PDA

View Full Version : (Introductory passage to) The Clockwork Dreamer Sings Songs to the Stars



shinyford
June 13th, 2013, 12:51 AM
Hi all.

So, having not posted any fiction here before, allow me to nervously drop a bit of my stuff into the mix.

This is the introductory passage to a story somewhat pretentiously entitled 'The Clockwork Dreamer Sings Songs to the Stars' - a title I came up with after desperately trying to emulate Leyline's gift for title creation (which is just glorious, in my book). The full story is, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit, Doctor Who fanfic - so not appropriate here. However, I hope this opening passage is acceptable since (1) it was written 'agnostically' long before I added it into the Who story, and (2) it doesn't mention anything from the Whoniverse anyway. (Mods, if this is not acceptable please have my unreserved apologies and delete the thread straight away. I'm still feeling my way a bit round here.)

So, this is the sort of guff I write. Comments gratefully accepted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Through the misty, age-thickened glass of the porthole, he could see stars.

His mind, so analytical, recorded the precession: the minute difference in each starís position relative to the others day on day, denoting the passing of aeons as a physical phenomenon, a mere artefact of the baser three dimensions. His mind watched, noted, measured and recorded.

But his soul sang.

Pulling away from the porthole, he gently lowered his wheezing body to the floor of the tiny vessel which carried him, and turned to its control panel. Governors whirled, regulating systems with the occasional and gentle release of steam. Electric filaments buzzed to life, revealing secrets of the craftís operation in the form of amber, glowing numerals which then faded back into nothing as the moments passed. For no discernable reason in particular, a bell rang.

Ticker-tape issued from a brass slot, slowly and mechanically revealing the state of the vesselís systems. He read the report and ingested its content: all was well. Course was being followed, within an allowable margin of error. Resources were being conserved. The mission was going to plan.

A small adjustment was appropriate, he judged. Charging his own internal mechanisms, he again raised himself from the floor to reach and pull a lever, to turn a dial slightly to the left, to engage a valve or two in the appropriate engines.

The craft, microscopically, turned. He was happy with the result. He could disengage for a short while. A year or two.

Lowered again to the floor, he decoupled the prisms that focussed light onto his primary visual interfaces, and the world went dark. He separated his auditory capture systems from the sensory substrate, and silence fell. He was alone. No longer navigating the craft, no longer acting the homunculus, the deus ex machina, the ghost in the machine. He was alone to dream.

To dream!

That new gift, from long-gone and unknowing benefactors. The reverie. His mind sank, slowly, from consciousness into the dream of his new/old life.

And his soul sang.

Al D
June 13th, 2013, 04:43 AM
I truly wish I could link others to the rest of this story, but rules are rules and we are grown-ups. So allow me to encourage everyone to use their yagoogle skills and read the rest of this potentially copyright-infringing masterpiece. Fan fiction or not, it will be a uniquely rewarding experience.
So good to see even a bit of this poking its nose into the wider web.
Sorry, Nic. I know you're looking for constructive crits, but as usual I'm just speechless with admiration.
Oh, here's one. Repurpose it. It could work, I think.

Leyline
June 13th, 2013, 05:23 AM
Seriously, it's one of the best. I know you weren't expecting critique from me, because you didn't get any back then either.

You could re-purpose. Or you could take this screaming off into an entirely different direction. You know I'm always available for brainstorming. :)

Terry D
June 13th, 2013, 01:35 PM
His mind, so analytical, recorded the precession: the minute difference in each star’s position relative to the others day on day, denoting the passing of aeons as a physical phenomenon, a mere artefact of the baser three dimensions. His mind watched, noted, measured and recorded.

'Precession' is the wrong word here. The apparent change in positions of stars from a moving space craft would be due to parallax, not precession. Precession is the 'wobble' of a rotating body around its axis, like a spinning top slowing down. The North Star (Polaris) changes apparent position, slowly and slightly over long periods of time due to the Earth's precession.

The writing is dynamite, however. A great mix of detail and atmosphere--very lyrical and easy to read.

Circadian
June 13th, 2013, 04:36 PM
I really can't think of much to say that hasn't already been said. I love the imagery here and how you managed the intelligence of this piece without confusing the reader. It's poetic and reads well and was very enjoyable.

shinyford
June 13th, 2013, 07:33 PM
'Precession' is the wrong word here. The apparent change in positions of stars from a moving space craft would be due to parallax, not precession. Precession is the 'wobble' of a rotating body around its axis, like a spinning top slowing down. The North Star (Polaris) changes apparent position, slowly and slightly over long periods of time due to the Earth's precession.

The writing is dynamite, however. A great mix of detail and atmosphere--very lyrical and easy to read.

Thanks, Terry - your comments are gratefully received. That's most annoying about 'precession' - I was certain it was the correct word. Oh well, I'll just replace it with 'procession' for almost the same meaning and aural effect.

shinyford
June 13th, 2013, 07:34 PM
I really can't think of much to say that hasn't already been said. I love the imagery here and how you managed the intelligence of this piece without confusing the reader. It's poetic and reads well and was very enjoyable.
Thank you so much. Good to know that it works.

IWrite..Kinda
June 14th, 2013, 06:09 AM
This is fantastic! It was incredibly easy to get into this story and soon it swallowed me whole. It's mystical yet descriptive and enticing. The ending leaves the reader, or at least it left me, with a sense of tranquility

shinyford
June 14th, 2013, 11:14 AM
This is fantastic! It was incredibly easy to get into this story and soon it swallowed me whole. It's mystical yet descriptive and enticing. The ending leaves the reader, or at least it left me, with a sense of tranquility
Thank you. Greatly appreciated.

summergenevieve
June 14th, 2013, 11:44 AM
The imagery and description in this passage is so absorbing, it draws the reader in from literally the first line. I really hope you continue to develop this because I would love to hear more. Well done. :)

shinyford
June 14th, 2013, 12:34 PM
The imagery and description in this passage is so absorbing, it draws the reader in from literally the first line. I really hope you continue to develop this because I would love to hear more. Well done. :)

Thank you, Ms Genevieve. The original story is available, and can be found via the method Al D describes above - but it's Who fanfiction, so (1) not appropriate for here, and (2) requiring of a little knowledge of the Whoniverse. I'd like to rework this for a general audience, and drop the fanfic aspect - but it's not entirely clear how to do that at the moment.

But many thanks for your comments - greatly appreciated.

brightlex
June 14th, 2013, 12:47 PM
Hi Shinyford, I just loved this piece of science fiction. As a reader it flowed well, making it easy to digest for the reader. IYou have a good style for describing the mechanics of your craft making it very credible for the reader. Is this going to be a doc who story? Love the Tom Baker period. Well done, Neil.

shinyford
June 14th, 2013, 01:34 PM
Hi Shinyford, I just loved this piece of science fiction. As a reader it flowed well, making it easy to digest for the reader. IYou have a good style for describing the mechanics of your craft making it very credible for the reader. Is this going to be a doc who story? Love the Tom Baker period. Well done, Neil.
Thanks Neil - much appreciated. It already is a Doctor Who story, and can be found using the method Al D describes above.

summergenevieve
June 14th, 2013, 06:47 PM
The original story is available, and can be found via the method Al D describes above - but it's Who fanfiction, so (1) not appropriate for here, and (2) requiring of a little knowledge of the Whoniverse. I'd like to rework this for a general audience, and drop the fanfic aspect - but it's not entirely clear how to do that at the moment.

It's a pity it isn't appropriate for WF because it is actually very good and I do also happen to be a fan of Doctor Who which is convenient. :) I hope you do manage to rework it though, good luck!

shinyford
June 14th, 2013, 06:49 PM
It's a pity it isn't appropriate for WF because it is actually very good and I do also happen to be a fan of Doctor Who, with knowledge of the Whoniverse which is convenient. :) I hope you do manage to rework it though, good luck!
Bless you! :D