Archive for November, 2008

A few days ago, I learned that two of the authors, Justine Graykin and Lindsey Duncan,  whose stories are featured in Speculative Mystery Iconoclast #1ran into each other at World Fantasy in Calgary.  They had no idea that the other’s story had been published in SMI until Justine announced that she was going do a reading from ‘Ferrit and Faux’, her Fantasy/Mystery tale published in our debut issue.

What a coincidence!

It got me thinking though. Coincidence seems to be suspiciously commonplace in everyday life.  How many times have you picked up a ringing phone and it turns out to be a person that you were just thinking about?  How many times have you met a new friend who shares an interest or hobby with you at a location so far removed from said hobby (at least in your mind)?  For example, meeting a fellow Hell’s Angel at an Interior Design expo (okay, that was stereotypical of me – couldn’t think of a more contrasting example).

Coincidence is fascinating,  because of a number of reasons (or rather different reactions to it):

1. Some people point to the unseen hand of fate or the universe. I was meant to do x…

2. Others believe coincidence often has a logical explanation. Using the World Fantasy example, one could posit that because both Lindsey and Justine are Fantasy writers and the theme of the con was “Mystery in Fantasy and Horror” that it was logical that they would both attend. Their attendance and similar genre would influence the probability of them attending similar readings at the con, and would in turn increase the probability of them meeting.

It is interesting to play with the varied reactions of readers with regard to coincidence in stories.   Is coincidence just coincidence or does its occurence point to something more?  Writers may choose to lean towards reaction #1at one point of the story and then to reaction #2 at another.  It’s often entertaining to have these viewpoints present within the story’s characters – this may help readers relate to said characters.

Coincidence is a powerful tool for writers and when done well creates expectations (based on the reactions listed above). The fun part is deciding whether to meet these expectations or go in th opposite direction.

As always, keep writing and keep submitting!


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Our site (http://www.specmystery.com ) is up and running! The debut issue of Speculative Mystery Iconoclast #1 is finally available.

Please visit our site and support Speculative Mystery Iconoclast.

Thank you to those who already have.

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