As I said in my last short post, I’m going to list my order for Aaron’s dozen stories last year. I’m not going to go into great detail about them, as I did a writeup each month afterwards, but this will show how they “aged”. Perhaps I should do this later than a few weeks after December’s story was turned in, but meh, I’m doing it now. I’m going to be pretty brutally honest. I wonder how this would jive with Aarons’ take on his own stories? Anyway, we’re off:
12. Sign of the Times – January – I think he was trying to find a voice and was caught in the middle of tense-land. Good idea, but not enough to hold even a short story, and the writing was rough.
11. Gaius the Bold – March – The story ideas were getting better, but I felt like he was forcing the sentences in just for the sake of using them up, and not using them to propel the plot.
10. Rigging the Future – February – I think it’s telling that my least favorite 3 were the first three he did. He definitely grew as a writer as the year wore on. The plot was fine, I just thought the main character was wholly underdeveloped.
9. The Baker – October – The entire plot hinged on a motivation that I just couldn’t find myself buying. However, total bonus points for it being a choose-your-own-adventure. And his “just wear the damn dress” line was one of the best of the year.
8. The Ledgers – August – I find myself forgetting about this story more than his other ones. It’s not bad by any means, but I just feel nothing really stands out except his Merchant of Tennis reference.
7. The Fat Man – April – I felt this was his first story (chronologically) where he really started playing and having some fun. He took it in a very different direction and featured his best writing up to that point. Yay bloody showdowns!
6. My Name is Cashew – December – I have to admit that there’s some bias here – this was based off one of my favorite of my stories, so I automatically come into the review with an extra-critical eye. He did a good job of modeling the world I created, but my biggest gripe is I feel, as a sequel, it is TOO close to the original plot-wise (thematically is fine, but I would have liked to have seen a varied plot).
5. Climbing for Her – May – As I said when I first reviewed it, the story itself is decent. However, the commitment he gives to the ending is superb. It really makes the entire story 500x better.
4. A Life in Rouen – September – Of all his stories, this is the one I feel like could be expanded on. The idea isn’t anything mind-blowing – tons of stories out there have writers whose creations come to life. But using his characters to figure out why it’s happening is pretty awesome. I think this definitely has legs to be a novella.
3. Dark November – November – Easily the most out-of-the-box for Aaron, this story just reads so differently that that alone makes it noteworthy. As I said to him personally, I don’t particularly *like* the style of story, but I won’t deny that it is one of his best.
2. Year of the Stone – July – I feel like this is the story where he fleshed out the world best. The characters are varied and detailed, the plot is clear, the ending is a nice little twist. A well put-together story.
1. Project Titan – June – This isn’t even close, this is far and away his best story. While I think the characters could be expanded on in a fuller treatment, the plot is fantastic and the ending genuinely surprised me. I’d like to take credit for this story as I provided the first 750 words, but really, all I did was giving him a diving board and he went in headfirst. Read this story.