Spring Break By Joe Arechavala


Tell us what you thought about the August 2005 issue!

Moderator: Editors

User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1064

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post August 09, 2005, 12:04:23 PM

Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Woah...<br>Once I started reading this on I couldn't stop. I can't offer any critical commentary until I read it again- without getting lost in the reading. This one played out very much like watching a movie in my mind while I was reading. Hard not to loose oneself in the story as it plays out.<br>I can see the two main reasons we had to put an "Adult" flag on it. That didin't "damage" the story in any way that I could tell. But I can see that changing either of those elements *would* damage the story. I do hope we don't get complaints about the adult content, but I stand by Bob's choice to run this story. It has a much better plot and far less sex than most Hollywood movies these days. I would say that yes, it is an adults only story at about a PG-17 level. But it is an excellent one.<br>Dan<br>PS: Perhaps I should compose a post (would that make it compost?) over in the Administrivia folder about my personal view of different kinds of adult content in stories? Would anyone actually find that useful?
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Master Critic

Posts: 889

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post August 17, 2005, 09:03:03 AM

Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

<br>is Aphelion censoring stories now? what's all this about warnings and adult material? there was nothing explicit about it at all, even the language was solid clean except maybe "dyke".<br><br>the tale reminded me of baywatch and cocoon, not necessarily the best of references even tho the latter was an excellent 80's flick.<br><br>overall, found Spring Break readable but not compelling. it was too easy for Marcie to work her magic, and i kept expecting Arianne to become some monster in the end, but then so did everyone else probably, meaning Joe really pulled off the better twist: although we don't find out where it is Arianne took all those ladies, it's more or less implied she lived up to her promises.<br><br>as for the various chicks, well, at first i felt the story used too much in the way of ethnic descriptors, but then it dawned on me the author was going for a scandalous mood, so it was alright to have such formulaic narratives. likely if Joe spiced up the sexual encounters a bit the story would be a candidate for adult magazines. i'd consider.<br><br>Lee
User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1064

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post August 17, 2005, 08:38:13 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of Aphelion's readers are under 21. Our youngest writers were 3 Aussie 5th graders. Their teacher used (then) current stories in Aphelion in class all term, then as a final assignment had them all write stories and submit them to us. Those that got accepted got 100% for the class. Their stories were sent to Cary Semar without any indication of the writer's age or any other specifics. He accepted three of them. (No, I never knew who they were either. The teacher wanted it to be fair. So did I.) 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!)<br>Dan<br>
Last edited by Vila on August 17, 2005, 08:39:53 PM, edited 1 time in total.
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3241

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

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
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1064

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post August 18, 2005, 12:04:54 AM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Methinks I thought that chickens were chickens, until I read the comments in the lettercol. LOL!<br>Actually, I'm more concerned with getting in trouble for a story with sex scenes than I am about stories with violence. And somehow, in a strange way, that seems sad. That I could get in more trouble for showing a story with graphic sex than for showing one with graphic violence. If that's some sort of statement on our society that my subconsious is trying to make, then it is leaping way ahead of my waking mind. I wouldn't put any labels on the things at all if it weren't for the possibility of getting sued over some petty bullsh*t. What really frightens me, is that someday I may be forced to adopt a password-only section of Aphelion, just for the stories that aren't suited to the tastes of the finiky few. (Which would mean nearly every word I've ever written, for starters. Not for sex, I just hint at that, I have written some violent stuff, though. And I have shamelessly violated several religious taboos as well.) I see no reason to treat the website as if it were featuring porn on the side. As with this story, and with Nate's story that I can't believe I was dumb enough to think the whole time that the chickens were really just chickens... anything adult that would have to be edited out to make it PC or socially acceptable, or whatever term you want to use for censorship *was left in.* If it was gratuitous, I could see rejecting the story. No, cutting could have ruined them, and lots of others like them. So I don't censor anyone's stories, or ask Bob or Jeff to do so. (As if they would!) But I do feel that I have to flag the ones that come to my attention as being for the more mature reader. <br>"Do you," he asks politely, "think that's going too far?"<br>Dan<br>
Last edited by Vila on August 18, 2005, 12:43:31 AM, edited 1 time in total.
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3241

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

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
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1064

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post August 18, 2005, 09:33:03 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Over the years I've found that be best way to keep company coming back to play in my sandbox is to play nice, and share whatever I have enough of. And what's really neat is that good manners are contagious.<br>I've been lurking on the fringes, making only the occasional comment, on a 2nd Amendment/gun control/Iraq War/Political Agendas debate that has been going on for over a month in an e-mail newsletter that I subscribe to. Despite the rather volcanic subject matter, no flamewars have erupted. Every person on this list is a highly opinionated, highly intelligent & educated (I'm probably the least educated person on the list), rugged individualist sort. I have to admit, all the stops have been pulled out. These people are *seriously* arguing! And about the rudest anyone's gotten has be something like "I think you're ignoring facts that contradict your opinions. have you read this research? website link" They are using the same positions as many folks who would explode into vitrol on these subjects, yet these folks are so polite that the make me feel uncultured, at times.<br>I try to do the same thing here, as much as I can.<br>I enjoyed Joe's story a lot, and I'm glad I was able to publish it. Bob Moriyama did good when he trusted his instincts on this one- Not to cut it to ribbons. (Oh, I'm sure there was some editing going on, but then I didn't see the orignal submission. I only read it after Bob sent his monthly story list.)<br>Oops! Storm coming. Gotta finish this before the power gets knocked out.<br>Dan<br>
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3241

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

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
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Master Critic

Posts: 889

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post August 20, 2005, 11:31:07 AM

Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

<br>how does this reflecto n adult or mature language? can't write a story without gratuitous use of the f word.<br><br>ideally, we shouldn't even think about these things as aphelion is dedicated to freedom of creativity and expression, write?<br><br>getting sued shouldn't be worrying. worst case scenario we put a disclaimer on the front page or something.<br><br>Lee
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 550

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post October 03, 2005, 10:26:02 PM

Re: Spring Break By Joe Arechavala

Nate summed up my feelings on the story. Marcie finds girl, magically seduces girl, plays ignorant to the chief about the girl. Rinse and repeat.<br><br>It also seems that lesbianism is viewed in a negative light, an unnatural and evil act. Marcie was a law-abiding police officer who used the word “dyke” in a dismissive voice until she is instantly converted by the mermaid. Then she becomes a water-downed (pun intended) terror who converts other young women.<br><br>It is definitely PG-13. Orgasmic lesbian women who are fondled by naked fish-women would tend to push the envelope. :)<br>
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


jaimie l. elliott

[b:2o4dvkjg]Check out my website:[/b:2o4dvkjg]
http://www.jaimie.org/

Return to August 2005

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.