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Night Shade Message Boards » Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction » F&SF Issues - Tables of Contents, Discussion » 'Glinky' by Ray Vukcevich (June, 2004) « Previous Next »

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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 10:56 pm:   

Like much of Mr. Vukcevich's fiction, I felt this story was virtually perfect. It moves from a Tarantino-esque opening to the perfect ending, with all sorts of madness and sandwhich eating in between. The real world has certainly Glinky-fied in the last five years, and I fear it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Contrary to this trend, though, it seems that F&SF is de-Glinkying, with its increasing openness to unorthodox and challenging styles.

I don't want to say too much plot-wise, because it would be a shame to spoil this tale. If you have this issue, read "Glinky" -- if you don't, go pick it up -- and if you haven't, read The Wages of Syntax at SciFiction.
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Thomas R
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 01:49 am:   

I enjoyed this story a good deal, it maybe my favorite of stuff I've read by him, yet I can't say why. The shifting realities and quirky logic made it exciting and funny I think.

I still think the guy is vastly overrated. (I know he has a forum here, but sorry that's how I feel. I don't think he's too blame for being overrated, I think it's just something that happened.)
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 10:29 am:   

^That's weird. I think he's vastly underrated. In terms of science fiction he's so far on the edges it's easy to overlook him. Since SF is its own little world, though, the edges of the genre often cross-over with the mainstream outside of SF. There's a real cinematic quality to Mr. Vukcevich's fiction, and I find it difficult to fathom that Hollywood has not turned a handfull of his stories into films.
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Elizabeth
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

I generally love one story, really like about half of the stories and tolerate the other stories published in any given issue of F&SF. There are usually only a few stories I really dislike every few issues, which is pretty good when you think of it. This one fell into the latter category. Sometimes, writers try too hard. To me, this was one of those stories that makes me shake my head and ask "why"?

But to each his or her own.
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Thomas R
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 02:11 pm:   

By overrated I don't mean he's a bestseller. I mean many writers and critics I respect make it sound as if he's the best writer of his generation. In fact I'd heard of him through that before I ever read him.

On reading him I think he's funny in a gonzo kind of way and interesting to a point. He's just kind of okay though, nothing worth getting overly excited about. He kind of reads like some of the writers I read on non-paying webzines. That sounds like a bigger insult than it is, there are many good up and comers in a few of those. Which I guess is my point, he reads like an up and comer to me. Someone who may be worth noting someday, just not today. (Yet in reality he's been a professional for over a dozen years I guess so nix that)

However he is different and I guess SF/F is starved for that.
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Rob Darnell
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 02:26 pm:   

Glinky's just Glinky.

I thought the beginning of the story was interesting. I felt some excitement there, kept expecting something creepy to happen, but then the scene changed... and I didn't finish reading.
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 03:19 pm:   

Mr. Vukcevich's fiction is deceptively simplistic. He includes lots of bits an up-and-comer learns to edit out over time. Vukcevich strikes me as a writer with no formula, who does not stick to the prescribed wisdom: after all, if it works, why cut it out?

I read Glinky as not being just Glinky. Glinky could be the book distributors that are conglomerating into one disturbing, extra-dimensional entity. It could be huge, multi-media conglomerates that squish everything else to the edges. It could be the fast food purveyors endlessly screaming that their food is healthy, trying to shove another cow down your gut. It could be Britney Spears, or the stylistic box most writers have to crawl into in order to get published. Glinky is whatever Glinky is to you, and that's why the ending works so well for me. The only way to beat Glinky... is to turn him off.
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Rob Darnell
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 03:47 pm:   

Suddenly, I think I ought to give this another try.
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Thomas R
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 03:54 pm:   

I'd agree with your take on Glinky. Especially on it being symbolic of the merging of media or book publishing outlets. I liked it, it might be my favorite story I read by him.

I think my view of him as a whole is kind of unchanged, but tastes vary.

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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 04:37 pm:   

I've read "Glinky" multiple times; it's the kind of story that makes re-reading a reward. And so I agree with what Robert said.

As far as Ray Vukcevich's fiction being overrated or underrated ... "Glinky" is the first story of his I've read, and it made me want to read more.
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 04:45 pm:   

Rob Darnell said:
"Suddenly, I think I ought to give this another try."

That's what I like to hear! :-)

Thomas R said:
"I think my view of him as a whole is kind of unchanged, but tastes vary."

Yeah, everyone's certainly entitled to their opinion (which is what makes a forum like this fun). I've only been seriously reading and writing short fiction for about two years, so a lot of writers are new to me. A Ray Vukcevich is a grand find for me, and I'm still in my first throws of enthusiasm. I hope it catches! :-)
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TCO
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:24 pm:   

Glonky
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   

Pleased to see "Glinky" on the ToC for Hartwell and Kramer's Best SF 10!
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 06:32 pm:   

^Um, I meant "Cramer."

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