All Stories, Literally Reruns, Writing

Literally Reruns – Madam Panagoulias and the Pithos by Adam West

Leila has rootled out a story from back in the early day and written by the founder of the site. Here is what she had to say about Adam’s story:

Adam West’s Madam Panagoulias and the Pithos is a fine piece of fiction.  Those persons determined to affix a label to everything would call it “speculative” fiction. I don’t discriminate. To me there’s only good and bad fiction, regardless of the label. I will read anything that is in earnest  and will always discard the cynical, slick money-making stuff and those painfully hackneyed pieces which only get printed because they stroke the political sensibilities of  the publications they appear in. Mr. West is in earnest; he has the ability to produce the slick money-making stuff, but he tastefully demurs from that rotten vocation.

Let’s see if the author is awake and receiving.

Q: Do you believe that The Great War could have been averted, or was it inevitable even if Franz and Sophie hadn’t been murdered?

Q: Through the simple exchange of dialogue at the beginning you were able to set the place without prolonged description. Some writers often cram as much as they can into their dialogue so they, in their minds, satisfy the old “Show” not “Tell” commandment. This often causes stilted dialogue. You avoided that by the use of short, naturalistic sentences. Describe the choices you made in effort to get the situation across while avoiding windy passages seldom present in reality?

Leila Allison


Madam Panagoulias and the Pithos

Hi Leila
Thank you for choosing my story for a LS Rerun.
Q1: I recently read Martin Sixsmith’s ‘Russia – a thousand year chronicle’ from which I learned throughout Russia’s history each and every effort to reform government, to establish democracy, has ultimately failed. Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, 19th century Tsars and 20th century leaders alike have abandoned democratic reform in favour of ‘tried and trusted’ autocratic rule. In other words autocracy seems to be inevitable for Russia, the default form of government (similarly with China) for a vast country bordered by so many others that potentially threaten. Similarly I believe the Great War was inevitable. History would have needed to take many different paths over many centuries for that not to be the case. No amount of treaties or diplomacy could change the course of events. It was a matter of when not if.
Q2: I chose a dialogue only approach to establishing time and place. In short story telling I feel this is often the best approach to ensure the story quickly takes a hold in the reader’s imagination. There is a trade off though as to achieve this to some extent certain ‘facts’ need to be established through dialogue, dialogue that might not necessarily occur in that form in reality.


2 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Madam Panagoulias and the Pithos by Adam West”

  1. Hi Leila,

    It’s brilliant to see this back on the site.

    Adam, it’s great to hear from you with your answers to the questions!



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