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Diminished Capacity

Originally written in 2005, this story was workshopped with Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer at the Banff Centre for the Arts' "Writing with Style" workshop in fall 2005. The story went on to be published in the spring 2007 issue of the webzine Abyss & Apex, where it continues to be available to readers for free.

Reviews & Comments

"As in real life, it’s far easier to blame and punish him for being different—a situation he certainly didn’t create and would change if he could—than to take responsibility and  try to figure out a way to really solve the problem.  In other words, the story struck a chord."

-- Nicole McClain, TangentOnline.com

"... Mr. Jones quite adroitly allows the reader to understand the desperate yearning of the perceived misfit for normalcy as exemplified by his character.

"The resolution of the story is one that is as poignant as any I’ve encountered within my extensive readings. The eloquence and insightfulness with which Mr. Jones paints Billy and Robinson engenders a sympathy within the reader towards them that is the hallmark of such successful writing; that is, the ability of a writer to make his or her reader care about the author’s characters. Indeed, “Diminished Capacity” is an example of a story in which the genre theme is a mere veneer which masks the underlying intent of the author. Mr. Jones presents an insightful character study of trial and tribulation, self-perceived guilt and redemption.

"The theme of the profound sense of loneliness one feels at being judged “different,” of being rejected by one’s own, is masterfully executed within the story and is one that this reviewer can particularly appreciate. Mr. Jones has succeeded in writing a science fiction piece that shines above others that I read within Abyss, and that is no small praise indeed. It might be said that many of those like Billy in this world would offer Mr. Jones a note of gratitude for his extraordinarily insightful reflections; his understanding of the sometimes profound pain that is being. Without a doubt, five stars out of five."

-- Donald Schneider's
School Bullying
& Tourette's Forum