Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella


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Post March 20, 2013, 06:35:12 PM

Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

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Post March 23, 2013, 11:41:20 PM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

I don't know why, but I couldn't seem to take this story seriously. The plot is along the lines of Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, but -- all the way to the end, I kept waiting for a punch-line. It just didn't seem to have a serious tone to it.

Various punctuation errors.
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Post March 24, 2013, 10:05:59 AM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

I enjoyed the matter-of-fact mingling of alien species of every size, shape and color -- reminded me of "Galaxy" magazine, somehow. The plot was perhaps a little too similar to the upcoming movie "The Host" as well as the various incarnations of "Body Snatchers" (and a couple of short-lived TV series), but the direct-democracy thing was original (although it seemed that it might play into the mind-controlling aliens' plans) -- what would our world look like if the people who would actually have to fight a war got a direct say in things?
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Post March 24, 2013, 11:28:55 AM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

what would our world look like if the people who would actually have to fight a war got a direct say in things?
It might look like Heinlein's 'Future History' . . .
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Post March 24, 2013, 11:38:07 AM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

Robert_Moriyama wrote:...what would our world look like if the people who would actually have to fight a war got a direct say in things?

It might look like...peace. :wink:
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Post March 24, 2013, 11:02:22 PM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

Mark Edgemon wrote:It might look like...peace. :wink:

Or it might be even more bloody - think of resistance fighters. Things tend to go from "ours is a noble cause" to "you killed my brother you bastards!"
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Post March 25, 2013, 12:02:48 AM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

Wormtongue wrote:
Mark Edgemon wrote:It might look like...peace. :wink:

Or it might be even more bloody - think of resistance fighters. Things tend to go from "ours is a noble cause" to "you killed my brother you bastards!"

Well, that being true, after all of us bloody bastards are dead and in pieces, with no one left alive to bitch, moan and complain...after all that, there will be peace.

But no one will be around to clean up the mess!

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Post April 16, 2013, 07:19:27 AM

Re: Chip and the Snoop by J. J. Barella

In various places, we've talked about style and the writing craft. The first few notes I can post rather easily across a few stories will remark on some of those aspects.

I am a proponent of "Early Signaling of Context", except when a plot device requires clever holding back info. The nice thing about style comments is that they apply regardless of any other opinion about the plot. So for this story, I like this first sentence:

"Living as close to the DCUP, or Democratic Capitol of Unified Planets, as Chip did, was a privilege."

Already, that informs me of several nice points.
Barring "cheap reveals" like this being an alternate history, this signals pretty far in the future. We've long since had to accept that "pulp timelines" are hopelessly off - typically "too early". The signature "next steps" of "SciFi becoming reality" are MoonBase, AsteroidBases, and MarsBase. (Leaving off Country Squabbling for now.) So since in our current timeline we've lost a ton of momentum, those won't really begin to lock in until at least 2100 AD. (Remember, the initial Mars trips are multi-year sacrifice trips, and I fear our first trip will be more like a "throwaway novelty" that won't take hold for real, but be more of a "went there, logged the FourSquare Check In for Mars.") I see these sliding into 2200 AD and more factoring in current political delay trajectories from the moon landing era through now.

For its own reasons, this "timeline too early" includes Star Trek. However, Star Trek is for me the fastest reference metaphor to apply to this story. So if we have Unified Planets, Planets is Plural, meaning past Mars. Further smart guesses means past Alpha Centauri too. So once we get beyond *that*, the distances get big. So it's huge to wonder if Warp Drive is in this timeline. One fun trick I just cooked up is using the power of comps to do some nifty things for story analysis. Turns out the word "Warp" doesn't appear on the story page! It gets even more interesting when you search for the word "drive", it doesn't mention ___ drives on the page either, and local plot points talk about driveways. That's too "now" of a detail item, so Warp drive of some high caliber has to be in this universe because it would be something like AD 30,000 with colony ships, and then we wouldn't be talking about driveways. I think.

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