Peter Tennant has reviewed Where Are We Going?, edited by Allen Ashley and published by Eibonvale Press, in Black Static #31. The anthology contains my bathypunk story, ‘The Way The World Works’, and Tennant says of it:
“… the story beguiling with its elaborate build up and the mythic resonances attendant upon its final revelation, but having arrived at his destination Sales doesn’t seem to know what to do and so the story fizzles out with the literary equivalent of an actor knowingly winking at the audience. It felt anti-climatic.”
It’s always fascinating to see what other people make of your fiction. To me, the last line was the story’s payload. Nor do I believe in neatly-tied up endings – see Adrift on the Sea of Rains, for example. But I can’t control how people read my fiction; and a story’s success lies as much in how people read it as it does in how well I’ve written it; if not more so.
November 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm
I’m not a fan of pre-packaged endings either, and let me annoy every creative writing “teacher” in the universe by stating not every story or novel has to begin with an eye-grabbing first line.
Works that veer from the norm, challenge the status quo, tend to attract more criticism…and condemnation. Challenging tales annoy, they make the brain hurt.
Keep hurting our brains, Mr. Sales. Smart readers learn to enjoy the sensation.