Nuts and Bolts and Magic Bullets

Home Forums Feedback Nuts and Bolts and Magic Bullets

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #3576

    I wrote this a couple of years ago, confident I would get it published. But, alas, no. Can anyone explain what’s wrong with it, please.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Hello Pete
    I didn’t understand at first but the penny finally dropped – ‘magic bullet’ – a phase often used by our politicians to mean an easy solution to a difficult problem. Except there usually isn’t. It’s an odd phrase and worthy of fictional treatment.
    I was confused by the names in the beginning – they all have something to do with metal or metal process – but then caught on and liked the way you described the foundry where they work. I was wondering about the way they talked about the ‘humans’. Does that mean they were not human? More, components? The dialogue was nice and zippy although I wasn’t sure about some of the exclamations you used with metallic words. By the end, I came to recognise them as just metal-bots exclamations and not something to do with the plot.
    It’s different and that’s a big plus because the reader is keen to learn more about this world and the character of Junk is a strong one. For me, the end needs more of a twist but then another reader might prefer the more subtle style.
    I wonder if you have tried the right markets. There’s always a place for this kind of science fiction. There are a lot of websites that love niche fantasy. I used to have a link. If I find it, I’ll post it up here.


    I couldn’t find the one I was thinking of but found this instead. This publisher has been around a while and offers some quite niche categories where yours might fit including ‘magical realism’ and ‘dark fantasy’.
    Worth checking out…


    Sci-fi and fantasy is not my first choice of reading but what I like about your story is that it’s a bit ‘out there’. It’s increasingly difficult to find original niches in writing themes and I think most would agree that it’s very difficult to slot your story into a recognisable genre.
    I think the second part of the story where Junk is taking on the rogue bot reads much better than the first part in the factory. I was a bit confused by some of the unusual words in the first part (e.g. ‘burin’) and names of the characters and found myself re-reading them to try and understand. But you create a strong feel of factory by involving a lot of senses.
    When we get to Junk there seems to be a much better plot-flow and I felt as if I was being taken somewhere bizarre and interesting. I wanted to read on to find out more about him (it?) and the outcome of his battle with the bot. I think the beach scene is well-described with the action easy to follow. Your story has a good pay-off line but I don’t think you get full value from it because it’s not mentioned until half-way through the story. I think if you imbue more importance to the magic bullet in the first scene you will get a bigger kick from the end.
    Does any of that resonate?
    (NB: One small literal – “It’ll be their downfall.”)

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Helen.

    Try After the Pause. It specialises in fantasy, horror and sci-fci but doesn’t seem to hung up on specific genres. Here’s the link:

    Submission Guidelines

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.