The Boy who Lit up the Sky, by J. Naomi Ay (9:40)

IOD-BoyLitSkyToday I see that a strong scene concept is not enough to hold me in the story if the editing gremlins gather in sufficient number.

What I gleaned about the story: A young woman, crippled and discarded by an abusive father, lives and works with the nuns, caring for the younger orphans. But now a strange infant has been given into their care, and while everyone else fears him, our heroine just knows that she was meant to protect him. And so she probably will.

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WTF #1: Detail confusion

Analysis: The story opens in a rather bleak sounding orphanage, in which the babies are all strapped to chairs, and their chamber pots are emptied several times a day. Poor baby orphans! But I’m confused by the mechanics here. The soft-hearted caregiver goes into the baby room and several of the older ones wave to her from their cribs. But I thought the babies were all strapped in their chairs? And since we’ve just been told that they leave their chair-straps behind and move to the next room once they’re old enough, I don’t see who could be standing in the cribs. I’m sure I must be misreading something, but I can’t find it, and since this confusion comes on the first page, the flag goes up.

WTF #2: Headwords are starting to echo

Analysis: By the third page, the headwords have begun to echo with some frequency. On this page alone, I’ve tripped over a pair of I-sentences, and then another trio of them further down, plus a pair of echoing paragraphs. And that’s after ignoring the two or three places where I felt echoes were being used on purpose, for rhetorical effect.

WTF #3: Editorial glitches

Analysis: For a while, I was ignoring the occasional missing comma, but then I hit this passage: “What will you do for me if I agree?” She asked, lifting her head haughtily. The problem is that I hit that capitalized “She” and took it on faith that it was correct, so I read it as the beginning of a new sentence. But when that ran headlong into a period, I realized that something had gone awry. That earlier “She” should have been lower case, because that clause concluded the previous sentence instead of starting a new one.

Note: The story itself seemed to have some strong images, so I was optimistic that it might be a good one, but these nuisance glitches came too densely for me to look past them.


The Cestus Concern, by Mat Nastos (2:58)
Siege of Praetar, by David Kristoph (21:02)

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.