Jon Hartford

Biography

I'm a website designer, maintainer and optimizer living in Colorado; I also do video editing for the Colorado Food and Fun Network (http://www.coloradofoodandfun.com). Writing makes sense as a complement to those skills, and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) sounded interesting, so I signed up for it in 2010 (and won). In January 2011 I decided to continue practicing writing fiction for fun and profit. Please let me know if it's any good! ;D

Email me at smashwriter@zzrdvark.com

Where to find Jon Hartford online


Books

Don't Read This! - Volume I
By
You set the price! Words: 2,710. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
A collection of 7 original flash fiction (and one poem). Some are funny, some are profound, and all are bite-sized, though quite indigestible. You should totally read this (and then give me money).
The Hall of Condiments
By
Price: Free! Words: 5,130. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(3.00)
If you're programming an Artificial Intelligence that can read people's minds, don't. If you do, don't let it read fantasy novels or cookbooks. And if you do that, don't, whatever you do, forget to build in an emergency shutdown. And if you do THAT, well, you're just plain stupid...

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Smashwords book reviews by Jon Hartford

  • An Unusual Cupid on Jan. 31, 2011

    A clever idea, and well-written. I can't say much without giving it away... just read it, you'll like it. :)
  • Simple Things on Feb. 03, 2011

    Literary is an appropriate classification for this, though not really humor. There are two or three attempts at humor (that I noticed), which worked out okay, some better than others, but it's not really a humorous work. I think one problem is the beginning. It starts out with the character's background information more than showing their character, and ends up being slow. A second issue is over-writing--there are extra words, especially in the beginning, that tend to make the reader get bogged down in prose and lose track of what they're reading, and otherwise large sentences that aren't as clear as they could be, if you know what I mean. ;) Overall it's worth reading if you like Literary Fiction, but improvable.
  • Moments on March 01, 2011

    This short story appears to be an unedited first draft. It could be that English isn't the writer's primary language. In that case I respect their effort, and encourage them to continue learning, but the quality of this is still poor. The case changes between past and present frequently and there are errors in spelling and grammar. Lots of punctuation is missing or misused. There are places where the author uses a word that sounds similar to what they intended, but means something completely different. Adverbs and passive voice are a problem. The idea and theme of the work has potential and the story itself is good, though the way it's told could be more polished. If the author works hard on rewriting and editing this, it could be worth reading. But at its current state, I can't recommend it.
  • Niagara flood- Part 1 on March 16, 2011

    This deserves either 1 Star or 5, but I can't decide which. It's so bad, it's good. The formatting is messed up (read the style guide, author...), there are way too many exclamation points, adverbs are over(ab)used, and the dialog is awful. The end result is moderately funny, though not as good(bad) as some "Troll Fic."
  • Space Monkey on March 21, 2011

    This would be pretty funny if the writing wasn't so bad. The author keeps switching between past and present tense. Actions are described in unnecessary and boring detail--whole paragraphs end up similar to "character1 does blah. character2 does blah. character1 does something else. character3 does blah..." Several characters aren't introduced and you don't even know that they exist until they start talking, and you don't find out who or where they are until even later. Lots of the dialog sounds fake--try reading it out loud. Commas aren't always used properly. Especially annoying are the commas that aren't in the right place, since they interrupt the reading flow and make the sentences not make sense. You shouldn't put a comma between a adjective and the noun it describes. There are also minor issues with spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization. It isn't immediately clear that the pirates boarded the patrol ship--I first thought they were talking by radio. The pirates characters are developed and described well, even though they're absurd. The main characters are barely described at all. Captain PeePee is there to help take over the pirates at the end, with no explanation to how he got there. The ending is good, but could be worded better. This reads like somebody trying to verbally describe a comic strip or TV show episode, and losing the humor in translation. Maybe it would be better in one of those formats.
  • Patch Pirates Ketchup on May 01, 2011

    Witty, sarcastic, and slightly dark humor. I laughed. Some small criticisms: For ebooks, you don't need (or want) page numbers, since the text is re-flowed in most formats, so they don't match up anyway. There are a few places where punctuation is missing. (e.g. "Wow look at the poles[...]" probably needs a comma or exclamation point after the interjection "Wow".) And "The natives lead them to their village." is present tense ("led" would be past). But now I'm just being a grammar Nazi... Also, ketchup rules!
  • Sonny's Swimming Lessons on May 01, 2011

    A good story and premise, but could be improved. It feels like it's missing potential impact and ends up being less exciting than it could be. Since it's about Sonny learning to swim, maybe more than just one sentence could be spent on that moment, and less on background details. There are several run-on sentences throughout the story, and it starts in present tense for the first two paragraphs, then switches to past. The author seems to be intentionally avoiding the word said. There are differing opinions about that, but when people are laughing, stammering, shouting, spluttering, protesting, commenting, and complaining all the time instead of (mostly) just asking and saying, I can't help but be distracted from the actual story.
  • Childhood Dreams on May 02, 2011

    I figured out the ending very early, but it's still good, even then.
  • Face Fear: Russel's a Glory Seeker on May 04, 2011

    A well written horror-adventure short. There may be an issue or two, and it's a little unrealistic (and kind of gross), but worth a read. Why was the helicopter door hot? Did they crash in a volcano? It doesn't say. "...pulling something in his shoulder and may have..." mixes past and present tenses--'pulled' was probably intended.
  • Let Me Read Your Mind on May 06, 2011

    An interesting and entertaining story--worth reading. There are a few places where it is a little unclear (that could just be me), and some sentences with missing words. The beginning was a little slow--the parking lot scene wasn't completely necessary for such a short work--if it was longer the extra character development would make more sense.
  • Hitchhiker 3 - Wendy on May 18, 2011

    Well-developed and unique characters and story, though it ends kind of abruptly--what happens next?
  • Leaping Lizards on May 24, 2011

    An engaging sci-fi/fantasy short, kind of young adult targeted it seems, but still worthwhile for older readers.