A while back @droughtquake posted the question: why don’t readers comment on stories? This blog is not an answer to that question, but was inspired by the forum post. This website is an archive of authors work going back almost a generation. It is also unique in giving you the ability to search that archive using many and varied criteria. And that is how I became an explorer, travelling the dusty shelves to seek out those long forgotten books. The site itself has nothing very much about its history or the lives of its authors and founders, but it offers up a rather unmissable chance to wander through its repository.
I started my journey using some simple criteria revolving around stories without comments. I found a number, some thirty-eight stories of over twenty thousand words (a novella) with no comments. Perhaps, more surprising, there were stories of over one hundred thousand words with hardly a comment, just one comment and reply from the author Harry Anders on his books, the Gypsy Chronicles. My curiosity was piqued, and a little further investigation revealed the biography of this retired Dutch psychotherapist who published this lost work which perhaps first appeared here on GA, his own website has long since disappeared.
I doubt anyone goes on to publish a book without a readership. That assumption is supported by the write up on the bookshop site, it reads: This emotional rollercoaster hints at past lives, spirit helpers, karma, the power of love, and contains several practical psychological concepts. The story is written by a Dutch psychotherapist, specialized in dealing with problem children.
"This was Jack's house, and Harry used to be here all the time. Now he is devastated, and he cries every day because he misses his big friend. Please, sir, will you try to be nice to him and not chase him away? He misses Jack a lot, and we all like him very much..."
The few reader comments quoted are not from this site:
Your insight is far beyond the common man. A believable story of love, great to read. So much compassion and love...You have put me through the emotional rollercoaster.
A wonderful story. Deep and proper, a masterpiece in its genre. It has brought many tears to my eyes.
You will find the story here on GA: https://gayauthors.org/author/gypsychronicles/ only the first book is complete
and the paperback on this site: https://www.bol.com/nl/f/little-harry/33793816/#product_specifications
This really is just one interesting discovery amongst what might be many. I stumbled across another book, easily lost in the archive, because it was never marked complete and is thus confined to the void of novels forever in process, and never to be discovered by those of us who like to read a finished work.
One Moonlit Night by Steven Keiths was written back in 2011, at twenty-six chapters and over one hundred thousand words, it sits on the shelves with one comment: I found your story today, and just can't stop reading it. I'm up to chapter 14 and have loved every moment! Keep up the great work!
You have to actually click on the last chapter to realise that chapter twenty-six is the Epilogue, consequently, the book has I’m sure remained hidden. And what of the author? He was with GA for just over three years and disappeared from the site in March 2011. In the same year he had a story published, Folding Sheets, as part of a gay anthology produced by AwesomeDude: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-Dude-Selected-Readings-AwesomeDude/dp/1466345640 He has other short stories and flash fiction which appear on that site: http://awesomedude.com/stevenkeiths/
Now I’ve only touched the surface and I hope to come back and blog some more, but I also want to take time out to read what I have discovered. If you are inspired, or perhaps, you might know more about these books or their authors, then do please comment here. You can also add your reader comments on the books if you decided to read, and perhaps if a site Administrator reads this, they might like to re-classify One Moonlit Night as complete.