Bared by Benjamin Sonnenberg


Tell us what you thought about the October 2016 issue!

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Post October 06, 2016, 08:53:53 AM

Bared by Benjamin Sonnenberg

Here we have an event driven story especially when Bailey and Seth are lost in the forest.
This story reminded me of Jack London’s stories about Alaska’s wild frontier. I had trouble connecting the totems to Sci-Fi or Fantasy!

When the tree tops started moving and Seth felt no wind, that scene didn’t instill any eerie felling in me as, I believe, the authors wanted, even with the blackbirds and the squirrels chattering.

I’ve been on trails here in Western Pennsylvania and have witnessed trees moving under the influence of wind, but never felt the wind at trail level. When hiking a trail that hugged hills, wind can often cascade around the tops of the hills and not be felt on the trail.

The story did fulfill the most important aspect needed in story telling: it held my interest!
If a story hold one’s interest, then it’s a good story. I’ve never read a story I didn’t like if that story held my interest.

I like how the author used just enough description and sensor input. The correct mixture will help to get the reader into the story. Too much will overpower one’s feeling and not enough will leave the reader dry. This story had a good mixture.

I like it. I not sure if it does qualify for Sci-Fi or Fantasy but I did like the story!

Good job
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Post October 12, 2016, 08:09:24 PM

Re: Bared by Benjamin Sonnenberg

This has some great details; the boredom of the kids; the interactions between siblings; the frustration of the parents; I thought it was odd that the parents didn't go on the hike with the kids; what were they doing during that time? and I thought it was odd that there was no evidence of a search party. I realize Alaska is a big place, but the kids were on foot and searchers would have had a good idea of where to start a search. I would have liked to have heard at least evidence of a helicopter flying maybe not directly overhead, but within hearing distance. Something.

The other thing that threw me was the bear's tooth. I don't feel like there was a solid explanation of how the tooth chipped and while "red pus" is certainly a vivid description, I don't quite see "pus" oozing from a freshly wounded tooth. I appreciate the way Sonneberg tied the image in at the end of the story, but I didn't feel like the move quite "came off" because it's not a description that made sense to me.

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Post October 28, 2016, 12:35:10 PM

Re: Bared by Benjamin Sonnenberg

Megawatts wrote:I had trouble connecting the totems to Sci-Fi or Fantasy!


Well, so you would. There seems to me a sublte ambiguity in the way that story can be read; and which I like very much. One way is to see natural occurences and coincideces at work, like you have described:

Megawatts wrote:When the tree tops started moving and Seth felt no wind, that scene didn’t instill any eerie felling in me as, I believe, the authors wanted, even with the blackbirds and the squirrels chattering.

I’ve been on trails here in Western Pennsylvania and have witnessed trees moving under the influence of wind, but never felt the wind at trail level. When hiking a trail that hugged hills, wind can often cascade around the tops of the hills and not be felt on the trail.


On the other hand one might percieve a story of how a totem animal takes revenge for the desacration of that totem pole, with a cause - effect relation that might well be called supernatural.

And now for something completely different:

Benjamin Sonneberg in Bared wrote:He looked up at the sky. The stars were all in the same place as before, but the moon now hung low and cast a bright shine over the whole forest.


Nor very observant of the young man, it would seem to me, as the percieved movement of both the moon and the stars is mainly governed by the rotation of earth. So if the moon moves visibly, so should the stars. As the story quotes the alaskan anthem:
The brilliant stars of the northern sky, the Bear, the Dipper and shining high, the great North Star with its steady light, o'er land and sea, a beacon bright.

The Bear, the Dipper, they move around the North Star like the hand of a 24 hour clock. (Well, a 24 hour clock that is off by about 4 minutes a day.)

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