Untitled Sci-Fi Horror Short Excerpt (600ish words)


Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Untitled Sci-Fi Horror Short Excerpt (600ish words)

  1. #1

    Untitled Sci-Fi Horror Short Excerpt (600ish words)

    We saw the Baychimo against the gas giant of UN-NOPRA long before it showed up on the scanners of our vessel. Jackson, our engineer had spied it as a blip and we, being myself and our pilot, Luiz, decided it was in our best interest as a salvage ship to investigate. It was frozen in place, as if all of the universe was moving, cascading around it and it was to remain firmly rooted in that place in space and time.



    Luiz checked on the systems scanners, a series of humming CRT monitors that flashed a list of codes through a tense bout of static. A small metallic fan blew across me, as if it wasn’t already cold enough on the bride of the UFS Redemptio; my ship—an F-Class salvage vessel with a crew of three including myself. We’d made our fortune mostly on repeat journeys to goldmine of the Valis Graveyard; a massive collection of dead ships floating in the outskirts of NP-VALIS, a once thriving mining colony. While we were returning with a collection of cargo, when we discovered the faint signal of the UFS Baychimo, we all knew that we could not let such an opportunity go to waste.



    The Baychimo was a United Federation Government ship—the same jurisdiction of legal laws prevailed on that ship as much as mine. However, we’d all heard of the stories of the Baychimo which had been missing since 2152. Luiz looked at the scanners, and then typed away onto the command console; his fingers moving across each key on the plastic board. He could fly this ship without eyes.



    As he tapped away, an unlit cigarette in his mouth, he looked towards the other CRT monitor that flashed a static calibration graph.

    “It’s official,” he said to me as I looked at the ever-growing behemoth of the ship. From what I could see it was a G-class scientific vessel around two miles in length. No lights were visible from where I stood. Jackson stood next to me, hulking a foot over me.



    “Is it her?” he asked as he handed me a small, clear mug of coffee.



    “Codes are faint but the system logs it in on the scanners. Registration of the ship is oh-six-five-one-four-seven-eight.”



    Luiz lit the cigarette. “That’s a H-class—“



    “G-class,” said Jackson.



    “Excuseee meee,” said Luiz, heightening his voice. “I just fly the ship.”



    “It’s been missing for six years. Couldn’t have been here the whole time, this is a normal salvage route back to Valis from Yalta Station. Somebody must have piloted her here,” I added.



    “What’s the story with it?” Luiz sat in front of the metallic fan but I knew he was keeping his eyes on the ID scans.



    “Ghost ship. Haunted. Cursed. Sucked into a black hole. Crashed into a gas giant. Take your pick. We always hear a different one whenever me and Jackson go into Yalta.”



    “Officially it was just considered stranded. I think it was a scientific vessel. Must have had a bunch of techie-heads working on something. Maybe they worked for ChaiTech or something else.”



    “Well all this speculation is gettin’ me excited,” said Luiz.



    “We’ll have answers when we get on her.”



    Nobody argued. I felt the apprehension in the air but my small crew was loyal, and had been for the three years we’d been running salvage operations. Jackson and me met at the Yalta Station flight academy, both got our UFS licenses together, and Luiz was an experienced pilot who needed to get off the station. The three of us had maintained a strong friendship but stern hierarchy. I never heard any complaints.

  2. #2
    Good start, it sounds like you have a firm image in your head, which is good because that will translate into your story telling.

    Started out a little rough, but that is very often the case. Beginnings are tough. Try to avoid overly complex sentences like that second one, it shoulda been 2 really.

    Good work tho. The idea of finding a ghost vessel sounds cool. As Captain, I would send the team slacker over there first.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Good start, it sounds like you have a firm image in your head, which is good because that will translate into your story telling.

    Started out a little rough, but that is very often the case. Beginnings are tough. Try to avoid overly complex sentences like that second one, it shoulda been 2 really.

    Good work tho. The idea of finding a ghost vessel sounds cool. As Captain, I would send the team slacker over there first.
    Thank you for taking the time to read it. I clocked the elongated sentence too. This is just a first rough draft so it'll most likely change over time. I appreciate the feedback!

  4. #4
    Beta Reader Princesisto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Bangladesh for now.
    Posts
    152
    Blog Entries
    9
    I again find myself agreeing with Mr Rotten. It is an interesting idea that could become a good story. But to me, it is like a Least Developed Country: it needs so much development. There is so little here that we cannot understand it. Concentrate on filling in the gaps: who are these people? where are they? why are they there? OK so they found this ship, apparently empty: so what? As you fill up one gap after another, you will start to get a story that people can understand. You might consider starting this earlier, not just when they find the ship, so we get more information about the rescuing ship and the found ship without needing backstory.

  5. #5
    Picking a couple nits:
    CRT displays? Old school cool, but I don't buy that on a space ship. You can sell your reader on why that works, but for now it's a distraction.
    Also a distraction was "United Federation Government". I'm a Trekkie, and just read it as United Federation of Planets. A change from Federation to Federal would work. More Heinlein-like.
    And a lot of jargon in the reader's face too soon. Maybe a bit more scene setting before the alphabet soup.

    Nice Alien / Event Horizon vibe. Just be careful walking that line between world building and "borrowing".

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"



  6. #6
    Hi there and thank you for sharing your work! ୧༼✿ ͡◕ д ◕͡ ༽୨
    I started reading and I was startled:

    We saw the Baychimo against the gas giant of UN-NOPRA long before it showed up on the scanners of our vessel.
    I thought "Uh? What is a "Baychimo"? UN-NOPRA? Vessel? Where? Why? What? 〈(゜。゜)
    Don't get me wrong: I don't expect everything to be given to me straight away on the first phrase. It is true that things can built bit by bit but what is missing here is the sense of mystery together with context. Also, a vessel against a gas giant? Such as Jupiter? (•ิ_•ิ)?
    With sci-fi writing there is a common trouble: depicting an image of something unfamiliar through words. It is a difficult thing to do, indeed.
    I give you an example on how it might have worked from my reader prospective:
    "The ancient derelict of the UFS Baychimo was orbiting around UN-NOPRA, the gas giant that we'd approached with our vessel: we recognized it with our eyes before our scanners could."
    Something along these lines. I now have a clear image straight away of what I'm looking at: an old, non-functioning ship that is stuck around the orbit of a planet and some astronauts observing it.
    I know you explain everything later but it's an abrupt, cryptic start. Instead of a friendly open door (metaphorically speaking) feels like a tight squeeze of an opening that can be discouraging. I would give it a thought, if I were you. ( •⌄• ू )✧
    The idea is good, as someone already said it needs development. Looking forward to read some more! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧


  7. #7
    I like the setup. Definite "Event Horizon" vibe to it. I concur with the comments about the first few paragraphs. Sentences were getting a little long and unwieldy, and there was a lot of jargon thrown at you quick. There also wasn't a lot of gradual setup to the world and characters, but in my mind that can be both a good or bad thing. It can leave readers confused, but sometimes the best way to immerse them is to throw them in the deep end.

    I will say that I really like the dialogue as it felt natural, although it could maybe use some "said this person" lines in it. Wasn't quite sure who was saying the "Ghost ship" line or the one after it. Remember, while you have clear in your head who's talking, the reader may not. Would be interested to see where this goes next.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.