It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible

Alt review

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Yesterday, Locus posted Lois Tilton’s early December short fiction reviews, and among the magazines she covers is Alt Hist 3 – see here. Which includes my story, ‘A Light in the Darkness’. She writes that, “The author successfully captures the eccentric genius of Tesla, and his scenes on the front in WWI France are effective, using Wilfred Owen as the focal character.” But she doesn’t like the third narrative thread, in which a nameless prisoner reflects on the book he was writing before his arrest, a book about WWI poets.

To be honest, I couldn’t guarantee that readers would know enough about Wilfred Owen to understand that the story kills him off before he wrote the poetry for which he is famous. An afterword explaining as much would have been a far less satisfactory method of getting this information across. I could have, I supposed, included some found text on the history of WWI poetry (suitably edited, of course). But even that felt too clumsy. A commentator within the story was a compromise, and sometimes that’s what you have to do. Either that, or bin the story. And doing the latter can really hurt…

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