Monthly Archives: July 2013

Reviews of “Half a Conversation…” from around the blogosphere

Patrick Scalisi writes “This delightful piece of flash fiction is almost too short to review without spoiling the fun. Suffice to say that Buckram’s piece is very amusing.”

Over at the F&SF Forum, there is some discussion about who is doing the overhearing. One reader calls the story “short and very funny.”.  Another describes the results from reading the story: “He was laughing so hard I didn’t want to be in the same room…”

Thoughts on writing: 36 Dramatic Situations

A good source of plot inspiration is Polti’s 36 Dramatic Situations (1921). For example:

5) Pursuit
D) A pseudo-madman struggling against an Iago-like alienist

16) Madness
D) Madness Brought on by Fear of Hereditary Insanity

17) Fatal imprudence
C3) Imprudence the Cause of a Lover’s Death

19) Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognized
A1) Being Upon the Point of Slaying a Daughter Unknowingly, by Command of a Divinity or an Oracle

Hours of fun!  He should have added 16E: “Madness Brought On By Attempting to Comprehend 16D”

What I’m reading: Let Maps to Others by K.J. Parker

I recently read “Let Maps to Others” by K.J. Parker which appeared in Subterranean in 2012.

Absolutely marvelous.  I loved it even more than Parker’s similar 2010 story “A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong,” which also touches on issues of academic rivalry and dishonesty.

“Let Maps to Others” reminded me of two books I’ve recently read and can recommend without reservation. First, non-fiction: Greenblatt’s recent The Swerve on the subject of manuscripts.  Second, Galbraith’s 2001 The Rising Sun, a novel set in the real-life historical episode of the attempted Scottish settlement of Panama.  Indeed, I can’t help but wonder whether Parker was influenced by Galbraith’s book.