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Month: May 2015

More Hugo nominees: The Day the World Turned Upside Down

I decided to read this one when a friend wanted to talk about it, without prejudicing me by indicating exactly what bits she wanted to talk about. (This is probably one of the top five ways to get me to read something. Piquing my curiosity and promising me that we’ll have an interesting discussion about it afterward.) So I read it. It wasn’t terrible, although the first few paragraphs are really weak and it’s possible I would have tossed it aside without the additional impetus of a friend wanting to talk about it. But once I got to the hook,…

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Personally I didn’t like being twelve all that much

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Over the weekend I made an attempt at all the Hugo nominees for short story. I actually finished two of them. They still weren’t exactly Hugo material, in my opinion, but at least they succeeded at being stories.

In one of the many epic discussion threads over at the File 770 Hugo-related posts (which all have marvelous puppy-themed names like “That Hell-Hound Train” or “Soylent Green is Puppies”) a few people asserted that the Sads-n-Rabids didn’t really seem to like their own fiction slate all that much. They argued for the correctness of their tactics, the strength of their personal honor, and the venality of their critics — but they didn’t try to justify the stories themselves.

This prompted one Sad defender to jump in and claim, with apparent sincerity, that he genuinely liked the story “Turncoat.” He vigorously defended it against a dozen people telling him it was crap, anyway.

This made me curious. Was there something good in there that I had missed? Or something that, if not good, was at least illuminating? Something that would tell me what exactly it is that Sad & Rabid types think is “wrong” with the fiction the rest of us like?

So, instead of giving it a slush pile read (tossed aside at first hint of boredom or irritation) I decided to give it a crit group reading — carefully, making notes along the way, with an eye toward how it might be improved, a presumption of good will, and en effort to suppress my native snark.

My notes (based on text found here: https://steverzasa.wordpress.com/turncoat/ ) follow:

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Fright Night: the very disappointing remake

The 1985 Fright Night has been one of my favorite vampire movies since college. I knew it was dangerous to see a remake of a movie I love-love-love, but after seeing pictures of David Tennant’s hilariously cheesy (and shirtless!) take on Peter Vincent, finding out that Marti “Buffy” Noxon wrote the script, and seeing nothing but moderately good reviews, I thought, what the hey? I figured I’d be getting a halfway decent vampire movie, if I just forgot this other thing called Fright Night existed. This is the best thing about the remake, so I’m posting it here.  I was,…

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What DOES it say about you, if you are a horror fan?

Note: I started writing this months ago when it was new and a bunch of my horror-fan friends were rolling their eyes about it in social media. But I stopped when I didn’t have a good concluding paragraph. But since I am going to be at Crypticon next weekend (May 22-24, 2015) I thought it was a good impetus to dust off some of my horror-specific unposted essays. Enjoy! Ripley is not impressed with your evidence or your conclusions. What does it say about you if you enjoy horror movies? (Other than, you know, the obvious. That you enjoy horror…

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