September 22nd, 2005, 04:32 PM
Hello everyone. I'm new here and just recently posted two chapters of a story I'm in the middle of writing (sort of). I was just wondering if I could get a critique or two. That'd be excellent.
It's called "Wings of Wax" and it's my first attempt at science fiction.
September 23rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
I don't want to sound like I'm totally tearing into your story. I think there's something here, and I'd encourage you to keep going with it. It seems like you've put a lot of thought into the science behind this, but I'll get to that later.
I think the biggest cirtique point I have is that it seemed to me like you shot yourself in the foot. In your prologue you state that the experiment was a failure and that the pilot disappeared. Then you spend two chapters on what is essentially a bigger verision of the prologue. In my opinion, the suspence in this piece derives from the outcome of the experiment. I'd cut the prologue right out, because on most days, as a reader, I would have picked up something else as soon as I realized that I knew what was going to happen.
I don't want to get into any physics debates - it's too late in the day. But I would point out that you have a lot of "hand waving" descriptions where I'm not sure there really needed to be anything. The average reader of science fiction is reasonably familiar with faster-than-light travel and the problems of space flight, so it is possible to ellude to the technical stuff, without actually going into it. (I should note that some people live for this kind of thing, so if you really want to keep it you can ignore this comment. I tend to skip it over.) Avoid scripting out equations in fiction. And note that 8 does not equal infinity. Also, you waver a lot in tense - especially when the story diverges into one of it's more technical tangents. You generally seemed to keep things in past tense, so when editing, I'd try to make everything like that.
One question I might ask, is why did they try this with a manned vessel, without first attempting the experiment with a probe?
The dialogue and character interaction seemed choppy, and unnatural at times.
I think you switch back and fourth between Ari and Kasaguri. Are these the same character, or am I confused? As a reader, it's generally easier to keep track of a common reference for a character.
Anyway, I think you introduce some fairly novel concepts in this story. This is true, hard science fiction - for which I believe there is a growing demand these days. I can see there's a strong human element to the story as well, which is why I think you've got something to work with.
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