We finished the first four of the second round of stories today — including my own As a Wind Among the Reeds. The responses were generally favorable. Everyone hated the title, so that will have to go, but the concensus was that it was solid urban fantasy that just needed a bit of re-structuring to be publishable.
I love the process, being able to get feedback about elements of the story that worked or didn’t work, along with forty or fifty minutes of blue-sky discussion about what could be done to make it better. Someone here called it story bashing, but from the POV of pounding it into better shape, not demolishing it.
There’s a real mix of personalities here, but everyone is every bit as committed to writing speculative fiction as I am and we’ve critiqued som dynamite stories so far. IMO, the stand-out today was Deacon & the Devil by Lane Robins, author of the fantasy novels, Maledicte and Kings & Assassins. Her short story is a tale of a woman with magical talents and an abidding belief in God, who battles the very Devil.
Watch for it because I’m certain it will show up in print at one of the major science fiction/fantasy magazines before long.
Last night, eight of us (including Chris McKitterick, assistant program director, and Kij Johnson, author of the Hugo and Nebula-nominated short story, 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss) sat up until 1:00 a.m. to talk of all manner of strange things. I haven’t giggled so much sober in a long time.
After that, I stayed awake until 2:00 a.m. (midnight in Seattle) to make certain the premiere issue of my genre flash fiction quarterly, 10Flash, posted properly. It did and it looks great. It’s 4:45 p.m. here in Kansas right now and almost 500 people have visited the site since midnight. I have been told, by some of the folks here, that that is a respectable number.
Check out the issue’s eleven stories, if you have an opportunity. Let me know what you think.