"Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

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"Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:01 pm

Anyone wishing to add some thoughts about this particular story and/or author, feel free to do so here. Praise and criticism is encouraged equally, but please keep the latter on the constructive side.

BEWARE OF SPOILERS!

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:37 am

This story surprised the hell out of me.

Stories told in second-person are usually horrible. In fact, I can't name another story told in second-person that I liked. Of course there have been some I've enjoyed over the years, but so few I simply can't think of another one. As such, upon reading those first few lines of a second-person tale, the immediate thoughts are just groans and weepy sounds. And 99.9% of the time—and I think I'm being generous here—it's all justified.

"Eye, You" had something different, though.

Reading slush has taught me that good stories make their presence known immediately. Even if you ultimately reject it, you can't stop reading. "Eye, You" had me intrigued from the beginning. It has that something, you know. It's a really bizarre tale, but for me, it's captivating. Even in second-person POV.

I remember when I got toward the end, there's a part of the story where I literally thought, "Wait a minute! I'm..." Yes, I. That's a story told in second-person that works! Just a great little tale.

And something even more amazing: We've accepted another second-person story for issue #4! And that one...man, it's heart-wrenching. Hopefully readers give both of these stories a chance before the knee-jerk groans and weepy sounds make them skip to the next story.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Tall Tyrion on Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:59 am

I admit I roll my eyes at second person because it's so difficult to do effectively. This story (and the next) show that it's not impossible.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Joseph Morgado on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:47 am

Thanks, Ken and TT.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by steven pirie on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:29 am

I can't read this one. Whenever I read a second person viewpoint I want to reach down and rip out my own liver.

That's not a comment against Joseph, who I'm sure has crafted a fine tale, it's just that no matter how hard I try I can never suspend belief enough to be 'told' how 'I' feel or what 'I' am doing.

Instead I end up screaming 'No I don't feel that', or 'No, I'd never do that, even if the zombie was chomping on my foot.'

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:40 pm

I knew this would be a hurdle for a lot of readers. Most stories told in second-person are shit, though. This one is not. It's too bad a lot of people will miss out on that.

There will be another story told in second-person in issue #4, and again I'm bummed that some won't read it based solely on that.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Tall Tyrion on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:59 pm

You should at least give it a try, Steven. I feel the same way you do about 2nd person, but this one (and the story in the queue) use the technique effectively.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by steven pirie on Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:15 pm

I can't, I've tried, and the first time something comes up that is not 'me' then I'm pulled out of the story. I don't think I'm built for 2nd person...

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Shiney on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:22 pm

Don't feel bad, Seven. I couldn't deal with this one either.


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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Suann on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:41 pm

I'm waiting for Amazon to ship my copy of this issue. Once I get it and have read the story, I'll come back and weigh in with my two cents worth! Got me really excited to read this one!

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Shiney on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:48 pm

It is a good story...I, like Seven, couldn't get behind the second person POV.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:21 am

I think it's great, but I understand how second-person POV can be very off-putting. I usually hate it, but this time I thought the story and the writing made my general dislike for the style to not matter at all.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by davisac1 on Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:51 pm

I've gotten really used to seeing "you" and reading "s/he" in second-person short stories, but that came from repeated exposure. I liked this story.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by steven pirie on Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:59 pm

It's odd, really, but even those here who read this story seem to need to add a caveat--I usually hate 2nd person, or I read s/he instead, etc--so do we have to question the writer's wisdom in using 2nd person?

Or is the fact that it did actually attain publication enough to justify it (and, indeed, that it's generating comments)?

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:46 pm

steven pirie wrote:It's odd, really, but even those here who read this story seem to need to add a caveat--I usually hate 2nd person, or I read s/he instead, etc--so do we have to question the writer's wisdom in using 2nd person?

Or is the fact that it did actually attain publication enough to justify it (and, indeed, that it's generating comments)?
I think most times it's lazy writing. But sometimes it works, as in "Eye, You." And in the story we have set up for issue #4, the protagonist is a kid with autism, so it really works in that story.

And I add the caveat—which I even did in the magazine intro—because I'm defending the story, not my liking of it. I told Joseph long ago, and many times after, that his story would face the most obstacles, simply because of the immediate reaction most readers have to second-person tales, which is disdain.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Tall Tyrion on Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:03 pm

I think the perspective offered by this story and the hyperpersonalization of the age of the webcam are what give this story it's power, and why it had to be told this way.

Remember the gaming hurdle from side scrollers like Commander Keen and Super Mario Bros. to first person shooters like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom? It's hard to shift POV, but I think Eye, You works because the era of webcams has put all of us at the center of the action. No longer are we passive viewers of action, as in the movies, we are invited to become participants. Thus the narration shift. It works.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by kurtnewton on Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:23 am



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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:34 pm

kurtnewton wrote:This story did nothing for me. The subject matter has been dealt with ever since computers landed on people's desktops. And endings like this ought to be outlawed in modern fiction. (Or at least seen as a cop out by editors of a certain magazine that begins with S and ends with otem.)
Sad

I fucking like this one! Haha.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Mercedes on Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:25 am

I didn't have difficulty with the second person at all. This was all about the story and the dark emotion, and not the straight-up mechanics. This was one that also generated heated discussion, and I'm a fan. Fantastic!

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Paul Walters on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:16 pm

It's funny, I read the discussion here for this story before actually reading the story itself, so maybe I went into it with a skewed perspective already. That said, it's odd that to me that the 2nd Person PoV is what is turning some people off here. It wasn't my favorite story, but the one thing that works the most in its favor is precisely the use of second-person.

If it'd been told in any other perspective it wouldn't have worked, because like Kurt said it's the kind of material and story that's been retread many times before. Using the perspective it did, however, drew me into the story in a way that I probably would not have been otherwise, so I'll give it kudos for that.

I haven't read a whole lot of 2nd Person PoV stories though, so maybe I just haven't been jaded enough yet to fully discount this one.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by kurtnewton on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:48 pm



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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by kurtnewton on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:50 pm



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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by Kenwood on Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:07 pm

kurtnewton wrote:If you really want to read a cool story that takes technology (in this case our obsession with reality-based programs) and flips it, spins it and turns it inside out...check out "10 Drunk People in a House (rerun)" by Benjamin Sobieck over at The Flash Fiction Offensive. This story reminded me of "Eye, You" in a way, but I think it's much more effective at handling its subject matter, even at its shorter length. (And FFO is a non-paying zine btw--but it doesn't read like it.)
"10 Drunk People" is good, but I don't know that it's similar enough. "Eye, You" is discomforting, almost overwhelming, which I think precisely taps into the feeling of the whole social media, life-in-your-face-24/7 manner in which the Internet has become.

Either way, I dig "Eye, You." I also dig "10 Drunk People," so thanks! =)

With a magazine like Shock Totem, a pro publication with a collective editorship, I guess I expect each and every story to go for the knock out. But, you know, different storks. Wink
Ah, but nothing has changed, Kurt. "Eye, You" is a knockout, in my opinion. Wink

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

Post by scottmitchell74 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:08 pm

I think the perspective offered by this story and the hyperpersonalization of the age of the webcam are what give this story it's power, and why it can be told this way.


It was a good enough story, you know, creepy, but I've changed Tall T's above quote a wee bit to match up with my thoughts.

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Re: "Eye, You," by Joseph Morgado

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