Transit Point, by A.S. Webster (9:15)

IOD-TransitPointToday we see that early echoes are probably a sign of more echoes to come.

What I gleaned about the story: A young girl, descended from some kind of interstellar shipwreck colony, has a pleasant conversation with Loki, the Norse God, in her bramble patch.

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WTF #1: Echoing headwords

Analysis: The first and second sentences start with “Anna.” Also the first and second paragraphs. That’s almost half of the sentences in the first two paragraphs, which creates an immediate impression that the entire book is going to echo. This is one of the many problems that can be brought to light by reading the work aloud and listening to yourself, which also helps to find awkward phrasing, clumsy punctuation, and unnatural dialogue.

WTF #2: There had been rumors of gods ever since they landed, but no one had ever really seen one. Strange things happened out in the wild and left no trace of their passing.

Analysis: Ignoring the mixed verb tenses here, the thing that I stumbled over was the bit about traces. If they had truly left no trace of their passing, how did anybody know it had happened? Authors often try to punch up the drama and mystery of their stories with throw-away descriptions like this, but too often, they don’t stop to consider the full implications of what they’re saying.

Note: “Just a couple questions.” This is an emerging trend that I’ve seen many times, but it’s the first time I can recall seeing it in an IOD submisision. Maybe it’s regional, and maybe it’s generational, but dropping the “of” drives me bonkers. You wouldn’t say, “Just a pair questions,” so you shouldn’t do it with “couple” either. That should read “Just a couple of questions.”

WTF #3: More echoes. 

Analysis: A whole slew of them. Another pair of “Anna”s. Then pairwise marches headed with “The,” “A”, and “Rosa.” That’s the point at which I charged another WTF and the clock stopped.

At the Crossroads, by Andre Gal (9:42)
Silvana: The Greening, by Belinda Mellor (40:00)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.