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I will be brutally honest with you. It is not my intention to "ruffle your feathers," as the old Southern expression goes. I am merely giving you my honest opinion. I found it very hard to critique this work. I was torn between admiration and disappointment. Let me explain one then the other.
The content of this work is great, quite frankly. Event horizons, ZPEs, teleportation, and savants are right up my alley, metaphorically speaking. This story has a similarity to the "Stargate" franchise, which I loved, so I immediately connected with the narrative. The main character's confusion is well written, in my opinion, and the character of Alexander is intriguing to say the least. I will say that for those who know nothing of this type of Sci-fi, this is a lot to take in. You are bordering on the edge of info dump with regens, event horizons, ZPEs, etc., so I would suggest either simplifying some of the more technical aspects of the story to reach a larger audience or adding in a brief prologue to set the scene of your story.
Now, what I didn't like. The content of this story, as I've said, is wonderful. The presentation of the content is less than wonderful, to be frank. There is a time to be formal, grammatically speaking, and a time to be informal. Using words like ain't, 'specially, and gonna isn't terrible, but overuse can make your work suffer. I would suggest only using informal grammar and speech when your characters are either thinking or speaking.
I loved the story, I hope to see more in the future, and I hope this helped. Cheers.
I more or less agree with Canis. Overall, I really enjoyed the hickville feel combined with the futuristic setting though there were a few moments that tripped me up a little. The first person perspective reads a tiny bit rough though I imagine that'll smooth out as you continue to write it. ('Then, the doors slide apart and my hands fly up to an open mouth.' and a few other moments like this read a bit awkwardly to me.)
Really liked the premise of it and it was especially easy to see the old man, too.
This may sound like shallow praise, but it ain't - overall, nicely done!
Now for the quibbles (or constructive criticism, if you will): Pretty much the same as Canis and Foxee. Although I grew up in the deep south where 'ain't' was probably the second word I learned (after 'no no'), its overuse can be slightly annoying. For example, this:
'If he's a regen, ain't any way to tell how old he really is. But if he's a regen, then why ain't his leg healed all the way after 'a few days'?' could be changed to:
If he's a regen, there's no way to tell how old he really is. But if he's a regen, then why ain't his leg healed all the way after 'a few days'? It reads much better (to me) and you get to keep one of the "ain't"'s.
Also noted: you give us 'zero point energy' and then we get ZPE; that works well, but while I know AG= artificial gravity, some may not. Do the same for AG that you did for ZPE and I think it your story will be better for it. It is always better, imho, to work this way.
Thanks for sharing! I look forward to more!
LOL, when I'm reviewing it doesn't really matter but thanks. I didn't mean 'hickville' as a slap at you, just a way to refer to the 'ain't's and coveralls.
Haha. I mean reviews on the order of "dis is great, giv us MOAR pls!!!!" or ones that indicate said reviewer only read previous reviews and composed one just to get their turn as the review-ee (I'm a haunt of FP's Review Game Forum, and this happens sometimes).
I grew up in the Deep South, too. Born and raised. . . That my writing tends to more formal grammatical patterns is still a mystery to me. Unless I force myself to annunciate, a lot of (usually Northern) people can't understand what I'm saying. XD
I've noticed from both your screenname and various posts across the site that you're a former Sailor. You may wish I hadn't found that out, as I will probably be inclined to ask you questions about the real-life Navy experience. See, an integral part of Alexander's past is service in a High Guard that's a combination space Navy/Marine service, rather similar in structure of the one in the book (haven't seen the movie) Starship Troopers (one of my favorite books ever). Not that Solaris is a military science fiction series per sae, but especially because of the time travel factor, I'll need to flesh it out just as much as if it were.
While I do have a good body of knowlege of current Naval customs and traditions from my three-and-a-half years in NJROTC, this can't replace real experience, as I'm sure you know.
This is sure a damn strange starship.
"Yeah but what is it?"
Are aren't are a detraction from the reading experience.
I didn't read your list of characters, and I was very surprised to discover that your leading character was a female.
Setting & story telling is fine.
The story is told in a very linear fashion, and that, coupled with the first-person narration, didn't work so well for me. First-person kind of requires a unique way of story-telling -- it is not just Third-person with the pronouns switched. It's supposed to be the most immersive point of view, it is the mind of the character, and the mind is a rather chaotic place. I'd suggest relying less on a 'play-by-play' style of narration and experiment, instead, with a nonlinear form of telling this story. Integrate the character's internal landscape more.
Also, kind of amusing to read some of the comments here. I wonder how long it will be before some people understand that a story told in the voice of the character doesn't have to be grammatically correct.
Nicely done sci-fi there. Feels fresh and modern, especially with the present tense.
My initial concern is that I am given little introduction to Emma - I only knew she was female when someone talked to her. I thought that she was Alexander at first. I also know little of her physical appearance - it would be very useful to know, to help me paint clear pictures of the lovely world you have presented. The futuristic feel has a confidence to it that I find hard to put into my own work; the concepts are clear and abundant.
This sure is a small mistake to make. 'is and 'sure' should be the other way round, I think.
This line feels like it's run into itself. I'd put a comma after 'yeah'.
I love this piece - it's exciting and has a strong air of intelligence to it that nicely juxtaposes to the style of the first-person perspective. Well done, ShatteredUniverse. It's nice to find some good sci-fi to inspire me to write some. Although, my science-fantasy is more fantasy than science. There's little science in a battle with two giant men - I prefer to use fantastical concepts like the existence of Daema and Ancient Arts. I might try adding a bit more science in, especially after reading your writing.
I start to but stop.