Sunday, January 21, 2007

Spectral Exile - Review

The original post title was "Spectral Exile AKA A Marty Sue). If you read the opening 800 words or so of Spectral Exile, you'll see what I mean when I call it a Marty Sue. (I can't really call it a Mary Sue for obvious gender reasons.) I've since learned the correct term is Gary Stu.

Some random thoughts on the worst story I've read in a long, long, long, long, long, long time:

Just for fun I did a count of certain words that Nicky likes to use: gruesome - 5 occurrences, observer - 7 occurrences, blood - 15 occurrences (yikes!), horror - 20 occurrences (double yikes!). Someone buy Nicky a thesaurus. Oh, wait. That might make his writing even more incoherent.

Number of different POV's in one story: Um...I lost count.

Largest number of different POV's in one paragraph: Two

Most redundant sentence: ""What the hell is happening,” one of the patrons watched, wondering what the hell was going on." And I'm not even going to mention the incorrect punctuation of the dialogue. This would have been even funnier if it had read: ""What the hell is happening,” one of the patrons watched, wondering what the hell was happening."

Best example of how using several words where one would do just makes Nicky look stupid: "...but they said she was sick from extreme cold exposure." -- Say it with me: hy-po-ther-mi-a

Best example of "huh?": "The cameraman was covered in blood from ducking the projectile mug" -- They were throwing cups of blood? (actually they weren't, so this makes no sense)

Best example of the schmuck not knowing how things are done in the real world: "...[the EMT] screams, “try to find a phone so we can call dispatch." Sheesh, Nicky seems to have ridden in enough ambulances to know that first responders -- including EMT's, paramedics, etc -- carry radios.

Best example of a completely fucked up sentence: The EMT was wrapping her head would and carried her over to the stretcher then told her to go lay down. 1) For verbs, we have "was wrapping", "carried", and "told". Not exactly parallel construction. 2) Spell check fails Nicky again. This is why you have to know enough to spell check your stories yourself, Nicky, rather than relying on the computer. And don't even get me started on how useless Word's grammar checker is. 3) Why did the EMT bother to lay her down in one place if he wanted her to lay elsewhere? Why not just put her elsewhere?

Examples of Nicky's idea of noun/pronoun agreement (there were MANY more examples of this):

"I guess it is always true that when a horror writer steps out, they’ve become an observer of the strange and haunting."

"I started to see them freak out even more when they noticed one of the patrons had their hand chopped off as the door closed on them."

And Nicky thinks he doesn't need Strunk & White...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Schmuck Named Pacione

A while back, I ran into this illiterate schmuck named Nickolaus Pacione on a web site for horror writing. Nick thinks he's hot stuff, and you are damned a thousand vulgar ways if you try to tell him any differently -- which I did. I also told him that just because some random person with a Lulu account thinks Nick's stories are good enough to publish, that doesn't mean that I think they are good enough to publish.

Now Nick's a little pissed. He says in his most recent Xanga blog entry:

"I am dealing with a new shithead on the board that published one of my stories, and this twat thinks that she is above all the small press operations. ... One of those cunts goes by the name of horrorgal on the site. She seems to have a habit of ruining it for people who enjoy the story, and picked up a new friend in some of my dipshit enemies."

Nick's got a serious reading comprehension problem.

Here's what Nick had to say (in part) in a PM to me on the horror writing site:

"...I started a small press because of and got some strong authors on board, so you got a lot of gall to think the small press is below you. What the hell are you some kind of mass market snob? The hell with that elements of style book, I got my horror education from the H.P. Lovecraft, and you need to really look at writers who don't even look at a crappy book like that."

My response (in part):

"I never said small press was bad. Don't put words in my mouth. Small press can be good or bad, depending on the editor. And a small press run by an editor who doesn't recognize spelling and grammar mistakes and poor storytelling is not a small press whose products I will buy. Ever. Unfortunately, that now includes anything put out by you. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is."

His responses went downhill from there. To show just how much I value his opinion, here is his response - disemvoweled (a procedure originating on Making Light and used for generally offensive comments that add nothing to the discussion):

"Wht thrty y hv t sy sck thn, why dn't y pt n f yr strs n th chppng blck y cwrdly btch?

I bt y rd frml hcks lk Brn Kn nd Mry Sngvnn. m rtd n th thrs tht prdt Stphn Kng, y gnrnt cw. Kn scks nd Sngvnn hts nyn wh wll tll hr tht sh dsn't hv hr hrt n th gnr whch m thnkng th sm abt y. Hw d knw tht y'r jst nthr n-nm hck wh hsn't md t yt? 'v nlzd th gnr lng ngh t sy knw th fck wll m dng, dn't nd stck p sshl t s tht, nd y rng nw r stck p btch.

f y r syng nd t stdy ths tw, thn n thnk y. stdd Chr Prst's wrk t, nd rd sm thrs wh r t f my gnrtn nd wrkd wth gd nmbr f thm s pblshr. S bfr y g blstng n m s pblshr, tk lk t sm f th thrs n rstrs. Thy r sm f th bst n th bsnss. Y hv n vsn fr hrrr, nd y dn't knw shr crtvty whn y s t."

My favorite highly-appropriate mispelling in the above text is the line, "I've analized the genre long enough..." I'm sure he meant analyzed, but...