Okay. I admit. I’m not publishing anything right now, certainly not working as a professional author. So, when I criticize the work of another, I feel bad about it. I try not to be a critic if I don’t have a good reason.
But that said, along with my admission that I’m not working for a publisher… I wonder if Catalyst Game Labs would like me to work for them?
Recently, Catalyst released two books of short stories for their Shadowrun and Battletech universes.
These two books are both edited collections, but suffer severely for a lack of editing. To the point of being distracting from the reading. For example, just on pages 100-101 of the Battletech collection, there are four serious editing errors in just those two pages. In the Shadowrun collection, editor’s notes were left in the text of a story that went to final print…
I realize that proper editing is something deemed less important than other tasks by many gaming companies, but the level of editing errors in these two collections is far worse than many amateur publications. I can forgive the odd misprint, or grammatical error — so what? But when sentences just plain don’t make sense, or editorial notes are left in the final versions, or you have multiple errors on a single page… that’s poor craft.
As for the stories themselves, well, this is more subjective — so I don’t want to say too much, but I, personally, was disappointed by the content of the Shadowrun anthology. I don’t want to include any spoilers so I’ll keep it simple, but for some reason, all of the stories were very fringe. They touched the edges of the Shadowrun universe with little interest in the “meat and potatoes” of what would be of interest in a typical Shadowrun story. The Shadowrun book also has a very, very strange trend. Pretty much the three things you can count on any story including at least one of — and sometimes more — are dogs, technomancers, and old, retired shadowrunners… so it’s basically a Shadowrun country and western song… I guess.
Anyway, like I said, the quality of the stories is subjective — so others may enjoy them more than I did. But the actual quality of the books is poor. Seriously, Catalyst, I’m happy to send a resume anytime you’d like to hire an editor… just let me know!
As always, thanks for reading.
PS — I just finished the Shadowrun anthology, hence this post. I will get the next part of my discussion of adaptation up Tuesday. This weekend, off to Marscon!