You know when you are in a critique group, whether online or in a face-to-face session, your stomach threatens to misbehave when your own stories are lacerated in a review? I was confident in many ways that ARIA: Left Luggage would survive book reviews because at least 10 experienced writers and several editors and two proofreaders have gone through it and their better suggestions had been incorporated. Even so, there is always a niggling feeling that while the concept of infectious amnesia is an original and fascinating concept, I could have treated it differently. A completely different plot. Yet, no one has actually suggested that. Instead I have received mostly encouraging reviews, and the occasional bizarre one.
By that I mean the reviewer liked the story and yet got it wrong. Reviewer Y for example, said Ryder was the one who’d opened the alien case before scarpering across the Atlantic to safety. Noooo. Reviewer W can’t wait for the sequel, ARIA: Returning Left Luggage so to find out how the aliens melt Snowdonia to lava. What? The Anafon Valley, dear readers, stays safe. That reviewer must have been reading more than my book at the same time! Several reviewers start writing a formal review, which often means a summary of the first third of the plot, then joke around pretending to have lost their memory.
So far I have not seen a bad review of ARIA. Another good one arrived today from poet, Emma Lee and it is on her blog at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/aria-left-luggage-geoff-nelder/
She makes an interesting point that I’d used metric instead of mph on a Welsh road sign. It shows how close she read the book. I don’t need to defend my use of metric but I might have thought that British road signs might have been in kph by 2015, the setting for the book considering I wrote it a few years ago. Most of British industry went metric in 1965 – the Meteorological Office went to Celsius, although they called in Centigrade, in 1962, but the TV presenters were under pressure to keep mentioning Fahrenheit until recently. I know Emma mentioned it only in passing and that it was only a niggle but such things can work on me. So… I searched for that metric road sign in my proofread document. I can only find a metric road speed sign that Manuel sees in Canada. Perhaps I missed it. So if you find a metric road sign in ARIA in Wales, please let me know and I’ll send you a free ebook of Hot Air or let you quiver with excitement with a pre-proofread copy of Xaghra’s Revenge.
ARIA is now listed on Ralan’s marketing website at
Ralan Conley is famous for being the alternative to Duotrope as a writer’s resource for finding magazines and anthologies that might accept your short stories in speculative and humour fiction. Now Duotrope has sadly found itself needing to make a charge for subscription, I can see Ralan’s site being used more. Please send him a donation if you use his listings.
The ‘likes’ on my newish page on facebook is nearly 200 so if you are on fb and not liked ARIA yet please go to http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy