Friday, May 25, 2007

Blog Tour: The Sword Review

I found The Sword Review several months ago when I was researching science fiction on the web. I found it to be a stylish site with some great speculative fiction art work and poetry which many sites of this sort do not have.

The Sword review is an eclectic speculative fiction web site featuring both science fiction and fantasy. Some stories even blur the line between the two. Everyone from hard-core science fiction types to the children of Tolkien can find something of interest here.

One charming story on the site, "Polar Daughter," I found enthralling. A young girl who speaks bear, a bear commissioned by a higher being to bring her to him, the bear's reluctance out of fear for the girl's safety and his own attachment to her, and all enchanting elements of this story. Strong characters and an engaging plot make it delightful.

The poetry is another bright spot in the Review. For the most part, these are modern poems with something to say. Too often, poetry on Christian sites don't rise above greeting card verse. These are different. They speak to the contemporary reader in a language they understand.

Also, as a Christian site, I found this to be a place that I could refer my non-Christian acquaintances. The stories are clean and morally sound, but they are not generally preachy or overbearing.

Some of the stories, though, languish in a second tier of excellence. One in particular called "ME Control" starts with an intriguing premise. Teachers in this future world can control the physical responses of their students through a chip implanted in their brains. It is the dream of every teacher. The problem is that, aside from the "surprise" ending, it doesn't move far from being just a premise. The teacher's character is flat and there is no actual conflict in the story (even inner conflict), no rising action or climax. It is a slice of life with an interesting premise, but not much more than that.

Another issue to be addressed (and understand, this is an issue I need to address at Wayfarers as well) is consistency in the navigation structure of the site. The link backs to the home page or table of contents page are different in different parts of the site. That makes navigation not as simple as it could be. It is something we both need to address. I hope to do so here this summer.

Overall, The Sword Review is a wonderful speculative fiction site which belongs near the top of your favorites.

Read more about Sword Review at one of the other blog tour participants:

Jim Black
Amy Browining
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Terri Main
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver