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Author Topic: 532 Herculina-- work in progress
pidream
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“Really there’s nothing- believe me.”
“There can’t be nothing.”
Karen gazed into the screen as if in a trance. Someone had bored 13 meter wide hole through the 260 kilometers axis of asteroid 532 Herculina. The nothing was the probe we’d sent in 3 hours early-- it was gone.
“You’re not listening. I am getting no signal, and the Doppler indicates it vanished- nothing there. ” She looked up from the screen, into my eyes and shrugged.
“Okay, okay, just check again, please,” I said, rubbing the three-day growth on my chin.
She made the ’whatever face,' and turned away and tapped away at her keyboard. Thirty seconds later. “Still nothing— wait!” Her

[ August 02, 2014, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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besimirch
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quote:
“There can’t be nothing.”
This dialogue didn't sound natural to me. "There has to be something" or "Something must be there" might be a bit more urgent.

quote:
Someone had bored 13 meter wide hole through the 260 kilometers axis of asteroid 532 Herculina. The nothing was the probe we’d sent in 3 hours early-- it was gone.
I think you're missing an "a" after bored. The second sentence there sounded very awkward to me, I think you have a good hook there, but this sentence could be reworked to make it shine. I also think "early" should be earlier?

quote:
She looked up from the screen, into my eyes and shrugged.
I don't think you need that comma.

quote:
A moment later collusion alarms began to sound.
Should that be collision?

I think this is a good hook and you start at a good place in the story. I hope you keep it up.

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Kent_A_Jones
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Hi pidream,
I like getting right to the action. At the same time, the piece identifies a mysterious antagonist who can make big, long holes in asteroids, and make probes disappear.

I need the speakers identified. Which piece did Karen say? This information means a lot to me at this point.

Mr. Physics says: The Doppler Effect helps the observer determine if something is approaching (blue shifted) or moving away (red shifted). Objects approaching the observer will emit or reflect higher frequency light or sound and the opposite is true of objects moving away from the observer. Astrophysicists discovered its use when they tried to match absorption spectra of known stars with unknown stars. The spectra matched known stars only if they were "shifted" to a higher or lower frequency. In this way an astrophysicist can see that a spiral galaxy is being observed edge-on; half the pinwheeling giant will be blue shifted and the other half will be red shifted.
Doppler Radar determines wind direction and speed from the relative movement of objects (rain, hail, mobile homes) within a storm that radar waves reflect from.
So I don't quite understand how a Doppler device can determine if something has vanished.

There are some dialog difficulties:
>"Really there's nothing- believe me." I found this awkward and difficult to understand. This may be the way real people converse, but these are fictional people who have to make sense and convey more meaning. I would rework it after a character study of Karen to discover what she would say.
>"You're not listening. (I would omit this)
>"Karen what the hell, is it the probe?" (There are two separate sentences, here. The first is an exclamation that confuses meaning for me. It makes me think that the POV character is blaming Karen for the alarm. I believe it should be replaced with a different exclamation or dropped. The second is a good question, but should be a sentence of its own.

I happen to like, "There can't be nothing." But it needs character identification.

>The nothing was the probe we'd sent three hours early-- it was gone. (Implied is that "nothing" is being described in this paragraph, so I don't think "The nothing was" is necessary to this sentence. Also, this sentence should be placed earlier in the narrative, describing "nothing" as the missing probe as soon as possible. The logical progression is that the probe is gone, Karen is looking for it, and it was in the vicinity of an anomaly we were researching.

One esoteric bit of nonsense I have to contribute is that I want to think that an agency capable of making a two hundred sixty kilometer hole in an asteroid might not need the aid of common technology to move the asteroid's moon. It may turn out that the moon is a ship, however.

The hole intrigues me but it is disconnected from the rest of the narrative. I am left to guess that Karen and the POV are there to investigate it, but this is unclear. Perhaps some contextual cues are in order to clear this up?

Good rising tension at the end of the fragment. It makes me wonder what happens next.

Good luck,
Kent

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pidream
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Thanks for the help.
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