Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review of "Christmas Past," a short story by Owen Adams



Summary:
The Time Travel story with a dark side.

A man died while the snow fell. His body would be hidden until summer, but there are strangers in the woods today. During a long forgotten Christmas, three time travellers come to town; is their presence just a coincidence or are there darker secrets hidden beneath the ice.

Review:
An interesting time travel piece that has a classic cult sci-fi feel.  I really enjoyed Adams' style of writing.  He spoon-feeds you details in a way that keeps one engaged throughout the story.  His descriptions are sparse yet concise.  It doesn't take long to form the complete scenario in your mind.

The story unfolds at a nice pace, becoming more and more intriguing with each page turn.  Who are the time travelers?  What do they want from the man they were trying to track down?  And then.... it just ends.  Vague inferences are made on what the protagonists are up to, but not enough.  I don't need all of my questions answered.  Just some of them.  Enough to allow me to connect the dots.

So did this ruin the whole experience for me?  No.  I enjoyed the rest of it too much.  But I was slightly disappointed at the end.  Like, "Man! I want to know what happened!"  Adams is definitely a short story writer to keep on the radar though.  His story is worth checking out.

4/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this story on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SFWG Speculative Fiction Competition!

We at SFWG are happy to announce our first Speculative Fiction Competition!

Submission Guidelines:

  • Entries have a limit of 5,000 words. Stories beyond that will not be considered.
  • Stories may be previously published.
  • The genre is restricted to speculative fiction (fantasy, horror, or science fiction).
  • Entries will be accepted beginning on November 12, 2012.
  • Entry Deadline: December 1, 2012.
  • All submissions should be sent as a PDF attachment to shortfictionwriters@gmail.com with “SFWG Contest” as the subject.

We will announce the winners by the end of the year.  For more details check out the website:  http://shortfictionwritersguild.wordpress.com/contests/speculative-fiction-competition/

First Place: Will be featured on the SFWG Blog, announced on various forums and websites, included in a future Anthology (with your approval), given an SFWG logo and winner image that can be used on your book cover, and receive a free original cover art design from C.C. Kelly Studios (valued at $300) for your next short fiction project.

Second Place: Will be featured on the SFWG Blog and announced on various forums and websites.

Third Place: Will be featured on the SFWG Blog and announced on various forums and websites.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Announcing the Start of the Short Fiction Writers Guild!

Mission Statement

“The Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG) celebrates and promotes all genres of short fiction in an effort to share the entertainment of the form with new readers, provides a robust marketing platform to expand market viability and profit potential for the works of its members, and offers a range of services to help members improve as writers, while embracing the virtues of honesty, professionalism, and integrity.”

The SFWG invites writers of all genres to discuss and improve their work, take advantage of promotional opportunities, participate in writing contests, and publish in our Anthologies. We are also planning to add additional services and promotional opportunities soon. Please bookmark this thread as we will make all announcements regarding SFWG here and on our Facebook page. We invite everyone to explore the site and see how SFWG can help you in your writing and your career.

Member Benefits

Beta Reading
Marketing/Cross-promotion
Ability to trade professional services
Vendor discounts
Multiple Pen Name support


To join, click on the "How to Join" tab on the "About SFWG" menu on our site and follow the directions.

Please contact us either through SFWG or replies here on this blog post. We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review of "Send Krupac Through the Portal," a single story in a collection by Tony Rauch



Summary:
A man comes home to discover a Bigfoot-like creature watching his tv, a giant robot pays a visit to a couple, a new kid has some unusual toys to share, an inventor creates a gorgeous robot in order to meet women, a girl becomes so ill she has her head replaced with a goat head, someone wakes to discover little eyes growing all over his body, small, hairy creatures come looking to retrieve an object they had misplaced, and a boy finds an unusual pair of sunglasses in the weeds. These are the whimsical, surreal adventures of Tony Rauch.

Review:
**May Contain Spoilers**

This story has the effortless ease about it that one gets from an author that has been writing for awhile and knows his "writing voice."  It's both entertaining and whimsical.  Outlandish ideas seem like perfectly reasonable solutions.

Since the summary does not cover this particular story's plot, I will briefly recap.  It's about a man that has been rejected by the woman he loves.  So with the help of his friend he discovers that there are way to access parallel universes where everyone is the same but they may be leading different lives due to variations on past life decisions.  So our protagonist naturally wants to find a reality where he and his love are able to be together.

This story was so, so good right up until the very end.  I couldn't help but feel like I was left a little unfulfilled.  I'm all for allowing the reader to finish the story in their head.  I think those make some of the best short stories.  However, in order for this to happen I have to have enough pieces to try and fit together.  "Send Krupac" gives you most of the information but not quite enough to draw reasonable conclusions in my opinion.

But the fact that I had to brood over this plot and probably have a fun time debating the way it ends says something about the quality of work.  I think that Rouch is definitely an author worth checking out.  I did not get a chance to read the other works in the collection but if they are as charming is "Send Krupac," you're in for a treat.

4/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this collection on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.