Gavin Smith, who judged The Herald's Christmas Short
Stories, called Steve's tale: "An accomplished story which
mingles the themes of childhood and Christmas with more
sinister elements" referring to 'The Robin and The Raven.'
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of the Ever Young' recreates and helps us understand the
stories of fairies stealing human children and substituting
changelings for them. Part of the root of these stories
comes from the famine years where people had to find ways to
deal with the starvation of their children. On another
darker side, this story also treats of the fact that one
more hungry child could be the tipping point in a family on
the edge of starvation that send everyone else into the
grave. First and
foremost 'The Land of the Ever Young" is a tremendous lot of
fun to read. Joseph Sheridan le Fanu or Andrew Lang have no
better stories than this. I will tell enough of the plot to
give you a feel for it but I want you to read this story
without knowing too much about it.
the story opens a fairy is revisiting a family whose child
she stole a year ago, putting in its place a changeling.
She sees in the window the changeling has grown into a
horribly ugly grasping monster. The parents have had a
spell cast on them that makes the changeling look like a
beautiful baby. The fairy loves her human child but she
sees the changeling is going to be the death of he other ten
children in the family with his ravenous hunger. In
beautiful masterful prose Wade tells us how the fairy plots
with her cohorts to destroy the changeling."
"Stephen Wade entered the
Atlantis Short Story Contest 2011 with his short story
Once There Were Rabbits. From the first judging round it
was pretty clear that this story would score high and that
it could easily compete with other entries. Mr. Wade masters
painting and creating a fictional world that is full of
details and in which his protagonist deals with the world in
a way revealing a unique perception of the world as such. He
is absolutely aware of using stylistics devices only
literary forms like short stories have and to use them
efficiently, so they have an impact on the reader. The
protagonist's perception of the world is eye-catching
blurring the distinction between reality and fiction and
blending it to something very personal. His writing style
lets any reader slip right into the world of fiction that is
presented in his story. Furthermore Mr. Wade understands
that readers shall be challenged in stories and can figure
out what the story's core is really about. This way Mr. Wade
allows any reader to experience a feeling of achievement
that many stories cannot offer due to their simplicity."
hint of whatís really going on in the opening paragraph, and
like any good tale there other hints as we progress, but we
donít really learn anything until those final few lines.
Well-written, well-structured, this story demonstrates
another aspect of the supernatural. Not all spirits are
malevolent. There is no gore, no horror, only the chill of
eternity, but tinged with the goodwill of Christmas. An
excellent effort and many congratulations to the author."
(Judge's comments on Steve's First Prize winning story in
Christmas Chillers 2011 Competition.
Alissa Nutting, Editor
of Fairy Tale Review described one of Steve's fairy
tale as '... wonderfully lyrical and haunting.'
story longlisted by BBC Radio Drama, who described the story as '... a
powerful and compelling piece of writing.'
Daniel Tetis, young reader, Dublin
His Comments on
'Christmas in the Forest'
Daniel Tetis, after reading
Christmas in the Forest said "I really enjoyed this story
because it made me happy to feel how the animals celebrated
their Christmas with each other. My favourite part of
the story was when all the animals woke up and got their
present of snow. I thought the words put in were great
like when you said the mother animals where sensible like
other mothers, it made me laugh and think of my mother.
Great story, Daniel."
John Gosslee, Senior
Editor of Fjords said "We are
your work 'Lequoia and the
Mai-coh' as part of
our inaugural editions
recording section. We chose the work for its stylistic
intensity and storytelling
Marilyn Johnson, Fiction Editor of Pearl Magazine described
'The Hidden Path' as an "exceptional piece of short
fiction." The story has been accepted for publication in
Pearl 42, 2010 all-fiction issue.
Brian Lister of Biscuit Publishing, described Steve as a
"writer of excellence" after coming second place in The
Biscuit International Short Story Prize.
"It is quite a gift to make someone, who has read so much,
actively want to read more, which your stories certainly
did." (Clio Gray, novelist and HISSAC Judge Chair).
Joellen Kubiak-Woodall, Editor of The Write Room (online
accepting the story 'The Birthday' for her on line magazine,
wrote of the story "The story has a distinct voice and some
Jeff Webb, Editor of
the glossy magazine 'First Edition' wrote "We receive
countless submissions, and yours really caught the attention
of the reading panel" on accepting one of Steve's stories
Pittsburgh's Premiere Science Fiction
Ann Cecil, PARSEC Short Story Contest Coordinator wrote of
one of Steve's anthropomorphic stories: "You write vivid,
clear description, investing your river denizens with
anthropomorphic qualities very cleverly."
Lesley Quayle, in her
Editorial of the Autumn edition of Aireings, an online
literary publication, described Steve's writing as
'Compelling and unflinching'.