Alright, perhaps need is the wrong word. Desire, let’s say. So, it’s always interesting to read (or hear) what others think of something I’ve written. The Judges’ Reports in relation to the Aurealis Awards are out, so I grabbed the ones that apply to my nominated stories. As warm as the kind words of “good” reviews make me (indeed, make any of us), I would be remiss if I did not point out that, good or bad, the words of others do not make your story better or worse. That’s your job, and by the time it’s getting reviewed your job (with that story) is done.
‘A Hundredth Name’, Abyss & Apex Magazine, #31 – A strong piece that demonstrates how the old and the new can be brought together to produce a lovely story. Karim is fighting his space station colleagues and losing his faith in Allah following the death of his wife. The language is restrained and the author shows a few subtle but well-placed elements can produce a fully realized world and a story with an emotional punch.
‘Father’s Kill’, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #24 JOINT WINNER – Sparse, elegant, creepy… A deftly constructed dark fantasy story that did its job very well. Tight writing builds a great atmosphere while holding back the final twist with clever sleight of hand. We can’t reveal more.
‘Having Faith’, Nossa Morte – ‘Having Faith’ is one of the growing number of stories written from a female perspective. What at first seems to be a simple story, fast becomes a relentless journey into the unknown depths of religion, sex and possession. The idea that a tattoo will scar deeper than just skin is carefully crafted from the tattooist’s point of view. This is a powerful and surprising entry that stays in the mind long after the story is over.