Fantázia Award 2022 (Matt Wesolowski): Comments on the stories
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.
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.
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.
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.
Really exciting and full of action and intrigue. The twist at the end was horrible and funny at the same time!
Simple and really effective, actually quite chilling!
• Manacled Tomorrow
Really interesting concept and excellent world building, well developed characters and a terrifying ending.