Spring Break By Joe Arechavala


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Post August 09, 2005, 12:56:25 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

As Dan says, the sexual element was essential to the story. The mermaid's hold on Marcie was partly hypnotic -- but mainly erotic.<br><br>Presumably the simple hypnotic effect that Marcie used to send new 'recruits' to the water's edge could only produce simple, straightforward effects -- she could tell the subject to do one thing, and they would do it. Marcie's behavior required her to be a willing and skillful participant -- selecting prey, using her authority (and later her own charm and attractiveness) to allow her to get close enough to use her new gifts, and concealing her role in the disappearances.<br><br>We are told (I think?) that Marcie's love life was practically non-existent. Whether her immediate fascination with the mermaid was magically induced, or just the result of the best sex she'd ever had or even imagined -- or both -- only Marcie and her chronicler, Joe A., can say.<br><br>That sex, of course, was mainly implied, and not explicit, but I thought it deserved a cautionary note in the blurb (which guaranteed that all the 13-year-olds would read it -- much like those warning stickers on CDs and video games).<br><br>Robert M.
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Post August 17, 2005, 11:35:20 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

So any time anything racy or violent comes in, I put an Adult Content label on it. (Thus insuring that all the kids read it *first!* LOL!)
Dan
<br>So why didn't "Another Sarah" get that label in June? It was certainly violent and shocking. Or does it apply only to racy?<br><br>Methinks there may need to be a better defined set of guidelines.<br><br>Nate
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Post August 18, 2005, 08:52:44 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Methinks I thought that chickens were chickens, until I read the comments in the lettercol. LOL!
<br>*Nate grins wickedly.*<br><br>
"Do you," he asks politely, "think that's going too far?"
Dan
<br>Dan, you are the most "centered" editor I've ever met. Metaphorically, you're the kid who owns the sandbox but doesn't insist on keeping the big Tonka truck for himself. <br><br>You don't push any agendas on anyone (except maybe the necessity to kill kudzu), you don't try to limit any of the fiction that appears in your magazine, and you let people say whatever they want in this forum as long as they can do it with common courtesy. From what I've seen, you can't get that at a lot of SF forums, especially when it comes to the language used in arguments.<br><br>Of course that's not going too far, and we appreciate it!<br><br>Nate
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Post August 18, 2005, 09:57:43 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Before this thread degenerates entirely into a discussion of free speech, I thought maybe I should say a few words about this story.<br><br>I thought this was an all right story and that it did it's job adequately enough, but perhaps not remarkedly so. Strange women, lying in pools of water, lured other women to their apparent doom with the help of officer-gone-wrong Marcie.<br><br>I would have liked to a lot more description. For me personally, a horror story plays up description until it creates a "heightened" awareness in the reader. This awareness increases the impact of the terror, whatever its form. Then, as the tension mounts, the little details continue to add to the mood and build the effect of a "hyper-reality" where everything is more than our own.<br><br>I didn't see that here. Marcie is a blonde officer with some apparent curves, trolling along. Some of it sounded more like boardwalks than piers and beach, but I'm no expert on those things. There aren't many around these parts, so I don't know what they look like. The smell of the ocean was the first thing I noticed when I came to both the Atlantic and Pacific. It permeated the air, into the fibers of everything I saw or touched. It gave the whole place a feel, a vibe, that I didn't read here. (Or maybe growing up on our frequently frozen tundra, oceans are just a more romantic setting to me.)<br><br>Marcie doesn't grow much during her character's journey through the plot, but she isn't meant to. Still, I'd have liked to see some growth in her, as well as a more endearing trait to draw the audience to her early on.<br><br>I thought this story desperately needed a plot that built to a good climactic moment. Something to put me on the edge of my seat, grabbing for figurative popcorn--but the plot doesn't advance in that way. Marcie meets the mermaid, and begins seducing others. She runs out of victims, is drawn to the water, and the story ends.<br><br>My biggest plot complaint was that it just wasn't very scary to me. We know there's something in the water, luring women in, when the story begins. That doesn't change. I wonder if the author considered the twist that the mermaid isn't real. If it were all in Marcie's head, then it is psychologically shocking and horrific, especially with the notion that she was able to lure people to their deaths with nothing more than her own suggestive voice and human charms.<br><br>That's way more creepy to me, anyway.<br><br><br>I've got my own ideas on horror. Nevertheless, I did think it was an enjoyable read, but just one that didn't blow me away. I am especially hard to please, however, so don't believe everyone will think as I do.<br><br>Nate
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