Fantázia Award 2022 (Matt Wesolowski): Comments on the stories

 In porotcovský blog

I’ve read all the stories and below are my marks and a few notes for each one. Thank you again for asking me to judge this and good luck for the ceremony this weekend!


• Black and White

I would have liked some more character development.

• Southbound Train

Excellent dialogue and original concept.

• A Magical Day

Really good pace and slow build up to the story; the ending made me smile.

• Suffering of Modern Technology

Really original and quirky idea which I liked a lot – work on your narrative voice, make it less like speech.

• Under the Full Moon

Excellent twist at the end – work on building up atmosphere.

• Contagion

Really good example of ‚show don’t tell‘ – dialogue was excellent too and a cool twist at the end.

• Memories of Home

I found it hard to connect with the character at the start but much better toward the end. Really surreal and creepy which I enjoyed a lot.

• Sleepwalker’s Survival Guide

I genuinely laughed out loud at this. The tone was excellent throughout, original take on the ‚aliens killed by a cold‘ trope, loved it!

• I’m Demon-Proof baby

Short, succinct and sharp. Really enjoyed it.

• Ring of Fire

Difficult to world-build to this extent in a short story. I would have liked to know a bit quicker about the characters, what they wanted and why.

• The Brave Fellow

Really elegantly written with great character depth, I would definitely like to read something longer by this author.

• The strange gifts of orphans for the glorious chosen few

A very individual voice; I would always advise in writing more simply but this is a definite style and I commend the writer for using it consistently and well throughout.

• The Kennedy Mayhem

Somewhat of an information dump at the start but well written with excellent pacing. A really original story!

• A Bus Down Memory Lane

Some really excellent and subtle imagery – a small but powerful story that really got inside my heart.

• Powerless

A well crafted and thought out story that looks at real life issues; I would have liked the pacing slowed down slightly to build more of the characters with small details.

• Dreamhouse

I liked all the nods to The Haunting of Hill House, it was a well crafted story using the haunted house trope effectively. Good atmoosphere too.

• Ebbs and Flows

It was a really original narrative and quite different to everything else, well written and a beautiful concept but I felt it needed more of a story.

• Writer

Really exciting and full of action and intrigue. The twist at the end was horrible and funny at the same time!

• Procedure

Simple and really effective, actually quite chilling!

• Manacled Tomorrow

Really interesting concept and excellent world building, well developed characters and a terrifying ending.

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