Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

The illustrated novel by Sandi and Jennifer

Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby AMundisGuy » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:12 am

I really love this novel so far. I really, really love it. Very creative, compelling, with a lot of twists, both expected and unexpected. It would be a real page-turner if it was printed.( Why isn’t it? Didn’t submit it, or did a bunch of stupid publishers reject it?) Sandi is clearly one of the most talented sci-fi writers I have read in recent years.
I have to say, though, the vanity segments feel a bit out of place. The stuff with your family has a tone that is a bit too familiar, like those people have hardly been affected by the displacement from our current reality to a fantasy future, and the narration is getting into their heads much better than it is in any other secondary characters’.
I am definitely not telling you to change the story in any way as you publish it online, just offering my critique.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:46 am

Linkity.

Ted Huang sounds entirely too much like Anonymous.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:35 pm

What struck me was that, with all the cloak-and-dagger political maneuvering going on, Mallory found a 2-kilo mass strapped to the hull of the Ares that shouldn't have been there and didn't at least THINK to suspect a bomb. The instant it was mentioned as "a 2 kilo mass attached to the outside of the drive housing. It might be an undocumented modification." I knew it had to be a bomb. Knew it. There was nothing else it could have been. And yet it didn't cross the mind of either Mallory or Tala.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:00 pm

Yes, but we have the benefit of knowing we are reading a story. We expect explosions all over the place. If you had that mindset in real life, you would be a nervous wreck.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:30 pm

I dunno. Tala was already fairly close to nervous-wreck territory during that meeting, and with all the interplanetary-assassin business, she should have been able to make the leap from "undocumented" to "hostile." Not necessarily in time to do anything about it, but as part of the "Knows what the Hell she is Doing" characterization.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby AMundisGuy » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:18 am

Alfador wrote:What struck me was that, with all the cloak-and-dagger political maneuvering going on, Mallory found a 2-kilo mass strapped to the hull of the Ares that shouldn't have been there and didn't at least THINK to suspect a bomb. The instant it was mentioned as "a 2 kilo mass attached to the outside of the drive housing. It might be an undocumented modification." I knew it had to be a bomb. Knew it. There was nothing else it could have been. And yet it didn't cross the mind of either Mallory or Tala.
It WAS quite obvious to the reader, wasn’t it? But if you consider that they had JUST purchased the ship, didn’t realize their enemies were so close, and Mallory hates to see the shady side of mankind even when it’s right in front of him, I am not surprised that neither he nor the already-nervous Tala wanted to believe it was a bomb. 2 kilos is a small mass, too, it’s not unreasonable to hope for other explanations. She does tell him to be careful and despite their cheerful attitude, they are both hasty about wnating to know what it is, as he suits right up and she rushes over to join.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Thilia » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:19 am

Sometimes I think we were too inspired by Blake's 7. We just watched it again in its entirety over the past couple of months.

Look at the crew of the Liberator. They march into the jaws of the Federation every episode, always wary of being captured, but always doing some dumb-assed thing that gets them caught or wounded or worse. Jennifer and I were struck by just how clever Avon was, except when it really mattered. Servilan really was just a little smarter than any of them, with the possible exception of Orac.

If the heroes are too smart, we don't have an adventure, we have a technical manual about how to detect danger and defuse it. So they have to do dumb stuff or the villains would never have a chance to be evil. It's a lot of yucks to write these clever people into dumb disasters.

"That old trick is so obvious, you can be sure that's not what they're doing, let's just ignore it and find the REAL problem." Then of course, that old trick snares another overconfident victim, for the umpteenth time.

Sometimes it's important to just relax and go with the flow, knowing full well that you would never be fooled by some of the sorry traps that Tala or Richard fall for. It's no fun for anybody if the heroes are too bright, even if they're supposed to be brilliant. I like trying to figure out a clever way for them to wriggle out of a stupid situation that a less heroic character never would have flopped into in the first place.

Inside every real life genius hides a few grains of low grade moron. That's how I see our main characters here too.

"Damn, did I leave the stove on when I left for the spaceport? Oh well, hope the gas doesn't blow up the neighbors while I race around saving the Venus project."


-Thilia
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:15 am

I think part of the problem is that it's the only anomaly mentioned. If there was a whole laundry-list of subcritical malfunctions, minor system checks, and simple repairs already completed, with the extraneous mass somewhere in the middle, that might be better. A moment like this.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:11 am

Thilia wrote:Sometimes I think we were too inspired by Blake's 7. We just watched it again in its entirety over the past couple of months.

Look at the crew of the Liberator. They march into the jaws of the Federation every episode, always wary of being captured, but always doing some dumb-assed thing that gets them caught or wounded or worse. Jennifer and I were struck by just how clever Avon was, except when it really mattered. Servilan really was just a little smarter than any of them, with the possible exception of Orac.

If the heroes are too smart, we don't have an adventure, we have a technical manual about how to detect danger and defuse it. So they have to do dumb stuff or the villains would never have a chance to be evil. It's a lot of yucks to write these clever people into dumb disasters.

"That old trick is so obvious, you can be sure that's not what they're doing, let's just ignore it and find the REAL problem." Then of course, that old trick snares another overconfident victim, for the umpteenth time.

Sometimes it's important to just relax and go with the flow, knowing full well that you would never be fooled by some of the sorry traps that Tala or Richard fall for. It's no fun for anybody if the heroes are too bright, even if they're supposed to be brilliant. I like trying to figure out a clever way for them to wriggle out of a stupid situation that a less heroic character never would have flopped into in the first place.

Inside every real life genius hides a few grains of low grade moron. That's how I see our main characters here too.

"Damn, did I leave the stove on when I left for the spaceport? Oh well, hope the gas doesn't blow up the neighbors while I race around saving the Venus project."


-Thilia


Very good point. I have been known to pull some boners in my day.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:59 am

I wonder, is there anything that can't be converted into innuendo by passage through the alfalfa-door?
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:35 am

strange_person wrote:I wonder, is there anything that can't be converted into innuendo by passage through the alfalfa-door?


Air? No, wait, there're those inflation aficionados...
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:02 am

What about the null set?
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:59 pm

strange_person wrote:What about the null set?


Ooh baby, let me empty everything from between your brackets.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:39 am

Okay, it's on now. I have to find something you can't make innuendo out of.

Obviously, any physical object that's known or theorized to exist is sexy to someone, so I'll have to go for abstractions.

The abstraction salesman is no help at all, since severed vampire heads and nude saurian-riders doubtless have a significant rule-46 presence already.

How about Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem?
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:29 pm

strange_person wrote:How about Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem?


I'm aroused!! ...But I can't prove it with these axioms.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:01 am

A valiant attempt, but I think it's a bit too overt to be considered innuendo.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:52 pm

strange_person wrote:A valiant attempt, but I think it's a bit too overt to be considered innuendo.


Curses! Aluminum foiled again!
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:01 pm

You were close enough that I think it might be possible. Please, try again!
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby Alfador » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:19 pm

Baby, be true to me, or be false, just don't be unprovable!
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Re: Chapter 8 - Over the Falls

Postby strange_person » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:00 pm

Alright, that's subtle enough to qualify as innuendo, but it seems to be more about logic in general than specifically the incompleteness theorem, and generally doesn't live up to the standard you set with the Null Set one.

A third try, and I'll consider the matter settled: either the Incompleteness Theorem can't be innuendized, or I'll have to look well beyond formal logic for something that can fully resist your mysterious power.
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