Showing posts from June, 2013

"Parking Space" by Alain Gomez

“This place makes absolutely no sense.” “Tell me about it. And I have no idea who we could even talk to for directions.” “Pull our options up on the screen. We need to figure out who would be the best representative.” “Just a moment… hmm… all right here’s a complete list… I think.” “What about Russia? They seem to have the most land.” “But not the most people.” “Good point. Why do they need so much land then?” “Beats me.” “Ok it looks like this place called China has the most people and the biggest military.” “But not the most militaristic. Look at this number here. Korea has fewer people but more of those people are signed up to be soldiers.” “Is that important?” “Maybe? This species is always always fighting. Maybe we need to find the best warrior among them?” “That sort of makes sense. However, they must not be very good warriors. Not one of them has managed to conquer the entire planet. Earth isn’t that big.” “Fairly small, actually. Do you reme

Review of "Circe's Pool," short story by Pen Clements

Summary: The water nymphs love their crystal pavilion and the sparkling waters flowing through it. So much so they can't be bothered to fulfill their bargain with Circe, the island's sorceress. It's time the pleasure seeking, comfort loving creatures are taught a lesson. And who better than a sorceress to give it to them? Review: I liked the idea behind this piece.  One really cool thing about the dawn of ebooks is that authors now how the freedom to bring back the fairy tale.  I love fairy tales.  I purposely seek them out to read and have delved into some of the lesser-known fair tale writers (Oscar Wilde, for example, has a whole collection). It's difficult to really define what separates a fairy tale from just a regular fantasy story.  For me, one big thing is the moral/life lesson undercurrent.  "Circe's Pool" definitely has that feel.  The nymphs are lazy and must be taught a lesson. However, the lesson they learn was just a little too

Theory: Use separate pen names for short stories

I am a short story writer.  I'm also something of an anomaly in that I exclusively write short fiction.  No novels for me just yet.  I'm having too much fun with the short stuff.  But you know what I was thinking?  IF (big if) I did attempt a novel, I would probably write it under a completely different pen name. Why? Two facts come to mind: 1)  Novels sell better than short stories.  They just do.  They're more mainstream and, frankly, there are more people out there that want to curl up and be lost in a book for hours than there are people who want to savor and contemplate. 2)  A large part of a short story writer's success is branding and expectations.  People go IN to an Edgar Allen Poe story expecting it to be shorter. It's impossible for a short story writer to completely avoid those scathing "too short" 1-star reviews.  They happen.  But the reason why they happen is because of reader expectations.  The buyer wanted a long book, they got

Review of "My Mother's Shadow," a single short story in a collection by M. Eigh

Summary: This collection packs eight exquisite short fiction from M. Eigh, including Bitter Tea and Braided Hair, My Mother's Shadow, Oscar’s Extraordinary Life, Planned, Dear Teresa, The Manchurian Express, A Eulogy for Edwin Bogardus, Not A Bad Day and Double Sauté. All of the stories have been previously published by very selective professional or semi-professional literary magazines and some of them have been re-printed since their first publication. Review: A truly beautiful piece of short fiction.  What it lacks in action it makes up for in literary depth.  There are a lot of layers to this story, each interesting enough to mull over for some time. I was impressed with how easily M. Eigh introduces his racist world.  In just a few short paragraphs that contain no blatant description you understand the conflict and empathize with the characters.  I appreciated the symbolic use of shadows.  It was a clever literary reference to other literary references.