One of our newer contributors, Cleveland W. Gibson, has taken us up on our plea for feedback in issue 75 and sent us five letters. This is the kind of interaction we like, and we encourage others to follow Cleveland’s example!
I've just visited issue 74 and read my story. Seems funny but seeing it up there on the screen took me by surprise. I'm delighted with the way it turned out. I think I've caught the right bit of tension in there. Let's hope the other readers enjoy it as well.
Cleveland W. Gibson
The story is “The Time Jungle.” I think you express a very common feeling about seeing one’s own work “in print,” as it were. We hope other contributors feel the same way and that they enjoy the story, as well; it’s very imaginative and a lot of fun.
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For what it's worth here are some answers to your questions. I attempt to talk straight and not pull any punches.
As a writer I'm not worried by rejection slips; I'm more worried when editors do not answer at all. But in the case of BwS I have had a good, quick response time. Friendly and very confident service.
Never mind what others may think about the look, my feeling is it looks great. Where can I find a site so easy to read? Different colours for the type and background are just a click away. Some other sites use a dark red or blue on a black background. It is so difficult to read I wonder if anybody really bothers.
People who read BwS are fans; those who don't are missing out. The image of BwS is good. Surely readers must pick up the vibes that they are in good company? My suggestion for 2004 is to tell a friend about BwS.
The readers guide is a neat, well written teaser. It is enough to 'hook' the reader and 'softly, softly catch the monkey.' I'd say keep it in BwS.
Cleveland W. Gibson
And thank you, Cleveland! We take pride in presenting a clean, readable website. We’re always open to suggestions for making it even more reader-friendly. And we also make a point of replying as promptly as possible; we know how important that is to contributors. Jerry and I do the best we can with our respective work schedules and filing systems, but if a week goes by without an acknowledgement, please don’t hesitate to check back. We also like your idea for a “New Year’s resolution”! Little by little, the word does seem to be getting out...
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I read the above story by P. J. Lawton and sent him an e-mail. I liked the fast moving picture he painted and the tension was there right from the start. He had me guessing what was happening but as the minutes ticked away things became clearer. I guess it's best never to trust anybody especially when money is involved.
The conclusion of the story was good; very dramatic. Now I wonder what would happen next. A very good read. Well done. Incidentally I visited his website and had a read. Some interesting stories there. One involved Elvis. As I'm a fan of Elvis I like the casual groovy and even a little creepy picture he told. Drugs and booze don't mix but then Elvis knew that in the end anyway.
The story is P. J. Lawton’s “A Requiem for Time Masters,” in issue 74; it certainly is dramatic and full of action. Sending an author an e-mail is very thoughtful; any writer would appreciate it. If anyone wants to contact an author but doesn’t have an address, you can send us a request for contact — or a message — and we’ll forward it.
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John Thiel certainly wrote a deep story here. It is full of hidden meaning and right from the start develops a compulsion of its own; I, the reader, need to know what is going to happen so I must read on. All around things are happening and right to the end, but there is no definite end. Perhaps it's because of that elusive other. I enjoyed this story and the hints of energy fields and other things. The story is well written, balanced and sprinkled with more than just bits of interesting information.
Thanks to John for sharing it with us.
The story is “That Elusive Other,” also in issue 74. John Thiel certainly has a gift for creating a mysterious atmosphere, doesn’t he? It’s a kind of philosophical ghost story, in a way. There are all sorts of ways of reading it.
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I've just re-read your story 'Don't Get Noticed' and I liked it. The idea of a lecturer talking to students about the dangers of time travel is interesting and refreshing. It seems the idea of traveling back in time is loaded with the threat of being noticed. If arrested by the Romans and thrown into jail, what would have happened? I liked seeing what the setting was in the old days but being aware of the complications and the risks. You've created a canvas of intrigue and even stuck a reference to Van Gogh in there.
Keep writing. I'll be in touch again quite soon.
“Don’t Get Noticed” was an occasional piece for our “Christmas issue,” number 76. Thank you for the compliments, Cleveland. And yes, the reference to Van Gogh was a kind of in-joke and a tip of the hat to you!
Copyright © 2004 by Cleveland W. Gibson and Bewildering Stories