Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First review ever!

Diabolical Plots has reviews up for the April Daily Science Fiction stories, including mine. This is exciting for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever had a story reviewed by an impartial third party. Plus, they have some nice things to say:
“A Special Day” by Shannon Fay (debut 4/18 and reviewed by Frank D). A ski bunny takes a sudden interest in the protagonist and buys him a coffee. The ensuing conversation drifts to an unlikely subject.
The subject matter in “A Special Day” is about the day no one celebrates, the pre-anniversary date of their death. It is a day only the snow bunny can appreciate. The tale has a twist that comes out of nowhere yet isn’t surprising when it is revealed. I found the story to be sound but was one where the protagonist became a third wheel in the tale. Interesting.
 Very cool, and they're right about the main character becoming less relevant as the story goes on (though I kind of like that). But they're wrong about the main character being a guy. This isn't the first time I've seen someone make that assumption. I can see how it could happen. The main character's gender isn't central to the story and since it's a first person narration people are going to project a lot onto the character in order to fill in the gaps. It's understandable that a man reading the story would imagine that the narrator is also a guy (heck, a woman reading the story might think the main character is a guy, seeing how male is still seen as the 'default' gender).

But at the same time, I do include things to show that the narrator is a girl. There's her name for one ('Moria' may not be a popular girl name, but it's still a girl's name) and the fact that another character refers to her indirectly as 'she' ('Even a keener like you would take a break on her birthday').

Like I said, it's not central to the story, but it is there. I really believe that female characters are under represented in fiction and it's important to me to write worlds populated by woman characters. One thing I like about 'A Special Day' is that at it's heart it's just two very different girls talking at a coffee shop. Story-wise it's not a world of difference if, instead, it's a guy and a girl talking in a coffee shop, but while it might not mean a big deal to the story it makes a big difference to me.

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