Book Jacket

 

rank 485
word count 25949
date submitted 05.04.2012
date updated 05.04.2013
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Popular S...
classification: moderate
complete

Retcon

jet ramea

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.

 

Garret Casimir has just unveiled his thesis creation, the light accelerator, beating out the labors of his peers for a dream position with a successful research firm. The simple red tube that hastens energy will all but guarantee the fruitful career he’s striven for since adolescence. Life is good.

Across campus, Robert Augustine is coming to grips with a much less inspiring future. Having semesters ago resorted to daytime court dramas in place of a dream now in the final stages of decay, the ever-looming prospect of settling for a less-preferred path in life coincides with the nearing departure of his talented roommate.

But given access to infinite universes, where literally any outcome is possible; even a laughable prospect like fate has its due somewhere.

****************************

Darkly comic, 'hard' science fiction. Within are extreme acts of violence, strong language, metaphysical ponderings, polysyllabic vernacular and a couple of overt references to other sins. Have your premises assessed beforehand.

Third draft is nearly complete at around 85,000 or some-odd words, many of which are available here to pan.

 
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adventure, alternate dimension, augustine, beer pong, boris podolsky, cable, clone, college, comedy, consequence, cyborg, cynical, dimension, dirk pol...

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63 comments

 

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jet ramea wrote 608 days ago

beyond chapter 7, the character "Garret" is referred to as "Robert". i'm in the process of finishing his renaming, but until then you can assume all other details between the two are identical.

WiSpY wrote 597 days ago

Nanobots Review

Damn!

This is excellent. Aside from a few punctuation errors (and coming from me, the punctuation mangler, that's saying something.), the writing is superb. Use of language is excellent and the dialogue is great. A very visual style - I saw this as a movie all the way. Great job.

Mr. Grassroots wrote 694 days ago

My biggest criticism of writers is that the first chapters are weak and don't grip the reader. i must say that is not the case here. The writing is very literate. What I am saying is you can write. Although sci-fi is not my genre, you did a great job of making me understand which is an accomplishment, I assure you. Well done and I will be back for more.

J. Owen wrote 736 days ago

Jet,

Damn, what a piece! I’m up to chapter eleven and thought I’d better stop and write a comment. This is really engrossing—clearly—and deeply clever (i.e. looping radiation vs. microphone / speaker), with great witty humour. ‘Not unless you shit from your eyes’ was probably the funniest couple of lines I’ve read in a long while. I love your dialogue-rich style, and the characters come across as very real; the couch potato and the mad scientist, bouncing back off each other, is a great way to convey the extensive ideas behind the MS to the reader! You had me thinking and laughing, and then thinking again. And then thinking a bit more, whilst grinning. Fantastic. Max’d stars and WL’d.

N.B, just read 11 before I clicked post; so two mad scientists and a couch potato :)

Best wishes for the ED,
J.

Paris Singer wrote 398 days ago

Hi, Jet;

I'm currently on Chapter 10, and will most likely finish reading the rest today or tomorrow, so intoxicatingly engrossing as your story is. The premise is intelligently thought out as are the characters. There is excellent humour throughout, which actually made me laugh out loud a few times. Upon reaching the end of every chapter, I found myself needing to read the next one, greatly anticipating its contents-no easy feat, sir.
As such, I'll continue to read this excellent story, giving it maximum stars and a place on my shelf as soon as possible. Kudos.

David

Paris Singer wrote 398 days ago

Hi, Jet;

I'm currently on Chapter 10, and will most likely finish reading the rest today or tomorrow, so intoxicatingly engrossing as your story is. The premise is intelligently thought out as are the characters. There is excellent humour throughout, which actually made me laugh out loud a few times. Upon reaching the end of every chapter, I found myself needing to read the next one, greatly anticipating its contents-no easy feat, sir.
As such, I'll continue to read this excellent story, giving it maximum stars and a place on my shelf as soon as possible. Kudos.

David

Paris Singer wrote 398 days ago

Hi, Jet;

I'm currently on Chapter 10, and will most likely finish reading the rest today or tomorrow, so intoxicatingly engrossing as your story is. The premise is intelligently thought out as are the characters. There is excellent humour throughout, which actually made me laugh out loud a few times. Upon reaching the end of every chapter, I found myself needing to read the next one, greatly anticipating its contents-no easy feat, sir.
As such, I'll continue to read this excellent story, giving it maximum stars and a place on my shelf as soon as possible. Kudos.

David

rlsmith wrote 420 days ago

Good God Man!

This is certainly some of the most superb writing I have had the pleasure to taste with my eyes.
If this Tome of Magnificence is in print somewhere I must find it.
I honestly tried to pick something, just one thing, to offer to improve your work. But I can't.

Well played,
R.L.Smith

AshNau wrote 421 days ago

You present a hard sci fi world that is impossible not to fall into. The characters are tangible, and more important the science isn't too far off for any reader to grasp. A lot of people can be easily turned away by the outlandish technologyu and theories of sci fi, but there is none of that here. The descriptions are poetic and flow together naturally. I orignally pictured this as a science fair with conspiracy theories, and am so pleased that it reads as so much more. My only issues is regarding the dialogue. It does flow naturally and feel like real speech. My issues is that I am not a fan of huge chucks of text where it only shows the speech. It may just be a personal choice, but that is something I have never liked in any book. Other than that, I loved it. High stars and on my WL to be backed soon!

Marissa P
Our Fathers

InquireTheOrigin wrote 423 days ago

I hate you. I literally hate you.

Why must you capture me so? I mean honestly--what, it's only been ten minutes and I'm in love already? You must understand why I hate you. Because I'm at the grace of an amazing writer, I must give what talents I "thought" I had and surrender to your novel. I want to promote what literature has struck my fascination. I will honestly back you--hell, I'll do more than that. I'm still trying to figure out on why you're not more popular? You should be set for a publishing deal...NOW. It's that serious and I wish I could be humorous about the situation, but I must say that this is very well written and art within itself. Your tone, your voice, the flow, the humor, and drama. It's packed with very descriptive action and emotion.

So therefore, I must conclude my wishes and say that, "I personally hate you."

Not because of your story

Not because of your writing style

Not because I'm going to give you a six star rating...

Not even because you're on Authonomy

It's just because...







--you're just that awesome.




Best Of Wishes
A.D. Reid

subra_2k123 wrote 429 days ago

Retcon- The title captured me to click on it and the short pitch told me everything! Jet remea has delivered most powerful words- in jet speed!!!. I am so thrilled to say that I never...ever read a book with such involvement as I did with this book. Highly starred and on my W/L.

venkatarama

Kate LaRue wrote 443 days ago

Retcon

This promises to be an exciting read, with time travel, teleportation, and multiple dimensions. The writing is excellent, and the animosity between Garret and Vincent is palpable. At times I found their conversation in the prologue hard to follow, it is filled with nuance, but feel confident that everything will become clear the further I read. I'm sorry to have nothing insightful to say about the opening. Hopefully I can come back to read more when time allows. Best wishes.
Kate

Toboggan wrote 452 days ago

Jet

First couple of chapters great - and an underlying wit that is most enjoyable. Highly starred for now.

Toboggan

superostah wrote 554 days ago

Great stuff. I only made it through the opening chapter, due to current time constraints, but I'm hooked. The conversation between Vincent and Garret felt reminiscent of how Sherlock and Moriarty would quip at each other.
I'll definitely be back to read more as time permits.

Douglas York wrote 575 days ago

Club Nanobots Review

This was extremely well-written. I do agree, in a few cases, that some dialogue tags would have helped - but it was rare that I was not able to naturally follow along. Your dialogue was the strongest part of this (besides the plot). It was very well-crafted and a great mechanism for characterization.

Both the prologue and chapter one were gripping and hooked me several times over. Great work - I need more books for my shelf, and this one fits the bill.

Ryan
Majestic Shadows: The Pillar of Smoke

K E Shaw wrote 576 days ago

Nanobots review
Your long pitch is great - it hooked me. But then, arriving at the prologue, that first quotation leapt out at me and screamed "use me as your SP". Just a thought?
Prologue:
Quirky. That was my first thought, having the 'hard' sci-fipitch fresh in mind. The prose and tone of the dialogue immediately struck me as something I would expect to find more in a traditional fantasy genre, rather than sci-fi, especially with the use of words such as 'domicile'. And 'lending pause' - which, I confess, gave me pause. Still, the dialogue then moves on at a good pace. I realise the choice whether to use tags or not can be a tricky one, and in tit-for-tat dialogue between only two C's is not absolutely essential, but once or twice I had to retrace and count, like one for you, one for him, to check who was speaking in that opening section. The only other thing that really jumped out at me in terms of the styole of prose was the use of the self-constructed adverb 'beamingly'. I'd suggest perhaps try and re-work that sentence? Gven the unusual and frankly refreshing style for sci-fi that you have chosen, little things like this let it down a bit for me.

Anyhow - the prologue introduces the concept - time travel - and sets up the tensions between C's and for the plot to come very well, and makes for easy reading that draws us onwards.

Chapter 1
This was a nice contrast in style to the prologue - you haveintroduced the (what are to me, anyway) 'hard' elements clearly and fairly simply. The only point where I did have some confusion was with the 3rd to last paragraph of the chapter. I've read it again, but I'm just not picking up on what it is you are telling me here. I get that the main thrust is that the computer is reacting to thought, rather than the physical action of pushing the 'enter' key - but the rest is going over my head. It's probably just me - so take it or leave it - lol!

Overall: I think you have great command of your prose, and with a little editing this will be a fantastic sci-fi read. The subject matter is a complex and tricky one, and it looks to me as if you have a firm grasp on it. Your characters begin to come to life quickly in terms of personality - although I really feel that you could give a little more visual info to the reader. The text is in no way overloaded with description, so you have room to play with.

Elizabeth H wrote 577 days ago

Club Nanobots Review

Interesting take on time travel. The prolog sets up the threat factor, but the dialog is a tad difficult to follow without many speech tags. I don't get a sense of the people or the setting much. It would be nice to see more.

Chapter one is extremely technical and well presented. I would imagine this will go down well with the hard core sci fi crowd. The beginning of time travel starts here and like all the best inventions, begins with something small. Perhaps this is not to frighten away the backers? It works well. Thanks for the read.

Daniel de Molay-Wilson wrote 588 days ago

Club Nanobots Review:

Hi,

My first impressions were vindicated right up to the point when I finished reading, as this is clearly a highly literate work from a clearly intelligent author, in my view. And as a strong Writer myself, based on my past attendance of numerous Writer's groups and involvement with Theatre and Playwriting, I come from an informed position to say that your dialogue is indeed a major strength, not on account of whether it is placed well at times, but strictly on account that you can think it, write it and it does indeed flow very well...

I see, as I type this, the sheer mass of chapters you've already uploaded, so I'm under no illusions that my feed-back mightn't have the least bit of a dent, or even have impact on your learning curve as an author, so I will finish up with some encouragement I gladly give to all verging on the next step, and that is to press on.

There will be an audience, a readership, and also even a shelf in a shop for your work somewhere, if that's your intent. So keep at it and I hope you get there.

So good luck and I hope it goes well for you.

Kind regards,
Dan "Heights of Obsession"

Daniel de Molay-Wilson wrote 588 days ago

Club Nanobots Review:

Hi,

My first impressions were vindicated right up to the point when I finished reading, as this is clearly a highly literate work from a clearly intelligent author, in my view. And as a strong Writer myself, based on my past attendance of numerous Writer's groups and involvement with Theatre and Playwriting, I come from an informed position to say that your dialogue is indeed a major strength, not on account of whether it is placed well at times, but strictly on account that you can think it, write it and it does indeed flow very well...

I see, as I type this, the sheer mass of chapters you've already uploaded, so I'm under no illusions that my feed-back mightn't have the least bit of a dent, or even have impact on your learning curve as an author, so I will finish up with some encouragement I gladly give to all verging on the next step, and that is to press on.

There will be an audience, a readership, and also even a shelf in a shop for your work somewhere, if that's your intent. So keep at it and I hope you get there.

So good luck and I hope it goes well for you.

Kind regards,
Dan "Heights of Obsession"

Billy_Bubba wrote 588 days ago

Looking at your book now. It may be awhile if I comment, but in the meantime, I am putting your book on my shelf. I looks like a very good book.

Lenny Banks wrote 589 days ago

Hi Jet, I read chapter 4 and 5. Wow this is a great concept and I loved the tech-talk, I think this is going to be very popular with Sci Fi fans. You have a fantastic grip of the story and you describe your dialogue very well. I was a little lost in the pitch, as it all seemed a lot to take in in a short snapshot.
I love that line '...Wheather or not fate exists...' good work.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock

WiSpY wrote 597 days ago

Nanobots Review

Damn!

This is excellent. Aside from a few punctuation errors (and coming from me, the punctuation mangler, that's saying something.), the writing is superb. Use of language is excellent and the dialogue is great. A very visual style - I saw this as a movie all the way. Great job.

jet ramea wrote 608 days ago

beyond chapter 7, the character "Garret" is referred to as "Robert". i'm in the process of finishing his renaming, but until then you can assume all other details between the two are identical.

Abby Vandiver wrote 609 days ago

This is very interesting. I love time travel. The first chapter confused me somewhat. It is very technical and for those that are not knowledgeable, like myself, would have to read it again (and maybe again). I did get to chapters with dialogue, but there are problems there with no quotation marks and no words as who is speaking, so again a little confusing for me. The first chapter is well written.

Abbiealso wrote 609 days ago

CLub Nanobots Review Chapter One
HI Jet i love your sense of humor and writing style. The phrasing is impeccable and i have no advice to offer on the first chapter. Looking forward to reading More.
Abbie Lee Wallace
Medically Mystiying

Sara Stinson wrote 610 days ago

Club Nanobots Review
Retcon
By: Jet Ramea
I have read chapter One. I read your short and long pitch. I have to admit, your writing and idea is good. To me, the purpose in a story is for the reader to enjoy what they are reading. I found myself rereading many paragraphs to make sure I understood what was going on. I one point, I felt I was reading a medical journal and not a sci-fi. Of course, this is just my viewpoint. I suggest to bring your writing down to a more layman level. Then I feel you will have a more attractive reading for most.
Good Luck!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

KaliedaRik wrote 610 days ago

Hi, Jet! Below, my "Club Nanobot" crit on your book. The comments that follow are my reactions to reading your first chapter - please remember that my views are but one among many: only use the stuff that you find useful and feel free to bin the rest.

My first impression is that there's a lot of setting-up-stall in the opening chapter. There's not much in the way of scenery description or character sketching - I had to keep checking back to see who was talking, and who they were talking about. Garret's demonstration is, on the other hand, very neatly described: simple, and captures the reactions of the other candidates.

I've read the start of this book before (for Mayhem?) so I know that the following chapters are more engaging - I warmed to Robert far more than I did to Garret. Maybe this is because I find it hard to get into the head of someone who is (probably) the most intelligent person on the planet ... I'm beginning to think that it might be a point-of-view problem? I want to read the chapter as close third (ie seeing only through Garret's eyes), but the amount of background info supplied in the chapter (which doesn't feel like it's coming from Garret) gets in the way and jolts me out of the read.

I'm tempted to suggest that you could keep back a lot of the stall-setting information for later chapters and concentrate more on the group interactions in the immediate surroundings, building up the characters that will feature in future chapters, possibly adding an early taste of the dark humour that the blurb promises the reader. Or (an evil thought, this) you could experiment with swaping Chapters 1 and 2 around?

As I said, feel free to ignore my comments, and wimsy. Best wishes with taking this one forward.

MauriceR wrote 617 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

Well this worked in one respect - I kept on reading in the hope of finding out what the hell was going on.
There were quite a few writing issues, but I ignored those. This is a story about science, so all that really matters is the ideas, especially the science ideas. Also the characters. Your characters were good. Idiosyncratic while still being believable.
What bugged me was the end part of chapter 1. It didn’t make sense at first reading. Giving it a close re-read didn’t help much either. So he plugs a tube into a calculator and now it works more quickly. Why is that a big deal? Or, you suggest, it works before he presses Enter, but by too short a time for anyone to notice - so, if nobody notices, why does everyone think it’s a big deal?
It was hard to tell whether this confusion was accidental or on purpose. My idea of good writing is that its leaves the reader wondering about the things they should be wondering about while being as clear as possible about everything else. With your story, even after reading several chapters (including Ch. 5), I found it difficult to tell which was which.
And are you really planning to cheat us by not telling us what was in the box at the end of Ch. 3?
So, all in all, a pretty good effort.

kokako wrote 620 days ago

Club Nanobots

Hi Jet,

Here’s my Nanobots review for ‘Retcon’. I’m less good at giving generalised comments, so I’ve gone through and tried to give some more specific suggestions. I’m not an expert, though, so take what works for you and feel free to toss the rest.

Ch 1

1) ‘just the day prior, how’
this might be better as, ‘just the day prior, about how’ as you’re essentially saying, ‘brought to mind a discussion about how…’

2) ‘brought to everyone’s attention that’
you could say, ‘It was brought to everyone’s attention that’ but as you say, ‘The class cynic brought to everyone’s attention…’ you need to say, ‘…everyone’s attention the fact that’

3) ‘Calvin was pleased to had just pointed out’
I can’t quite follow this.

4) ‘and being slew meant’
‘slew’ should be ‘slewn’ (though I think this is fairly archaic now. Maybe use ‘slain’ instead). Or perhaps there’s a meaning for ‘slew’ that I’m unaware of, (as ‘slain’ doesn’t seem quite right in this context)?

5) ‘they were referred in the circles’
should be ‘they were referred to in the circles’

6) ‘to impress one more’
to impress one more what?

7) ‘in their heads when the chairman spoke’
comma after ‘heads’ otherwise this sounds as though he’s imagining them reciting their presentations when the chairman spoke’

8) ‘its LCD pixels indicating it was working’
comma after ‘pixels’

9) ‘Studying the crowd, at least one of the spectators might have noticed’
I’m a bit confused here. Why would one of the spectators have noticed by studying the crowd?

10) ‘Clear to Garret was that the entire room’
This might be easier to read as, ‘It was clear to Garret that the entire room’

11) ‘Unknown to him was that, including the chairman, twelve people believed’
This might be easier to read as, ‘Unknown to him, twelve people, including the chairman, believed’

12) ‘including the chairman’
Why would it be the chairman of Shred who came to analyse the potential of their inventions? There is no reason why he would have any scientific knowledge. The chairman of a company – especially one the size Shred appears to be – just oversees the board, essentially dealing with the overall framework of the company and focussing on the big picture. Even the CEO wouldn’t be involved in this sort of thing. It would be the day-to-day scientists and mathematicians and engineers within the company who would be far better placed to evaluate the potential of the creations the students are exhibiting.

This sounds like a time machine in the making. I’m going to enjoy reading on to see if that’s what comes of this. I like your concept and I like where you’re going. My one criticism would be that some of your sentences are quite convoluted which makes it a little difficult to read and keep up with the story. Having a roomful of students exhibiting their concepts for a company is a nice way to begin your story.

Sue

Paul Richards wrote 620 days ago

Nanobots Review (sort of)

Pity me, I knew I should have studied harder in geometry and algebra so that I could have taken trig and calculus. Instead I flunked 7th grade math somehow managed through my second year in high school where I ejected math related subjects and never looked back. Sorry but I'm lost in this story which seems to be quite interesting and a great deal of promise and written by a science wizard for science wizards.

malky76 wrote 622 days ago

Club Nanobots review

I must admit, I rather struggled with the huge amount of information contained within the first ten or so paragraphs. I also struggled to keep up with some of the dialogue - at times getting confused about exactly who was talking. I had to read this chapter twice to absorb the facts and understand some of the science.

However.

I have been reading Charles Dickens recently and I have been reading some chapters twice. You have a unique narrative style which provides a very rich reading experience. Reading your work is like getting into a hot bath; you need to give yourself time to become accustomed to it. Once you've been in for a while, it's relaxing and invigorating.

I would, however, remember the mantra: 'less is more.' Some of your sentences can afford to lose half a dozen words without changing the meaning. This will greatly improve the fluidity of your narrative.

Well done though and I'll be seeing this one to the end.

Malcolm Cox
Mindscape : An Act of God

scottkenny wrote 625 days ago

Nanobot review.
From your description, it's easy to picture the events taking place in chapter one. The conflicts among the protagonists are intelligently laid out so that we also gain some understanding of their personalities. You have a classic sci-fi theme here, and write with confidence, allowing the reader to believe that you have the ability to take them on the complex journey your story entails. I want to know what the light accelerator is/does.
The only concern I might have is that I thought the early paragraphs were a bit rich in the choice of words.
best wishes,
Scott.

Ted Cross wrote 626 days ago

Club Nanobots Review --
It's always intriguing to have a grouping of geniuses face off against each other. It reminds me vaguely of stories like Ender's Game or Good Will Hunting. There is loads of promise in this first chapter. The one area that bothered me is that you bury your prose under too much wordiness. I don't in any way mean that you need to dumb it down; I just mean that your story would shine so much more if you gave it clarity rather than convolution.

Here are a few notes I made as I read:

'...pleased to had just...'

There is a place early on where the POV seems to jump away from Garret to Calvin before going back to Garret again.

'...and being slew meant...'

Powerpoint felt outdated here, unless this is really very near future? I know that we are already dumping Powerpoint for a better system at my workplace.

Vincent Novikova -- this named bugged me, because I'm a Russian speaker and I've never known a male to be given a female last name. I suppose it may be an oddity due to emigration or something, but it always gave me pause when I saw it used.

'...in the room change subjects,' -- needs a period rather than a comma

'...had passed since he verbally...' -- You use past perfect with the 'had', so you need to stick with it with 'he'd' rather than 'he'

"Well," -- Needs period rather than the comma

'...the sound of which bringing his attention...'

brerandall wrote 627 days ago

Club Nanobot:
Sometimes I feel as though science fiction writers look up a bunch of information and insert it willy nilly into their story. This is definitely not the case here. Such fluidity in your writing! The vernacular is superb, your detail is great, the setting and plot are complex yet approachable. I love where this is going. Very intriguing and I love the humor and the characters. The inner thoughts and the dialogue are both very real and flowing. Great work, six stars for sure, very much enjoyed!!

Bre
Memoria

Brian Bandell wrote 630 days ago

Club Nanobot dropping by.

I like Garret's personality. He's very smart and has some whit to him. This story is certainly mean for a hard science fiction audience, which should be interested in the engineering you are describing here.

It's not exactly clear what Garret has discovered at the end of Chapter 1, but it does seem quite important.

I'll back it.

Brian Bandell
Mute

Earl Carlson wrote 631 days ago

Club Nanobot Critique:

I'm afraid I have nothing constructive to contribute at this point. The author enjoys a thorough command of the language. I am guessing he (I am also guessing he is a he) is British -- or, if not, he is thoroughly versed in British literature. Since I hadn't read the blurb, I didn't suspect until the second-to-last paragraph of the first chapter, that Garret had somehow managed to manipulate time.

But it is the final sentence of the chapter that makes me want to turn the page.

Ryan_Gomes wrote 631 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

Well, that was certainly a fascinating start! I really enjoyed the way you've set things up here, especially the characterization of Garret. You have just the right mix of explanation and unanswered questions, and you've certainly left the reader wanting to read on. Overall, a great start!

Ryan

Ryan_Gomes wrote 631 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

Well, that was certainly a fascinating start! I really enjoyed the way you've set things up here, especially the characterization of Garret. You have just the right mix of explanation and unanswered questions, and you've certainly left the reader wanting to read on. Overall, a great start!

Ryan

Greenleaf wrote 632 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

I've read the first chapter of Retcon for the Club Nanobots Chapter One Competition. I didn't read the pitch until after I read the chapter. You did a great job of introducing several characters as well as the situation very quickly. It didn't take long to figure out that Garrett was a genius in a college classroom and that he was the one student who would go far in his career. I'm very curious what will become of him and his invention. Who is the man who came to see him, and is he going to help or hurt Garrett? Who is the one person who saw considerably more? Perhaps a classmate who wants to steal the technology.

This is a great start and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Susan/Greenleaf (Provenance; Chameleon)

Tod Schneider wrote 642 days ago

Errata or just awkward wordings in chapter one:
"Hooper was pleased to had just pointed out..."
"being slew meant hacking out research projects" (I don't know the term slew)
"as the man who brought them (sat down at) the rolling chair" (I'd say he sat in, not at. Or maybe slipped into, dropped into, eased into...)
"had been modified (cut: in such a way as to provide it), (with two cords emerging from each side of the screen) (reading further, it sounded like there was one cord emerging from each side?)( -- a cord had been wired in on each side of the screen maybe?)
"At the pressure of" the enter button sounds awkward to me. Maybe "When he pushed" or "With a push of" ?

Tod Schneider wrote 642 days ago

A very interesting book, with both intriguing ideas and entertaining characters to carry the story. You do a great job with realistic dialog and interactions, and you give us enough tension to keep things interesting. Clever stuff that will particularly appeal to the nerds amongst us I suspect.
Best of luck with this!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Bill Scott wrote 663 days ago

FCCG

Jet, I read your first chapter a few times, wrote a comment, then almost deleted it because I seemed to babbling.
In the end I think most of it was over my head so disregard any and all of what's below. You might check out Schrödinger's Caterpillar on here, people love it, but it was another one that was too complex for me.

------

- "wishing away one’s own time was a
blatant disrespect to their mortality." - My bf makes a similar comment everytime I say someyhing like I can't wait until tomorrow.


I had to read this chapter slowly, and a couple of times. Moving this sentence, or something like it, to the top might help set the scene. — Of the twelve luminaries
inhabiting 413 this morning, he was probably the brightest —

When I got to the "Based in Charlotte . . ." paragraph I started thinking of Microsoft/PATH/Gates foundation and wondered if you were some Microsoft genius and all of this was going to be too technical for me to leisurely read

“It’s probably just a dead cat.” - Funny, I got the Schrodinger refereence

The concept is great. I'm sure there is a market for it. For me, I'd probably be overwhelmed by the details to thouroughly enjoy the bigger picture of what the story is about.

Good luck, and thanks for your input on my TITLE POLL thread.

Bill

Groaner wrote 668 days ago

Read a little ways through it. Stopped the first time I thought, 'Oh, that must have been dialog.' Let me know when you get all the quotation marks in. I'd like to read it. Excellent writing.

Best of luck.

Lucy Middlemass wrote 676 days ago

Retcon

This is a FCCG review.

You’ll have to forgive my lack of experience of reading and reviewing a sci-fi book like this. Since I’m going to focus on the first chapter only, I’ll be specific.

Firstly, that’s a great opening quotation for this kind of book.
I like the idea of there being “really good laws of physics.” It implies that there are some less good ones, which is pleasingly weird.
I didn’t realise at first that the first few lines are dialogue. I’m not quite sure why they’re not in speech marks, but I daresay it’s intentional. It isn’t wrong, it’s just unusual.
I’m not sure what “the replicable word problem” is. Maybe I’m not supposed to.
I like the paragraph describing William Blount, especially the idea of him “bring(ing) up reality.”
I like “to the few who had the lungs for it.”
I don’t know what “being slew” means. Might be a UK/US thing.
“tangible objects” Possibly all objects are tangible, so the “tangible” part might be redundant.
I like the Schrodinger’s cat reference.
The case that might have been made from alligator in the everglades is a nice contrast to the coffee that was definitely from Pike’s Coffee Place.
There’s a good cliff-hanger ending to this first chapter. Someone in the room has evidently seen something on the screen that no one else has.
I didn’t understand quite what the computer screen was showing, but that might well be because I’m scientifically hopeless.
Some readers might struggle with Charlotte-based. It’s because we’re in the UK and probably only think of the girl’s name.

There’s lots to enjoy about this chapter, particularly the introduction of the characters, and some of the little details. If you wanted it to appeal more widely (to the denser amongst us) I guess a little more description of the science-y stuff would be good. That’s not to say that you should give all the information to the reader straightaway. There is, of course, no need for the first chapter to explain everything. I can see you are a strong enough writer for me to trust that further explanations are provided later.

Lucy

lisa85 wrote 688 days ago

This is an FCCG comment :)

- "The classroom portion of their lives was coming to a close..." While I certainly see that you're trying to find your voice and unique style, I find this phrase (and some others) hard to understand. You need to read at least two times to fully grasp the meaning. Personally, I think that it doesn't have to be so complicated.

- What does "Charlotte-based" mean?

- I also stumbled upon the name Vincent Novikova. Novikova is a common Russian last name. Presuming that Vincent is a man, it should be Novikov. Only a woman can be called Novikova. If you did it in order to stress his bisexuality or something like that, it probably needs to be explained a little.

- Similarly, the following sentence is too long in my opinion: "He half-expected eleven people to drop their collected projects..." Again, there is a need to read over to understand it all. I suggest to break this paragraph in at least two sentences.

- I also didn't understand what "Dallas Instrument" and "DI-83 graphing calculator" are. Shouldn't it rather be TI-83 graphing calculator? I know that TI-83 is an existing thing. Do you mean that DI-83 is a new invention? I think it's a bit confusing. Unless it's a joke, since Dallas is in Texas... Which just occurred to me :)

- I really like the flow of the three paragraphs starting with: "At the pressure of the enter button..." Although, what "Irish jig" is?

- I'd revise your wording in the following sentence: "Studying the crowd, at least one of the spectators..." And an extremely long phrase again.

- Also, I didn't understand the last sentence at all... :(

- Overall, I like the way you're trying to experiment with style, but your choice not to use quotation marks is arguable, in my opinion. Your prose reminds me a stream of consciousness, the way James Joyce and other writers of his time experimented with writing. I think, however, that such prose isn't suitable for science-fiction. Complicated style makes it harder to understand the technical details and the world you're creating in your story.

I also think, that exposition and introduction of the characters is needed. Where we are, what we're doing, how do we look like, what year is it, what city, etc... I think that your idea is interesting, but it seems to me that the complexity of your text may scare the readers away.

Sorry if it sounded harsh, but I wanted to give you a honest critique. And, of course, it's just my opinion.

1x80 wrote 688 days ago

This has a lot of potential. The writing is good, but the lack of speech marks is a little confusing. I'm having to read the same thing a few times to work out what's going on. Something like a -hyphen to indicate talking from text would help.
Rated highly, though, because I like the story.

Mr. Grassroots wrote 694 days ago

My biggest criticism of writers is that the first chapters are weak and don't grip the reader. i must say that is not the case here. The writing is very literate. What I am saying is you can write. Although sci-fi is not my genre, you did a great job of making me understand which is an accomplishment, I assure you. Well done and I will be back for more.

scargirl wrote 706 days ago

i can't say much more than what has been written below. the hit and miss things, i agree. something missing as a whole, but good writing.
j

Textual Ribbons wrote 708 days ago

Hi Jet,

Came over for a read, as promised since your log line passed muster. Hard sci-fi isn't my thing-- I can appreciate the sheer amount of genius and creativity put into it but at the same time I don't have a very scientific mind and so it's hard to get into it.

Mainly my problem is that your opening is so full of exposition and back story is that it reads like a study guide or a textbook of your world. In other words, we are far too removed from the action because of the way you are telling it. You want to engross the reader, and to do that you have to take away as much of the barrier as possible to make them feel as though they are actually in the story.

Of course I'm not an expert, and there might be other people who don't mind this. I'm just giving you my opinion. :)

Good luck with this.

xx Jasmine

R.J. Blain wrote 709 days ago

Greetings! This is a FCCG comment.

The first chapter of this was both a hit and a miss for me. I liked the sheer amount of creativity used here, taking something mundane and upping it to the next level. I liked the thought you put into your world building and character building. This form of creativity is always a hit with me. I liked how you knew how these characters would interact.

However, the miss for me struck hard and fast for me. While telling has its place, I couldn't get over the fact that the majority of the first chapter was done in a telling style rather than a showing style. The point of view was far off enough from the character of Richard Casimir and the other students that it was hard to get behind or care about any of them. I did like how you presented the stakes for these characters who are competing with one another, but I just wish this had more punch to it. Right now, while you do have stakes, I didn't feel they were immediate stakes.

You have a very good use of language. Your style is very unique, using clever wordplay to add extra meaning and depth. I think if you were to marry this clever use of words with a closer sense of immediacy with the characters, you will really have a compelling first chapter.

Your way of expressing dialogue is definitely different. The first couple of lines really, really threw me off. I did have trouble identifying who was speaking during the sections with dialogue, but at the same time, it was unique enough that I was interested by it. I would be careful about the presentation of the dialogue, because of its subtle nature, I fear it will be confusing to some.

In a way, bits of it reminded me of Douglass Adams' HHGTTG in the turning of phrase and subtle humor.

In general, I would cautiously approach the second chapter from this point to see what it held. The writing style is so unique and fresh that despite being a heavier read, I think I'd give this story a bit of a chance. There wasn't anything specifically that made me *not* want to read this story, which I feel is quite important. The last sentence is interesting and caught my attention, which I do think is important for a first chapter.

I hope you find these comments helpful to you!

whoster wrote 710 days ago

Ahoy there Jet,

Well, as it says on my profile page, sci-fi isn't my preferred genre. In fact I'd rather sandpaper my ankles than choose to read sci-fi, but you write very flowingly and rhythmically. I'm so utterly lacking in scientific knowledge, which is why I can't get along with this genre; and is also why I'm utterly unqualified to critique it. From the technical point of view, there's an easy rhythm to the writing, and that's something not that many books on this site have. I didn't see any mistakes or clumsily written parts, so hats off.

Jolly good show mate, and I'll hurl a few stars in your direction to give it a push.
Pete

LeonGower wrote 711 days ago

It's good to see you've given it a sweep. The second read over made a lot more sense. First few chapters flow nicely.
You'd mentioned that all the serious action is buried deeper in the book so, being short of time and working on my own book, I skipped ahead.
Just looking at chapter 18 right now. I understand your reasons for not using quotes and personally i avoid "he said, she said" whenever possible. In the first few chapters i can keep up as each speaker is indented differently and i know your intending to work on voices soon enough. chapter 18 however, has all the conversation looking the same, it's a real who said what? situation.

Outside of formatting and voice. the story itself flows fairly well. I would suggest one thing, your main character needs a little twist, something to knock the shine from his shoes.

LeonGower wrote 711 days ago

I stopped at 6. the chapters were getting so short i was certain it's just a skeleton of what your wanting to develop.
Exploring the development of time travel in a Uni setting is a good fresh idea, full of promise. seriously.
I like the caliber of what your writing, it's Hard Sci-Fi and once you've completed the book I'd give it a serious read, right up my ally.
few things to work on and i'm sure you know it already, no time travel pun intended ;)
conversations need a few of these"'""""". I've left a couple of spares on the screen you can borrow them till you get some of your own.
When I read this.
"In their possession lay skillsets, abilities and talents far exceeding those happened upon by a broad majority outside the room" i decided it was getting too thick, when I need to stop after every sentence and decode the inner meaning, it's no longer an enjoyable read. If i was reading a maths equation I'd expect to be in analyzer mode but this is a story. so dumb it down a little, or smother the bread in butter before adding meat.

I rejoined the story here
"In order to capture the attentions of Spaight-Hewes, Richard set his mind to developing a faster computer, which eventually saw him investing a faster processor" -- much better, easier to read means i'll read it faster and stick with it longer.
Good thing too because the story itself is a brilliant concept once my head stopped hearting from the thick text.

Have you heard the phrase: to put the cart before the horse. ? The case, in many of your sentences is.
"True enough, class was the last thing she would think to herself about" = True enough, the last thing she would think to herself about was class. I'm sure there are a million ways to write the same thing but when your topic is Hard Sci-Fi the last thing you need is a yoda voice :P

Anyway, shoot me a message if you upload a fresh copy and i'll have another look... if you don't mind :) it really is my style of story line. fresh concept and not rehashed old storyline. well done.

Su Dan wrote 711 days ago

you write with great style and skill for this very good novel...
backed with pleasure...
read SEASONS...

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