Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

9 views
JUNE 2017 MICROSTORY CONTEST - CRITIQUES ONLY

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments JUNE 2017 MICROSTORY CONTEST - CRITIQUES ONLY

The rules for this contest are posted in the story feed.

**********
This month's theme:

Survival of the fittest


message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Critique by Tom Olbert of -- "Negotiating From Strength"
By C. Lloyd Preville

An hysterically funny romp from the further misadventures of interplanetary negotiator Davis Kelly Cole and his shape-shifting A.I. wife Ruby.

The story starts slow, getting our attention first with good visceral POV and scenery, the action gradually building as Cole lands on the White House lawn in his jazzy red space coupe, which morphs into his wife Ruby, now taking her Asian supermodel form. Cole's second companion is his talking "tornado suit", another A.I. that functions like a living storm that perpetually mantles him, functioning as a powerful extension of his will, and programmed to talk in 1950's gangster fashion.

The comical action adventure proceeds at a strong pace, Cole and his super-powered companions casually striding through White House security, brushing off a hail of bullets like mosquitos, then cutting through the security gate and entering the Oval Office, finding POTUS cowering under his desk surrounded by Secret Service men who tell Cole he can't see the prez without an appointment.

There were moments that were priceless, like the tornado suit mashing all the spent slugs into a neat melted ball of metal and politely returning them for recycling. Or, Cole crushing the muzzle of a Secret Service man's machine gun between pinched fingers. The comedy continues as the prez crawls out from under his desk and lights a cigar. "Oh, it's you, Cole," he says. "Why can't you make an appointment like everyone else?"

It was great fun, by virtue of being so action-oriented and visually comedic. Like watching an entertaining movie or T.V. episode. Parts of it reminded me of Star Trek Next Generation episodes and other parts reminded me of the X-Men movies.

My only complaints are two: First, the opening scene, while well-written, seemed pretty much unnecessary. And, second, the ending seemed a bit anti-climactic. Not that it really mattered, since the action and humor carried the story effectively enough.

These Davis Kelly Cole stories usually have a clear resolution when Cole pulls one of his sly scams and makes everything fall into place. Here, the details of his mission are vague, but incidental, since the action itself is what it's all about. And, that I found much more entertaining. Definitely a thumbs-up.


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Critique by Tom Olbert of -- "Trading Places" by Justin

A poetically rendered, darkly funny vignette of an engaged couple who leave their fallout shelter to take a pleasant stroll through the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The imagery is masterfully chilling, at times reminiscent of Bradbury, but brilliantly interwoven with the gentle flirtations and joking of the loving couple, enjoying their exploration of the post-atomic ruins as though they were on a countryside picnic.

The reason for their apparent lack of grief becomes clear at the end, delivered with irreverent humor. In this case, the survivors don't envy the dead, they just rejoice in their absence.

I felt at times the story was perhaps longer than it needed to be, but overall, I quite enjoyed it.


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Critique by Tom Olbert of -- "Bookmark" by Marianne

A darkly funny horror story of the writing process, spousal murder and fantastic monsters. More fantasy or paranormal than science fiction, though containing elements of all three.

It opens perfectly, a candle flame splitting the pitch darkness. And, the dark vignette unfolds, a frustrated writer using her inner sanctum of darkness to summon into reality three of her characters and having them audition before her, so she can decide which one to use in a story she's formulating. The parade of the three as they extoll their respective virtues is reminiscent of the Merchant of Venice.

The spell is broken as the condescending, inconsiderate wife comes home and starts barking demands. Envious and resentful of a spouse whose literary fortunes have far outpaced her own, the protagonist decides to give the gift of life to the character who kills her annoying spouse.

The suspense builds as she tricks her wife into entering the darkness of the inner sanctum. The inevitable scream and the grisly murder scene which follow are quite effective.

The sentence structure needs to be cleaned up a bit at one point, during the dialogue, but overall, very enjoyable. Worthy of Hitchcock or Serling.


message 5: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks, Tom, for taking the time to comment :) I will take Sterling over Hitchcock, but I am light-years behind either of them in my daft scribblings. Maybe in the next life, eh.

Well, SF is speculative, and the device of the psychomanteum invokes the quantum reality. What is really up with that faceted mirror? Cue a universe that has at least 10 dimensions of space and 2 of time. Miriam may have considered them her "characters", projections of her mind (?), but what were the 3 beings? True tulku? Masquerading spirits of the dead? Legitimate beings from other planets and star systems that found a gateway across space-time to Miriam through their own versions of the psychomanteum? Who knows? Is the cat dead?

As for dialogue, well, dialogue can be messy in form, thought and mood. :) I will always sacrifice the rule book for flow, what sounds right to my ear as opposed to what may be right in structure. Worked for Joyce.

My intent in the story was a tip of the hat to all writers under the SF or any genre veil. We all murder characters often, the survival of the fittest. We are assassins by definition. We all have friends and family that continually interrupt our writing time because writing, whether for pleasure or not, may be a devalued exercise, especially in relation to gender. There is also an element of "give the public what it wants" to this tale. There's the dark and the laugh ;)


message 6: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Tom wrote: "Critique by Tom Olbert of -- "Negotiating From Strength"
By C. Lloyd Preville

An hysterically funny romp from the further misadventures of interplanetary negotiator Davis Kelly Cole and his shape..."


Thanks, Tom for that unusually upbeat review.

I'm glad you found this story engaging and entertaining compared to my prior attempts at literary humor.

Since I'm a negotiator by trade, I lean towards the technically interesting conduct of that art form in my writing. In this case, I'm reminded by your critique and other comments that baser entertainment is appealing to a much broader audience, and I thank you for that reminder.

It's like our beloved President Trump, who writes the brilliant 372 page novel "The Art of the Deal", but he's most famous for his trash talking 140 character tweets. Who knew?


message 7: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments I love yours this month, Tom--but not the last line. You don't need the last line, and it works very much against what you want the *reader,* not her, to be doing.
Other than that, though--cool and funny!


message 8: by C. (last edited Jun 09, 2017 10:17AM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Critique of "Trading Places" by Justin Sewall

This was a charming little tale that skillfully mixed the horrors of a post-apocalyptic human-free scorched planet and a delightful day in the lives of two love-struck giant roaches.

I liked the slow reveal of the story characters. I thought the story was a little heavy on their charming relationship and short on horrific scenery, however.

The central theme of this tale was the dichotomy of the two realities, and more horror to create more of a contrast would have made this an even better read. Perhaps toss in a moldering arm with protruding bone as a backdrop for a stolen kiss, for example.

It's like Cantonese sweet and sour or a good cole-slaw recipe: the vinegar is as important as the sugar.


message 9: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Critique of "Whose Line is it Anyway" by Tom Olbert

This was a dizzying sprint through what should be a simple story of time distortions, alternate histories, and the comical outcomes of one man's manipulations.

I liked the central theme of the story: It's easy to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire when you start messing around with time travel.

I didn't like the many tangential references to people, events, and described scenes. The pace of this story was almost chaotic with all that was presented. Although we only have 750 words to work with, this story could have used some skillful simplification. Working from the heart of the story outward might have culled much of the unnecessary clutter.

This certainly had the sure bones of an entertaining story, and if it were polished down or expanded into a longer short story, it would be an even more entertaining read.


message 10: by C. (last edited Jun 09, 2017 10:51AM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Critique of "Bookmark" by Marianne G. Petrino

This story follows the classic Odyssey storyline. The protagonist is presented with one personality after another in order to choose who will be rewarded (or killed.) It's like Bruce Lee in "Enter the Dragon", but crossed with "Xena the Warrior Princess."

I liked the way the story world effortlessly shifted from characters conversing with the writer protagonist's imagination, to the actual arrival of the writer's spouse, to the uncertain realities of the final outcome. Were these more imaginings? Was the entire story a dream?

My only suggestion to improve this tale would be to sharpen the ambiguities presented, so as to make this more of a story and less of a fantasy, or more of a fantasy and less of a story.


message 11: by Marianne (last edited Jun 09, 2017 12:02PM) (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks for your insights, C. I think things are pretty clear given quantum reality. Thought creates. :) I actually prefer that a reader usually bring her/ his own take on any story. So for some, clear as a bell what had happened; for others, ambiguity. Makes for good thought and discussion.


message 12: by C. (last edited Jun 10, 2017 08:55AM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Critique of "Throwing Out Litters" by Paula Friedman

Wow--brilliant. 103 characters and a complete story with great imagery, character development, and a wonderful surprise ending.

This was like a beautifully engineered, polished, and razer sharp pocket knife. Simple in design, and singularly crafted for one purpose.

Nothing was there that shouldn't be, and everything included was necessary.

A brilliant 103 character story. Masterfully done, Paula!

-C


message 13: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Thank you, C. !


message 14: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Hi, Paula. Mini masterpiece you got there. The horror generated in the last lines is a living thing. Who will save that baby from a dire fate! You are also continuing the well honored science fiction tradition of cognizant cats. Feline SF fans thank you.


message 15: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments So. . . Animal farm is sci fi???


message 16: by Marianne (last edited Jun 11, 2017 01:28PM) (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Animal Farm is a SF & political allegory. Humans, the enemy, clearly engineered their counterparts. In Paula's story, the settling is modern and cats are taking in overheard news. Whose to say they are not bioengineered beings, like the space traveling cats in Anne Mccaffrey's stories, bred for companionship. Now they are fed up. No magic princess waved a wand, so not fantasy, just sharply thougtful SF, with reader filling in the blanks. Imho


message 17: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Sounds like kitty litter to me. ; )

Now if there were a mention of bio genetic engineering then no problem. Or maybe someone brandished a ray gun and let the human have it. . .


message 18: by Paula (last edited Jun 11, 2017 03:57PM) (new)

Paula | 837 comments C., I find the concept of cats understanding the words in, or at least the general direction, of, a television show of only people talking, to be quite science fiction, actually. But in any case, the story's what it is, and I appreciated your very sweet comment about its "razor-sharp" etc,; thank you.
Marianne, thanks--and agreed about Animal Farm, certainly. I'd forgot McCaffrey's use of those cats! Do you--anyone here--know the old, old Anthony Boucher story about the couple who, bringing their cat, crash-land on a planet and have to try to survive as the aliens come out to greet them, and what happens with the cat?


message 19: by Marianne (last edited Jun 11, 2017 06:56PM) (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments I do think the brush of SF is wider than a cliche ray gun or a lab coat. Many classics break out of the narrow hard SF mold, which is rather limited. Explaining everything to a reader can bore a reader. In Paula's story, I don't need to know how and why the cats became truly sentient. The framework and setting of the story can lead me to speculate within many rooms of thought, so yeah, it's SF. One thing about this writing exercise is how an author stretches the genre, rather than staying in the ruts. Paula went into the woods and created chills.

And it might be a good idea to continue any discussion on what is or is not SF over in the comments thread, not here.


message 20: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments C. wrote: "Critique of "Trading Places" by Justin Sewall

This was a charming little tale that skillfully mixed the horrors of a post-apocalyptic human-free scorched planet and a delightful day in the lives o..."


Thanks for the feedback C, I appreciate the insights and suggestions!


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments Negotiating from Strength

What I liked: Familiar characters, use of humor, story moved at a good pace, Oval Office scene reminded me of Superman II with the three Kryptonians forcing their way into the White House.

Potential improvements: Better use of the month’s theme throughout the story rather than just the end.

Bookmark

What I liked: Completely different setting than outer space, the creatures summoned from her mind and plot twist at the end.

Potential improvements: Honestly, I could not come up with any suggestions despite several readings.

Whose Line Is It, Anyway?

What I liked: Great dialog, crisp pacing, and interesting use of multiple timelines

Potential improvements: Again, (and I wish I had something), I don’t have any suggestions for improvement

Throwing Out Litters

What I liked: Completely different perspective (cats vs. humans or humanoids), scary plot twist at the end, managed to encompass the month’s theme in a very short, tight story

Potential improvements: Batting zero here for anything I could suggest to improve this. Saying make it longer is not necessarily the best thing for it.


message 22: by Chris (last edited Jun 12, 2017 07:20PM) (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Paula, not really a critique but I must say I liked your story this month. You were definitely effective at producing a concise (though a little unnerving) story! I think you've provided a good example of how to write a convincing tale without being excessively wordy. (I always struggle with that.) And maybe I'll think twice about leaving my kids alone with pets. Lol. Anyways, nicely done. :)


message 23: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Thanks, Chris. And Marianne--Justin--C.
Yeah, I'm agin leaving cats alone with babies, lol.


message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Oh what a sweet, inspiring, charming tale, Chris. Usually I don't go for stories with that sort of "derived" materials, but this one really worked. Because the derived stuff didn't drive the plot or anything, I think--and the robot's character is so well developed and the strong, the plot so clear and suspense so well deserved. Nice!


message 25: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments Chris, loved your story. Nicely done!


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Paula and Justin, thanks for that! :)


message 27: by Tom (last edited Jun 16, 2017 09:24PM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Paula wrote: "I love yours this month, Tom--but not the last line. You don't need the last line, and it works very much against what you want the *reader,* not her, to be doing.
Other than that, though--cool a..."


Thank you, Paula. Interesting point. I guess it should be up to the reader whether they want to laugh or cry at this point. But, she was the POV character, and I tried to view the conclusion of the story through her eyes. Her laughter was an epitaph of sorts. It just seemed right to me.


message 28: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Critique by Tom Olbert of - "Throwing Out Litters" by Paula Friedman

A deliciously chilling, very short horror story of Darwinian evolution seen through the eyes of the domesticated feline. In a typical American home, two cats lounge on the sofa, watching the human condition with growing concern. Drownings. Throwing out litters. They reason it's the humans or them, as they contemplate the baby in the crib with claws extended.

The cat, ever aloof, ever enigmatic and fiercely independent, as far back as ancient Egypt. Our earliest evolutionary memories are of the saber-toothed feline predator. What race memories might they have of us, their former prey, as they stare lazily at us from the corner?

I thought the story might have benefited from a stronger emotional reaction from the cats, to more potently convey the "us or them" theme. But, the ending pretty much made it, all the same.


message 29: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Critique by Tom Olbert of -- "Tin Man" by Chris

A delightful fusion of post apocalyptic robot action and the Wizard of Oz.

The protagonist is a robot in a sterile future world where humans are extinct and only robots remain. He's an obsolete model who prefers his independence from the central controlling A.I. known as the hub.

The perennial outsider, he has been secretly warehousing cryogenically frozen humans for an extended period, hoping to save humanity from extinction. He secretly rejects his robotic number and takes the secret name tin man, like the Oz character. Like his chosen namesake, he secretly longs for a human heart. He is the lone heretic in a world of tyrannical artificiality.

The story starts off slow, a mellow but gently moving description of the robot world through the eyes of the tin man. The action picks up and races to fever pitch when the robotic security police kick in the door, looking for contraband humans. The action is marvelous as our metal hero escapes in a rocket with his cargo of humans, sacrificing himself in a heroic effort to save humanity.

A happy ending which manages not to be excessively sentimental plays out, the tin man finding himself in a new improved frame ages later, heralded by a replenished humanity as their savior. His human friend "Dot" pins a medal on his chest...the heart he's always wanted, though probably always had.

A good fusion of strong sci-fi action and fairytale humor, with a good twist at the end. An unlikely but effective combination.


message 30: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Justin wrote: "Negotiating from Strength

What I liked: Familiar characters, use of humor, story moved at a good pace, Oval Office scene reminded me of Superman II with the three Kryptonians forcing their way int..."


Thank you, Justin.


message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments C. wrote: "Critique of "Whose Line is it Anyway" by Tom Olbert

This was a dizzying sprint through what should be a simple story of time distortions, alternate histories, and the comical outcomes of one man's..."


Thank you, C. for that in depth structural analysis. Yeah, I zoomed in from a distance first, with a cosmic viewpoint, to set the larger scene, not limiting myself to the POV character's limited perspective. I could have used her more, I guess -- maybe having her slip into the scene in a space pod or something to witness the opening explosion. But, I was trying to convey the idea of touristry in the prehistoric past, so I was using a lot of peripheral images.

Starting the story at the core and working outward might have worked if I'd chosen the rich guy as the POV, but I went with his exploited employee instead, partly to provide a more common perspective, mainly because I was going for wide-angle scene-setting, so I had her moving layer by layer from the edge inward, to the center, in order to world-build.


message 32: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Thanks so much for your time Tom. I really appreciate your review! :)


message 33: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments My pleasure, Chris.


message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Jot--excellent concept, well carried through. Fine form to the story--all set in the brief time of the final challenge, and just enough descriptip/detail that we see enough, know enough, of the place and persons to see what is going on.
The pacing is superb.
You do need to go over it again, maybe a couple of times, to smooth out your wording in a few of the sentences, and check prepositions and spellings and stuff like that--definitely the extra polish would be worth the time.
Btw, the descriptions of the fight--especially of the rotagonist parrying the blows and knocking the sword from the other's hand and taking it--are wonderfully, gracefully done.


message 35: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1100 comments Mod
Thanks Paula!


message 36: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 221 comments C. Lloyd Preville – “Negotiating From Strength”

Very amusing story, I like the humor in it, the quips and you can almost see the Davis’ half curl smile/wink wink face as he said “…maybe later”.

It did seem to me to be a scene rather than a complete story. I wondered what humans weren’t fitting into and why the aliens were even there.



__________________________



Justin – “Trading Places” Clever, clever man! I loved this story – your lead up was perfect and I had the inkling that they weren’t necessarily human the twist at the end was perfect!

And of course twinkies……….



__________________________



Marianne - “Bookmark”

I found this story quite fascinating in its complexity. It’s tough to fit two or three complete characters in a 750 word story much less five.

Your protagonist is both the hero and the villain and I love her!



__________________________



Tom Olbert – Whose Line Is It Anyway”

Funny, funny, funny, excellent try/fail sequence. I really liked the world(s) you created, simple yet plausible and the names for the characters and the real estate company were perfect.

I did find it a little haphazard at times, almost like trying to cram too much into one small story, it left me out of breath at the end. Which I used up when I literally laughed out loud along with Janice at the end.



__________________________



Paula – “Throwing Out Litters”

I am currently drinking from a mug with “Cat People Rule” emblazoned it. ‘Nuff said!!!!!



__________________________



Chris – “Tin Man”

Ok, so I love your stories but I didn’t quite love this one.

The writing was awesome, and your descriptive work was excellent. But the story seemed to have a lot of holes in it.

In the beginning of your story you emphasize that the robots that rule earth had zero feelings. “…in a world without any purpose…without any passion…without any dreams.” And yet throughout the story this Junker, who is the lowest of the lowest type of robot; wishes for a heart, dreams of a different world, admiration for the human race, had enough feeling to save a bunch of humans in cryo for the future, grown enough to hate his designation and disobey the inspection team.

These are all so very non-human attributes that I wonder how he grew to have all these human like feelings.

And the ending seemed very abrupt. All of a sudden this robot wakes up and somehow hundreds of thousands of humans woke up from cryo, I’m assuming terraformed anew random planet (cuz that’s a lot of mouths to feed) and are now singing kumbaya?

If this ship was ready to go at a moment’s notice why didn’t he launch it a long time before this? Unless it was to give the robots of Earth the virtual middle finger?

Sorry if this seems all Debbie downer, I genuinely liked the story, just a few holes stood out to me. :)



__________________________



Jot Russell – “The Ninth Challenge”

Great use of description. I love a good fight scene!

And interesting concept, I’m glad the two convicts didn’t kill each other. I did find it odd that the one had a photo of them from many years ago. It was a little convenient that he just “happened” to have it in his pocket. :)


message 37: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments Thanks Carrie, much appreciated!


message 38: by Chris (last edited Jun 22, 2017 03:17PM) (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Carrie, thanks so much for your critique, not a Debbie downer at all and I appreciate it! Feedback is important, especially if I want to improve my future works.


I was a little surprised by the holes you perceived and I guess maybe I wasn't clear enough in the story. Both of the holes you inferred are explained in the story. For example, you commented:

"...throughout the story this Junker, who is the lowest of the lowest type of robot; wishes for a heart, dreams of a different world, admiration for the human race, had enough feeling to save a bunch of humans in cryo for the future, grown enough to hate his designation and disobey the inspection team."

I tried to convey through the story, despite the limited word count, the fact that Tinman was not a part of their Hub, which not only allowed him to grow beyond the confines of their network, but allowed him more freedom. Additionally, as an older model, he'd had more experiences and a longer life. Further, he'd lived so long that he'd had more intimate interactions with humans than, say, your average bot. Here's my explanation for the plot hole you eluded to:

"Maybe I’d grown too much, an ‘antique’ surpassing even my own cybernetic limitations, thankfully unable to link directly to the Hub and allowing me more freedom than most. Anyways, I preferred Tinman, a curious name given to me by a special little girl who’d long grown up and now waited patiently, still frozen in a cryotube."



You also commented:

"All of a sudden this robot wakes up and somehow hundreds of thousands of humans woke up from cryo..."

and:

"If this ship was ready to go at a moment’s notice why didn’t he launch it a long time before this?"

This is explained in the story here:

"This was my final delivery after decades of clandestine work."

and..

"This is everyone. Well, and their descendants."

By this, I was meaning to imply that Tinman had likely made hundreds of other deliveries over the decades. This just happened to be the last one, and they'd been coming out of cryo-sleep for years.


Anyways, I hope this clears things up and I really do appreciate your input. I absolutely take any critiques of my work positively and constructively, so thanks again. :)


message 39: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1100 comments Mod
Thanks Carrie. Note that the two youths (yuds as Vinny might say), were not convicts. They were applicants to an elite training school. The challenge just "utilized" convicts in a traditional sense.


message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Greg, quite a moving story, and the dolphins' advent seemed so real, so finely done. I think you need to drastically tighten the part between somewhere in the "Why [not us]?" paragraph and right up to just before the wonderful and intelligently placed "There's not an asteroid with. . ." sentence, as that part is too "lecturing" and not enough sense of being there with a character/characters. The "asteroid" line and the last sentence are terrific, give a strong, professional sense to the piece. Nice work.
Jot--re your point to Carrie---probably it'd be good if you can add a very brief few words here and there in the piece to give a firmer sense of context/background to the match/action, if you can find room to do this.
Carrie, a fine story.


message 41: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 988 comments Thank you, Carrie, for your time and effort.


message 42: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 170 comments Thanks, Paula! I look forward to retirement, when I can practice better dialog (and spend the time to get it right).


message 43: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 734 comments Carrie wrote: "C. Lloyd Preville – “Negotiating From Strength”

Very amusing story, I like the humor in it, the quips and you can almost see the Davis’ half curl smile/wink wink face as he said “…maybe later”.

I..."

Thanks for the critique, Carrie, I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

Since we only have 750 words to work with, I was unable to offer as much background substance to this story as I would have liked.

I have a three-novel series called the "Axe Series" on Amazon which features some of these characters, although in an earlier time-frame.

These later short story snippets might show up in a novel at some point, or a short story collection. They're fun to write, and allow me to explore all kinds of character and technology ideas.

-C


message 44: by Paula (new)

Paula | 837 comments Nothing wrong with your dialogue, Greg. What I meant by "lecturing" was just that the stating of the what-humans-have-done-to-hurt-the-world point was too long/lecturey for this length story.
imo. Greg wrote: "Thanks, Paula! I look forward to retirement, when I can practice better dialog (and spend the time to get it right)."


message 45: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks, Carrie for your kind words. Sorry for the delay in response. Just back from Canada so my brain is still fried.

If I get a chance this week, I hope to put up some comments about June's stories. Better late than never. Like the idea of a positive and an improvement :)


message 46: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments Hi Marianne,

Just curious. Where in Canada? (Happy late Canada Day!)

My spouse is Canadian, from Vancouver Island. So she always heads up with the kids for her town's Canada Day celebration (Campbell River, BC).

I have to keep swapping the flags on my flag pole since Canada Day and Independence Day are so close!

Best,

Justin


message 47: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Justin: We went to Toronto, Hamilton & Niagara on the Lake :)


message 48: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 970 comments How fun!


message 49: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments My brief & late critiques, such as they are. I believe in story above all else, so nothing on grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.

C: Plus: Definitely gang busters SF, blow the doors off.
Improve: Agree that theme comes into play too late. Why aren't humans fitting in well with his clients? Also, never will a Bronx accent be crisp & business-like, rather stabbing & sarcastic I'd say ;)

Justin: Plus: The slow build to roach reveal.
Improve: ? Are they too much like us? or is that the existential joke.

Paula: Plus: Masterful in building dread & in brevity
Improve: Can't find an improvement. :)

Tom: Plus: Classic time tripping with evil getting comeuppance.
Improve: Would Janice be laughing? Maybe she has an ace up her sleeve and plots revenge, so she laughs?

Chris: Plus: Deeply felt & moving classic AI SF. Like the theme twist on survival of the fittest
Improve: Can't find an improvement. :)

Jot: Plus: Nicely executed sharp writing & setup & twist in alternative cultural SF.
Improve: Have I seen this offering before? Otherwise, can't find an improvement

Carrie: Plus: Nice tense biological warfare with a hint of uncertainty from the protagonist
Improve: Who are "They" i.e,. would I be happy to see them get their brains fried.

Greg: Plus: Reflective SF done well in short acts.
Improve: Can't find an improvement, but story open to expansion and further possibility? Hinted at? Dolphins want to help humans rather than abandon them?


message 50: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Marianne, thanks so much for taking the time to review our work. I always appreciate any feedback. :)


« previous 1
back to top