Monday, 7 July 2008

I Haz Feedbacks

I like getting feedback about ST, but it's very rare that I receive it. I think this is largely down to the mag's small circulation. Only a small percentage of people write to the BBC, or complain to their local paper, yet broadcasting and the press have an audience of millions. With only a few dozen readers ST is not going to have a busy letters page. Which is a pity, because feedback is good for writers (even if it's not positive - perhaps especially then) and very good for editors. If people like or don't like my decisions, I need to know. Otherwise every issue of ST is a shot in the dark.

Anyway, here is a response to ST13 from a discerning American reader, Michael Cook.

David:

Another very fine issue.

Of the eight stories, I liked best the lead story by Adam Golaski, "They Look Like Little Girls". There's often a surreal, dreamlike quality to Golaski's fiction that resonates personally and this one is no different. It may have helped the story that I used to very occasionally spend the wee hours in bus terminals similar to one described in the story.

Katherine Hayne's "The Rainbow Comes and Goes" comes in, in my opinion anyway, a close second. I particularly enjoyed the non-supernatural section of the story detailing the relationship between the narrator and her friend; in some ways, the concluding section that deals more directly with the supernatural is a bit less compelling. My other minor quibble is that the opening of the story is both unnecessary and actually lessens its effectiveness since it telegraphs the ending.

Good tales also by Brian Showers and Richard Marlowe.

The only story I actively disliked was "Degrees of Freedom". I don't think I ever really grasped the author's titular metaphor and, more generally, I had the impression throughout the narrative that Mr. Stuart was trying to "tell me something" but couldn't bring himself to make that something sufficiently clear. I understand that its often desirable from an artistic standpoint to makes one's intentions a bit ambiguous, but this story is so murky I wondered why I bothered to read it. (Or perhaps it's just me.)

A final comment on Tina Rath's story, "Chimaera #5". It's nicely written and entertaining, but I couldn't help thinking (no doubt uncharitably) that "it's been done before". The basic idea goes back at least as far as Robert Bloch's old chestnut from the 60's, "The Movie People", and I found myself wishing for something a tad more original. I'm sorry if that seems unfair.

Keep up the excellent work, David!
Yrs,
Michael

1 comment:

editor galaxy said...

Mr. Cook---- I thank you sincerely, for your comment re. my story. Feedback is nice, especially feedback of the "I have read your story" ilk. One wonders, sometimes, so it's reassuring to know. And David, thank you for posting these comments, and--of course--for taking a shot with my stories in the first place. -----A.