Reviews – a Collection

The flip side of the rejections I’ve placed up here for the amusement of my myriad of followers (if by myriad I mean you three down the back) is that occasionally, positive reviews and feedback of my work do come in.

So I’ve trawled the internet for comments and reviews of my stories and collected them all in one spot, with links where possible. Too often you can get buried under negative feelings about the entire process, so the chance to share a bit of the love is always a good thing, I reckon.

So, without further ado…

First off, The Devil at Your Heels. Craig Herbertson, another contributor to Filthy Creations 6 said:

The Devil At Your Heels by Robert Mammone deals with that unconscious horror – the hit and run accident. Who is the victim here, the driver who was hit or the driver who ran? Mammone is a sharp writer with a strong style and a sound balance between the beauty of metaphor and the progression of story. He creates some lovely lines: ‘The engine’s dull throb matched his heart’s jerking rhythm,’ and he’s a writer who can draw you in and leaves you hurt: ‘A terrible truth flowered in Arthur’s mind. With sharp edged petal’s, this realisation scoured all other thoughts away and sent him staggering onto the road’

Mammone is one to watch.

Lest anyone think Craig is biased (he isn’t) because we both share a credit in the same magazine, he said this about the story when I posted it on the Filthy Creations site on January 10, 2010:

The Devil at Your Heels
« Reply #1 on Jan 10, 2010, 9:28am » [Quote]
Can’t fault it. Terse, strong prose, driven along with a very polished and almost clinical style. Full of character. Excellent writing. Good one. Big thumbs up.

The editor, Rog Pile, says in the author notes on page 83:

Robert Mammone is an Australian writer with a spot on eye for detail and craftsmanship which immediately elevates his story of death on the road The Devil at Your Heels to a level which hints that you should watch him carefully in the future.

Especially on the road.

Moving on to Along Came a Spider, a trawl of the internet reveals this snippet from here

Spring 2010
Edited by Guy Kenyon
Cover Artist: Char Reed
Review by Sam Tomaino
Black Matrix Publishing Magazine
Date: 24 May 2010

Links: Black Matrix Publishing / Pub Info / Table of Contents / ShareThis

The second issue of Encounters Magazine is here with new stories by Cheryl Gilbert, Robert Mammone, Stephen Frentzos, Jason Helmandollar, Andy Eliason, Dustin Reade, Kurt Fawver, David Soyka, Rose Blackthorn, David Durkmann, Terence Kuch, Neil Coghlan, Bill Wilbur, Chris Sturyk-Bonn, and Kristin Dearborn.

Another good little horror story comes on “Along Came a Spider” by Robert Mammone. Martin is a tourist in Mexico and bored with the usual attractions. He asks his guide, Miguel, to show him something truly unusual. Miguel says his father knows something of the old religion, which does not appear to be the Aztecs.

Indeed not.

In at the Beginning garnered a great deal of feedback from the Tales of the Zombie War site

Note, I’ve replaced comments which don’t relate to the quality of the story with ellipses (…). For those who’d like to read the quotes in full, follow the link above.

A brief selection:

Good story, expertly paced for sure….Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. It read like a novel which was fun.

Hands down the best story i have ever read on this site. i have been reading here for years and this is a masterpiece.

Really good atmosphere- both the foreboding and capturing the atmosphere of a newsroom as deadline approaches.

This is some good writing. I liked how the story built, and I haven’t seen a better example of doing dialogue without repeating “he said” over and over (not that there is anything wrong with “he said;” I just like how you crafted the dialogue without relying on it in this story).

The writing technique itself was clean and didn’t get in the way of the story.

Well written bar a couple of sentences I had to go over again, amazing atmosphere/imagery.

Next up is Path, featured in Fantastic Horror #14

Comments on the message board included:

This is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of writing. I like descriptions of buildings and of decay, and this one satisfies both those interests very well. Besides that, it keeps the indistinctness of detail at the most important points. The characters are well-matched and they’re described with a subtle touch. Very well done.

After the Darkness, my 666 (or thereabouts) word long micro tale garnered this lavish praise:

Nice story! Wonderfully descriptive.

What more can you ask for, really?

Finally, The Copse, which of all my stories had the widest circulation (I think), had the most numerous number of feedback. Now, not all of it was favourable, and not all of it was about the story, but here a a few gems (more ellipses, I’m afraid – I’m certainly not distorting the comments, only cleaning out extraneous wordage – you have the link to read everything):

It gave me the creeps (always important)…I got the heebie jeebies and a reluctance to drink cider for the week. Good enough!

i quite liked the atmosphere building; creating a sense of unease when nothing unusual is happening requires a deft touch. if it’s handled badly it quickly becomes annoying (when everything is coloured blood red and all doors yawn with concealing darkness) but it was successful here.

Well then, I guess I need to voice my enjoyment of the story. I loved the atmosphere as well as the content. Mr. Standish was an unnerving figure…from the time Julie started up the stairs, I wanted someone to go get her…no, don’t listen to him, go get her now…didn’t you here what the woman said…get out…I don’t care about you, but Julie… It was very good indeed.

The atmosphere WAS great, really great. Classically creepy.

This was actually a good story to have in audio, as the amazing reader and the atmospheric writing worked well together.

I can see why some readers might not care for this story, and in fact it’s the kind of story even I normally don’t care for, but I liked this one quite a bit. To me, anyway, it’s not really about what happens, because it’s pretty clear from the beginning that our poor protagonists are doomed — if this were a movie, I’d be yelling at the screen for that family to get out of the friggin’ house! — but more about anticipating the slow unreeling of their inevitable doom. As others have pointed out, it’s about atmosphere, and the kind of horror that is based not in shock or gross-out but gradual, mounting dread. I thought the author pulled this off quite well, here.

I also thought this was the perfect kind of story for Pseudopod. I think it actually “reads” better out loud than it might on the page, I think because so much of it is about creating a certain mood, and with a good reader (like we have here) a story like this can be quite spooky indeed.

I think this is probably my favorite story from Pseudopod.

Which is an excellent quote to finish on, don’t you think?

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1 Response to Reviews – a Collection

  1. I confirm I don’t know a thing about you except you write well 🙂

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