First, thanks to everyone for their feedback yesterday - and if you haven't chimed in with your thoughts, you can still go back and comment on yesterday's blog.
For today's Author's Showcase, we have two great stories - first is my review of Facing the Demons, by Promising Author Dezlboi. Then CassieQ gives us a great review of Author Stellar's Hidden Sunlight. Enjoy!
Word Count: 8024
October is the perfect time for a Halloween story, so I took a read of Facing the Demons, a story that Dezlboi wrote for our 2006 Fall Halloween Anthology.
The story is of Tyler, a freshman at college who comes home for the weekend, starting with meeting up with friends at his high school's football game on Friday, October 30th. A carefree night of watching the game with his friends, including a new guy Nick that he tries to get to know. At an after-party, he unexpectedly gets to see a bit more of Nick, and even gets his phone number.
Dezlboi has a nice gift for description - you really see the town as Tyler initially drives in from college, the gathering at the football game and the scene at the party. Afterwards, Tyler has a nightmare that chills you as you see the Demons from the title. This also sets up the remainder of the story.
Short stories are a very hard format to pull off - and while the story left me with some unanswered questions, I think Dezlboi did a great job with this one. I enjoyed it and am planning on checking out a few of his other stories and gave this four out of five stars.
Status: In Progress
Word Count: 85,230
I'm more of a fantasy than a sci-fi reader, but I checked out Stellar's Hidden Sunlight after a recommendation by Myr and it soon became my favorite story on this site.
Hidden Sunlight starts with the journey of Shay Anderson, a teenage boy in the year 2104, to the planet Lucere for an experimental treatment for the degenerative disease that is slowly destroying his body. This treatment involves Shay undergoing medical stasis in a Hoffstadt chamber for a weeks time. When he emerges, Shay finds himself alone, in a deserted, demolished hospital in a post apocalyptic landscape. Completely unaware of what has happened to his family, or the world around him, Shay sets out in search of answers. During his journey he encounters dangerous enemies, unexpected allies, and the mysterious predators that roam the planet.
Then there is Mira. And he is perhaps the most mysterious enigma of all.
Hidden Sunlight has such a rich, fascinating plot that giving a short synopsis without revealing all of the surprises in store is damn near impossible. Stellar takes you through the story flawlessly, with never a dull moment and plenty of surprises and suspense that keeps you going for the next chapter. His characters are fantastic. I dare you not to like Konstantin. All the characters, even the despicable ones, are well developed and genuine. It is quite a feat to intertwine characters and plot the way that Stellar does, and he makes it seem effortless.
The only downside is that the story is incomplete, but Stellar posts with a frequency that only makes the wait for the next chapter only slightly maddening instead of excruciating. It also helps that the chapters are plenty long, usually around 7-8,000 words each. Definitely worth reading, even if Sci-fi isn't your genre. Give it a chance. You won't be sorry.