Coincidences


Tell us what you thought about the March 2013 issue!

Moderator: Editors

User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post March 25, 2013, 01:58:22 PM

Coincidences

It occurs to me that two stories this month feature used items that come with something extra: "Previously Loved" and "Coils in the Dark". Compare and contrast, and explain which "extra" you would rather have, and why. This essay question will count for 20% of your midterm grade.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Master Critic

Posts: 3595

Joined: September 17, 2008, 10:10:20 PM

Post March 25, 2013, 08:40:50 PM

Re: Coincidences

This is a good idea! Games, trivia and challenges for the main edition publications.

But we need new people, especially writers, who can appreciate what the main edition provides. Possibly, we could create a promotion around challenges relating to new submissions and send pm's to members, who were once active here to join in.

I know what you are going to say, "Why don't YOU do it?" If that was to be your inquiry, set up some fun and interesting past times for the old crowd and I will. I don't mind doing the work.

You have good ideas. Let's set up some site promotion.

We need more participation, the echos in the forum are starting to get louder.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2528

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post April 16, 2013, 06:14:21 AM

Re: Coincidences

Mark Edgemon wrote:This is a good idea! Games, trivia and challenges for the main edition publications.

But we need new people, especially writers, who can appreciate what the main edition provides. Possibly, we could create a promotion around challenges relating to new submissions and send pm's to members, who were once active here to join in.

I know what you are going to say, "Why don't YOU do it?" If that was to be your inquiry, set up some fun and interesting past times for the old crowd and I will. I don't mind doing the work.

You have good ideas. Let's set up some site promotion.

We need more participation, the echos in the forum are starting to get louder.


In the new framework that emerged for me this morning, I see this as great fodder for story reply threads! I'll have to think about how not to duplicate a comment like this into both story threads, but one copy of it deserves to be pulled into the post tallies, so I'll do that in a few minutes. My hunch for the moment is to graft the loop-back "see other story" onto the bottom of some other comment by the same author in the other thread.

My suggestion is that people do these "games" into the story reply threads. So if people pick one or the other story to do the "compare and contrast" essay, hopefully those will spawn separate threads as the essays come in.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2528

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post April 16, 2013, 08:56:41 AM

Re: Coincidences

(Bump to push this to the top as a suggested comparison essay, to be thrashed out in the story threads.)
User avatar

Critic

Posts: 198

Joined: October 13, 2011, 08:33:33 AM

Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK

Post April 17, 2013, 10:34:12 AM

Re: Coincidences

Both stories feature an object, a car in 'Previously Loved' and a cabinet in ' Coils In the Dark' that have a supernatural entity 'haunting' it.

The Mustang in 'Previously' is a fairly straight forward example of the 'Haunted Technology' trope. However, the cabinet in 'Coils' is somewhat harder to classify. It is obviously a haunted object and therefore could be considered 'Haunted Fetter'. But then again, the nature of this particular beast is in hard to define. That it is a snake of immense size is without question as the protagonist finds its shed skin inside the cabinet - but what kind of snake is it? A ghost snake, a demon snake, an extra-dimensional being in snake form?

To determine this, let's examine what the story tells us. The snake's presence is felt, perhaps heard but never truly seen. It is certainly not inside the cabinet although it seems confined when the doors are shut and locked. It has some connection to the cabinet, this is plain. So the snake's nature is ethereal, yet it eats or consumes offering such as dead rabbits - this is not something that ghosts can do. It is not actually a ghost then - perhaps a demon, sprite or animal spirit, the cabinet is the object which it tied to, therefore the snake and cabinet are not unlike a Genie and its bottle.

The differences between the stories diverge further. 'Previously', uses a simple 'unfinished business' trope as the main plot driver. In 'coils' the demon snake seems to be protective of whoever owns the cabinet. Perhaps that is its default behaviour or perhaps it feels some sort of debt or gratitude for the offerings (dead rabbits) the protagonist provides.

There are also a lot more unanswered questions in 'coils'; Where did the cabinet come from? How was the relationship between the cabinet and demon snake formed? Was it purposely constructed for this purpose and to what end? All very intriguing questions. The cabinet is indicated as being Chinese in design, and there is a further clue in the form of the old Chinese lady who, we assume, tries to warn or inform the protagonist about the cabinet. This leads me to the conclusion that the cabinet and it's demon snake, for the purposes of the story, are a form of 'Applied Phlebotinum', specifically, an 'Ancient Artifact'.

Ultimately, this means that 'Coils' is about a man who comes into possession of an Ancient Artifact and, through trial, error and luck, discovers its properties, to his own good fortune in the end. I expect agents from Warehouse 13 will turn up at his door one day.
Doggerel is a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value.

Return to March 2013

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.