First bad review

… of Colour of Friendship published at Word Riot.

If you want to see if you agree with the review, you should read the story first, because the reviewer does give away not only the ending but the whole plot, but weirdly enough the ‘gimmick’ (his term) seems to pass him by.

The review is here.



  1. My first thought was, who appointed him king of all things good in literature? My second was, I kind of know what he means about stories that really only work for one read (mainly because I’ve written many of these myself).

    Honestly, though, this snobbish attitude of ‘literary fiction’ versus ‘genre’ baffles me. If it’s a good story (yours is) and people enjoy reading it (I did), who the hell cares what label is affixed to it or whether someone reads it once or forty times? I guarantee you, the only people reading modern short stories more than once are writers and editors, and they’re not doing it because they love those stories – they’re doing it as research.

    There will always be people who don’t like what we write or the way we write it. For myself, I just hope each piece I write touches at least one person – makes them think or feel, makes them glad they gave their time to read it. I’m glad I gave mine to read yours.

  2. Thanks, Sharon (and for the link on your website).

    The strange thing is that I never thought of that story as a genre. They obviously have their own likes and dislikes, and a self-professed weakness for ‘well-crafted detective, suspense, and sci-fi work’ at their online mag. So maybe my story touched a nerve (though clearly not in a good way).

    For me though, I’m happy to get a bad review – I’ve had positive and negative feedback on that story, but writers will get bad reviews at some point, and it’s good to know that when it happens, it doesn’t actually hurt.

    I do wish they’d allowed comments on their blog – some interesting questions were raised about what makes a story good.

    The definition of a good short story as one that can bear a second reading is not something I’ve considered before, and it’s an interesting one though I don’t think I ever have read one twice. But for me, a good short story is one that lingers in the mind long after the page has been turned.

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