December 17th, 2007

kojak smile

Poll: What Story Should Yeff Send To WOTF?

The next WOTF (Writers of the Future) deadline for Q1/2008 is December 31, just over two weeks from now. I have several candidates for a story to enter. No story is necessarily any better than any other. Any story would require revision. I thought I'd run a poll and see what others think.

Behind the cut are our candidate stories. With each is a one line summary and the first paragraph or two of the story. Take a look and see what you think!

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What story should Yeff revise and enter in WOTF?

Breaking In
0(0.0%)
Fly, Boy
0(0.0%)
Old Town, New Man, New Town, Old Man
0(0.0%)
Real Enuf 4 U
0(0.0%)
Real Space
1(20.0%)
This Moment and the Times Before
1(20.0%)
The Very Difficult Diwali of Inspector Thirumala Naidu
2(40.0%)
Walls of Stars, Like Eyes
0(0.0%)
When Crogdor Came Back
1(20.0%)
Witness
0(0.0%)
Something I'll explain in comments
0(0.0%)


Thank you for your time and input!

UPDATE: Changed the time so it appears on Sunday.
yulbrynner serious

Having Interesting Story Titles (and the latest story)

So I've started in the story I previously referred to as "The Dybbuk's Moll".

As a dedicated member of thing_in_150 (a 500-word-per-day LJ community), I've been updating the group on my progress. In yesterday's posting, I remarked that I'm going to change the name of the story and was thinking about "The Red-Headed Moll".

bogwitch64 chided me (exact quote: "Are you insane??"), saying that "The Dybbuk's Moll" is a much more intriguing title than "The Red-Headed Moll".

She's completely right. It's been a more recent trend of mine to try to have more interesting titles, the kind that "get the foot in the door". "The Red-Headed Moll" is not it.

For this story, the problem is that I've decided the knowledge that it's a dybbuk who has taken over the moll's body isn't known until later. However, Francie (the moll) was the companion of a recently-dead goblin gangster. So, perhaps the title will become "The Goblin's Moll" or "The Goblin's Red-Headed Moll". I still gotta think about this one.

But the whole subject of titles for stories is an interesting one, and I'd love to hear others' thoughts on the subject. How do you decide what to title your stories??
bald man thinking

SF Comment: Oct-Nov 2007

Comments on stories for Oct-Nov 2007. The Analog subscription remained accidentally dropped in these months.

F&SF, Oct-Nov 2007
Favorite: "Two Weeks After" by M. Ramsey Chapman.
Two ghosts come back to visit their families and deal with unfinished business and feelings. A nicely done story with some good emotional sentiment and touching moments.

Also Enjoyed:
"Unpossible" by Daryl Gregory. A man goes looking for his childhood imagination and play friends. Likely using the character from "The Phantom Toolbooth," this was a fun looking at how someone does not grow up.


Asimov's, Oct-Nov 2007
Favorite: "Paid in Full" by Susan Forest.
An insect farmer (yes, insect farmer) deals with his relationship with a fellow farmer and the difficulties of the farming life. I still think the story didn't require the science fiction aspect, but I did like the characters and the resolution.

Also Enjoyed:
"At Sixes and Sevens" by Carol Emshwiller. A couple with an odd neighbor gets involved in the neighbor's life after the father dies.
"Leonid Skies" by Carl Frederick. An ex-moon scientist takes his son and a friend to an indoor campground to watch the Leonids, but has to deal with issues that arrive when everything is kept too safe.

bald man thinking

Read a Story a Day: Dec 10 - Dec 16

The continuing saga of reading something every day and thinking about it for a bit.

Mon Dec 10 - Sun Dec 16
Total: 15 stores read.
Favorites: "Printcrime", "Falling", "The People's Republic of the Edelweiss Village Putt-Putt Golf Course", "Product Development".

Mon Dec 10:
- "The Remember" by Aimee Bender, _The Girl in the Flammable Skirt_ (collection). A woman finds her lover is devolving.
- "The Healer" by Aimee Bender, _The Girl in the Flammable Skirt_ (collection). A story of a small town, a girl with a hand of ice, and a girl with a hand of fire.

Tues Dec 11:
- "The Curmudgeon" by Adam Ares, LCRW (Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet) #21. A man kills a curmudgeon in his neighborhood, then leaves his girlfriend for a woman at the coffee bar, and regrets it.
- "Two Variations" by Jeanette Westwood, LCRW (Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet) #21. A lizard/snake (?) plays backgammon with a woman and describes the two outcomes that will result from the next roll of the dice.

Wed Dec 12:
- "Ivory Tower" by Bruce Sterling, _Futures from Nature_ (flash fiction collection). Future physicists coordinate cutting-edge physics via the internet and their own collective in the Asian Desert.

(NOTE: _Futures from Nature_ is a collection of flash-fiction sci-fi stores printed in Nature between 1999 and 2006. It's my emergency "I need to read a story" book because the stories take about 5 minutes. Since I'm interested in flash fiction anyway, this works out great.)

Thurs Dec 13:
- "The Perfect Lover" by Paul DiFilippo, _Futures from Nature_. Military and scientists send a semi-self-aware bomb to kill a terrorist.
- "Printcrime" by Cory Doctorow, _Futures from Nature_. The narrator's grandfather, jailed for printing household objects, comes back with a new plan.
- "The People's Republic of the Edelweiss Village Putt-Putt Golf Course" by M.K. Hobson, Realms of Fantasy, Feb 2008. A young man who runs a miniature golf course discovers that a kingdom of small people is living in the castles; his sympathy-for-the-proletariat girlfriend gets involved and things are rent asunder.
- "Hobnoblin Blues" by Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy, Feb 2008. The story of Loki (yes, that Loki) as a modern rock star, told in a mix of media interview, regular narrative and second-person POV from one of the band members.

Fri Dec 14:
- "Falling" by Benjamin Rosenbaum, _Futures from Nature_. In a future regulated by cameras and swarms of small flying bots, a man meets a woman who is trying to set herself free.
- "The Abdication of Pope Mary III" by Robert J. Sawyer, _Futures from Nature_. Quantum physics and the resignation of the Pope collide in a newscast about the meeting of Cardinals to elect a new pope.

Sat Dec 15:
- "The King of Sentences" by Jonathan Lethem, New Yorker, Dec 17, 2007. Two fans of a writer pay a visit to him in a small town and have a strange encounter.
- "The King of the Djinn" by Benjamin Rosenbaum, Realms of Fantasy, Feb 2008. A man who drives a soda truck through the desert meets a djinn and makes a choice regarding the fate of his son and himself.

Sun Dec 16:
- "Spawn of Satan?" by Nicola Griffith, _Futures from Nature_. The increase in selective egg donation by older parents is causing an upswing in intelligent, polite, well-adjusted children.
- "Product Development" by Nancy Kress, _Futures from Nature_. A board of an electronics company reviews a new product that jams all electronic devices.