“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before.”
William Goldman

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njrarToday marks the first post that will highlight reviews on stories published by Daily Science Fiction. DSF has a place in my heart because they are the market that gave me my first publication (and, subsequently, my first sale). I am pleased that the market is still going strong, and I’m honored that I’m part of its history. And just to mention, DSF did release a Year One book titled “Not Just Rockets and Robots,” which includes all the stories they published in their first year of publication. And, yes, my short story A Day Like No Other is included. 🙂 Feel free to purchase a copy!

Onto the stories!!!

March 4, 2013
The title of the story sent to e-mail subscribers on this day was Fidelity. Easily recognizable title, and phenomenal story within. It’s written by a gentleman by the name of Ben Heldt (his blog is here) and this is his first publication. The story is about a man who is a father to a boy named Henry and a husband to, what he so eloquently calls, “not-Sophie”. His wife, Sophie, was scheduled to be on the first manned spaceflight outside of Earth’s solar system. And so their son wouldn’t grow up without a mother, she was replaced with a robot. And though the main character sees benefits of doing this for his son, he can’t help but feel enraged, hurt, and betrayed.

I found the story so engaging that I had begun to read it on a quick break at work, and I was so enraptured, I was actually late going back to work. I know, I know, how awful, but Mr. Heldt had a great idea and the writing was great. You can read Fidelity here.

March 5, 2013
Gullible Georgina Agravaine
 was sent on March 5. Written by Michael Greenhunt (a graduate of Clarion South, 2007!), Celio is a sharp-shooting bounty hunter who is told by the sheriff in town that Georgina Agravaine, a lady Celio took to the senior prom twenty years earlier, had received a phone call from a man who told her she was a werewolf. And she turned. Celio is unbelieving to that fact, positive it isn’t her.

The writing was credible, humorous but not overly, but I just didn’t connect with the whole story. I was more drawn to the flashback scenes as opposed to the present ones. I don’t even think it’s any fault of the author. I could just be tired of werewolf and vampire tales being everywhere that anything not extremely original just doesn’t excite me. You can read Gullible Georgina Agravaine here.

March 6, 2013
I like the inspiration the author, Paul Blonsky (His Twitter is here), had to create this piece, Doctor was Madman, Family Man. The issue I had with it was that it didn’t read as a story. And it basically wasn’t. It’s written as an obituary of a family man who had lived as a super villain. While the concept is alluring, I think this serves more as a foundation or an outline rather than a standalone fiction piece. You can read Doctor was Madman, Family Man here.

March 7, 2013
Daily Science Fiction reintroduces us to Jamie Lackey, lover of unicorns, with her story To Maintain the Balance. It follows Ellandra, a girl whose land and people had been cursed and is wasting away. Weakly, she goes in search of a unicorn because unicorns are known to maintain balance and can heal her land.

I liked the overall tone of sacrifice in the piece and you can greatly perceive the strength of the main character. To me, this story felt as if something was missing though. Or there just wasn’t enough of something. Maybe it wasn’t enough back story; it’s intended as a flash fiction piece, so my conclusion could be unfair. In my opinion it would be a lot better if it was lengthened and developed more. You can read To Maintain the Balance here.

March 8, 2013
This day’s story, Spirit Gum, was a collaboration by Mike Resnick and Jordan Ellinger. It’s about a man named Malcolm Bell, whose illusionist name is The Great Bellini. He had much success performing for crowds, but when a car accident took his wife, he devoted his time to exposing how illusions were done — others’ as well as his own. He graduated from exposing magic tricks to debunking mediums and insurance frauds. But when he’s invited to appear in a talk show along with a medium, a challenge presents itself.

I thought the story flowed well and I appreciated the writing. There were a few things I questioned in terms of relevance, but I can overlook those. The ending, however, I won’t act like I totally understood. And for the story to be called Spirit Gum, that was mentioned only once in the entire story. And it didn’t come across as that important, unless I missed out on something. I enjoyed it though. You can read Spirit Gum here.

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