Oxygen Leaks

Call for Volunteers: Hard Science Fiction Readers

Thursday, June 6th, 2024 blog post by Patrick Burrows
photo of Patrick Burrows. image credit: DALL-E AI image generator
image credit: DALL-E AI image generator

Oxygen Leaks is looking for two volunteer hard science fiction reviewers to join our staff. Reviewers read not-yet-released or recently released hard science fiction novels and write reviews of those books. Oxygen Leaks provides advance electronic copies of the novels to be reviewed. You are given a selection of novels to read and choose from (we do not force you to read any specific novel, though we can't always guarantee there is a specific novel to your liking in the batch for a given month.)

We are looking for unique voices and angles for our book reviews. We want the reviews to be personal and relatable. They should talk about the book and your experience as you read the book. We want the reviews to cover the plausibility of the science in the novel, the way the novel works as a whole, and your thoughts and reflections as you think about the novel and how it may or may not apply to your personal life.


  • Read one or two hard science fiction novels every other month.
    • This means you will read at a minimum one novel every other month, and at most, one novel per month.
  • Write a review of the book in the form of a first-person critical essay.
  • Work with our editors to revise and fine-tune the review until it is published.


  • Must be comfortable reading novels in electronic form.
  • Must be able to work in an online, remote, asynchronous setting, including once a week status updates on progress.
  • Able to provide estimates on timeframes to read and produce the book review, and be comfortable updating us if circumstances cause those estimates to be inaccurate.
  • Able to write book reviews in English using standard word processor software (MS Word, Open Office, Google Docs, etc...)
  • Able to receive suggestions and edits and respond to them in a timely manner.

Time Commitment

You will need to read at lest one novel and write a review every other month. This should be possible by commiting one hour per day to the task. Obviously, novel lengths can vary widely. If a novel is too long for you to read in the time you have available, you can choose a different novel, or work with the editors to adjust the deadlines.

How to Apply

If you are interesting, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject Book Review Application: [your name]. Where [your name] should be replaced with your name.

In the email, introduce yourself and your background. Let us know your relationship to hard science fiction, and any relevant background, knowledge, or professional experience. Tell us what makes your voice unique. Also attach (or link to) one to three representative non-fiction essays that demonstrate your writing style. It would be great if at least one was a critical essay of a book, but it is not necessary.