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Showing posts from April, 2012

Review of "The Movie Maker," a single story in a collection by Chris Turner

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Summary:
A collection of ten gripping speculative fiction tales:

. . . a gang of teens discover clues to their heritage and unsettling facts about their backward world
. . . a university student develops an innovation to revolutionize the holographic film industry
. . . alien pirates compel a pilot to know what it means to be alien
. . . a hybrid man struggles for freedom on a mining planet
. . . solar power in the new age is in jeopardy
. . . and more!

Review:
Brace yourself for an elaborate food metaphor because I really feel this is the best way to describe how I feel about "The Movie Maker."  Here it goes:

When you read a good book it's like having a three course meal.  You know you're in it for the long haul and a lot has to go in how each courses will mix with each other.  A good short story, on the other hand, needs to be like a perfect one-bite snack.  A lot of thought and care needs to go into what you're putting on that one cracker because it has to tast…

The Self-Employed Writer

For some reason the term "self-employed" seems to have a sort of mystical power.  I'm not even kidding.  I speak from experience.  People ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I am a violin teacher.  The follow up question is usually where I work and I tell them I'm self-employed.  That's when I get one of two looks:

Look Option 1:  The cynical look.  I am clearly full of it and probably make no money because I am a self-employed music teacher.  If I was any good at what I do I would be working for a school.


Look Option 2:  The enamored look.  I am a wild and crazy musician living the dream life of freedom.  No rules or conventions could hold ME back.

In reality I am somewhere in between those two.  I do make a living off of my self-employed teaching state.  I choose not to work in schools because that is a totally different type of teaching that is really not my cup of tea.

I can set my own schedule but being self-employed actually takes quite a bit of …

Review of "The Bone of St. Isis," a single story in a collection by Chris Turner

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Summary:
A collection of twelve original fantasy-adventure tales:

. . . a thief with a conscience takes on the formidable Magistrar
. . . a warrior monk avenges his fallen master after falling prey to a mysterious seductress
. . . an upstart swordswoman battles a mechanical abomination at a famous tournament
. . . treasure hunters disturb an ancient menace – who will appease the guardian?
. . . a healer must wield the infamous Tithys to protect her clan
. . . and more!

Review:
I was very impressed with Turner's grasp of the fantasy genre.  He clearly gets how to set that kind of mood.  If you've ever tried to write fantasy you will know that it's not easy creating this type of universe.  Authors will frequently resort to using lots of terms th'at h'ave excessi've com'mas.  Because commas are exotic.  Or something.

Turner falls into no such trap there.  His scenery descriptions are rich and detailed and his characters are interesting.  As a chapter from a larger n…

Ignorance is.... bliss?

I recently received a review of Celebrity Space that kind of embodies what I've been saying for a long time is the biggest issue for short story writers: ignorance.

Here's the review:

"Ok I read it. It isn't much of a story, I'm not even sure what happened. Maybe as an outline for a story twice or even 3X as long it wound be good. i don't think you can write a good story this short"

It's a two star review.  It's neither the first two star review I've received nor the harshest.  The first part is just him saying he didn't care for it.  I'm fine with that.  What bothers me about this review is the last line.  It basically says it didn't matter what words I had written on the page.  The reviewer didn't care for the story because there weren't enough of them.
Maybe this guy is a reading connoisseur and has read hundreds of short stories to finally come to this opinion.  But I doubt it.  I think he would be shocked if someone gav…