Short Fiction Thread

Sep 5, 20:22 by IROSF
Let's talk about short fiction!

Bluejack's reviews are here.
Sep 5, 22:42 by Celia Marsh
You've got a title/author mismatch in the Talebones reviews. I assume that the author of "A Whole Man" is David Schwartz, as it says in the table, not Jason Wittman, as the review says?
Sep 5, 23:01 by Amy Sisson
Hi Bluejack. I like reading your short fiction reviews and certainly do find them useful. I also like the format of the summary tables of each publication.

I noticed that for some of the publications, you don't note in your summary table which stories you "reviewed" further up the column, while for other publications you do point out which story(ies) was reviewed. Is there a distinction I'm missing, or is that an oversight?

Amy Sisson
Sep 5, 23:02 by Bluejack
You are quite correct, Tanaise, and correction made. I must say that Sherry, currently our lone copy editor, did yeoman work on this monster of an issue, and any mistakes are my responsibility and mine alone. I have a nasty tendency to always try to cram one more magazine into the review at the last minute.

Each month I vow that it will not happen the next month, and then, once again there I am.

I should add that Asimov's and Analog both arrived on Thursday last, and I seriously considered trying to get them into this review. Thank goodness I didn't or who knows what might have happened.

Oh, and thanks Amy. Undoubtedly another oversight. For October? I cut myself off early. I swear. No rushing! Haste makes waste!
Sep 6, 10:13 by twosheds
Couldn’t agree with you more on F&SF. Every story in this issue kept me reading. And yes, Haldeman’s and Wolfe’s stories paled in comparison to most of the others (but I enjoyred them). I was ready to hate the “Helen Remembers…” story once I realized it was mostly narrative, but by the end I was loving it.
Sep 6, 16:31 by Joseph Haines
Hey Bluejack, I look forward to these reviews every month and think you do a valuable service by providing your insight on these stories. You are absolutely correct. Anything to promote the continuation of short fiction is a good thing. Not to mention the fact that you keep the writers honest. :-)

Joseph Paul Haines
Sep 6, 17:42 by Bluejack
Thanks Joseph. I wasn't fishing for compliments, however. If anything: more for a successor! But I'll be doing this for a while yet.
Sep 6, 19:31 by Joseph Haines
Not really a compliment. More an agreement. But hey man, take 'em when show up.
Sep 6, 20:06 by Jim Van Pelt
Hi, Bluejack. Beside my reluctance to see you stop reviewing on a personal level (I like your approach to stories), I think my default position is that no one should ever stop reviewing. So much short fiction goes unnoticed and undiscussed. Even the Analog, F&SF and Asimov's discussion boards hardly ever seem to spend time actually talking about the fiction.

When you stop reviewing and write more stories, the world of speculative fiction will improve, but the world of critical reaction will be lessened.
Sep 6, 20:57 by Lois Tilton
Maybe the unknown authors have to try harder.
Sep 6, 21:29 by Bluejack
We did talk about this a little at CascadiaCon, Jim, and I certainly agree with you about the value of discussing short fiction. I also think that covering short fiction is an important ingredient at IROSF, and don't plan anything precipitous.

But at some point, I will be doing other things. I put a lot of time into reviewing right now, and while I don't anticipate *not* reading short fiction, and while I'll always think and want to discuss the short fiction I do read, my involvement and commitments will undoubtedly shift over time. As with everyone.

Hey, one day I'll be in the ground, as will we all. Nothing lasts forever. It's good to have a backup plan.
Sep 7, 00:07 by Richard Lovett
Hi Bluejack,

To the best of my knowledge we've never met, but I'll agree with Jim. Though it's obvious you put in a lot of hours at this, and it has to demand a huge fraction of your time. I was at CascadiaCon, but missed the IROSF party. Too bad. Among other things, I'd wanted to find out whether (based on one of your long-ago comments) you were a cyclist. FYI, yes I am.
Sep 10, 09:40 by Dario Ciriello

Short fiction does matter; your sincerity, and the fact that you care deeply about it has always been clear to me. Of course you'll need to move on, but the thoughtful, precise insights you bring to the field will be missed when you stop reviewing.

The upside is that we'll get to read more of your own work ;-)


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