One of the opportunities A Book of Endings created was the chance to get my writing in front of a wider audience. To see what the rest of the world might think. The Australian genre scene is so warm & welcoming that I’d grown suspicious of the kind words occasionally attributed to my work in reviews & conversations.
So I pinged a couple of wider-stream review sources to see if, well, if the Emperor really was wearing any clothes.
The Syd Uni Alumni review came out first & said: “These are unnerving and elliptical, in the main, and tread a fine line between the everyday mundaneity that never is and overblown literary style that can be tiresome when too self-conscious. Mostly they stay on the right side of the line and intrigue more than irritate.”
Yes, I spotted it, too. “Mostly”. But that’s cool. Given the book is largely retrospective I could even entertain the idea that maybe the irritating ones were the early ones, and the new ones are better. Hell, I’m occasionally optimistic that way.
The Short Review is a site dedicated to short story writing, & is definitely worth checking out. Of my book, reviewer Mario Guslandi said, “Deborah Biancotti’s debut collection left me both hopeful and frustrated. Here we have a writer with a great potential, able to produce some outstanding stories, who, unfortunately, often wastes her talent writing tasteless pieces with implausible plots and nondescript characters. When inspired, Biancotti is a top notch author. When uninspired, the author of mediocre tales can irritate, in view of what she can do when at the top of her game.”
I know, I know. Now you, like me, want to know which are the tasteless stories!
Well, I guess taste is a matter of … erm, taste. So I can’t fault Guslandi for his passionate chastisement of my choice of writing subjects. Though I am curious about it. Maybe I’ll email him to find out what he means. Since he also reviews for SF Site, infinity plus, Horrorworld and Alien Online, it’s certainly not that he’s NOT a genre reader — which would be the easiest out.
Guslandi then go on to discuss the “five sparkling gems” of the book — and this is the really interesting stuff, I find: I love finding out what stories *worked* for people. There’s no predicting it, and here again I’m surprised to find what he enjoyed the most. If I’d had to choose my 5 best stories, would I have chosen these? … Hmmm. Maybe not.
If you’ve read the book, I’d love to know what stories worked for you — & what you found positively TASTELESS! :) Comment or email as is your will, noble readers.
2 comments on “Chastised”
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Getting through the collection currently. I don’t have it in front of me however so you’ll have to forgive my “the one with…” descriptions, but I really enjoyed:
“the one with the two robots” – I love that image of these two malfunctioning, demented robots becoming, essentially life partners in their worlds of self delusion.
“the pregnant planet one” – what a great image, Mother Earth swollen with child. And of course the question it leaves you with: “What does a planet give birth to?”
Hey, thanks Daniel! Glad you’re finding some enjoyment in the book. :)