Possible spoilers below …
In Memory (mc ff sf) (new) by Vanderbilt
–3/5 (decent, not perfect)–
Nice title! I must admit that seeing “Mayday” and “Foxtrot” seemed rather cliche (perhaps out of place being Sci-Fi), but it wasn’t that big a deal. I was kinda amused to see “frak” pop up. I prefer it spelled “frack” myself 🙂 Overall, nicely written, and well polished. Once small nitpick is that I would have preferred her called “Jakalin” instead of the shortened “Jak” outside dialogue, because “Jak” looks masculine (ie Jack), which threatens to break down the necessary feminine image. Though, that aspect turns out to be an aspect of the narrative. Anyway, the “torture” sequence was done quite well, narratively (made some sense, oddly), while I just couldn’t be receptive to the heat of it, because of Ms Jak being bound. It also felt like a narrative cheat to have Ms Jack already be a submissive lesbian. Not to mention my aversion to sex slave themes 😛 While not my thing heat-wise, this was still a fine story.
(ReReadability: moderate / Follow: no)
Showtime at the University (mc mf ff md) (new) by Hypnotic Whispers
–1.5/5 (poor +, need to be mesmerized to really like this)–
Though I would say it’s at the discretion of the author (new one in this case), the apparent advertisement at the start should have been offset in some way (ie quotes). That kind thing is always in a different tone, and hurts flow a bit, when not offset. There were occasional punctuation issues, and arguable sentence awkwardness on occasion. One devastating issue is the LARGE blocks of text, which should be split into multiple paragraphs. It just makes it look like written rambling, making me skim. Plus, for lack of better words, I felt this was somewhat contrived and convenient thematically. A stage hypnotist is by far not a new thing real or written, while an audience being exactly what the hypnotist wanted is just too convenient. In the story’s defense, this hypnotist’s methods, on stage at least, are far more accurate to real life than one might expect. Just didn’t work for me, while the mentioned issues kept the scoring from rising higher.
(ReReadability: low / Follow: no)
The Right Guard (mc mf) (new) by Lisa Teez
~~3/5 (decent, not perfect)~~
Not terribly pulled in from the start, but there was enough to keep my attention. Still, while I wasn’t skimming all that much, I was reading it kinda fast. Comma use seemed a bit inconsistent, but it was generally well written. There are multiple schools of thought on punctuation, so I’ll move on! 🙂 Perhaps a bit overlong and perhaps not too much narrative umph, but it wasn’t bad for what it was.
(ReReadability: Low / Follow: no)