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The Advent Calendar
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Author:  Pete [ Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 3 and an idyllic family scene turns to one of loss and sadness, then finally the mood changes to one of redemptive horror in L. R. Bonehill's "Charlie's Stones".

Author:  Pete [ Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 14 - Ray Cluley
Day 15 - Alan Morgan

Nine more stories/poems needed.

Author:  Pete [ Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 4 and our first graphic novel, what feels like a UK take on "The Punisher" courtesy of Warwick Fraser-Coombe's beautifully rendered portrait of a man who has been pushed too far and is finally going over the edge in epic style.

Author:  Pete [ Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Brilliant short from Rebecca Schwarz with "The Horses" on Day 5, the sense of unease tinged with despair growing ever stronger as you read on and realise what is happening. My favourite so far.

Author:  Pete [ Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

"Zombies at Christmas" on Day 6 and Jason Whittle introduces his work with a child's eye view of the end of days and then follows up with a bitterly ironic account of an outsider trying to fit in and succeeding all too well. Good stuff.

Author:  StephenW [ Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Some great stories thus far - I particularly liked Jason's Zombie Christmas. If only they'd ordered stuff on amazon instead... And Dave's How Lovely Are Your Branches was a really smashing bit of writing. Very much enjoying the calendar this year - thanks to all involved.

Author:  Pete [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 7 and multiple treats from Dennis M. Lane. "Slip", "Cup" and "Paint" were my personal favourites, the best of a good bunch, full of wit and unexpected twists.

Author:  Pete [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 8 and a moving story from David McGroarty, "How Lovely Are Your Branches", which captures something of the magic of Christmas, even when times are hard and circumstances change.

Author:  Ray [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

I've really been enjoying these, nice way to start the day. :D I'll post responses soon.

Author:  Pete [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

A big belly laugh for today's entry, "Wrath of the Porcelain Gods" by Nicky Drayden. Given the premise of an anthropologist studying alien toilet procedures this was never going to be anything except filthy and fun =D>

Author:  Pete [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:48 pm ]
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Day 16 - Todd Banks
Day 17 - Henry Szabranski

Seven places left to fill.

Author:  Pete [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 10, and a great Scrooge variation from Ross Warren with "Carollers". I know I'm going to enjoy a story when buying the Daily Mail is a character trait signature ;-)

Author:  Ray [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Loving a story every day for Christmas. Here's what I've thought of them so far:

Good stuff from William Meikle in Lacunae, a warning to the curious. In noting a particular possibility early, Meikle disarmed me and I was surprised by the ending – good tactic, and a good start to the stories.

I've mentioned before how much I like Steve Dines’s story – poignant, quietly disturbing, and manipulative of our sympathies. It feels a bit worng to like it so much.

Charlie’s Stones by L.R. Bonehill is another sad one, making good use of cold and a striking final image. Special shout out to the artist Lee Davis too, loved that picture.

Warwick Fraser Coombe’s Revenger made a pleasant (?!) change, and I was reminded how much I liked his covers for Interzone. The story was bold and wore its balls on its sleeve (can I say that?) and the art suited it perfectly.

The Horse by Rebecca Schwarz was wonderful, I really enjoyed this nicely understated story and didn’t see the end coming, although I feel like I should have.

Jason Whittle’s Zombies at Christmas is great fun. I love the idea of 'going native' during a zombie apocalypse. When in Rome...

Dennis Lane gave us a selction and Guest was my favourite of these – I'm a sucker for a comeuppance story.

How Lovely Are Your Branches by David McGroarty is another wonderful story. I loved this beautiful portrait of a family at Christmas and the narrative voice was spot on, suitably subtle. This has been my favourite so far.

I wish I hadn't read Wrath of the Porcelain Gods during my lunch break. Thanks for that Nicky Drayden. It highlighted some issues I've not thought of when it comes to sci-fi, and now I'm cursed to always think of them whenver I meet a new alien in the genre...

I do like a good story of redemption/making amends, and Carollers by Ross Warren has this quality as well as some strong character description (well done in making me care about someone I originally dislike).

These stories are so much better than a tiny piece of chocolate behind a cardboard door - I almost feel festive...

Author:  Pete [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Day 18 - Robert Mammone

Six places left to fill.

Author:  Pete [ Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Advent Calendar

Great comeuppance story from Ian Hunter on Day 11 with "A Christmas Opporchancity", as two chancers plan to exploit seasonal largesse and get their just desserts. Thoroughly enjoyed it, though I do question the wisdom of the line 'taking the odd sheep when he felt like it' (sorry Ian, couldn't resist).

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