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Old Short Fiction Gets A Review

Today, I am pretentious:

Ben Peek’s “Dreaming City” is not unpretentious. I am ambivalent about it. I suspect this is another case of a story that will have great appeal to others, but doesn’t appeal to me at all. It’s carefully crafted and takes us through some of the thoughts of Mark Twain and some of the history of Sydney in Peek’s alternate universe.


From The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt.

And funny:

Ben Peek’s “The Recipe” is funny – really funny and quite black. But I’m not sure this ‘fable’ is much more than an extended joke at the expense of the traditional big fat fantasy. The slightly modern twist to some of the puns jarred a little with the medieval setting.


From Elsewhere, edited by Michael Barry.

I wouldn't bother reading Elsewhere, actually. As a collection it is weak--the majority of the CSFG collections are about giving new authors a place to start, and the quality for each flickers up and down on that line; the majority of them are really only fit to be read by friends and family of the authors--and my story, well, it really is just an extended joke. I should never have published it, but I couldn't resist the line, 'An Orc never gave my syphilis!' It's one of those things where you look back and you think, I should have known better.

(In defense of the CSFG, they did publish Kaaron Warren's collection, The Grinding House, which was all kind of goodness, and quite definitely the work of an author who is not new and not struggling to understand the genre.)

As for being called pretentious... Well, doesn't this post support that? 'The Dreaming City' is a big novelette, and can also be found in Leviathan Four: Cities, edited by Forrest Aguirre (experimeditor).

Tags:

Comments

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catsparx
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
doesn't matter what they say so long as they're talking about you, etc etc
benpeek
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
i figure pretentious and funny kind of describes me ;)
catsparx
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
depands if you mean ha ha funny or funny peculiar...
benpeek
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
i like to think ha ha funny, rather than, oh yeah, he did murder them. i'm not surprised. he was always kind of funny funny.
catsparx
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
you do have a bit of a serial killer look to you in your photos though. Maybe its the beanie?
benpeek
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
that's why i'm trying to cut down on my beanie photos these days...
catsparx
Sep. 13th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
probably a good move
leebattersby
Sep. 13th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC)
Keep in mind: Kathryn Linge is an idiot.

Anybody who reviews who a) happily states in their bio that they don't read the genre they're reviewing and b) has to create an index or table to tell them whether they're enjoying something or not, well, they're not exactly at the high-point of the knowledeg bell curve, are they?
benpeek
Sep. 13th, 2006 01:39 am (UTC)
kathryn is a friend of mine, lee. future comments about her like such will be deleted.
leebattersby
Sep. 13th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
From Lyn
So why only future ones? Why not delete this one?
Re: From Lyn - benpeek - Sep. 13th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: From Lyn - kathrynlinge - Sep. 13th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: From Lyn - leebattersby - Sep. 13th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: From Lyn - kathrynlinge - Sep. 13th, 2006 08:31 am (UTC) - Expand
leebattersby
Sep. 13th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Sure. As you wish. Although, as someone who values the right to free expression of opinion no matter what the opinion expressed, I thought you'd rather argue if you disagreed, rather than censor.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 13th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Sep. 13th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
kathrynlinge
Sep. 13th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Dude, do you not think it slightly idiotic making such judgements based solely on my 200 word biography?

To clarify - I read science fiction - I just don't hold it above all other genres. As far as I'm concerned books are books. I read *all* of them.

As for the DAMN Index? It's a maths geek thing. If you're not into maths then just ignore that line in any review I write and take the rest as it stands. If you don't like my reviews then I would suggest making a donation to ASif! so Alisa can afford better reviewers :-)
experimeditor
Sep. 13th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
Maybe I'm pretentious for having published "The Dreaming City"?

Eh, whatever. Pretentious or not, it's an awesome story, and I'm sticking to my opinion on that. :)
benpeek
Sep. 13th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
join me on the pretentious side... we have cafe lattes with the little brown stuff and biscuits made naked midgets that are bathed in linseed oil...

wait, that doesn't sound good.
experimeditor
Sep. 13th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
So long as the midgets aren't feeding us the biscuits, I'm cool with it. They can make them all day long, for all I care, so long as they sprinkle in little shredded bits of the Oxford English Dictionary. Now *that* is pretentious!

And I think bathing them in truffle oil would up the ante a bit . . .
(no subject) - benpeek - Sep. 14th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - experimeditor - Sep. 14th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 14th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Sep. 14th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - experimeditor - Sep. 14th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Sep. 14th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - experimeditor - Sep. 14th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Sep. 15th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - experimeditor - Sep. 15th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Sep. 15th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - experimeditor - Sep. 15th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
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