First of all I’d like to welcome three new members who joined us last night: Harvinder Atwal (who dropped in briefly to last month’s meeting), Graeme Shimmin and Tom Fenney. Great to meet you all!
As promised during last night’s meeting, I’ve now added the PayPal donation button to the right-hand side of the website for easy access. I’m pleased to say that we’ve already received a donation after last night’s meeting–thank you! As soon as we get a decent chunk of cash we’ll be making a donation to MadLab.
With six pieces of writing and seven members attending I thought last night’s meeting might be destined for another overrun, but we managed to stay on target and finish at exactly 9.30pm . . .
- Eric presented a short story called Malefiques. Several people thought that the mother/daughter relationship was extremely well done and that the story maintained a strong feeling of loneliness and desperation. A couple of people questioned the use of some slightly well-worn phrases and the level of exposition. First film reference of the night: I Am Legend
- Harvinder presented the start of a novel called Fallen Angels. A few people nagged about the technical details of spelling, grammar and questioned the frequency of adverbs. Several people enjoyed the imagery with the scene in the Spanish cave and that the idea of using angels (or whatever they are) being a great central theme. One person had to bring up that advert.
- Craig presented a short story called Happy Valley. Several people said that they enjoyed the atmosphere, the description of the horse race and the use of language. A couple of people wondered whether the language was a little too poetic at times and questions were raised about the motivations of the man and the boy. One ghost mechanic gaff identified. Next month: not another Hong Kong ghost story. Well, maybe . . .
- Graeme Cole presented the second chapter from his novel Universal Ear. Lots of people enjoyed the humour and the voice in this piece, especially the dialogue with the computer and the tête-à-tête with Turning. A few individual questions raised: the relevance of the spinster, why seduce Turing in the first place and who is ‘Being’? The only question raised in consensus regarded the use of italicised dialogue. Author/discussion: it’s perhaps stylistic or represents a recorded piece with the dialogue recorded as literal and the narrative as heavily biased opinion.
- Graeme Shimmin presented the first chapter from his novel A Kill in the Morning. Resounding appreciation for the level of detail in this obviously well-researched piece. A couple of people questioned whether the SS officer was too much of a caricature, that the sniper one-shotted all of his targets and whether there were a few too many vehicle and weapon references (me: you can never have too many of these). Several people said that they were thoroughly enjoying this post-WWII alt-history story and demanded more!
- Pat presented a short story called Pound Store at the End of the Universe. I think pretty everyone enjoyed this funny, zany story, with particular appreciation voiced for the big-eyed-alien weeping a puddle on the floor. A few people wanted more detail with the shop and where/when it was placed. A couple of comments about punctuation around dialogue. Obvious references to Douglas Adams: a little too much for a couple of people / could almost qualify as fan-fic.
Well done to everyone for keeping an eye on the time for their feedback. The meeting didn’t feel at all rushed. Possibly one of the most steadily paced meetings we’ve had to date.
I’ve taken the liberty of adding links to some of the names mentioned above. Apologies if you have a website or Twitter page that hasn’t been added. If you’d like a link adding (or one removing) just drop me an email.
Next meeting: Wednesday 13th June, 7pm start as usual. See you there!