Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Early Reactions To My Upcoming, Yet-To-Be-Published "Uncanny Story"

I've pretty much finished my new story - The Uncanny Story - and am currently having it critiqued by friends and family, who will of course say mostly 'nice' things, but I doubt they'd whitewash their views if the story were truly mediocre. Anyway, here come the reviews . . .

A friend of mine who's also the force of nature behind the Emanations anthology series, Carter Kaplan, wrote:
Your story is excellent. I couldn't put it down. It really is a page turner as far as sophisticated literary texts go. I much enjoyed it.
As a "sophisticated literary text," it might find relatively fewer readers than I'd hope for. Another friend, the well-known artist who illustrated The Bottomless Bottle of Beer (BBB), Terrance Lindall, wrote:
The ol' Devil will find new ways to come back to haunt you! And with the BBB experience under his belt, "What does not kill you makes you stronger!" As a story in itself as a stand alone, The Uncanny Story is not as good as the BBB. However, as a sequel, it works. If someone reads BBB and likes it, they will want to read this too. The part where students are discussing the cowardly character of Sir Gawain can stand alone as a humorous story. I loved it. You should submit it to some major magazines!
So . . . "not as good as the BBB." Well, that's also my view. But "as a sequel, it works," likewise expresses my opinion. Yet another friend, physicist-From-The-Ozarks Pete Hale, wrote:
I liked it a lot! Quite a nice sequel or at least heavily tied-in successor to BBB. You did a great job of all the various nested-dolls aspects, very cool. The two Russkies kind of reminded me of Tintin's two goofball detective friends, Thomson and Thompson. Any story that invokes one of my top 2-or-3 favorite SNL characters, the immortal (literally evidently) Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, is ok by me! SNL should, eventually, devote an entire show just to Phil Hartman, my personal favorite of them all. Finally, your use of "Too Much of Nothing" at the end is, itself, quite uncanny.
That's an entirely positive review, better than my story deserves, but the next view is even more positive! It's from my brother Shannon, who wrote:
I MUCH enjoyed your second novella. I even liked it better than The Bottomless Bottle of Beer. I had the sense early on that something unusual was about to happen regarding the meeting. There was a Twilight Zone/Night Gallery air about the story that I found enjoyable. There was more subtle humor than TZ or NG but also some of the bizarre. I thought your characters were well constructed and their interactions worked well. a good read. Naturally it was flattering to see the references to City of Shadows. The t-shirt "There's no X in espresso" comes from an encounter of mine in a coffee shop in Corvallis, Oregon. The "barista" was wearing such a shirt and it took him some 15 minutes to take my order despite having no line and it being the dead of summer.
Shannon is also a writer, and the reference in my story to "espresso" was drawn from a scene in his novel City of Shadows. I like to think that his positive evaluation of my story doesn't rest too much upon that allusion to his novel! Just kidding. I know he's not swayed by that. Not much, anyway.

More responses later if I receive any . . .

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At 8:50 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

" It really is a page turner..."

Drollery aside, it in fact is a page turner. It is a first rate, ripping-good yarn, Jeffery!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Carter. I hope the world agrees . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure this one is as good or better than BBB. Not sure if you tried to send me a preview, but the email address you have for me no longer works. I will work on getting my current email to you in the near future.


At 5:32 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Jay. I'd noticed your absence lately, and I'll be happy to receive your new address.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:37 PM, Blogger Shannon Hodges said...


As you are a very good writer your story will no doubt be well received.

Shannon Hodges

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Shan. By the way, your package arrived today.

Jeffery Hodges

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