Saturday, May 09, 2015

Thoughts over coffee and (turkey) sausage

Even some of the harshest critics of "On a Spiritual Plain" have admitted the core idea was clever and/or original. The most common complaint - and let's face it, a lot of people go into their reviews with a bias because of the Sad Puppies involvement - was that it was "poorly executed".

One follow up comment to such a review said "I'd be interested to see how this could have been handled by a more competent writer." You know what? I agree! But I'm the one who stuck his neck out, took the chance, and made the effort. I did the best I could, at the time and under the circumstances. It's very seldom anyone writes a story where people sit back after reading and say, "This could not have been done any possibly better." There is always room for improvement!

Every story I write is a step on the path towards becoming a better writer. The stuff I write this year shows improvement from the stuff I wrote last year, or ten years ago, for that matter. I believe that as long as you're alive, you're learning. Once you stop learning and growing, you start dying. We're all going to die eventually. So many people in life are always to late to everything, but they get a head start on dying by losing their enjoyment of learning, and their sense of wonder.

I feel sorry for people who, because of social and clan bonds, miss so much of the enjoyment of life. I guess there' s an advantage of coming from poor immigrant stock. I never had anything to live up to.

I think if people would just stop checking authors' resumes first and read the stories, they might find some great stuff out there. They might also enjoy not having to do contortions to justify reading some fiction they are supposed to like because of social, political and religious prequalifications.

1 comment:

  1. You're feeding the review trolls. Ignore them. Everyone else does.


Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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