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  • By Adam Callaway
    Dec 22, 2009
    This is the first time I actually got invited to review something, so I took my time and seriously went through this promising upstart for younger writers. I'll get into the meat of it now. Non-Fiction Economies of Scale. Title doesn't fit the piece, but a good essay on SF/F short story markets if you're not up on it. If you are, you've heard it before. Number 3 was a really good, thought-provoking answer about mags figuring out what type of stories their readers want (even though it'd lead to ruts). A Cure for Sap. Another horrible title. Good article. Love a good love story, avoided this one for the same reasons. Mildly offended at the shot at SF, but what're you going to do. Completely understand book withdrawal. Had it when Harry Potter was over and the first time I read Hitchhikers Guide or Ender's Game. Six Ideas. Like EoS, if you're new to the scene, this article is great. Really useful information. If you've been puttering around for a bit, it's all familiar. Fiction For an... More > upstart, this had more than the average amount of really good stories. Here are a few of the stand-outs. Chrysalis. Interesting style, with the teacher foreshadowing the entire progression of this young relationship. You know exactly what's going to happen from the tone, but keep reading. Not redundant, a good clip. You really feel for Amy, but know she's being purposefully naive. Everyone knows a Dominick too. It ended much too abruptly. I would have liked the alarm bell to ring to snap the teacher out of his daydream and begin class. It would have wrapped it up nicely and put it back in it's proper place, the teacher's skull, instead of making it seem more real than it is. I would have also liked to see more of the butterfly metaphor that was heavy in the beginning of the story, but petered out a bit. I have the same problems when I'm trying to write a story long symbol/metaphor/etc. If I write it in more than a sitting, I completely space what I was trying to do with the piece. Good length, good pacing. The ending mars it a bit, but a decent read nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5. The Birth of Sweet Fish. Strange, strange story about perseverance. I can't really say more. 4/5 Waffle. Strange, strange story about knitting. I can't really say more. 4/5. I'm not going to review the poetry because I am not familiar with those particular forms. I'm good with classical poetry, but this seems like modernist, post-modernist...okay I'm making this up. It didn't really sit well with me anyway The bottom line is this magazine is one of the better upstarts I've read as of recently, and it has a good mission statement. There aren't many magazines for younger writers. The varied content could be a blessing or a curse. I think the first issue was almost a love-story-based issue. If they use a different theme each issue, and plan out like four issues in advance what the themes would be, start publicizing each issue earlier, then they might have sales that vary a lot depending on issue, but probably will be higher overall than if they just put in stories they like. Younger writers usually have unique takes on common or rising tropes. I dunno, just one fan's opinion. Check it out.< Less
  • By Tonya Moore
    Dec 7, 2009
    The first issue of Survival By Storytelling Magazine abounds with burgeoning talent. Although Kaolin Fire’s fantastic Science Fiction themed cover led to some disappointment due to the absence of a “true blue” Science Fiction story, I feel privileged for having been given a glimpse of what might emerge from the fertile minds of such a diverse group of young writers. In addition to a nicely balanced collection of short stories, Issue #1 features two non-fiction articles, a film review, an author interview and a selection of wonderful poetry. “Economies of Scale” by T.M. hunter is an informative article that takes the current state of the publishing industry into account, while encouraging writers to assert the monetary value of their work. This is likely to be a useful read for those who don’t already have their own formed opinions regarding the manner in which they wish to share their writing. “Six Ideas on Creating Memorable Characters” by Paul Genesse has some great tips for new... More > writers who may be having trouble getting started or a refreshing change of pace for experienced writers, who might simply be in search of an exercise to kick-start their process. The “character interview” seems like an an appealing writing exercise and I just might give it a try the next time I find myself in a creative rut. Articles aside, there were a number of the fictional pieces that left a lasting impression. “Chrysalis” by Josh Roberts is extremely well written but a discomfiting read. On one hand, it can be interpreted as a thoughtful perspective on the quiet damage done by bad relationships, in general. On the other hand, I feel it exposes the tendency that women have to allow those undeserving of our devotion to contribute so greatly to the gradual and possibly, irreversible deconstruction of our spirits. For this reason I find it quite jarringly critical yet verging on brilliant. “Night Planks” by Thea Green had an odd effect on me. The story comes off as a bit scattered and at times, the choice of words seems like something an editor should have questioned. Even so, there is an eloquent quality to certain lines or phrases that speaks more of the writer’s potential than anything else. “Memoirs of a Torn Page” by Divya Mohan is the seed of a good novel. This type of story isn’t my cup of tea but the quietly poignant and complex story of forbidden love, betrayal and endless yearning would appeal to most readers of modern fiction. Chris Chapman’s “The Birth of Sweet Fish” was somewhat reminiscent of Seth Mcfarlane’s “Stewie” and Disney’s “Baby Herman.” Sweet Fish’s darkly comedic and satirical critique of the countless foibles and vicissitudes of the human heart, made reading this story a lark. In “Honor Roll Bound” Emerald Du proves that even someone who hasn’t experienced the stress and competitiveness of an Academic’s lifestyle can appreciate a story in that setting. The anxiety is palpable and I found myself experiencing much sympathy for those who run this particular gauntlet. “Row7″ by Gregory Wells screams overkill. The plot seems to have gotten left behind in the wake of the protagonist’s wild imaginings. Still, I applaud the writer’s gumption. Not many attempt to push the envelope when it comes to the limits of Suspension of Disbelief. The only creator I know of, to successfully articulate this type of hyper-hysterical fantasy is Satoshi Kon. I think Gregory Wells may be on to something here, so I’m quite curious about his future work. Noah Blake’s “Me and the Moon, Demilune” is micro-fiction gold. Sharp and stirring– with no waste of words, Blake paints a starkly beautiful yet terrible picture of a soldier’s journey and the cosmic magnificence of survival and death. Of all of the unexpectedly appealing poetry included in this issue, Natasha Angela Gregorio’s “Frame of Reference” was most captivating. Full of tactile energy, the confident rhythm of this poem made me feel strangely nostalgic–though, I can’t quite put my finger on why. I’m glad that I read this issue of SBS Magazine. I may not always be able to relate, when it comes to what goes on in the mind of a young and educated writer but the talent and potential displayed in this fledgling magazine’s first issue warrants acknowledgment and encouragement. Survival By Storytelling Magazine is off to a promising start and I expect nothing but positive growth from this publication in the future. Issue #1 of Survival By Storytelling Magazine is currently available in Print at Amazon.com & CreateSpace. The publication is also available in both Print & Electronic formats from Lulu.com.< Less
  • By Harry Markov
    Nov 30, 2009
    I have to admit that there is something special about a first magazine issue. It is a new name, which awakens curiosity, a promise made to the reader and a venue for writers. Most of all it’s a new beginning, which hints towards the full potential of an idea, while remaining open to ideas and generally flexible. “Survival by Storytelling” has the task to represent the younger generation of writers, who with given time will break through in their chosen genres and take the vacated spots in the fiction world. I have to admit that this is an interesting concept and will certainly arouse curiosity, but there is still a long way to go until the magic formula is found. As with every beginning there is an amount of uncertainty involved and it shows in the direction and focus of the issue itself. Fiction Amidst the 114 pages the reader finds twelve stories and since the focus of the magazine is on the writers’ age rather than genre the genre myriad strays from literary to weird to dystopian... More > and fantasy with topics ranging from personal tragedy and drama to the comical. Basically there are morsels for every taste. “Chrysalis” by Josh Roberts opens the issue and has left a standing impression. Roberts has set out to explore what can happen when high school love goes wrong and when the scars the first break up never heal. Beautifully written and smartly engineered the story pushes into the spotlight people I believe do live and breathe, emotionally handicapped, because someone has swallowed their hearts early on. Other strong stories in this issue include “Memoirs of a Torn Page” by Divya Mohan, which employs a rather complex plot built upon well handled flashbacks. The emotional integrity and the tragic bitterness linger, although slightly overkilled with the winded prose. Then there is “Honor Roll Bound” by Emerald Du, which I resonated completely, since the pressure on students at any academic level is crushing. As far as literature in general goes I am drawn towards the serious, tragic and dramatic hence these stories resonated more with me, since they made me feel the most. However there’s much fun to be had with “The Birth of ‘Sweet Fish’” by Chris Chapman, which is weird and yet funny in a caricaturesque undertones. “Invisibility” by Kelsey Ray adds more gravity to the popular vampires. However there are certainly entries I didn’t enjoy such as “Row 7”, which confused me and I managed not to finish. The same fate followed “The Bus Stop”, which failed to engage me and took too long to go anywhere. “One Last Look” went about a topic in the most obvious manner, which rendered it uninviting and the short one page entries left me wondering what had transpired. Everything Else For starters the cover art rocked me and is sure to be noticeable, though I am not sure it did anything to reflect anything that I encountered inside the issue. I expected an emphasis on the genre fiction reading, but got more contemporary. The interior is barren, but then again SBS is still in its early stages, so as issues progress more will be improved upon. I enjoyed the non-fiction content, especially “Economies of Scale” by T.M. Hunter, which is a really informative and useful information for anybody with the inkling of establishing a web zine on their own. “Six Tips for Writing Memorable Characters” is more controversial for me since I do have a different character building strategy, but then again I agree on several on at most the half of the advice given. It’s both useful for new writers and insightful to readers, who have wondered how writers do what they do. Although I dabble with free verse I can’t say that I enjoy poetry, so the amount included here didn’t exactly work with me in style or thematic, but certainly can cater to those, who enjoy experimental verse work. The interview with author Paul Genesse, although informative I felt was too concentrated on the author’s work, which although the purpose after a certain degree and number of questions aimed at a series becomes tedious, especially for the people, who have no idea what the author’s work is still about. At the end of the day: “Survival by Storytelling” is certainly fresh. It has youthful imperfection and energy. More importantly these are the walking steps into the industry of what might be successful short story writers, novelists, editors or any other sort of person connected with the industry. Yes, it is rough around the edges, raw and adjusting its skin, but I think that if the magazine prevails, it will gain momentum.< Less
  • By carraka
    Nov 7, 2009
    Fantastic! An inspiring reminder of what young writers have to offer. So inspiring that I want to be published in SBS, too. I particularly enjoyed Chrysalis, a poetic rendering of the flawed teenager relationship, and Row 7, an epic quest with the perfect twist ending. I also liked Waffles, and The Birth of 'Sweet Fish', but I have no idea how to summarize them, except to laud their dark sense of humor. And then of course there were the stories that I had already read before, such as The Bus Stop and One Last Look. A thrill to see them again, this time in print. A beautiful cover. Maybe beautiful is the wrong word, as it's not exactly picturesque, and ... does that thing have four legs or six? Beautiful cover.
  • By Adrienne Copeland
    Nov 3, 2009
    :)
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Product Details

Publisher
Young Writers Online
Published
October 31, 2009
Language
English
Pages
114
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.87 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.5 wide x 8.5 tall
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