TL;DR: They loved it.
A while back, I backed a Kickstarter for Augur Magazine, a Canadian SF/F zine. I selected the level that would get me an editorial review of a 5,000-word story.
When contacted, I realized I’d like a review of one of my current WiPs, a probably-novella-length piece titled “The Slow Apocalypse”. I asked if it would be acceptable to send the first 5,000 words of a longer piece, and was told that would be fine. So I polished it up as best I could and sent it off.
Last night I got the review, and…phew. I mean, I’m pretty proud of the story so far—though it’s still in about the 1½th draft—but I wasn’t expecting the rave reviews I got from the editor.
I’ve asked permission to include some of their comments here, and they said “Sure!” as long as I didn’t name names. So here’s some of what you can expect once I finally finish this piece and start sending it around for those of you that pre-read my work.
I think the characterization is excellent here. It is what I loved the most. I got strong senses of who each of the people were…
Another aspect I loved was the language. I’m a poet as well as a fiction writer, so I like to pay attention to diction in the pieces I read—the images and the tones that are invited in and revealed. I highlighted a few instances of phrases and words that I felt stood out to me in a very arresting and reflective way. This is one of the reasons I felt this excerpt was very polished.
The worldbuilding here was excellent, too, both of New York, and of the magical elements. The information was woven seamlessly into the lives, dialogue, and priorities of the characters, and none of it felt stilted. Of course, I do have questions[, but n]othing of what you revealed here made me frustrated, or like you were hiding something from me.
Every time I read The Slow Apocalypse, I smiled.
Every time I read these notes on my story, I smile.