Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘humorous fantasy

Sent the baseball story to F&SF

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Folks, I’m glad that editor C.C. Finlay said in his post announcing his guest editorship for the July/August issue of the greatly respected Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF for short) that he wanted to see some humor, because that’s what I do best.  And after first readying the other story for F&SF (all I can tell you is that it’s science fiction, as that one’s off to the Writers of the Future contest, as I said before), I wasn’t sure what I could polish up in time to send, under the circumstances.

Then I remembered the baseball story.

I wrote the baseball story a couple of years ago for a humor anthology. It didn’t work for the editor of that anthology, possibly because it was shorter than I’d envisioned and cut it down to fit the anthology requirements. But once I’d fleshed it out, I sent it to a few of my writer-friends . . . and they laughed.

Mission accomplished, right?

Well, partially. You still have to make sure you send in a clean manuscript, which is why the “dusting and polishing” phase is mandatory, and you have to make sure you conform to whatever the formatting is the editor in question wants.

Here, that was not onerous; the editor wanted more-or-less standard formatting (double-spaced, Times New Roman or another font that’s unobtrusive, identifying marks as appropriate in case the story is printed out and the pages get separated, etc.). But sometimes it can be really interesting to get to that last phase — for example, if an editor wants a single-spaced manuscript with underlines around italics (yes, I’ve seen this, and as it’s actually how I tend to write e-mail because I’ve been writing e-mail since the Internet was first popularized — don’t tell anyone I’m actually that old, will you?), you have to give the editor what he wants or you have zero shot to sell a story to him.

(Or her.)

Anyway, the baseball story is off — and in case you’re wondering, it’s because of working on not one but two stories this past week that I wasn’t able to review anything over at Shiny Book Review. So do look for a book review (or maybe two, if I’m feeling ambitious) late next week . . . just in time for the deep freeze gripping much of the United States (and most definitely my home state of Wisconsin) to ease up a trifle.

So if you live anywhere in the frigid zone, do what I plan to do: Stay home, put up your feet, watch the Green Bay Packers game later today, then read several good books. That’s by far your safest option . . .

. . . but if you must go out, be sensible and have an emergency kit along for the ride (at bare minimum, the kit should include a blanket, some water, and some food in case of emergencies; if you have a candle, bring that along as well).

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “Dog and Dragon” at SBR

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Folks, if you enjoy Dave Freer’s lighter efforts, you will enjoy DOG AND DRAGON, which I just reviewed at Shiny Book Review (SBR)  It’s a fine and funny sequel to DRAGON’S RING that’s charming in its way but isn’t up to the standard of DRAGON’S RING, mostly because one of the characters seems to have things happen way too easily for her — and partly because most sequels have difficulty living up to the previous book in the same universe/multiverse.

The main reason to read DOG AND DRAGON, though, is the humor.  Fionn the black, shapechanging dragon, and Dileas, a sheepdog, have some rather interesting adventures that amused me and kept me laughing at the oddest of moments.  (Mind, that’s just not possible for Meb, the other main character; she’s doing her best to save the benighted land of Lyonesse, and that’s just not something with much humorous potential.)

That’s why I say if you like Freer’s lighter books, you’ll really enjoy this.  But if you’re expecting a weightier read similar to this book’s prequel, DRAGON’S RING, you may end up feeling like me — glad you read the book, yes.  But a bit disappointed that DOG AND DRAGON, fine and funny though it is, wasn’t up to the previous book’s standard.

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Just Reviewed books 1 and 2 in Jim C. Hines’ “Princess” Series

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Folks, if you’re looking for an intriguing, funny read about princesses who can and do fight for themselves, look no further than Jim C. Hines’ “Princess” series.

Both THE STEPSISTER SCHEME and THE MERMAID’S MADNESS are funny, have unusual story twists, and are lively adventures that will hold your interest.

While I believed the first book, THE STEPSISTER SCHEME, was far better than the second book in this series, they’re both worth buying in paperback.

That’s why I reviewed these books at Shiny Book Review tonight; please go to this link for further details: