Written by: Michael J. DeLuca, Jason S. Ridler, Scott H. Andrews, Erin Hoffman, Justin Howe
Genre: Short Stories
Pages: 43 (Chapbook)
This is a rather odd review for me to write. For starters, if you click on the title of the chapbook, you'll find out rather quickly that you can read this chapbook for free as a PDF. Or, if you must have a print copy (and if they have any LEFT from 2008), you can pay for the shipping and they'll send you one.
So that's one reason this is, in short, an odd review. The other, more important reason this is an ODD REVIEW is that I know every single one of these writers. All of them were my classmates at the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2005, and one of them was my roommate!
Consider that a warning of sorts in terms of how objective I'll be. I've read their work before, so there's a tendency to want to compare their stories to what I've read before, especially if I've critiqued the story in the chapbook. However, I'll give my honest opinion, but my official rating is going to be odd. Since all of my ratings are essentially based on my purchasing of the material, well, you can see how the current ratings don't apply.
The premise: I didn't recognize a discernible theme holding the stories of this first chapbook together. The only connecting factor is that the writers attended Odyssey 2005, and have formed a kind of group. Is it a critique group? I don't know, to be honest. But they call their online blog "The Homeless Moon" and decided to put together a chapbook to showcase their fiction. This chapbook they handed out at ReaderCon 2008. There are three stories I'd label as fantasy, one I'd label as science fiction, and one that simply defies genre of all kinds. So really, there's no premise to this: it's just a batch of short fiction. :)
No Rating: this was free for me, and it's free for you too, because you can download it from the website as a PDF. Just go here to download not just this first chapbook, but the second too! In terms of summarizing, I can objectively and safely say that the writing in each of the stories is very strong, and each story is unique to its author. Critiques for the chapbook as a whole include wishing there was a unified theme (I was kind of hoping all of the stories would relate to the moon, but at least two did), and I also noticed a number of formatting errors, where lines weren't indented correctly, and I recall noticing a number of typos as well. But you know what? The chapbook is free, so who am I to complain? The stories are enjoyable, though not all of them sat well with me. I love the DeLuca the best, and that story alone is worth reading the chapbook. If you're a mythology buff, I dare you not to fall in love with Hoffman's story as well. The Homeless Moon writers are definitely making their mark on genre fiction (it's not a huge mark, not yet, but wait, one day!), so getting a chance to sample their work for free is more than worth it. The chapbook is only 43 pages, and doesn't take that much time to read at all. So read it. And enjoy.
Review style: I will review each story individually, though I reserve the right to use the term "review" loosely. Will there be spoilers? I'll speak in generalities the best I can, focus more on the technique and the ideas driving the story rather than any specifics. So if you want a story-by-story review, just click the link below to go to my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.
The Homeless Moon Chapbook