This second episode of The Human Division, Walk the Plank, was not what I expected.
This one picks up on a story not involving anyone in the first episThis second episode of The Human Division, Walk the Plank, was not what I expected.
This one picks up on a story not involving anyone in the first episode. This is also rather short and can be easily read in 15-20 minutes. Maybe less for fast readers.
But don't let the length fool you. In many ways, I enjoyed this episode more than the first. It's written purely in dialogue with the loan description being that a door opens or closes. Since it is dialogue, it's written more like a script for a TV show than a short story. So each line of dialogue is preceded with the name of the character and a colon.
A pretty good story is told, despite no narrative. This surprised me, because I expected at some point the "script"like approach would stop. It never did and at the end I felt it was a satisfying story that hints a little more about the unknown group that is trying to disrupt the peace of the Colonial Union.
I recommend you give this one a try. You might feel $0.99 for this short of a story is unreasonable, but I think it fits well with the episode format....more
This whole idea of serialized fiction has me intrigued. Why not release episodic content like a television show, week after week? Maybe it could drawThis whole idea of serialized fiction has me intrigued. Why not release episodic content like a television show, week after week? Maybe it could draw in a new crowd of readers who want quick fiction.
I took the plunge on The B-Team by John Scalzi to see how he attempts to do this. With the first installment of the 13 episodes, I was very pleased. Bear in mind, I'm not familiar with any of his other books. This is my first time reading his work.
Scalzi gets right into the action, establishing a secret negotiation between humans and an alien race that goes awry. The beginning feels like episodic content should: It sets you up with the problem that lays the groundwork for the rest of the story.
Without ruining the story or what may come in future stories as a result of this one, I'll say The B-Team comes in to help.
Overall I enjoyed the story very much, and I look forward to reading the other episodes. And that should be easy enough to do, because they are short. This first episode should take somewhere around an hour to read.
If I had a gripe with the story, it is with some of the dialogue. Often, to clue the reader in on the technological mumbo jumbo, the characters, particularly Wilson, describe what is happening. I can't help but feel that the interaction between characters to describe it felt unnatural, and unfortunately lends itself to a good portion of the middle of the story. I would have been fine with less dialogue explanation and more narrative explanation, or even just less explanation in general.
But that's a minor grip. The story for The B-Team is fun and fast paced. Maybe you're unsure if reading episodic content is for you. There's only one way to find out if that's the case. I suggest you give this first episode a read, and if it does what it's supposed to, you might find yourself wanting to read the next episode....more
Every once and a while a book comes along that makes me feel like a complete idiot. Why? Let me explain.
As I read Wool - Part One, I had a problem: IEvery once and a while a book comes along that makes me feel like a complete idiot. Why? Let me explain.
As I read Wool - Part One, I had a problem: I didn't know what I was reading about.
The first few chapters are confusing and provide little detail as to the setting. From what I gather (and these aren't spoilers because they are what I guessed as I read it, though I never completely had my assumptions confirmed) there are people who live in a silo. When I hear "silo", I picture a farm. With a title like "Wool", why not? So they can't go outside of this silo that leads to a farm outside, or some nonsense like that because I'm not sure if that's the case after reading the book. And if it is the case, I still don't understand why they're in a silo.
Who is the main character? Not until the end did I finally conclude who it might be. Emphasis on might because the ending is abrupt and anti-climatic. It didn't leave me feeling the story was complete and here's the cliffhanger that makes you want to read the next book. Instead, it frustrated me.
Then there are references to a thing called "cleaning". But cleaning what? Why do I care that they need to clean some lenses at the top of a staircase. What is their significance? Rather than leave me in the dark, at least help me understand why they clean.
You see what I mean? I felt like an idiot as I read the book because I understood very little. It's as if the answers were there, but I couldn't see them. And I cared little about the characters, instead focusing on my goal to finish a book that most people could read in the neighborhood of an hour or so.
That's where the story failed me. I was not driven to complete it because I enjoyed it or see what happens next. The driving force for me was that something significant must come soon, and when it did, I wondered what it was.