Monday, September 19, 2005

Seven Wives

I'm not sure why, but a couple of new reviews for Cat (no relation) Sparks' 2004 anthology Agog!: Smashing Stories have appeared. The anthology includes Aurealis Award nominated Seven Wives, the story I consider my personal best to date.

I thought it timely to collect the various reviews (or at least the parts that mention Seven Wives) in one place: unusual take on cloning. I loved its execution. It's one of the standout stories for me because the emotions in this are so evocative.

- Alinta Thornton (Clarion South 2004 alumnus), Blog review August 2004

Before we decide anything final on the cloning issue, we might all want to read Bryn Sparks thought-provoking "Seven Wives." There may be some aspects we haven't taken into account.

- Lisa Dumond, SF site featured review, August 2004

Bryn Sparks (Seven Wives) and Trent Jamieson (Endure) provide moody sketches of societies quite removed from our own...

- Ben Payne, Orb Magazine 6

There’s so many other good stories in here, including [...] Bryn Sparks’ exploration of identity and … uh … clones’ rights in “Seven Wives”...

- Devin Jeyathurai, ...AS IF..., June 2005

Haines's piece is the story of a man whose life is plagued by his childhood rival. The women in this piece are little more than sexual pawns and the story pairs interestingly with Bryn Sparks's "Seven Wives", a brief but unexpected analysis of cloning's relationship to female equality.

- Miranda Siemienowicz, HorrorScope, Sept 2005

Good collection of mainly darkish stories. Interesting to note that this collection of Aussie fiction contains a story by a Kiwi. [...] I suppose it reads like a fantasy when you first start in before the cloning ethics stuff kicks in. It gave me a genuine "oh!" moment of realisation that it wasn't a fantasy (well I was more leaning surreal actually). It also gave me a "Hmmmm" moment when I started to think about the issues. An "oh" and a "hmmm" together in one little story is really good going...

- Ross Temple (Phoenix SF Society), Blog post

I understand the anthology is no longer available. I also note it was LEFT OUT of the Australian Years Best Fantasy/SF for 2004, even though half the rest of the collection were included.

I think it must be because my great-great-great grandparents were both transportees.

Fuggin elitist decendents of guards and free colonials.


Blogger Shane Jiraiya Cummings said...

Congrats on the positive reviews.

The recent ones have arisen because of the Australian review 'arms race' that has developed (a good thing), with review sites like HorrorScope and ASif now emerging.

Tis a shame about the omission in Year's Best - there is no accounting for editor's tastes.

As for heritage, am I safe if I claim convict descent (from the First Fleet, no less)? Well, my partner's family is Tasmanian, so we may yet find common ground. :)

1:28 AM  
Blogger Bryn Sparks said...

Hey man, if you were First Fleet then that's good enough for me.

I've said before (to Apex Digest editor Jason Sizemore in particular) that in the small press game, reviews are the REAL currency. You can spend $15 - $50 in the blink of an eye, but a review lasts forever (especially if you copy and paste every review you can find into your own archival document like an anal-retentive...)

A review 'arms-race' is just what we need! Bring it ON!

10:49 AM  

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