Allow me to introduce my review.  This story was written as a revenge piece by an author who had a lot of scores to settle.  I will be noting who the allusions are to as I write this.




Lawrence Dagstine

“Thanks, Colbert,” he said. “I promise I’ll leave you a tip next time.” He got a refill on his coffee. (Ref to Scott Colbert, a talented poet who has been published by Bandersnatch books and has had trouble with Dagstine in the past).

“When are you writing this next bestseller?”

“As soon as one of these organizations actually recognize me,” he said.

Colbert nodded. “I guess that means never.”

(Why would his next bestseller require recognition by organizations?)


“How’s your cat?”


Another one.”

“It’s okay.  I’ll just go down to the Humane Society and pick me up a healthier critter.  Anyway, good luck with your manuscript.”

(This is a rather cruel reference to the death of Colbert’s beloved cat, Odetta)


Being a writing celebrity was the most transient fame in the world, but it was magnificent while it lasted.

(And what would you know of this?  Considering that – as you say later – he’s writing genre?  Genre authors stay on top far longer than literary authors.  So get real, Dagswine)


A curious kind of aberrant, macroscopic reputation attainable because of the nature of the exposure, and the redundancy of the work routine combined.  Much of his life revolved around two credits, and much to his pub mate editors’ likings.

(Are you sure it’s just 2 credits?  And, do you understand what the word ‘macroscopic’ means?  Try using a dictionary once in a while.)


An amateur might write down a few interesting metaphors or pen just as decent a story—a beginning, a middle, and an end—publish a few in some low circulation or obscure quarterlies; it might a few years later change a portion of the face of the globe, and such a figure might or might not get to be known even inside the publishing community.

(Are you suggesting that you are writing underground classics?  And are you aware, Dagswine, that ALL genre authors have a beginning, a middle and an end.  That’s called plot.)


Internet crazies with drug addictions thought he was super-important, and he might think so too.  That spelled out Web Idol.  But there was a difference between the web idol and the literary idol.

(Having so often accused Janrae Frank of being a crackwhore, and combining that with her defense of the author characatured here, it is obvious that this is a reference to her.  What is it about “clean since 1988” that you fail to comprehend?)


…Carnesto felt embarrassed asking the amateur for advice; he even glanced over his shoulder to make sure Colbert and the diner regulars weren’t watching. “But these periodicals you’re in are mere fanzines,” he said. “Why do it for so little money?”

“Oh, you must be from the Old School,” the amateur writer said. “Because you only live once, and there are many other rewards and remunerations from this kind of writing.”

“No! I—I don’t understand it!” He actually clenched his hands into fists and grinded his teeth. “I—I don’t compute!”

(Old School?  Like having a beginning, a middle and an end with good grammar, spelling, and characterization?  Something that you lack, Dagswine?  And it is very obvious that this amateur is a Mary Sue.)


“Dear sir, I’ll have you know that I AM A PRO.” It almost sounded like he was doing a Colin Baker schtick. “I’ve appeared in these two publications and I was paid such and such a sum!”

“But look at the dungeon you’ve put yourself in.  There’s no key to the door, no crawlspace, no way to get out.  You get no satisfaction from it.  It’s sad.”

“How can I get no satisfaction when the credits exist?”

“But you obsess over something you’ll still never be.”

“Are you trying to say I’m pathetic?”

“When I look from afar, yeah, I guess.”

(So, you, dear author, express your contempt for real acheivement?  Is that because you have none?  And that your ‘creds’ are really a pack of lies?)


He stormed off insisting that he was this famous thing, trained by long forgotten grandmasters and alcoholic slush pile editors.

(Since when was Harry Harrison a long forgotten grandmaster?)


During these days, when he went on the Internet actively seeking people he hated or wished to be, or just couldn’t stand being happy because his own life lacked joy, his wife walked about with a deep inner upset.

(Hello, world!  But I’ve seen the archives on several places, including Silverthought and guess who started all the trouble?  Come on, Dear Reader, make a guess.  And just what is a ‘deep inner upset’?  Did she have a bad case of chronic indigestion?  That’s a chewing gum phrase.  The kind of chewing gum that you accidentally step on while walking through your personal ghetto, Mr. Dagswine.)


“When are you going to get off that fucking Internet! I didn’t marry a robot.  You’ve become this—this computer junkie.  I needed you yesterday!”

(Bad dialog.  More Chewing Gum.)


“Why? Because your friend Janet’s brother is in the hospital on a respirator?”

“That poor devil was in a terrible accident.  He might not make it through another night.”

“So let them pull the plug.  It’s not as if she cared about him anyway.  They had their differences.  If I’m a computer junkie, so’s she.  Tell me, how many hours does she spend on the Web? If you ask me, she’ll probably be relieved once her parents fly back and they take the fellow off life support.  Oh, and don’t ask me to come to the funeral.”

(A reference to the death of Rusty Nail’s brother.)


His wife came over and threw down some drug paraphernalia.  His eyes glanced it briefly as he typed away. “And where did you get this?”

“I don’t know where you got that, but it’s definitely not mine.”

“Smoking drugs with that crack whore.  I spotted you with her the other day, chatting about.  She’s the big druggie and floozy of the neighborhood.”

“You know her?” Carnesto asked.

“Who doesn’t! What are you doing with that meth head?”

(Another reference to Janrae Frank)


Christ, she said to herself, he hasn’t fucked me in a month.  I ought to go down to the pub or get a piece somewhere else.

(Bad dialog.  Women don’t talk like this.  Men do.)


“If that crackhead came along here, you’d be able to put out,” she complained.  As she headed for the office door, she added, “And make sure you don’t do anything with her here!”

(Janrae Frank is having an affair with a man she has never met face to face?  Kind of a long distance fuck, doncha think?)


“Fucking amateur! Fucking amateur! Fucking amateur!” He had become so obsessed with this other person’s writing career, that not only had he almost permanently forgotten his own, but he started checking his victim’s work for logistical and grammatical errors that either did not exist or just wasn’t to his liking.

(Hmmn, sounds like the way the author in real life stalks Janrae Frank, Rusty Nail, and others.  The stalker is claiming to be the victim of stalking.  Dear Mr. Dagswine, it’s called ‘google alerts’ no stalking required.  Especially when you go out of your way name their names and get them to notice you again.)


Sometimes he thought of his ex-wife—by now, she had dumped him and not only was his computer on constantly, but he always carried a whiskey bottle and a loaded revolver by his side—and his marriage to her had been his foundation to begin with, and she was the only woman he had ever loved.

(Bad jump.  No lead in.  Just wham.  POV inconsistent shift)


And his only friends? Well, they were crazies.

(REALLY?  REALLY REALLY REALLY?  Are you certain about this?)


The court awarded his ex custody of their little girl, and he must pay alimony until she remarried.

(Alimony is no longer paid until a woman remarries.  It’s paid until she gets a job.  Most women work, ya know.  And ya know something else?  Sometimes it is the wife who pays the alimony.  What century are you living in?)


He was entitled visitation rights….

(Awww, that’s so cute, Dear Mr. Dagswine makes an italicized reference to his self-published story that has nothing to offer the reader.)


She had her father’s haunting features and the same bone structure as he.

(Wait, you said he was ugly.  Where does this come from?  And ending a sentence on ‘he’ is both bad form and bad grammar in this case.)


His now-ex came along. “Honey, be careful.  You might fall afoul of someone like your father and get your life garbled before it begins.”

(Bad dialog.  Don’t ask me to explain it, it would require more words than it is worth.)


He grabbed hold of her and gave her an earthy kiss.  He held her tightly and his hands, from a lifetime of typing and not touching, found its way over her developing breasts.  His face flushed.  What the hell was going on?

(Mr. Dagswine, might I remind you at this point, that you said on Shocklines that as a 20 something you used to go to parties thrown by 14 year old girls in order to score some sex.)


That one particular shelf had been lined with all the anthologies ever created, all the books ever produced, all the periodicals of the writer he had been victimizing all these years, and he realized, “Holy shit! I’m your number one fan.”

(Is the ‘amateur’ a vampire?  Otherwise how did he end up in all these anthologies?  Have you any idea how many anthologies are out there and how long people have been publishing them?  I’ll be glad to give him a rolling pin to kill himself with.)


He swiveled around in his chair and let go of the trigger.  A bullet entered the center of his daughter’s chest, ricocheted off her shoulder and lung, and exited through her back.

(I suggest you get a good book on guns.  Bullets can’t richochet off soft tissue.)