Meeting: 14th February

First of all I’d like to welcome Dawn Purcell who joined us for the first time last night. Dawn is a good friend of mine; she’s also a fellow MA student and a genre writer, so I suggested she pop along to see what we get up at the group.

I actually remembered to take a few photos this month . . .

I don’t remember that heavenly glow being quite so apparent last night. How odd.

Anyway, before I start with the comments from last night, I just wanted to thank those members who have already made voluntary contributions to the group’s PayPal account. We had a visit from Hwa Young, one of the MadLab organisers, at the start of the meeting and she was very pleased to hear that we were planning on making a PayPal donation at some point in the future.

So, on with a selection of the  comments from last night . . .

  • Kate presented a further chapter from her novel Body of Dwaal. Several members mentioned that they are enjoying the well-balanced pace; they also thought that this was a potentially challenging read for a YA piece, which is a good thing. Questions were raised about the value of snakes and whether Kael seemed to be displaying two different personalities. Also, a short debate about froth: majority in support, one against.
  • Craig presented a short story called His City. A number of members mentioned that they enjoyed the language and the imagery. But…erm…what is going on, exactly? A couple of authors were mentioned: Mr Gaiman and Mr Mieveille (specifically the short story Foundation in Looking for Jake). A question was raised over an improbably excessive use of Magic Points (damned munchkins, let me check my DM Guide…). First film reference of the night: Constantine.
  • Dave presented a short story called Tyson/Dog. Several members felt that this was a subtly chilling story. Disturbing enough for one person to apparently hide behind the sofa. But also darkly funny. A few members weren’t so keen on the wag-wag-wag and other repetition. Questions were asked about whether the robot was real or not.
  • Eric presented two further chapters from his novel The Autumn Man. Pretty much everyone had something to say about the lone biker: that they enjoyed this character, that he was perhaps a bit of an archetype, and that maybe (on this latter point) this wasn’t such a bad thing. A few members felt unsure about the use of adjectives and adverbs in the first chapter, and preferred the style in the second chapter. Film reference: No Country For Old Man.
  • Guy presented the third chapter from his novel Hold the Line. A number of members enjoyed the combat scene at the beginning. Questions were asked about the first-/third-person shift (author: a typo). Also, a debate on the suitability of golden armour in a military setting. Finally, lesson learned: no one in the group (myself included) is mature enough to cope with the word ‘pants’.
  • Pat presented her first submission to the group, a short story (or perhaps part of a novel) called The Assassins. Great to see your first story Pat! Someone asked for dialogue, several members grinned when ‘Fire Starter‘ was mentioned (maximum volume before you click that link please). Several members want Mariella resurrected–I agree, she’s great! Combo film reference: Goodfellas meets X-Men. A monologue on garrotting, a debate on smothering fires either with or without gas which continued down the pub afterwards . . .

Good luck to Guy who is relocating to Hong Kong, Glasgow/Edinburgh, The Pliocene Epoch, From Here to Eternity, London (his words, not mine). This means we will be seeing him mostly a lot less, but perhaps not never again.

Thanks again to everyone for attending. See you again next month!

Next meeting: Wednesday 11th April, 7pm start as usual.

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