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abrock
February 15th, 2005, 11:49 PM
Hey everyone its been a long time since I posted, but I am still alive and kicking! I'm back in college working toward my history major and writing more than ever! My book, for those that remember, progresses well. I've made some fairly substantial changes to the plot and key events, but I don't want to spoil anything. I might post a excerpt from one of the new chapters later on, or possibly even the cover artwork (I've got an artist working on it this week)!

I'll be posting again regularly for a while, and hopefully have a website for my book up pretty soon so you can read about the plot and characters. Anyway, hello everyone once again!

Anthony

Rocket Sheep
February 16th, 2005, 03:17 AM
Yaaay! Welcome back.

abrock
February 19th, 2005, 05:46 AM
Here follows an excerpt of my current position in the book. I did most of this last night. For those that remember Runa and Natasha from my previous story clips posted last year, their banter should be familiar.

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

'So,' said Natasha as they sat at the Arcology's tenth floor cafe. 'who do you think is doing it, and what does it mean? I can't for a minute believe that we've both subconsciously created this idea of... well...' She paused, pulling out her quickpad, and scribbled out the word 'Illuminatus' so that Runa could see it, then cleared the pad. '...persecution. I mean, I don't even believe that **** myself. Do you?'
Runa stirred her drink, a particularly strong Irish coffee she was fond of, and cleared her throat as she glanced around the dining courtyard. 'No, I can't say that I 'believe' it, per se. I do allow that such an organization is possible, but I don't see how it has remained a literal joke all these centuries. I mean, nobody even takes the idea seriously. You want to make someone think you're insane? Just try to tell them you believe in...' she pointed to the now blank pad. 'them.'
Natasha sighed, reverting to her inner scientist self for a moment. 'Yeah, I know. We're faced with three major questions here: Who?' She held up a finger. 'Why?' Another finger. 'And how?' A final finger. 'If we can figure out any one of those three, we should be able to determine the remaining two.' Runa was pretending to flirt with a young man sitting near their table, causing a ghost of a smile to chase itself across Natasha's slavic features. 'You listening Rubi?'
Runa winked at the guy and returned her gaze back to her partner across the table. 'I know that guy, he works night security here. He's actually come to our flat a few times asking if we've seen a 'suspicious looking man' whom he can't seem to describe in a non-vague way.' A snort. 'I'll bet he'd love nothing better than to get in my pants.' She looked his way again and flashed him a sexy smile. 'Asshat.' She pronounced as she turned back to Natasha and rolled her eyes.
Natasha took another sip of her drink. 'Don't look up, the asshat is coming this way. Shy?'
'Please.'
The man walked up to their table, hooking his thumb into his belt he mock saluted them with the cheerful drawl of a Good Ole Boy. 'Morning ladies, howse the coffee?'
Natasha's face went completely red with obvious embarassment, and she stammered out a timid response, 'It's... it's ok. How is yours?'
How does she do that!? Runa remarked to herself. Being able to blush on queue was something she had never quite mastered, but Natasha seemed to slip perfectly into the role of 'shy girl' as easily as she put on her streetcoat in the morning.
The man seemed delighted to have the upper hand in the conversation, and responded with obvious swagger in his voice. 'Oh, it's pretty good, but I've had much better. New York, well, City 3 I guess these days, has the best coffee I've ever had. There is this little place down on...'
Natasha cut him off in an excited voice, her eyes wide with both surprise and interest. 'You've been to New York? How did you manage that?' Runa silently applauded the performance She could not imagine a professional actor doing better.
'Well little missy, I used to work for State Security you know, and I've been to most of the cities in the Union.' Interesting, if true. Runa thought to herself.
But instead she asked, eyes similarly wide, 'Really? Even London?'
The man nodded. 'Yup, even London, but I really shouldn't talk about it. Security and secrets, you know?'
Natasha looked up at the man in astonishment. 'Have you ever... you know... had to kill anyone?'
'Karen!' Runa reached across the table to slap Natasha on the arm. 'You're going to get him in trouble!'
Natasha put a hand to her mouth to stifle a small gasp. 'Oh no, I didn't mean... I mean.. I didn't...' She turned even redder than before, and lapsed into embarassed silence. Runa closed her eyes and steeled herself to prevent the waves of laughter that demanded to break out at this latest display.
The man remained oblivious. 'No, it's ok. No harm done.' He looked around, as if surveying the area for danger. 'If you ladies ever need any help with anything, anything at all, just come and see me. My office is on the 3rd floor. Name's Malloy.'
'Nice to meet you Malloy.' Runa spoke for both, as Natasha was clearly too chagrined to say anything more, and closed with the standard goodbye. 'Have a productive and safe day.'
'And you as well.' The man nodded to each of them and turned away, returning to his table to retreive his drink before walking out of the cafe.
'How was that?' Natasha's eyes sparkled.
Runa lifted her drink. 'Bravo.' Natasha lifted her glass in a toast and they each took a drink.
'You were right, though.' Natasha said.
'Oh? About what?'
'He is an asshat.'
Rune laughed. 'I'm always right. Surely you know that by now?'
'Where were we?' Natasha brought the conversation back on topic.
'Them. And the three questions we need to answer.'
'I don't think we're going to be able to figure out the 'how' on our own without any outside help. There is simply no known way for anyone to influence dreamstates, so it could be any one of a thousand ways we've never even heard of. We don't have a base of any technology to work with, so we'd be grasping at shadows... no, worse: Shadows that aren't even visible to us.' Natasha shook her head. 'Finding out the 'how' is definitely out.'
Runa shrugged. 'Whatever you say. You're the brains of this team. I just beat people up.'
Natasha ignored the comment. 'The 'who' is just as unlikely to be stumbled upon. Whoever is doing this could be on either side of the game; they could be doing this to draw us away from real leads, or they could have our interests at heart and be attempting to warn us.' She pursed her lips and took another drink.
This time Runa shook her head. 'If they're trying to warn us, they're being pretty vague about it. I'm more inclined to think this is a false lead, but as to who is supplying it and why... I have no idea.'
Natasha idly twirled a strand of fiery red hair around her index finger. 'Don't forget, this could be our subconscious minds at work. I can't rule that out as a possibility until I have more data. Nothing I've ever heard about biocoms suggest that multiple persons locked in the same dreamstate can have simultaneous subconscious aggressions into that dreamstate.' She cracked her knuckles, earning her a disapproving look from Runa, which she ignored. 'I just don't see it as possible. Our minds are too dissimilar; our subconciousnesses would never lock into the same thread pattern at the same time like that, and absolutely they wouldn't do it five times, all about the exact same thing!' She shook her head. 'No, this is outside influence. There is no other explanation.'
Runa seemed to ponder that for a minute. 'You're forgetting something.'
Runa took another sip of her drink. 'Hmmm?'
'The biocoms could have been programmed before the implant. We might be carrying around the program that is doing this, and something about our subconsciousness activates it for whatever reason.'
Natasha raised a thoughtful hand to stroke her chin. 'No, while a good idea, that's not possible. I don't know what model biocom you've got, but I'm carrying a Psicom IV.' She held up a hand. 'Yes, I know it's old. I don't care, I've gotten used to the interface now and I don't feel like a ****ing cyborg anymore. My point is, the Psicom IV doesn't have any RAM, only ROM. It cannot hold any programs. That was one of the reasons it never sold well, and that's why your idea about built-in programs interfering with the dreamstate is impossible.'
Runa raised an eyebrow. 'No RAM? How do you listen to headmusic?'
Natasha shrugged. 'You don't.'
'Eww, no headmusic? I'd rather feel like a cyborg.'

Wildeblood
February 19th, 2005, 06:29 AM
Here follows an excerpt of my current position in the book. I did most of this last night. For those that remember Runa and Natasha from my previous story clips posted last year, their banter should be familiar.

The man seemed delighted to have the upper hand in the conversation, and responded with obvious swagger in his voice.
Jarred out at that point. I was really enjoying it until then. I know it has a secondary meaning as talking in an arrogant manner, but to me it always refers to a manner of walking.

What the hell is an "asshat"?

What is this current fad to refer to a city as an "arcology" all about? No, don't point me to a definition, I know what it means; I'm asking why, not what? This kind of fadish language will date your work in the same way that naming your heroine "Britney" would.

For as far as I got before the jar: very nice.

abrock
February 20th, 2005, 03:10 AM
Jarred out at that point. I was really enjoying it until then. I know it has a secondary meaning as talking in an arrogant manner, but to me it always refers to a manner of walking.

What the hell is an "asshat"?

What is this current fad to refer to a city as an "arcology" all about? No, don't point me to a definition, I know what it means; I'm asking why, not what? This kind of fadish language will date your work in the same way that naming your heroine "Britney" would.

For as far as I got before the jar: very nice.

Never respond to anything I post ever again. I don't want your opinion. It isn't that you are critical, it's that you are unreasonably critical of things you know nothing about, and you appear to have more baseless opinions than Joe McCarthy and Varg Vikernes put together.

Fine, the word "swagger" is a pet peeve of yours when people use it in a way you don't like. So what? Arcology doesn't refer to the city, it refers to their self-contained living structure, one of hundreds in their biosphere. Cliched? Maybe to the rabid sci-fi crowd who has read every book I could mention and can point out how each idea I'd come up with is far too cliched to touch. Too bad I'm not targetting them with this book. If using the word 'arcology' is a fad, then I somehow missed it, because the last time I saw it used was in that SimCity2000 computer game about 10 years ago.

As I study history, I implement ideas into my writing on what I think will happen in the future. As "One Nation, Under God" is about a possible future, I will implement any idea I think would happen 70 years from now when this story takes place. Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, et al - These series were all filled to the brim with cliches, yet they were all successes. Do you know why?

I do.

Holbrook
February 20th, 2005, 04:05 AM
Whoa! ABrock... steady on... it was a crit nothing more.

Never take them personally, they are an opinion about your writing, not you. People see different things, approach writing in a different way. If you do you are going to waste a lot of energy and time. Honestly if you went on some of the crit forums or groups you will get crits that fry you up and serve you for supper ;) Wildeblood's was mild to some I have had over the years.

When someone takes the time to read and comment then it is a good thing. They respected your work enough to do so, Wildeblood could have framed their reply better, but it is not an excuse to go off on one, not worth it.

With crits read them, take note of what is said, if you feel they are valid act on them, if not don't. It is just a crit....

As for the use of words like swagger, it can be used in the context you have done so... but for most it means a physical demeanour, rather than a way of speech. But it isn't something to loose your rag over....

Wildeblood
February 20th, 2005, 04:29 AM
Never respond to anything I post ever again. I don't want your opinion.
If you want the opinion of specific people only, why don't you email them your stuff directly? If you post an extract on a public forum, there is an assumption, not unreasonable, that you are soliciting responses from anyone who takes the time, and effort, to respond.


Fine, the word "swagger" is a pet peeve of yours when people use it in a way you don't like. So what?
I didn't say it was a pet peeve, I said it was the point where I stopped reading. Why should I continue to read something after the author displays a tendency to idiosyncratic use of language, making their stuff unnecessarily difficult to read? By the way, what the hell is an "asshat"?


What is this current fad to refer to a city as an "arcology" all about? No, don't point me to a definition, I know what it means; I'm asking why, not what?
Arcology doesn't refer to the city, it refers to their self-contained living structure, one of hundreds in their biosphere.
Guess what? I already new what it meant. I'm pretty sure I said so, too.

Edited to remove personally directed comments. Jac

Jacquin
February 20th, 2005, 04:33 AM
Please bear in mind that typed posts on an internet forum are easily misinterpreted. That being said.

Be nice guys...

J

Wildeblood
February 20th, 2005, 04:38 AM
When someone takes the time to read and comment then it is a good thing. They respected your work enough to do so, Wildeblood could have framed their reply better, but it is not an excuse to go off on one, not worth it.
How could I frame it better?

- I told him exactly how much I had read, to the exact sentence.
- I listed each idiosyncratic use of language, that could confuse a reader, that I encountered in the segment that I read.
- I complimented him that, except for those particular points, I was really enjoying it.

Edited to remove personally directed comments. Jac

Jacquin
February 20th, 2005, 05:07 AM
As you have ignored me "asking" you to be nice. Please take this post as a moderator "telling" you that personal attacks will not be tolerated here on SFFworld. In case any confusion remains the remarks I removed from your posts do class as the kind of remark we will not tolerate.

J