This one's for io9.com's environmental disaster-theme story contest, so I'd really like some people to read more than this fragment, especially somebody with strong biology and/or chem knowledge, to check if some of the science is plausible. It's currently running just over 5000 words, the upper limit for the contest, but I'm working on trimming the fat. I also censored any swearing for these forums; the protagonist starts out as a pretty unpleasant character, so there will be a fair amount of language in the story.
One Little Goat
Prologue- Day 34 Boehm Nanorganics materials processing facility
“F****** elves,” Mirko growled, ambling up to the gate. “God d*** f******* elves.” He didn’t bother to lower his voice. The yideneh, the Elf B****, and her companions would be able to hear anything more audible than a thought- if they couldn’t, in fact, hear even those. He unlocked the gate and let them inside. “Oh, it’s you, libling,” said the b****. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” “Eighty-five years,” he said, turning his back on them as he mounted the stairs. His footfalls rang out on the metal lattice and echoed down the corridor. The elves’ avatars followed silently.
[This message has been edited by dysfunction (edited December 09, 2010).]
Since you didn't ask for comments on this fragment, I will only leave one thought. Be careful with the use of profanity right up front. I have nothing against strategic use of swearing when it fits an established character, but this much profanity from the very beginning may be a turnoff for some readers. It sets a precident for how much can be expected in the rest of the story. That said, nothing can please everybody, so only take my input as one perspective out of many.
Good luck in the contest!
[This message has been edited by sojoyful (edited December 10, 2010).]
I agree with sojoyful. These opening thirteen lines contain three swear words, two repeated. The saturation leads me to think this language will continue on every page.
Otherwise, I like this opening. The dialogue is natural, albeit harsh, and I'm already trying to make connections between the information embedded in the action. This looks like fantastical sci-fi, my favorite subgenre.
Sorry aspirit, it's not fantastical scifi; the use of 'elves' is a bit misleading, it's slang terminology, not actual elves. This is discussed in the story, though let me know if it's not made clear early enough (it is explicitly stated later on). As for profanity, the frequency decreases throughout the story as the POV char matures somewhat.
I already sent my draft to eyegore, I'm sending it to aspirit now Thanks everyone!
[This message has been edited by dysfunction (edited December 10, 2010).]