THE BP #74
EDITORIAL, WINTER 2016
Why Bother? By A.M. Stickel
Dan Graffeo sent
along his book, THE GAMBLING BUG (Great Old Ones Publishing), for a review.
Among the many vices against which people strive, gambling has proved to be one
of the most vicious. Graffeo’s tale explores a possible origin for the
temptation that invades the subconscious to catch the vulnerable. Although he
doesn’t label it as such, it appears to be downright demonic. His author photo
at the back of the book reflects this, and seems to be an inspiration for “The
Gambling Bug” on the cover.
characterizations of gambling addicts, and their support group (especially the
leader), are spot on. Although I’ve never dealt with the fatal attraction of
this addiction, and so didn’t expect to, I couldn’t help but sympathize with
the gamblers’ plight. The physical and emotional depictions—from utter
selfishness to heroic self-sacrifice—were excellent, even though annoying stupidity
often overwhelmed positive attributes. What stopped me from complete approval
of the message was its technical execution, not its negativity (given that the
author claims to teach college writing).
Mr. Graffeo likes to
switch back and forth in verb tenses, even within sentences. This is a bad
habit I’ve seen in, luckily, only a few writers. It does not do justice to the
author’s intent, and indicates inadequate editing. Once in a while a key word
or phrase goes missing too. Ouch!
Why bother paying
someone to edit your manuscript, or, if you have paid someone to do it, why
bother reading over what they have done? If you want to know the reason, get
this book. But there is another reason
to get the book: a story with a moral. These are few and far between in our gray-shaded
era, and, thus, earns the author 2 out of a possible 4 Black Roses.
BP #74 continues our
tradition of thought-provoking story content. Brian McLelland explores how a
man influenced by beings “Beyond the Stars” might affect our evolution. Those crawlies
come creeping right into Roy Dorman’s “Doesn’t Play Well with Others.”
An experimental scientific
solution for interplanetary exploration fails at launch in Charles C. Cole’s
“Kilkenny Man.” George Economou takes us into the tiny lives of “The Family
F.”. Dr. Mel Waldman’s “Masks of Innocence” points out paranoia in someone who
can least afford to acknowledge it. Is Chris Moylan’s fictional adaptation to
life’s complexity too real an option in “Trim Thought”? Finally, my take on the
Apocalypse is offered in “When the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead.”
BP’s winter of 2016
poets are: Teresa Frazee (3 poems), Michael Keshigian (3 poems), Denny Marshall
(11 Haiku), and Rehan Qayoom (a love letter in poetic form). The occasional bio
is missing, according to the writer’s preference. To your editors, however, you
are all “larger than life” for bothering to write for us. Happy reading and
writing, my friends. Stay warm.