Related Articles

28 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif
CapnSilver said on March 10th, 2010 at 9:40 am

This was so very moving, MGK, honestly the big 2 could do a lot worse than throwing you a fat sack of cash for some work.

ReplyReply
mygif

This was amazing. I consider myself a pretty fair hand at telling a story, but I bow in the presence of a master. Well told, sir.

ReplyReply
mygif

*applauds*

That there is a fine bit o’ writin’.

ReplyReply
mygif

Whatever you do, don’t read the comments on the linked article. Completely undoes the mood created by MGK’s story and the fascinating true story he links to, replacing them with a deep antipathy toward people.

ReplyReply
mygif
hilzoy fangirl said on March 10th, 2010 at 11:59 am

*sniff*

No, no, I just have something in my eye. That’s all.

ReplyReply
mygif

Very Robert Sawyer-ish. (And I mean that as a compliment.)

ReplyReply
mygif

So sweet and sad. Thank you.

ReplyReply
mygif

*applauds* Very good. You should get paid for this :)

ReplyReply
mygif
Joe Mama said on March 10th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Amazing. Simply amazing. Well done, Mr. Bird.

ReplyReply
mygif

*reads*
*sits*
*saves*
*looks for awards that accept web-published stories*

ReplyReply
mygif
Mary Warner said on March 10th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

It seems kind of a shame to waste this on a web site, rather than publishing it in a professional magazine somewhere. Do you think one of them will take it now that it’s already appeared here?

ReplyReply
mygif

Slight note here, as someone who has lived in Iowa for the past 12 years and traveled through much of it: IOWA IS NOT FLAT. It has mile upon mile of rolling hills. You want flat, go to Kansas or Nebraska.

Otherwise, this was lovely.

ReplyReply
mygif
C.M. Gonzalez said on March 10th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Man, that was nice.

ReplyReply
mygif

That, sir, was brilliant. I say with no hesitation whatsoever that it left me with more than a few tears in my eyes. Your best yet.

ReplyReply
mygif

Oh, that was wonderful.

ReplyReply
mygif

At first I hoped you’d go into the legal situation that allows stuff like the linked story to happen, or maybe even talk about some similar cases, or what have you. Then I read the thing.
You write very well.

ReplyReply
mygif

Absolutely outstanding short piece. It’s interesting to see you got the inspiration from the news article I read recently – it tickled the creative imp in me, too, but I never really gelled a story around it. Having read this, I probably won’t – nothing I could dredge up would be as good as this piece. Good job!

ReplyReply
mygif

Just wanted to say that was fantastic. I very much enjoyed reading that.

ReplyReply
mygif

it reminds me of The Goon

ReplyReply
mygif

good stuff, MGK. You should send it in to DC. I bet they’d put it into print for you.

ReplyReply
mygif
oddpuppets said on March 11th, 2010 at 2:19 am

Just absolutely moving. I think that the ending could be tweaked, it feels a little too pat at the end, but the threads between childhood, the game, and the modern day work fantastically, and the gamble with the devil – superb. I’d suggest sending it in – Weird Tales would definitely go in for something like this.

ReplyReply
mygif

Great story. Though, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I think I’m failing to catch something important at the end. Why does the little girl make it out okay even though Winston screwed up the terms; and why is there apparently a replacement Winston living with the widow? Did ‘Old Scratch’ just decide to do right by him/the family, or did I miss something?

ReplyReply
mygif
Excelsior said on March 11th, 2010 at 6:36 am

I just took it to mean that while the devil couldn’t openly help him, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do something no one would notice. The thing with the other Winston was a little confusing though. Maybe when you lose your name it continues living your life and you just have to do without it. Like, it sets your nameless soul free to wander around confused?

ReplyReply
mygif
Excelsior said on March 11th, 2010 at 6:39 am

Something that wouldn’t be noticed by the only one who would attribute it to him, at any rate.

ReplyReply
mygif

Great work, sir. Great work.

ReplyReply
mygif
Rob Brown said on March 12th, 2010 at 10:35 am

Great story. Though, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I think I’m failing to catch something important at the end. Why does the little girl make it out okay even though Winston screwed up the terms; and why is there apparently a replacement Winston living with the widow? Did ‘Old Scratch’ just decide to do right by him/the family, or did I miss something?

The sense I got was that yeah, the Devil actually felt a little sorry for the former Winston so he said to himself “Why not? What he was asking really wouldn’t be much trouble, and I’ve won something valuable from him as compensation.” And he cured Jackie.

I’m curious about who this other Winston is too, though. I guess he might have been created by the Devil to take the old Winston’s place and been given the old Winston’s memories. Or maybe after losing his name, Winston was split into two people, one of whom remembered nothing of his game with the Devil but everything else, and the other of whom remembered very little of anything in his past, including his name. (Also, he apparently looks different from the man now known as Winston Sligh. Whether that’s because his own appearance has changed or because the memories of Myrna and the rest have been altered and so that they think Winston Sligh has always looked like this new guy is uncertain.) Or maybe it’s something else.

By the way, as I was writing this post I realized something that other readers of this story probably realized before me (sometimes I’m not as perceptive as I’d like). Which was this: Winston started as a guy who avoided risk because he didn’t feel anybody had ever done anything for him (so why should he stick his neck out?), and in the end he was a guy who cared about the people in his life so much that he was willing to take the ultimate risk for them. When that dawned on me, it made me appreciate the story that much more.

It seems kind of a shame to waste this on a web site, rather than publishing it in a professional magazine somewhere. Do you think one of them will take it now that it’s already appeared here?

Unfortunately, getting published ain’t easy. Which is a shame, because there are a lot of talented people in the world who just never get a break. MGK has nothing to lose by submitting this to somebody, and I’ll add my name to the list of those encouraging him to do so, but I wouldn’t consider it wasted because it’s written here. A lot of people have read it and enjoyed it because it was written here, whereas if he sent it to be published and hoped that they’d choose his story over God-only-knows how many others, then there was a good chance that nobody would ever see it.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m crying my eyes out.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and educations. Thanks for the reminder that they all don’t have to look and talk like James Kirk or John Sheridan.

Send it to FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.

And thank you.

ReplyReply
mygif

It reminds me of the end of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — the original Fitzgerald story, not that lousy movie.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments