THE GYMSLIP REVIEW

FICTION

Love Letters by Kevin L. Donihe

This story had a good opening, which was generally maintained well throughout the story. The author kept pace by mixing long sentences with shorter ones to punctuate them, from the one-word opening right to the end of the story.

The end came a little unexpectedly, although to be honest developments in the rest of the story were easy to predict. Perhaps a more unique spin to this age old tale would have reflected the writer's obvious talent with words better.

Lolicia by Graham Masterton

Excellent. The principal characters are constructed well, so that the reader is actually interested to discover what happened to them. The change of pace on the second page was used excellently to demonstrate the characters' thoughts, feelings and actions in the rest of the story. Both the characters and the plot itself draw in the reader, which is the best mix in this type of piece. The ending was absolutely brilliant, totally unexpected and extremely clever!

My only fault with this piece is that I felt in places it was unnecessarily (and explicitly) vulgar--while I'm sure this may appeal to some, personally I felt it added nothing to the story and could have been avoided without detracting anything. Nonetheless, a very good and original story, well written and well received.

Slice of Life by Paul Haines

This story has stuck in my mind ever since my first reading. The opening sentence was fantastic, and the story followed through on the promises offered by a good opening. I liked the contrast between the casual work scenes and the bizarre yet likeable principal character that fitted into that scene despite his apparent “quirks”. The ending, although half-expected, still came as a bit of a shock to the system, which is a tribute to the author's writing skills. However, Les Petersen's illustration, though good, was misplaced as it came too early in the story and gave away the ending a little more than I would've liked.

I also feel I should mention that I liked the author's biography at the end!

Little Green Men by Tim Curran

From the moment I read the title, I knew where this story was going. Clichéd and predictable, even the writer's evident talents could not make me believe in this story. There is no question that it was well written, had a good pace and nice continuity of tone throughout--however, it is an old tale that did not need retelling.

Writing On The Wall by Robert Hood

This was a story chock full of potential. Despite the predictable ending it was original and well told. The only problem was, it seemed less a story than the skeleton of a story, waiting to be made flesh. I got the impression of a very good piece condensed to fit the pages.

Road Rage by Kenneth James Crist

An interesting piece of fiction; what I would class as “easy reading”. To me that means a good story, with a beginning, middle, and end, easy to read but not really communicating anything much to the reader. Extremely well written, although I have to wonder if this might not have had more impact on someone who knew something about cars! A very good, well planned and unexpected ending.

Phantom Touch by Chris Barnes

A bizarre tale, hovering at the edge of belief, which I suspect is exactly where the writer wanted it to hover! I very much liked the first person, one way conversational style, as it draws the reader into the mind of the principal character and places you much closer to the action. Although I found the ending to the character's story a little disappointing, the overall ending was good and led me to think a little more closely about what had gone before.

Justice For All by Brian W. Keen

Emphasised brilliantly by Marcia Borell's illustration, this story possessed interesting characters and a half unexpected ending. However, I did feel that, like many short stories I have read, this one would have benefited from being longer. The writer would have had more time to build on the reader's suspense and keep the story moving without being predictable, which unfortunately it became very quickly. Well written and containing enough character to keep reading though!

POETRY

Lament by G W Thomas

Um, well, the only thing I can say about this one is...I don't understand it. Sorry!

Just Another Day by Nancy Purnell

There seemed to me a clear message in this poem, which rang very true in my mind and was emphasised by the outstanding illustration from Marcia Borell. As always with writing though, the reader can never be sure if the message they receive is the same as the one the poet sent!

Shrunken Monkey Heads by Christina Sng

A brilliant poem, well chosen words creating very clear imagery in the reader's mind.

Death Of A Thousand Paper Cuts by Christina Sng

Though interesting and well written, the events in this poem were somewhat unclear. Russell Dickerson's illustration added quite a lot to this piece, enabling the reader to visualise the poet's description.


Return to Whispers review archive