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So, my winning streak was ended at one; I got the polite rejection (with critical feedback) for one of my stories overnight. I'll say this - by working in the online flash fiction market, you don't languish in some slushpile for months at a time. :-)

In arguably more-and-less-real news than the fate of some stylish lies, a bunch of us finally got together and kicked some virtual butt for a couple hours last night.

Off to the massage therapist for me this afternoon; hopefully, that will put paid to a lot of the knots essentially holding my skeleton together, and help stave off the sinus infection that felled K earlier this week.

Long weekend will be spent doing very little. I hope.
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Mine is online at

Finished [ profile] jaylake's novel, Trial of Flowers, during the weekend's travels [to be detailed and bitched about later]. It falls rather outside my usual area of reading material, so bear in mind that the only things remotely like ToF that have been on my bookshelves are Chia Mieville's Perdido Street Station (this is a common comparison, from seeing previous reviews), and some of Neil Gaiman's work, Neverwhere in particular. Some reviewers say that it imparts a scale of history that is seldom achieved by similar works; I can't say I agree with that assessment overmuch (or maybe my "historical scale" detector is poorly calibrated).

I wander in from a Sci-Fi environment, so it's not second nature to accept magic out of hand; some of it is carried off with a deft touch and is very natural; some less so. The characters themselves are all immediately and vibrantly identifiable and distinct, few falling prey to established tropes or archeypes in any genre. For my money, they're the best facet of an interesting universe hewn from irregular stone.

If you're a fan of weird and twisted things happening to not altogether blameless characters, I can endorse ToF without reservation. I found some aspects of the story maddeningly believable (petty politics in the face of grave threats, and self-centered motivations throughout (which is a pleasant change from characters who always take the long view and work for the good of the many unreservedly), but this was offset by a vaguely gratuitous application of perversion that didn't seem to serve much purpose, or was insufficiently explored to pertain to the story in a complete manner.

I may not be able to say precisely what "the new weird" is as a literary genre, but I know it when I see it. Trial of Flowers is.


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