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Karla Kelly is a Star Trek: TOS fan writer.
Her fiction appears in many K/S print zines.
Some Fan Comments from 1991
These comments are from a regular column called "In the Booth" which was printed in The LoC Connection. In this column, fans were invited to critique each others writing.
I dug out four of Karla's stories, including a nice long one, and re-read them one after the other: "Alternate Babel", "Freedom", "Rumors" (her novella) and "Games of Chance".
I found they all showed a rich, varied imagination. Only one of the stories was very complicated, and three of them had what I would call definitely an unusual plot. If she has a weakness in her stories, I feel it would be her endings. They just suddenly 'show up' sometimes and I'm not sure why she chooses that particular time and place to stop.
She took one of zine writers' favorite episodes, "Babel", and gave it a fresh new approach. I was very pleased with the story.
Her novella, "Rumors", was fairly complicated, with a completely new species of beings (I do so very much envy those who can create new beings) and sub plots and varied incidents. I sometimes have a problem following Karla's twists and turns (but I'm not sure that's her fault; it could very easily be just me). Perhaps she could look her stories over before she submits them with an eye out for jumps in subject that might be unclear to happy little morons like me. But again, I must stress my admiration "Rumors" is a perfect example of what I mean, for instance, the original idea of having a space craft attached to a space station, to form a large community. And the methods she used to get from one to the other, as well as the beautifully clear, logical way she separated them.Her stories are not my very favorite reading, because I don't always keep track of them. But I definitely never skip over hers, or read them hit or miss, because, as I believe I've already said four or five times, I do admire a rich imagination. I know she'll never run out of plots; I only hope she doesn't lose her desire to write, and I hope she plans to go on and write professionally.
Karla, when I think of your name, the story that immediately comes to mind is "Wishing Well" (FIRST TIME 25). I think that may be because, of your many vignettes, it was probably the most charming and one of the few that didn't need to be longer. While I did have a slight problem with Kirk's selfishness, "Wishing Well" is the kind of vignette I like seeing in a zine to offset the longer, some intense stories.
It's complimentary to an author to be told the reader wished the story would have been longer, but not so when the reader claims the story needed to be longer, and the latter case is the major problem I've had with your vignettes. I know you've said you don't have the patience to write long stories; in that case, I think the solution would be to stick to subject matter and plots that can be adequately covered within a few pages. "Games of Chance" (FIRST TIME 27) and "Freedom" (MATTER/ANITMATTER 1) are both short-short stories that came across as outlines. For what they were trying to do, both needed to be longer. With the vignette form in "Freedom" in particular, the reader was being told the story in short-cut rather than being shown it. On the other hand, other vignettes besides "Wishing Well" that I thought were thorough include "A Dream Walking" (NAKED TIMES 27) and "Eye to Eye" (NAKED TIMES 26).
The longer works you've done were both very well written. "Alternate Babel" wasn't my favorite type of story, but the writing was excellent, except for the rushed ending. Just a few issues ago I wrote a LoC on how much I enjoyed "Rumors", so I won't dwell on it except to say the one problem I had -- jarring transitions between scenes -- is something I'm pleased to say I haven't come across in any of your other writing.The strongest points of your writing are your unique ideas. I can't think of even one of your stories that's guilty of being "the same old stuff," and the way you are able to depict both warm feelings and, when appropriate, humor from a minimum of words. You also handle characterizations well. I also feel that, overall, there's been an improvement in your stories in that, whatever their length, they have general been more complete and satisfying.