to feel like homework.

Considering the recent surge of self-published books on the market, what is your experience with self-published titles?

I've had good experiences with self-published titles. Like with any book, no matter how it's published, I do my research before I buy. So, I really don't have any horror stories to tell about woefully unprofessional self-published books. I think self-publishing is good for works that a trade publisher wouldn't touch. Ade Grant's The Mariner, is a good example of this. It's a well-executed dark fantasy novel, but the content is very extreme and the narrative is pretty unconventional. I likely would never have had a chance to read it if the author hadn't chosen to publish it himself.

As a reviewer, you have to state your honest opinions. Do you publish all reviews regardless of the rating?

Is there any particular book or author that set the benchmark for you in a specific genre?

Clive Barker and Joe R. Lansdale for horror, China MiƩville and Jeffery Ford for fantasy, Philip K. Dick for science fiction, and Victor LaValle and Haruki Murakami for literary fiction.

What was the catalyst for you to become a reviewer, and what keeps you going?

A number of years back, I decided to start keeping track of what I was reading. Goodreads was easy to use. I keep writing reviews because I like books, and I like promoting them. Plus, since I don't like to write posts on my blog about my personal life, I can use my reviews as content.

In your opinion, do you find the new titles original and creatively executed, or do you see more of a repeat of the same (think Hollywood's surge in remakes)?

I don't have a problem with fiction that some might call formulaic. I don't read much of it. I think it serves its purpose as literary comfort food. Sometimes you just want to know exactly what you're getting. Is the market over saturated with certain kinds of books? Sure. Zombies are everywhere.

Out of all the books you've read, are there any particular books or characters that stayed on your mind?

Characters: Charlie Manx and Bing from Joe Hill's NOS4A2, Bunny from Donna Tartt's The Secret History, Jim from Jeffrey Ford's The Shadow Year, Anthony from Victor LaValle's The Ecstatic.

Books: The Throne of Bones by Brian McNaughton (Horror), Last Days by Brian Evenson (Horror), Imajica by Clive Barker (Fantasy), Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy), The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Fantasy), The Scar by China MiƩville (Fantasy), The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea (SF), We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick (SF), Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith (SF), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Literary), Flicker by Theodore Roszak (Mystery/Suspense)

What is the one review you are the most proud of, and why?

I don't know. People seem to like my reviews of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep and John McNee's Grudge Punk. I think they both do a good job of letting people know exactly what they'll be getting into, should they decide to pick them up.

Doctor Sleep: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Grudge Punk: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I would like to thank Gregor for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to learn more about Gregor, please visit either his Goodreads profile or his blog:


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