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SearchHomeContents PageSite Map welcomes short-story submissions for The Writer's Corner. In general, the submission should be between 1,000 and 4,000 words long and should be double-spaced, with adequate margins. The editors prefer stories sent in Microsoft Word, though they can convert most word-processing programs. To submit, send an email to The story should be sent as an attached file and in the subject area you should note "story submission." Before any email is sent, writers should read further conditions posted on the website.

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Trent Walters

The fiction section ("The Writer's Corner") at, under the editorial helm of short-story writer Rick Wilber, recently joined the ranks of professional web magazines. It features three strong reprints by Robert Silverberg, Robert Heinlein, and Jack McDevitt, as well as a new piece by Orson Scott Card. Other magazines would do well to take note of the insightful author commentaries.

The website's format, unlike some of its competitors, is user-friendly and unpretentious. The one drawback is the lack of eye-catching graphics, but then most readers pick up their fiction to read it.

"The Green Hills of Earth," one of Heinlein's more clever and more anthologized works, presents the story behind the legend of Rhysling, the infamous cosmic-trotting troubadour, in pseudo-documentary fashion. Rhysling is a dreamer who scribbles down lyrics and punches the keys of his accordion instead of attending to his duties, which gets him into trouble. As his lyrics gain fame, ship captains allow him to stowaway on their ships flitting around the system. Finally, as his fame wanes, a young captain refuses Rhysling passage back home to Earth. Rhysling gets off on a technicality and proves himself an invaluable asset, giving hope to shiftless bums everywhere that they, too, can be heroes. The only short-coming of this early masterpiece of SF is that the story's minor conflict lags somewhat due to the powerful mechanism through which this tale must be told, making up for any loss of story conflict.

Robert Silverberg's "Amanda and the Alien" has unusually vivid characterization. Amanda is a sassy teenage California girl who immediately sees through the disguise of an escaped and dangerous alien and cons it back to her home. Her boyfriend had left her high and dry on the very weekend Amanda had planned to spend alone with him since her family were off vacationing. Despite some longish dialogues and exposition, Silverberg deftly defines more of the alienness of our world than that of the alien's incessant hunger to consume life.

Jack McDevitt leaps into highly stylistic form and eerie mood in "The Fort Moxie Branch":

"A few minutes into the blackout, the window in the single dormer at the top of Will Potter's house began to glow. I watched it from across Route 11, through a screen of box elders, and through the snow which had been falling all afternoon and which was now getting heavier. It was smeary and insubstantial, not the way a bedroom light would look, but as though something luminous floated in the dark interior."
The narrator is an unknown writer who encounters a library full of books written but never known to the rest of the world. The narrator must decide whether to donate his own work which he was about to toss to the dump. The fully developed idea takes more control of the story than the narrator's decision, making it hard to sympathize fully. The story may have rested better on such an imaginative idea had it entered a few more variables into his idea equation, adding a few unexpected turns in its examination. But with such masterful control of the English language as the paragraph quoted above, any reader would be willing to listen attentively to anything this narrator has to say.

A new story by Orson Scott Card is certainly a cause for celebration. "Waterbaby" is no exception. A black man narrates the tale of his daughter's strange yet natural affinity for water. She takes to the swimming pools and lakes, immediately swimming like a mammalian fish. She wishes she were a fish and that she would never have to leave the water. But quickly we find the narrator is on trial for an act he could never have committed, nor could it be believed that he never committed it.

All in all, Wilber's selection promises strong characterization and wild speculation for the future of Watching this website develop should prove interesting.

Copyright © 2000 Trent Walters

Trent Walters co-edits Mythic Circle, is a 1999 graduate of Clarion West, is working on a book of interviews with science fiction writers.

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