“Backslide,” by Anthony Neil Smith
Juked is an E-zine much in the mold of Storyglossia, a story from which I recently reviewed on this website. Juked is an online literary journal that offers short fiction and poetry, admirably giving as much weight and significance to the latter as to the former. Although from reading over juke’s guidelines I am unclear on this point, it appears as if juked will accept stories with genre aspects to them, as long as the purpose of the story transcends the genre and is primarily literary in nature. (“My Robot,” by Claudia Smith, [juked; March, 2005] a short story originally published on juked, which invokes a science fiction veneer, was selected for a print anthology publication.)
Although there are no length restrictions, the stories presented tend to be relatively brief, which renders a meaningful review of many pieces somewhat difficult. An even more daunting deterrent to attempting a review of many pieces I have read on juked is the nature of the stories themselves. Like much literary journal fare, they tend to be slice-of-life pieces and character studies, reflecting pivotal moments in characters’ lives. Often the reader is left puzzled as to what exactly the point was for an author having written a particular piece, which leaves the inevitable hazard of a reader and/or reviewer misinterpreting the writer’s intentions.
The writing presented by juked tends to be somewhat more sophisticated than that published by Storyglossia and slants somewhat more towards the artsy in tone. This does not, however, render it in any manner either superior or inferior to Storyglossia, just somewhat different. Juked also offers superb photography in a category heading entitled “Moment,” an aspect of the zine that I appreciate; the nomenclature most appropriate both to the referenced photographs as well as to its fiction offerings.
Unlike Storyglossia, juked has an annual print companion which, as is the case with the former publication, offers an annual contest prize ($500.00) for both fiction and poetry, which requires a reasonable ten dollar entry fee. Like Storyglossia, juked does not offer payment at this time, just the benefit of exposure in a highly-regarded literary journal. Indeed, Editor J. W. Wang and staff were rewarded for their efforts last year by being chosen as one of the top ten literary websites of 2006 by The High Hat, a superb online publication devoted to the arts. From what I have read overall thus far at juked, I would tend to concur. Click to continue: