February Short Fiction

Feb 9, 13:50 by IROSF
Thread for the discussion of February's short fiction.

The reviews are here.
Feb 10, 10:04 by Paul Abbamondi
Nice review, and I enjoyed seeing the difference between what you recommended and what you didn't.
Feb 10, 11:16 by Lois Tilton
It was a different process, deciding.

I'd be interested to know if people find the recommendations useful.
Feb 10, 13:57 by twosheds
I was hoping there’d be a review of Realms of Fantasy, but alas. Anyhoo…

Concerning F&SF, the vagaries of “Shambhala” bugged me a bit too. I think was half way through the story before I fully understood the term “squirt.” But I loved the pacing and was taken in by the story. The “do I care?” question occurred for me at the very end. (Spoiler follows). Shannon is rescued in a robot’s body, but the reader can’t give that a value because we’re not sure how Shannon would feel about it.

I liked it better than “Revivalist.” That story, though engaging, seemed more like an exercise in research to me. I felt like the author wanted to prove he had done the research, and I kept thinking, “When’s the story going to start?”

The unconventional presentation of “Czesko” threw me off at first, but as I was drawn into the story, I forgot all about it. I loved it.

For “Intolerance,” after reading it, I’m not sure if the title is a proper fit. I’m with you: I couldn’t buy the ending. I found the writing style to be engaging though.

I like the recommendations. We know it's your opinion, but it allows the reader to match up his or her thoughts to yours. It requires us to be more thoughtful as to why we agree or disagree. I don't think a reader would be any more or less inclined to read a piece based on a recommendation.

Heck, writers might use your recommendations as part of their marketing. "I was recommended by Lois Tilton." Now I'll sell that book for sure!
Feb 10, 15:54 by Lois Tilton
Next month for RoF - the new issue goes onto the stands Feb 13

I had wanted to have Interzone in this month's column, but their new distributor is having problems.
Feb 26, 19:45 by Virginia O'Dine
I personally like to see a negative review every once in a while, as it points out what doesn't work and why. There's good lessons to be learned from them. Good for you for taking it on!
Feb 27, 19:36 by Lois Tilton
Sometimes I wonder if I should add an Unrecommended label to the reviews, which would probably leave the majority of the stories in the middle.
Mar 8, 15:46 by Merrie Fuller
I think saying that you're putting a bag over your head is sufficient code for "unrecommended." :)

It was interesting to see the flip side of reviewing, as it were.
Mar 8, 18:15 by Lois Tilton
I wouldn't want to leave the reader in doubt!
Apr 19, 09:57 by Dotar Sojat
So I'm a little behind in my reading... Can someone tell me what the heck happened at the end of 'The Kewlest Thing of All' in Asimov's?

Was it just a pyramid scheme of some kind? Was Terrence just some kind of virus that got stronger with more augmentations that people got? Did he have some sexual fetish (all the Kewl people are women, or so it seemed).

Apr 19, 19:55 by Lois Tilton
Terrance seems to be a collective projection of all the women involved. In the last scene, Bonny takes her turn in the middle, where they project Terrance onto her so that she, for the moment, is Terrance.
Apr 20, 09:34 by Dotar Sojat
Was that it? Or did he just not show up phsyically, making them project him onto someobody else? And what did that have to do with the rest of the story?
Apr 20, 11:31 by Lois Tilton
That was my impression, that there was actually no such person as Terrance. Of course your version is also consistent with the text.

All throughout the story, Bonny has been counting on Terrance, believing in Terrance and his promises, making him the center of her new life. She's looking forward to this party as her chance to finally meet him in person [and thinking she might become something special to him, maybe even his lover]. And, all along, there has been no Terrance.

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