Snow Queen: A Short Story REview

It has been so long since I read short story or reviewed it or talked about it.  I recently read Snow Queen and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Hence this small Sunday review.

 

There is a magazine called Timeless Tales magazine which I enjoy, not only for reading but also for prompting my creativity. The prompt for coming season in the magazine is Snow Queen. And then I realized that there is a story of Hans Christian Andersen which I have not read.

 

It was totally my loss– the story is awesome. It is a bit of a longish tale with seven stories combined into one, but each tale carries its own magic. And more importantly I believe that the story describes how we all grow old. The story talks of a goblin-made-fault-finding mirror which shatters and enters into the eyes of the humans and makes them see the fault in everyone. Isn’t it true for our growing up as well? As we grow up, we start seeing more of faults then the good qualities in everything. And then we get lost like the characters of the story in one or the other thing– without knowing the reason why are we lost.

 

I absolutely adored the story. I am not sure what I will be able to write for the magazine, but it was a very interesting reading at least.  As the story progressed I could see the story which inspired Chronicles of Narnia(it felt inspired to me for the Edward’s abduction section at least) and Frozen(although the story is too altered).

 

That’s all for today. Oh, and for my writer friends, the Timeless Tales magazine is a paid magazine for short story submission, in case you are inspired.

Advertisements

Stoop Sale– An amazing short story I discovered.

This year, my resolution was to read 52 (good) short stories and watch 52 (good)movies– the kinds which people consider as mastery of craft. Needless to say that I failed pathetically. I have hardly read 14 short stories. Same goes for the movies(although I did watch 52 Kdramas.)

So after a long time, I’m bringing you a short story I enjoyed. It’s not from my list of the “most famous stories to read”, but it made me ponder the life and the memories in general.

I came across this story in Crossed Genre magazine and it’s Evan Berkow’s first published work.  A Sci-Fi story which talks about the yet-to-arrive-world and destruction and resurrection of memories, it left me with a feeling about how much we take for granted and how much of it are the only pieces which remain with us.

Here is a link for you peeps:

http://crossedgenres.com/magazine/024-stoop-sale/

The Colour Out of Space- A Short Story Review

The Colour Out of Space

Author’s Name: H.P.LoveCraft

Add to GoodReads

Read it online 

This was more of a longish short story, but absolutely worth every word. Is there a genre called Sci-Fi horror? If not, then there should. 

The story is told from a perspective of an engineer who is supposed to survey a valley for making a water reservoir. The valley he comes across is something against the whole landscape of the mountain. Further inquiry leads him to the story of the “strange times”.

I won’t write the story here, it’s a horror story. The monster is not known, but something which came on meteorite. It’s not a story which will creep you, but it’s a kind of story which will make you crosscheck every random luminescence.

The story absolutely sucked me its pages. What a brilliant writing! What a weave of words! The scene it sets was so spectacular that I could actually see the colors which were never named.  I am still awed by the grotesque beauty of the landscape described in the story to say anything more.  Just plain Wow is my reaction. 🙂

Reunion- A Short Story Review

Reunion

Author’s Name: John Cheever

Add to GoodReads

Read it online (Newyorker Link)

This is undoubtely one of the strongest short story I’ve read, the definition of clarity and brevity. It’s somewhere around 1000 words long. I was so lost in the scene it portrayed that I didn’t even realize that I have reached the end. 

The story is told in first person from the point of view of a son, Charlie, who’s meeting his father after three years. He describes his father behaved abominably with everyone as they move from restaurant to restaurant. With his boorish behavior, he rejects(and gets rejected) by those waiters and managers. Till the end, the father clings to his rude behavior, while Charlie tells goodbye.

The best thing about the story for me was the fact that Charlie only expressed his excitement in the beginning. There was no other reaction throughout the story to his disappointment as he recounts the last time he saw his father.  But without even uttering a word about his reaction, the ending conveyed clearly how disillusioned he felt after meeting his father, how the excitement turned to a pity.

A fabulous story which leaves one with deep thoughts.

Fat by Raymond Carver- A short story review

Fat

Author’s Name : Raymond Carver

Part of Will You Be Quiet Please

Buy from Amazon

Another beautiful short story. Raymond Carver wove words to create the tapestry of the society in this story. Sometimes, it happens when a simple incidence, a simple view turns out to be a moment of epiphany urging us to take a path of life-improvement. This is about once such moment. The story shows a nameless waitress who is telling her friend, Rita, about a very fat man from the diner. Somehow that fat man intrigued her and told her how the choice to change her life is in her own hands.

The story is written on a first read felt weird to me because there’s no quotation marks for the speech and the fat man addresses himself as “we” instead of “I”. First, I thought that it’s an editing mistake, but then as I continued to read the interactions between the fat man and the waitress, I understood why the author used “we”. And when I reached end, the whole perspective of the story converged together to show me one single moment of epiphany. 

The economy of the words in the story is beautiful, and the message outshines that economy. I know there are many things which can be said about the themes and the contrasts in the story, but since talking about them will reveal the whole story, I’ll leave it at you to read.

A short read at around 1k.   Sorry, I don’t have the link to share for this story. I think it’s not available for the open sharing.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- Short Story Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Author’s Name: James Thurber

Add to GoodReads

Read it online

You know what’s the beauty of a short story? Instant Gratification. It transports one to a different world within minutes and let them live an experience with the protagonist. This short story is something like that, an experience or a few of them combined by the words.

Secret life of Walter Mitty is the story of a man who loves to daydream (Who doesn’t love that?). It shows the experiences of Walter Mitty in his real and dream life and the contrast between the two.

I think how reader takes the story is dependent upon them. They can take it as funny because daydreams and too many fantasies are funny. They can take it as poignant story because it shows how real and harsh can reality be. Or they can take it as nostalgic thing, as I did. I am a day dreamer like Mitty. My dreams and life are not like his, but then give me a few minutes, and you’ll see me living in a different world with different people. That’s what made me a writer in the first place. The story appealed to my day-dreaming senses. 

This is one of the quite popular short stories. It has a movie(s) based on it. Also, the story created a dictionary entry by the name of “Walter Mitty”.

It’s not a long story. Somewhere around 2k words, and you’ll get to see some day dreams of Walter Mitty, or may be your own(like me). 😀

Read and enjoy.

THEY’RE MADE OUT OF MEAT by TERRY BISSON- A short story review

Add to Goodreads

Read It

Last week was a speculative fiction week. Not by design, but just by co-incidence. I found this story as a random story while clicking something on Google. I just didn’t expected it to be this good. I am not much of a sci-fi reader, but this story riveted me with its alien talks. The whole story involves two aliens who react to the “meat” species(I’ll not spoil the fun for you here!) trying to send signals to the space. There is no action shown but each dialogue is so craftily mastered that the readers can feel their disdain for meat through the paper.

In around 850 words, this short story is a perfect display of carbon chauvinism we human like to show. As we can’t see beyond supremacy of our minds and planet, the aliens refuse to extend the welcome to someone as inconsequential as meat.

And now I’ll let you enjoy the reading of original story here. It’s a very short read. Fifteen minutes at max. You won’t regret it.

The story itself was nominated for Nebula Awards.  It has its own Wikipedia page as well. There’s also a short movie based on this story too which you can watch here.