Those who have hung out with me for awhile may recall that I’m not generally fond of either poetry or short stories. I won’t even try to defend my lack of enjoyment in poetry, but I know why I don’t read many shorts. My reading preferences run to fantasy and science fiction, and it’s hard to fit world-building into a short story without it being overwhelming. I don’t like to guess too much how stuff fits together; though I’m up for the ride during the tale, I’d like a clear picture by the end. If I enjoy the short story, I nearly always want a longer, more leisurely peek into that world. And if I don’t enjoy the short, then even the amount of time I’ve already put in seems wasted!
So when this month’s blog tour target was announced, I was less than thrilled. I do see that an ezine devoted to speculative fiction from a Christian perspective has a place, but I don’t see it as a place that I expect to hang out very often. Still, I know that not everyone shares my taste, so with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to an ezine The Sword Review that is designed to fit that niche. For the purposes of this blog post I read one story: A Wine, Red Silence by George L. Duncan. The title threw me for a loop straight off. What is the comma doing in there? Are there two items? Wine AND red silence? Or is the word wine a descriptor of the adjective red? Should it not then be a hyphen? And what is a wine-red silence? I decided to read the story and set aside my misgivings about the title’s punctuation.
There are quite a few characters in this story, but the main character is easy to keep track of being as the tale is told in first person. Jerico (known as Jerry) is a private investigator in a future Florida. He has been hired to find out who killed a biographer…and why. It explores the idea of morals and the conflict that comes when they collide. It is a fairly well-written story, though I didn’t find it riveting. There were a few typos but nothing too horrendous. I never did quite figure out what the title had to do with the story, though.
If I have time, I’ll have a look at another story tomorrow.
Maybe some of the other folks on the blog tour list enjoy short stories more than I do! If you’d like a second (or tenth) opinion, check around through some of these links: Jim Black, Amy Browning, Jackie Castle, Karri Compton, Frank Creed, CSFF Blog Tour, Gene Curtis, D. G. D. Davidson, Chris Deanne, April Erwin, Kameron M. Franklin, Linda Gilmore, Beth Goddard, Marcus Goodyear, Andrea Graham, Jill Hart, Katie Hart, Sherrie Hibbs, Heather R. Hunt, Becca Johnson, Jason Joyner, Kait, Karen, Dawn King, Tina Kulesa, Lost Genre Guild, Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 – The Compendium, Terri Main, Rachel Marks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Eve Nielsen, John W. Otte, John Ottinger, Robin Parrish , Cheryl Russel, Hanna Sandvig, Chawna Schroeder, Mirtika Schultz, Steve Trower, Speculative Faith, Daniel I. Weaver, Russell Griffith, Jason Waguespac, Holly, Brandon Barr
I enjoy short stories done well, and The Sword Review has them occasionally, (see my post tomorrow).
I think the world-building criteria you have is a little too much. Short stories depend more on characterization or emotion (at least the ones I’ve encountered) unless thye are by an authro with a pre-built word we are familiar with. Don’t be too hard on the little short story its possible you jsut haven’t found good ones yet.
And if I could learn to spell that would be good, sorry for the misspelling and poor grammar!
Valerie Comer says
Hey John, thanks for stopping by. I’m sure my worldbuilding criteria is not the same as the average person, but its mine and its real! So I rarely read shorts and never write them. That’s okay, there’s room in this world for more than one opinion.
Hi Val-I’ll make sure that I post something about you tomorrow.
Valerie Comer says
No…NO! It’s a good thing–I’ll highlight you, silly!
Random Walk Writer says
I’d like to flatter myself that I manage world-building in my shorts. 😛 And to be fair, you’ve even been kind enough to read a couple, for which I’m grateful.