Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Elusive Itzkoff

While poking through the New York Times Book Review this morning -- parenthetically, Josh Beazell's Beat the Reaper looks like a lot of fun; I'll have to read that -- I noticed that Marilyn Stasio, the stalwart mysteries columnist, was back with reviews of another three new books (and three reissues).

And that led me to wonder what happened to Our Man Itzkoff, last seen emitting a review of Neal Stephenson's Anathem in mid-October. So I looked him up: for the year 2008, he appeared in the Book Review six times, twice writing about music and once about Cerwiden Dovey's possibly-fantastic novel Blood Kin.

That left a mere three "Across the Universe" columns -- the aforementioned Anathem review in October, a look at Michael Moorcock's Elric reissues in July, and his famously wrong-footed look at Young Adult novels in February.

I still don't think that NYTBR editor Sam Tanenhaus reads this blog, but, if anyone out there knows him, please whisper in his ear that this Itzkoff fellow is a serious slacker. He's not even managing to get his column in quarterly, when Stasio has had six since Itzkoff's last column. Either make him work harder -- which would be more entertaining for me, at least -- or just admit that he's a decent music writer but not strong on SFF.

C'mon -- there are at least a dozen bloggers that are better SFF reviewers than Itzy. (And I tactfully leave myself out of the running.) Surely the NYTBR can either make him work or send him home?

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