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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » 2800 word sci-fi short - "Return Unknown"

   
Author Topic: 2800 word sci-fi short - "Return Unknown"
axeminister
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Hi all,
I'd appreciate any thoughts on the below.
Also, if there is anyone with a similar length story I'd be glad to do an exchange. I'm looking to get one or two opinions on my first draft.

--------------

“Sir, it’s the Deckle-Quarga.”
The fear in the comm.-tech’s voice was not disguised. Nor would be my own. “Impossible.” My blood turned to ice. Breath caught in my throat.
For two hundred years we’ve remained hidden neatly in the Terran system advancing the technology of the inhabitants so that someday it would be of use to us. That one sentence put an end to it all.
“What shall we do, sir?”
What can you do when the peacekeepers of the galaxy show up on your radar? By the time you see them, they’ve long seen you. Can’t run, you’re done hiding. . . “We wait. They judge. We pray. Pray they believe all we’ve done for the Humans below has been in their best interest.”

.

[This message has been edited by axeminister (edited February 10, 2011).]


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Smiley
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Interesting. So you have some kind of interstellar race hiding from the 'Peacekeepers' for 2 hundred years. That says to me that they're either doing something nefarious, not so legal, or counter to the desires of these Peacekeepers. Makes me wonder what this is all about. I'd keep reading.

My nits. You're using the old fashioned term of 'radar'. Doesn't seem to fit with advanced civilization technology, IMO. They seem to be a faithful lot. Lots of praying going on. Is that a personal affectation to them, or do they actually have a strong faith system?

I do like the way you've set up the beginning. Very clear as to what this initial conflict will be. It leads to all kinds of possibilities for the rest of the story, albeit, a short story.

I don't have anything to offer you in trade at this moment for critique purposes, sorry. Hope it gets better critiques here than I gave.

[This message has been edited by Smiley (edited February 10, 2011).]


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NoTimeToThink
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I like the start - I would be glad to read further.
I suggest that you describe the fear before the line of dialogue - when I read it at first I heard a calm voice in my head, so I had to restart tpo get the right feel. Try something like:
quote:
The fear in the comm.-tech’s voice was not disguised. “Sir, it’s the Deckle-Quarga.”
Breath caught in my throat. "Impossible.


The usual conotation for Peacekeepers is that they're the good guys - but they might not be, so I'm curious to see which way you're going.
I agree with Smiley about radar...

[This message has been edited by NoTimeToThink (edited February 10, 2011).]


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axeminister
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NTTT
Good call on the reverse.
I don't like starting with dialog and that fixes it.

I will have to work on "radar". I agree.

Thx for crits so far.

Axe


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Wordcaster
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I must admit, it took me a couple read-throughs to get the gist. "That one sentence put an end to it all." Are you referring to an English sentence or a prison sentence or is it the first quote of your story (I think this one)? And then what is it an end to?

Ah, but then you explain. But as I am reading, I am pausing to try and figure these things out and the pacing gets off.

Your concept sounds interesting and you have a solid hook. My biggest issues were with the flow, but bear in mind I had to wake up early this morning and also fumbled through The Wind and the Willows at bedtime


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bobbyshane
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I would read further. The only things that I caught were one what NTTT mentioned and the name. Is that the name of the people or the ship? If it were a ship and maybe even if it's the people I would go for something that sounds a little well... tougher... more intimidating I suppose. But that's more of a subjective thing on my part.
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babooher
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Thank you bobbyshane for saying that about the name. I completely agree that Deckle-Quarga doesn't sound right, but I was scared to write it.

I also thought radar seemed wrong and I think NTTT's suggested opening change is a good idea.

Overall though, I like this, but I think it could be a little more immediate, more urgent. Right, it is a little hazy as to the environment (are they on a spaceship? a space station, I get that they'e above the planet, but that could be a plane or cool floating airbase like SHIELD uses). I also think their discovery is a little passive. Right now this feels like it is set on 7 but it could have been cranked up to 11.

And before anyone says not all stories need to be cranked up to 11, let me say I know that. I just think this sounds like the kind of story that would be cranked up all the way.

I'd crit it if you send it.


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Foste
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Send it to me.

My exams are over as of tomorrow, so I'll be able to reply swiftly.


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axeminister
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Thanks Bret and Foste.

Sent out to both.

Axe


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Utahute72
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Hey Axe, I'm a little late to the party, but I'd give it a read.
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axeminister
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Uta,

Thanks for the offer, but to read it in it's current incarnation would be moot as the advice I've received has already prompted me to alter it to a state of unrecognizability. (I made that last word up)

Perhaps you'd take a look at the Beta?

That would be coolio.

Axe


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Utahute72
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Be happy to Axe, send it to me when you get it revamped.
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