Nov-Dec (2006) Short Fiction

Jan 9, 11:48 by IROSF
A thread to discuss short fiction -- and Lois Tilton's reviews.

The article can be found here.
Jan 9, 12:59 by Merrie Fuller
There's a misplaced italics tag half-way through the Interzone review that italicizes everything afterwards...
Jan 9, 13:11 by Bluejack
Thanks! Apparently our web browsers auto-corrected that glitch so we didn't see it. Should be good now.
Jan 9, 13:59 by Dave Hoing
Hi, Ms. Tilton: Thanks for the review of my story "The Purring of Cats" (Interzone 207). Although you didn't give it a recommended rating, you did an excellent job of summarizing the story and picking out the themes of emotional distance and alienation. I appreciate your comments.

The only real point of contention I have with your review is your statement at the end questioning the science fiction elements. Perhaps we just have different opinions of what science fiction is or should be. I see no need, in this story, to explain how the repressive government came to be, any more than I would explain in a literary story how contemporary society came to be. That's not what the story is about. What I needed was a futuristic repressive government that was already in place (without which, the plot falls apart). How the government got that way is not, for the purposes of this story, relevant. Same with the alien contact. While I'm sure the appearance of aliens on earth would have many fascinating societal repercussions, that again is not what this story is about. It begins in a world where the government is already repressive and the aliens have already made contact. Whatever changes these events caused have already happened, and the narrator--at least THIS narrator--would no more comment on them than a contemporary narrator would stop to explain why it is we drive on the right side of the road.

So. Excellent review, but just a difference of opinion about the science fiction elements. I believe what I have is essential to the story--that is, without them, the story wouldn't work--but I don't see any pressing need to explore the questions you want explored. Maybe another story ...
Jan 9, 19:06 by Lois Tilton
Hi, Dave. I certainly agree that the sfnal elements should stand on their own w/o the need for explaning how they came to be - I'm not looking for extended infodumps here. My point was rather that I would have liked to have seen more of the effects of these elements in the lives of the characters. To me, their lives seemed too mundanely familiar, not very much altered from our own.
Jan 9, 21:32 by Dave Hoing
Hi, Lois:

Thanks for the response. "The Purring of Cats" has gotten some good reviews and some not-so-good ones, which is to be expected, given the nature of the story. Yours was certainly the most insightful and thorough. I appreciate your comments, even if I do squawk a bit!

BTW, our paths have crossed literarily once before. Your publishing credits far exceed mine, but we both had a story in the August 1991 issue of F&SF. That was the year, incidentally, that "The Purring of Cats" was originally written, and marks the last true science fiction story I ever wrote--depending, of course (in view of our above discussion), how broadly one defines science fiction! I primarily write fantasy and literary fiction now.

Thanks again.
Jan 10, 06:50 by Lois Tilton
Ah, that was my F&SF debut. I note that neither of us had our names on the cover!
Jan 24, 00:23 by Dario Ciriello
Hi Lois,

I really like your reviews -- clear, direct, and honest. Great job, and I hope to continue reading them in IROSF!
Jan 24, 08:08 by Lois Tilton
Thanks, Dario. I plan to be writing them.
   

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