How the rating system applies to works reviewed on SFR
We use the five-star rating system here at SFR when we review speculative fiction works. The rating system applies to all works. I should state that I have a no abandon policy. This means that I will finish the work regardless of how painful it is for me and then form an opinion.
Five stars are reserved for the crème de la crème. It means that the book, short story, film, game, or event is a life-changing event. It’s a work that I will engage multiple times in my life or at least until something that tops it comes along. It will be hard to top or equal a work in this category, so I’m likely to hold on to this work and engage it until I’m dead or the world ends. Nothing beats five-star works.
A four star work is damn good, nearly perfect, high-quality, almost the best, but it does not entirely change my perception of the world. Like five-star works, I will engage a four star work multiple times until that time when something just as good or a skoosh better grabs my attention. I’ll take a four star work any day and love it.
A three star work is solid good work. It’s engaging, and the ideas are developed well enough to make me think about the what if in speculative fiction. Three star works are good to read or watch or play on rainy days. It’s likely that I’ll revisit three star works, but I don’t always revisit them.
A two star work leaves a lot to be desired. It may have a one or two decent elements, but the majority of the work needs, well, work. I may hide a two star work so that my friends and family don’t make comments about my poor taste. Occasionally, I’ll revisit a two star work, and every now and again, the two stars can grow to three.
A one star work reveals a multitude of problems. These works are so awful that I really don’t want to finish them. I may yell at the characters in a one star film, or I might cuss at the author of a one star book. A one star work has almost no chance of redemption. I punish a one star work by sliding it under the bed or dropping it behind a bookcase and then pretend that I loaned it to someone whose name I can’t recall.