Curation Blog No 3

So another curation blog! The purpose of these is to bring attention to stories that I have read and enjoyed but which haven’t gotten a lot of attention. I want to avoid returning to users who’ve had work featured in the past, but I would like to take this time bring attention to Toadvine’ s stories Pink Raisin , and Those Damned Parsnips . They’re short and pretty damned good.

The Bell Chimed – this has a predictable plot but it’s still a good read. In particular it has good pacing, strong and atmospheric descriptions, and it follows through on its story’s premise in a satisfying way. There’s no unnecessary clutter in this simple and enjoyable tale of a hitman who has a bad night.

No Excuses – what a strange image this story paints. This story has an interesting setting and puts it to good use. In particular it has strong Lovecraftian overtones but implanted in a setting that draws strongly from post-apocalyptic and sci-fi sentiments. Picture Dagon vs Mad Max and you’ve got a sense of this story. Also if you’re not slightly interested in that idea then… well.. you’re dead inside.

The Paintings of Ottillie Mueller – there’s nothing wrong with a good tribute. You’ll find this story hits some very familiar notes if you’re well read in Lovecraft, but nonetheless it makes it work by being a competent and enjoyable entry in that subgenre. In particular I find it elaborates on Lovecraft’s restrictive style with just a few little things (female character, values brevity/quicker pacing) to show it’s not just a rehash. (A/N I've just noticed these two stories are both by LethalPen - oh well, silly me. We all make mistakes).

The Diary of Nathaniel HarkerSamtheultimatetransguy has put out a lot of stories recently but here we really see them hit their stride. Their stories have a tendency to focus on realistic threats/the worst of humanity but I have found those themes occasionally muddled in their earlier entries. But here? Here they really do get to shine. It’s a well written story in the diary format and it shows all the hallmarks of being a good piece of epistolary fiction. The entries are brief but effective uses of space. They use this perspective to increase the feeling of authenticity. Each entry has something specific to achieve and there’s little/no redundancy. Furthermore, the story has a distinct and unique setting that is taken to some pretty dark places. It’s grounding in reality only helps to immerse you in that world and it felt like a well-researched and gripping exploration of early colonial life in the New World.


So in conclusion these are the stories I’ve read and found interesting enough to recommend. They’re not perfect and many people might not enjoy them, but I place a priority on novelty and that’s reflected in my choices here. I’d like to also mention that I can’t read all the stories so please feel free to discuss stories you’ve read and enjoyed and give them due credit, old or new!

On this front I’d like to say I finally got around to digging into Mikemacdee’s backlog of stories! What a great set of tales. I know I’m late to the party but those are some fucking good pieces of fiction. I’ll be taking the time out soon to review one of them. In particular I thought Jozsa's Grove was exceptional.

One last final thing – congrats to K Banning Kellum on the last Tobit entry ! Haven’t got around to reading them yet but writing a book is no small feat and I look forward to digging into this creepypasta epic from what I know is a great and talented writer.