If you can’t give the award to someone who doesn’t deserve it, you might as well give it to someone who does, and that would be Stina.
Meanwhile, even though I’m no longer eligible for the Campbell Award, there must be some other award out there that I am also not eligible for. Here are some testimonials explaining why I am not an appropriate choice:
About Matthew Bey:
About “Race to the Noonie”:
Then there’s ‘Race to the Noonie’ by Matthew Bey, which is plain weird.
-David, 50 Book Challenge
Any kind of summary is just going to make it sound weird — which, frankly, it is.
About “Gimpbomb Enters Room”:
In contrast, “Gimpbomb Enters Room” by Matthew Bey isn’t subtle. High on the profanity factor, this story isn’t for everyone. Leave it to the advertising industry to figure out a way to ruin the mood. Even if you are a pervert.
The language and cybersex neither bothered nor amused me. But what Gimpbomb threatens to do in frustration rang the bell on my poor taste meter. The timing of this, about two weeks after the campus shooting in Illinois and about two months before the anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, isn’t great.
-The Fix Online
About “The Murder at Doty Station”:
Matthew Bey’s short story “The Murder at Doty Station” didn’t work for me at all. None of the individual parts, characters, or landscape meshed into anything I could piece together into a cohesive whole. . . I’m sorry, I just don’t get it . . . There’s no magic anywhere in sight. No explanation or hints as to the nature of the characters and how such a diverse group of them even exist on this nameless, bare-bones sketch of a world. Maybe “The Murder at Doty Station” will work for you, but to me it came across as an amateurish, slapped-together bit of nonsense.
“The Murder at Doty Station” by Matthew Bey: A light tale that was okay, but not great. Its brevity helped it, but I felt it was a bit forgettable.
About “Hometown Horrible”:
I liked it better when it was called Snow Crash.
When I realized the author inserted himself into the story I was a little thrown, and not positively so.
Snore. This is not an original idea. Not for the author and not for the Lovecraft-pastiche Helmut Finch: Robert W. Chambers wrote this story back in 1895 and it was called “The King in Yellow.” Furthermore, the pseudo-science of memetic theory certainly predates that quack Richard Dawkins.
I don’t know if it’s because I despise stories about writers, or because I found the idea of a Lovecraft pastiche to be very, very well-worn ground (people were writing Lovecraft pastiche’s when he was ALIVE for the love of God - “The Shambler from the Stars,” “The Shadow from the Steeple” et al) but this story was DULL as dishwater.
This is another story where it’s entire success or failure rests on “the big reveal” at the end (ie. the action and tension in the plot center around the revelation to the reader, not to the characters). Revelations like that have to be truly BIG and original to work; anyone familiar with Lovecraft saw this one coming a mile away.
About Matthew Bey’s blog “Zombie Lapdance”:
Matthew Bey is Space Squid’s main man and he maintains his own blog where he brags about his literary achievements and all the various things that he puts in his mouth.
About “The Elves Hate You”:
This story was funny. It was outrageous. But… it was empty.
Light and fluffy is fine, and pointless is fine. But I felt like there was this gaping hole in the story, that even just filled a little, would have made it a spectacular piece.
Nothing in Vampire mythology that I’ve read would ever suggest that they would take on a serious fight without serious reason. They pick pointless battles all the time that they know they will win. Bully tactics. But to have this serious, this intense of a fight, there needed to be a better reason than just a shirt.
And then nothing happens. Big, fun buildup, but not much payoff at the end. I was totally grossed out by the exploding cat sound effect.
The end was a little of a let down, as has been mentioned. A lame groin joke never makes a good ending to a story, IMHO.
About “The Secret of Pogopolis”:
Thumbs down Worst story ever?
A) Doesn’t really fit into the submission guidelines
B) This “writer” has clearly never had a real relationship,
nor a real conversation, judging from the dialogue (He probably made the girl mute because he doesn’t know what they sound like)
C) It’s a story about a man who lives in a city which is a pogo-stick for no well-explained reason, who finds a girl who falls in love with him for no well-explained reason, with whom he escapes the city for no well-explained reason.
Was this seriously the best thing in the slush pile?
I thought the characterisation wasn’t incredibly deep – Carneby is introduced as relatively sombre, but leaves his job without much cause – but it was strong enough to draw me in.
As for the title – “Pogopolis” seems to lessen the depth of this great creation. I loved the setting and got into the simple, almost bizarro tone of the storytelling. It is told with a great sense of humour (that maybe lessened its emotional power?) Overall, I enjoyed it. The setting is definitely the star.
And while you’re making nominations, make sure to put Space Squid down in the “Best Semiprozine” category. And RevolutionSF.com in “Best Fanzine.”