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Thread: In Mint Condition 2013: Impressions and Criticism

  1. #76
    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Okay, I have the first criticism of this book. It doesn't fit the standard Brodart covers!!!

  2. #77
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    Sooo... you're saying there will be other print runs that I will need to buy for my collection as well? That I need to buy a new book shelf to begin a collection of IMC editions? Someone get started on the Dolso...

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by divemaster View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    - Amazon: Amber keeps getting on me about this, and while I understand the mentality that "a book isn't a book unless it's on Amazon," I really don't see the point. I mean, who browses on Amazon? The only way to get seen in the side links and "recommended for you" is to pay for it (think advertising) And besides that, would it be worth it to lose even MORE of the profit through selling on Amazon, compared to the website? Amazon takes a cut, PayPal takes a cut, taxes take a cut.
    Here, I'll have to disagree. A lot of people browse Amazon. Plus, wouldn't it be easy for a reviewer to have a link to Amazon? Last month I read a glowing review for a book in the Washington Post and the first thing I did was look it up on Amazon and put it in my basket. What does it look like if someone reviews your book and the person reading the review can't even find the book listed?

    Also, I have a friend. He wrote a book. A novel. It's pretty good. But he had it self-published or vanity published or whatever. Not "real" published. His book is on Amazon! There's reviews from readers and stuff. I even bought his book. I happened to mention that *I* too had a book (story contribution) coming out. How's it look if his nubby not-real book is on Amazon and our real, publisher and everything book is not?
    I'll second all of that. I self-published a book called "Non-Euclidean Geometry for Babies"; I didn't even spring the $10 that it costs to change the publisher from "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform". Other than listing it on Amazon, I have essentially spent no money and put no effort into marketing the book. Where has that got me? I have the #1 best selling book on Non-Euclidean Geometry on Amazon right now:

  4. #79
    Don't. Get. Married. Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon's Avatar

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    PMing you, Fred Carlson.

  5. #80
    The Decoy Hannah has a spectacular aura about Hannah has a spectacular aura about Hannah has a spectacular aura about Hannah's Avatar

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    I've read Mr. Scratch's Murder Circus (I don't have the book with me right now, so apologies if I have the title slightly off), The Receptionist, and Train Graveyard so far. I liked them all. I thought there was maybe just a little bit too much back story with the receptionist, but loved the ending and the concept. Once I read Jean's review about how the backstory overload was necessary to lull the reader into a sense of false security, it didn't bother me anymore.

    I really liked Train Graveyard. It was sad and poignant - and really captured that "coming of age" moment. Well done, Ari.
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  6. #81
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    RF's "I ate my cat" etc is by far the most disturbing story in the book, IMHO I mean that as a compliment!! LOL

  7. #82
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    I finished the entire anthology this week. A very good collection! I'm a little OCD when it comes to collecting and reading, and I read a LOT of anthologies (horror, sci-fi, speculative, pulp/weird) and to keep track of everything I use a spreadsheet for anthologies and short stories. Author/editor, title, main characters, plot summary, and of course a star rating from 1 to 4. It's a pretty massive spreadsheet, but it helps me keep track of what I've read and what I've liked, loved, or hated.

    Of the 15 stories/poems I rated in In Mint Condition, I tagged 5 with 4 stars and 5 with 3 stars. That's pretty damn good for any anthology!

    My comments on the "4 star" stories are below. I don't want to ruffle any feathers so I'm not going to specify any of the others (except for one 3-star story that just must be commented on.) Sure, a few of the pieces did nothing for me, but all that is subjective and what I didn't care for might be someone else's favorite.

    So, here goes, in order of appearance. My "best of the best" as it were.

    The Train Graveyard: Stories about childhood and loss of innocence always strike a nerve with me. King does this well of course (The Body, It, "The Last Rung on the Ladder," etc.). I don't have a brother close in age but I do have a sister who is 2 years younger than me and I was always protective of her. This was a very affecting story. The last line was the clincher, but even without that it would be a 4 star story. Thanks, Ari.

    Excelsior!: Hmmm. There's not too much I can say without spoiling it for those who have not read it. Let's just say that the subject matter is one that is near and dear to my heart, and the reveal caught me off guard. The story really made me smile. I read it like three times in a row just to get the warm fuzzies and to relish in the craft of the writing. A gem of a tale nestled in amongst the horror or more disturbing stories. A breath of fresh air. Great job, Jean.

    My First Book. Such a simple little story but it packs a wollop. The horror is hinted at, edged up to sideways by the author, but not blasted in your face. The nuance is what really makes this story work. The last line says oh so much without really saying anything explicit. The reader is left to his/her own conjecture of exactly what this little girl's home life is, and it is powerful. Excellent job of writing something with depth, using just a child's limited perspective and grasp of language. Kudos, Jeannine.

    The Rule of Three. Most of the stories in the book focus on just one person (mine included). Nothing wrong with that of course, sometimes a short story can only handle one main character. Here, the author fleshes out no less than 5. Sure, we're not talking about novel-level characterization, but you've got the three mates, the girl, and the narrator who is a character as well. These did not feel like cardboard characters and the plot was interesting. I did have a couple of quibbles but I was so impressed with the author's ability to make this story work (and keep me interested!) that 4 stars it is. Way to go Thomas.

    On Monday, I ate my cat. I believe this one has been mentioned by quite a few others, and I can see why. It's just so unnervingly weird (and funny!) that it was a joy to read. Very clever, Jerome.

    Ok, the one that didn't quite make the 4-star cut that I want to comment on is Tabula Rasa. I liked it a lot. But what I'm hoping is that the author is somehow planning on continuing the story as a novel. The story is a perfect case of "right in the middle" as in I want to know more! I want to know the backstory of the experiment, and more about the Agent and the doctor, and the protagonist. And I certainly want to know "what happens next"! What about the baby? Was the farmhouse guy's vision accurate? Stuff like that. Any author who can leave me wanting more has done a very good job. Give me more, Hannah!

    I think it best to stop there. If I didn't mention your story that didn't mean I didn't like it. There were other very good ones in there.

  8. #83
    Honky Mahfah biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future biomieg has a brilliant future

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    Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts, Dave. I just ordered my copies and this makes me look forward to reading everything even more I got the chance to read Thomas's story before publication and I really liked it. I'm curious to see if I end up liking the same stories as you.

  9. #84
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    Thanks for the nice feedback, it's just great that people are reading my story tbh

  10. #85
    The Tenant Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean's Avatar

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    thank you Dave!!! you've made bears so happy!

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #86
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    It's funny. With all the excitement over this book and apparent interest throughout this forum community, there have been only a few people commenting on the stories themselves. Maybe 3-4 in this thread? I find this ...surprising.

  12. #87
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    I just mentioned this in another thread, but I would say that we have less than 50 active members right now. "Active" as in ... posts at least once a week.

  13. #88
    The Tenant Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by divemaster View Post
    It's funny. With all the excitement over this book and apparent interest throughout this forum community, there have been only a few people commenting on the stories themselves. Maybe 3-4 in this thread? I find this ...surprising.
    I am planning to review all the stories and poems one by one, in detail, as I've already done for the first poem and the first story. I am away from my computer now, will be back only in a week.

    I really really hope more people will write reviews after they've gotten the book and read the poems/stories. I don't think many have yet.

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    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by divemaster View Post
    Ok, the one that didn't quite make the 4-star cut that I want to comment on is Tabula Rasa. I liked it a lot. But what I'm hoping is that the author is somehow planning on continuing the story as a novel. The story is a perfect case of "right in the middle" as in I want to know more! I want to know the backstory of the experiment, and more about the Agent and the doctor, and the protagonist. And I certainly want to know "what happens next"! What about the baby? Was the farmhouse guy's vision accurate? Stuff like that. Any author who can leave me wanting more has done a very good job. Give me more, Hannah!
    Thanks, yo! I appreciate the feedback. I had actually started this story as a novel idea, but it ended up being a long story instead. The novel might come some day. But maybe not.


    I also wanted to add a quick note about Jean's story: Excelsior!

    I thought it was super cute. It was such an intelligent story and then the end is the best thing ever. I absolutely loved it. I read it twice because after I read the ending I had to read it again with the ending in mind.

    Jean, your writing required careful reading. It reminded me of the written version of the food the dude's mother serves in Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. She puts paper clips and tacks and stuff in it so people will have to chew it carefully and enjoy it. Your story was like that, but in a good way. You had to read carefully and really pay attention and absorb the words. Loved it.
    A true firewasp ninja would never wear such a ridiculous sweater.

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  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannah View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by divemaster View Post
    Ok, the one that didn't quite make the 4-star cut that I want to comment on is Tabula Rasa. I liked it a lot. But what I'm hoping is that the author is somehow planning on continuing the story as a novel. The story is a perfect case of "right in the middle" as in I want to know more! I want to know the backstory of the experiment, and more about the Agent and the doctor, and the protagonist. And I certainly want to know "what happens next"! What about the baby? Was the farmhouse guy's vision accurate? Stuff like that. Any author who can leave me wanting more has done a very good job. Give me more, Hannah!
    Thanks, yo! I appreciate the feedback. I had actually started this story as a novel idea, but it ended up being a long story instead. The novel might come some day. But maybe not.


    I also wanted to add a quick note about Jean's story: Excelsior!

    I thought it was super cute. It was such an intelligent story and then the end is the best thing ever. I absolutely loved it. I read it twice because after I read the ending I had to read it again with the ending in mind.

    Jean, you're writing required careful reading. It reminded me of the written version of the food the dude's mother serves in Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. She puts paper clips and tacks and stuff in it so people will have to chew it carefully and enjoy it. Your story was like that, but in a good way. You had to read carefully and really pay attention and absorb the words. Loved it.
    Yes, Jeans' story was excellent!!!

  16. #91
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    wow guys, you've made this bear so happy!!!!!!!!!!



    I am slowly relishing the stories now, one by one... loving them immensely, and making notes for the new reviews (as unbearably long as the first was)

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    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. #92
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    Finished the book earlier today. Great little collection. There were a few standout stories for me.

    Tabula Rasa - My absolute favorite in the collection. I loved how it just plopped you right down in the middle of things. It starts off with action and just sends you a ride with the main character, going from a bad situation to a worse one. You start to fight for her to win, only to be thrown a curve ball and maybe you hesitate on your decision. In the end I was still routing for her. And I am dying to know what happens next.

    The Receptionist - It almost reminded me of an episode of the Twilight Zone. You think it's going in one direction only to take a twist and go off somewhere you never thought of. Really enjoyed it.

    The Train Graveyard - It had that summer childhood loss of innocence feel to it, which I love.

    Brothers - Honestly I'm not a huge fan of poems, but this one really struck a cord with me.
    Only the gentle are ever really strong.

  18. #93
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    "The Receptionist - It almost reminded me of an episode of the Twilight Zone." My thoughts exactly.

  19. #94
    Don't. Get. Married. Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon has a reputation beyond repute Shannon's Avatar

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    Guess what's on the front page of the Famous Monsters of Filmland website!

    http://famousmonsters.com/

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    Guess what's on the front page of the Famous Monsters of Filmland website!

    http://famousmonsters.com/
    Good one! Even mentions the Haven Fund!
    1N73LL1G3NC3 15 7H3 4B1L17Y 70 4D4PT 70 CH4NG3.
    -573PH3N H4WK1NG

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    Guess what's on the front page of the Famous Monsters of Filmland website!

    http://famousmonsters.com/
    That's awesome, Shannon!!!!!

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather19 View Post
    Finished the book earlier today. Great little collection. There were a few standout stories for me.

    Tabula Rasa - My absolute favorite in the collection. I loved how it just plopped you right down in the middle of things. It starts off with action and just sends you a ride with the main character, going from a bad situation to a worse one. You start to fight for her to win, only to be thrown a curve ball and maybe you hesitate on your decision. In the end I was still routing for her. And I am dying to know what happens next.

    The Receptionist - It almost reminded me of an episode of the Twilight Zone. You think it's going in one direction only to take a twist and go off somewhere you never thought of. Really enjoyed it.

    The Train Graveyard - It had that summer childhood loss of innocence feel to it, which I love.

    Brothers - Honestly I'm not a huge fan of poems, but this one really struck a cord with me.
    Heather Thank You Thank You Thank You!
    DT Spoiler - Enter at your own risk!

    Spoiler:
    I can’t remember if I cried
    When I read about Eddie’s widowed bride,
    And something touched me deep inside
    The day the bumbler died.”


    Click CAN' Ka No Rey for the entire poem, published in Lighthouse VI!

  23. #98
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    Default The Train Graveyard, by Ariel Bosi

    I apologize in advance if I am miles off from what the author intended. The below is my view that may be very different from that of the others, because I am going to speak from within a very different cultural context.

    The Train Graveyard is easily one of the most depressing stories I’ve read in years. The worst about it is that it’s written very well, totally achieving what King called “a hole in the page”: I, a 49-old bear who’s never lived in a small American town, read it in a big old Russian city in the middle of winter, and felt as if that American small-town teenagers’ summer, with its smells and tastes and texture, was right around me.

    The more horrifying the story was.

    I’ll spoilerize the rest of the review, because I am going to talk about the content, not the form.

    Spoiler:
    So, here are those boys… the definition of good boys. Like all kids in post-war American literature (with the exception of those written by Sai King), they sound to me about three years younger than they are: respectively 12 and 9, and I would have given them 9 and 6; but, then again, they are good boys. The kind who never swear or bully, or (God forbid) smoke, are afraid of spiders and terrified of rats, say things like “Mom will be angry at me,” who don’t sound like they’ve ever fought, who can’t get a scratch unless their mother panics and “screams bloody murder”… The protagonist talks to his peers in words like “I’m sorry” and “I’d gladly”and as many “thanks” as if he was talking to his elderly aunts, using impeccably full sentences; and his younger brother starts crying “immediately” - as soon as he is hit.

    These boys have always been protected, sheltered from everything that might hurt. The elder is as protective towards his brother as the kind, sympathetic world has always been to him (among many examples, he feels uncomfortable when his little brother not only sees pictures of nude women, but hears of them).

    No wonder the protagonist clings so desperately to the only part of his life he can call his own. It’s a need to have something in his life where he is free, a piece of universe that would be only his, and shared only with those he chooses himself.

    And then other boys, less relentlessly good, come and want a piece of his would-be paradize. And the brothers have never really been confronted, never met with any adversity, and when they finally do, it immediately grows out of all proportion (only experience can teach to measure the scale of things, and they have had none), like their whole world is going to crash around them, and they react accordingly. The boys who’ve never learned to stand up to anybody or anything can only give inadequate response. They never learned to play it rough, so they play it mean.

    The revenge of the weak is always terrible. You can’t learn to fight fair if you’ve never learned to fight at all.

    Very sad story.

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    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. #99
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    Thanks for that review, Jean. As you know from a previous post, "The Train Graveyard" was in my "top 6" or whatever for this anthology. I appreciate your thoughts and perspective on it. You've introduced a few new angles for me to consider.

  25. #100
    The Tenant Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean has much to be proud of Jean's Avatar

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    thank you! I had hoped there would be more reviews (I still hope there will be). I would so love to know if anyone else saw that story in this light.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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