While many of the stories sent in for the Wily Fairypunk issue were full of delightful or devious fairies, many of them were missing the grungy, street-punk element I was looking for. Other submissions had the punk, but were missing crucial elements of story structure or lacked the satisfying ending I crave as a reader. However, the two stories I chose had it all, and that is exactly why I chose them.
"Demoted" grabbed me right away. The voice of the main character and narrator is strong and snarky. The theme and question of the entire story, "Is there really kindness in the world?" is presented right away and takes you on a ride against your will, much like a terrified and trapped hitchhiker, only to dump you out onto the shoulder of the road at the very end, shaken and in another place altogether. I loved it. I loved the trip, and I loved the destination, and I hope you will too.
"My Own Creature" is a haunting tale that lingered in my mind long after I read it, and this is always the mark of a good story. The writing is poetic and achingly beautiful. The theme of self-identity flows through the story like a subtle streamlet, burbling against the rocks of grief, and pain, and self-realization. And the end is nice and solid and round, leaving me with the feeling that everything in the story happened just as it needed to.
Thanks for allowing me the privilege of being the one who got to bring these stories to light.