The Shatter Manifesto
Note added 8/13/05. Lots of folks read this post without knowing me or being familiar with my blog. Guess what: they get the wrong idea about me. A great deal of this seems to hinge on the word 'Manifesto'. I'm a humorist. I liked the word 'Manifesto' precisely because it is so fatuous, overblown, and arrogant. The word tickles me. Unfortunately, some folks come over here and assume I am fatuous, overblown, and arrogant. Well, maybe I am. On the other hand, perhaps you don't understand my sense of humor, or perhaps I'm a crappy humorist. All I ask is that you consider these competing hypotheses. Back to the, erm, Manifesto.
***Now that I'm writing occasional reviews for Tangent, I have a decision to make. When faced with a story I don't like, I can (A) write an honest review, or (B) write one of these:
In summary, if you're the kind of reader who enjoys impenetrable plots, artificially amped drama, liberal use of italics (and exclamation points!!!), unbelievable characters, and inconclusive endings, then you'll absolutely love Farley Turgid's "Overdrawn at the Sperm Bank".Rereading this, I realize I may have strained the point with my hyperbole. The more common manifestation of this syndrome goes like this:
So if you crave axe-wielding Nordic demigods who speak in Ye Olde English whilst bedding fair naiads in between time travel jaunts to Edwardian England and Imperial Rome, you'll absolutely love Farley Turgid's "Not Without My Loki".In both examples, the reviewer is trying to put a positive spin on things. But, I'm sorry. I can't do it. I know what I like, and I'm opinionated enough to tell people about it. I promise I'll try to find something good in every story, but sometimes it's damned difficult. Does that mean it's a bad story? No. (Well, maybe. Eventually, a consensus opinion may emerge.) It only means I didn't like it. Does anyone think a reviewer's opinion is anyone's but his own? In An Open Letter to My Victims, I have responded to those present and future authors whose babes I have spat upon. Here, I intend to discuss what I consider a good short story*.
The Shatter ManifestoA good short story
- puts the story first
- makes me think
- makes me feel