So I woke to a 3 star review of Death of an Immortal, because it was too "Christian."

Oh, the irony! (Linda thought it was hilarious...she's been trying to get me to go to church for years...not in an annoying way, bless her, but an occasional gentle suggestion...)

That was my first response. Then I started thinking about it.

The story purposely uses the classic old-school vampire tropes of Holy Water, sacred ground, crosses, and demon dispelling Catholic prayers. Which to me are as exotic as the vampires themselves. I wanted my vampires to be vicious and evil, and yet at the same time...with a human component.

But, to be fair, the theme of the book is redemption. Now I don't think redemption is exclusively a Christian idea or value, but certainly since it is framed in a story with Christian symbols, then I can see how someone might interpret it that way.

Thing is, it is all in service to the story.

When I started writing Blood of the Succubus, I hadn't gone more than a chapter before I realized that there was going to be a whole lot of sex. Because that is what the story demanded.

When I started writing a book about a gangster Golem, (The Last Fedora), I hadn't gone far before I was using Jewish mysticism.

I think it's unavoidable that a writer's world view is going to be included in their writing. But I'm a pretty middle-of-the-road guy, a moderate. Whatever liberal leanings I have are not inserted just to be liberal, but just because that is who I am. I've gotten three less than stellar reviews because of my supposed liberal leanings. I think they had to look pretty damn hard for something to be offended by, or they were so extreme themselves that they are the one's who are off base.

Certainly, there is no extremism. I'm not Heinlein with his dirty-old-man Libertarian-ism, or Orson Scott Card's stealth Mormonism, or Frank Herbert's...whatever the hell that is. I read the Narnia books without any awareness of the Christian themes. (Duh!) I read Ayn Rand without any awareness of her philosophy. (Double duh!)

I don't have to agree with an author to read them. I know of quite of few authors who I read and enjoy who I don't agree with. Dan Simmons, Stephen Hunter, Heinlein, even Tom Clancy. I suspect that thriller and old-time S.F. writers as an overall breed are probably more conservative than I.

If I was going to be offended, Stephen Hunter is double damned. As a reviewer, he has disparaged S.F. and Fantasy and comics. But here's the thing--Stephen Hunter writes a corker of a story!

And finally, color me old-fashioned, but I think reviews ought to reflect the quality of the writing and the story, not whether you agreed with everything the author said.

I hope reviews don't follow the example of online comments (Never read the comments!) or they'll become pretty useless.