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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The C'hiani Cluster

   
Author Topic: The C'hiani Cluster
skadder
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It didn't look human and certainly not alive.
Rivers of inch-long metallic ants swarmed over the torn flesh and spread out in lines towards the medical supplies placed at the edges of the room.
"You say under all those...things she is alive?" Paul Jackson asked.
'Alive? Yes, I suppose she is at the moment, but only because of the medic-ants." Dr. Indrapramit nodded. "She will not be able to survive on her own without extensive prosthetics. I've reviewed the module's flight recorder; she survived because the medic-ants found her first after the crash. They've been keeping her alive ever since. They're state-of-art. I've never seen the like of them before."

[ December 17, 2011, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Denevius
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hello. how long is this piece? if it's not too long, and if you're looking for readers, i'll take a look.
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skadder
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I just want opinions on the intro.
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annepin
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Well, pretty slick, Mr. Skadder. I am hooked. If I had to nitpick, i would say the first line came off a bit awkwardly, though I can't really put my finger on why. You might even be able to get away without it, since it doesn't really tell us anything that's not in th following lines. Also, the doctor's dialog sounds a little canned and a bit info dumpy (as in "as you know, bob".)
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skadder
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Thanks, Annepin. Nice to see you're still writing.
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telflonmail
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I agree the first line is awkward with the second line. It threw me in a loop. I would put it at disjointed and trying too hard.

IMHO, the first line is not needed. I would have started it with the dialog of Paul Jackson's question (without the word "things"). I would have joined it with the second line to be something like: asked, pointing to a river ...

The last sentence of the doctor's dialog also threw me in a loop. If the doctor has never seen them before, how does the doctor know they're medic-ants? (Same goes for state-o-fart.)

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Osiris
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I think the scene is a good hook, from an 'alpha read' perspective.

My only issue is as anne said, the info-dumpyness of the doctor's dialog. I also think there are some redundancies that could be cut which would reduce the info-dumpy nature of the dialog. For example, it is noted in dialog or narration that the subject of the conversation is still alive in four difference places.

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gyanavani
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Hi
Medic ants: very cool. Dr. Indrapramit too wordy. The reason maybe because we don't know what the relationship between the two men is like. I mean you may give so much information to someone you know but would you be so garrulous if the other guy is a stranger. Of course there are always offensive people around. But the good doc did not come across as one. Maybe he is one of those people who is only knowledgeable about his work but when it comes to people he is clueless. But then again I have to make to these assumptions. There is no help from the text.
But I am willing to do so because I really liked the beginning. I want to read this story.
Gyanavani

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anarresti
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Cool concept 'medic ant', little bots that operate as parts of a whole. Makes me wonder where the controller is or is their intelligence emergent.

A few comments about lines:

-- "It didn't look human and certainly not alive."
But later we find out he knows that it's a she so why not refer to "it" as such from the beginning?

-- "placed at the edges of the room"
I pictured boxes along the floor trim. Was this what you had in mind?

-- "never seen the like of them before"
Doesn't ring true. He seems to me to have seen their like although not such advanced models.

These lines don't intrigue me enough yet to keep on reading. What is there to care about? Maybe "she" but I'm not sure.

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