Picture of the Day: Mount Rushmore, Night

Mt. Rushmore at Night by Jvstin
Mt. Rushmore at Night, a photo by Jvstin on Flickr.

Today’s picture is a night time shot of Mount Rushmore.

Most tourists come into Mt. Rushmore, spend a few minutes and leave. Since I was spending a few days in western South Dakota, I had the opportunity to go deeper. Every night, the Parks Service puts on a program at Mt. Rushmore about the monument, and it is highlighted by them “painting” it with light.

I had my camera ready!

Reviewing, Jvstin Style

So, Patrick at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist received a letter. Go read the post and the letter.
http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2011/12/hmmm.html

Read it? Good.
I made a comment on Google Plus that Laura Anne Gilman was kind enough to throw some cents in.
Jessica Strider has some thoughts, too:
http://scififanletter.blogspot.com/2011/12/book-reviewers-are-not-entitled-to-free.html
The L.A. Times has weighed in too:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/12/book-blogging-hit-the-wall-williammorrow-blogger-notice.html
But let me be clear and reiterate my position.
I don’t consider receiving books from John DeNardo, John Anealio, or a publisher directly to be a right at all.
I know it costs money for a publisher to do this. Time and effort, and the fact that books sent out don’t always get read and reviewed. How do you think, partly, I got the gig I do at SF Signal and the Functional Nerds? They have too many books and I am willing to read and review a few books for them. I appreciate the symbiosis.
This publisher letter is different. Treating me as an unpaid employee? The patronizing tone? The scolding?
I can do without *all* of that. Even if some of the ideas in the letter about requesting books seem on their face to be good ones, rather than shotgunning them at reviewers.
I appreciate when I get sent books, and I make good faith efforts to read and give honest, clear reviews. I’ve turned down a number of (mostly) self published authors when I don’t think I could do their work justice, temporally or otherwise. I had a very bad experience in an honest critical review of a small press/self published novel that I do not intend to repeat.
If a publisher is going to start making it an unpaid job on my part by dictating my workflow and what I do or don’t do, well, its not going to be so much fun any more. I already obsess and worry about the quality of my reviews. I don’t need a publisher to add fuel to that fire. I will simply rely on purchased books for reviews.