Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review: 'The Great Gatsby', by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rating:3.0 out of 5 stars

 I have managed to go through my life without knowing anything about this book, so I went into it without any preconceptions. Although the prose was very endearing and absorbing I found it very difficult to like any of the characters. This is a short book, but it took me a while to finish because I simply couldn't bring myself to care about Gatsby (even the narrator didn't particularly seem to like him).

That being said, the moral of the story is a powerful one, and I was left thinking about the story for a long time after I had finished it. There are strong themes of: the selfishness of the rich, the repercussions for every action, and 'what goes around, comes around'.

The parties, the wealth and the splendour really come to life from the pages, as does the hot, arid, unpleasant climate of the era. Through reading 'The Great Gatsby' I feel I have been given an interesting glimpse into the past, warts and all, and I really enjoyed that aspect of this story.

This is not a book that should be read just because it is a classic, because it will probably leave you disappointed. I would recommend this book to you if you are after something short to read that gives you a glimpse into history.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: The Regenesis Cluster, by Dean Mayes

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Imagery
The Regenesis Cluster is a beautifully woven tale that leaves the reader with feelings of hope and wonder. The imagery is absolutely stunning. Author Dean Mayes has a wonderful talent for painting a vivid picture, and he has used this skill to great effect in this story. This is a great read for anyone who may not have the time to read a full length novel, but wants a story that will leave them thinking for a long time afterwards.

'The Regenesis Cluster', by Dean Mayes is available for purchase from For more information on author, Dean Mayes, visit his website at:

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Importance of Submission Guidelines

When you're writing a story that you hope will one day be published it is important that you are aware of what editors are looking for. Why waste your time and efforts submitting to a publishing company that won't even glance at your manuscript because it's not the type of story they're hoping to find?

Equally, it is important that you keep in mind stories that they just don't want to see. This is not necessarily because the concept is a bad one. It could simply be because they have seen a similar concept time and time again.

This list is part of the submission guidelines for Strange Horizons, an online speculative fiction magazine. I just read through them and checked them off one by one (after reading an interesting post about rejections by author Eden Royce here). I am now confident that my story is not something that they won't want to see.

Check out the submissions guidelines from Strange Horizons here, and don't forget to research each and every company before you send in a submission.

Happy writing, folks!