Jump to content

Featured Story: Absolute Zero / A Sense Of Family

Renee Stevens


HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all you ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, etc... So, being as it's Wednesday again, it's time for two more reviews featuring some of our great stories at Gay Authors. Today, Jonathan Colourfield gives a great review on Promising Author: Dolores Esteban's "Absolute Zero". Following that up is my own review of Author: Mann Ramblings story "A Sense of Family". Enjoy.


Dolores Esteban


Reviewer: Johnathan Colourfield
Status: Complete
Word Count: 13,376


Oh Dolores. This story comes with a Da Vinci Code feel throughout and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was amazed.


If you are a fan of the mystery story, then this is most certainly a story for you. Based around a recently published author named Jonathan (no resemblance to me at all) and around his family and friends and co workers and an evil figure called X who plans to kill many people if Jonathan doesn’t play his or her game.


This story depends highly on the ‘Tarot’ card images. This is an excellent plot device employed by Delores, simply because of my own fascination with Tarot. It drew me and I simply couldn’t stop reading and there are very few stories that do that to me. To use such a thing in a plot device is absolute genius, but what was even more genius was the use of the meaning of the cards, to bring elements of the story together. I can’t tell anymore without giving away the plot, but be afraid of X.


What I enjoy particularly about this short story is 2 things. The first, is that every character is shelled out. Every single one, you can ‘feel’ in the room with you when you are reading the story. My particular favourite is Giorigio. We meet Giorigio in one of the very first scenes in the story, who I fell in love with as soon as I ‘saw’ him. I wasn’t expecting Dolores to use the character in the way he was used, but damn that was a very well written character.


The second (and more interesting) thing I found with this story was the characterization of X. X’s dialogue within the emails in the story is exquisite. The breaking of the rules of general grammar fascinates me completely. For example, in the story ‘I’m expecting your answer until 04:00am’, for this to make sense vocally, one has to rephrase to something like ‘I am expecting your answer at (or by) 4am’. As a student of language, I really got the nuance that there wasn’t something quite right about the character of X, even through the very little that he or she says.


The big thing with this story was the revelation of who X exactly is. I was surprised by it; I was not expecting it but it still, after reflection pleased me as a reader.


This story was cleverly written and well executed. I would recommend it to any reader.



Mann Ramblings


Reviewer: Renee Stevens
Status: Complete
Word Count: 7,594


In looking for a new story, one description really caught my attention. It sounded like it could be really interesting, though just from those few words I also knew that it was going to be a tearjerker. I decided to give it a try. The story was “A Sense of Family” written by Mann Ramblings. I had never read his work before, but after this short story, I can definitely say that I will be reading more by this very talented author.


From the first sentence the reader is dropped right in the middle of the drama. This story follows the main character Matthew and to a lesser extent his two great friends, Ben and Jerry. “A Sense of Family” starts out with an absolutely horrible car wreck in which Matthew loses his husband, who is also his best friend.


The story follows Matthew as he attempts to deal with his grief, or rather, as he attempts to not deal with it. It doesn’t get any easier for him as the death of his husband has also brought back into his life the one person he had not expected to see. His Mother. The two of them have a history and the question that is on everyone’s mind, including Matthew’s is, “Why is she here.”


Mann Ramblings shows us just a peek of his talent as an author. This story is one of those that immediately dragged me into it and if there were any errors, the paled in comparison to the strength of the plot and the writing. You can feel the characters emotions and a couple times I felt myself tearing up. If you’re looking for an awesome short story to read and haven’t already read this, I strong recommend it.


Recommended Comments

If anybody has ever edited something Dolores has done, they will know that very few words are chosen without very great care. Clearly the same goes for plot elements. Everything means something, or has a complex weave function. I edited The Game, and even though I had been impressed enought to offer an ESOL edit, I was amazed at the linkages I began to find in a close reading. I was even more impressed when she argued for keeping some parts on the basis that they would very subtly set something off.


Seriously, if you want to understand how to craft a story at the level of words and meanings, this is a writer to read, read again, then read a third time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..