Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan


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Post September 20, 2013, 05:57:07 PM

Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

O, holy cow, I loved this story. I loved the characters, I loved the descriptions and I really liked the plot. But I think I liked the use of the word coelacanth more than anything - and the comic timing of this piece allowed me to see it as a short film in my head - a funny one! Great dialogue!

There is nothing like a story that grabs you, makes you think and makes you laugh all at the same time. I am off to read Mr. Grehan's other stories in the archives.

And I can't wait for the next one.
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Post September 20, 2013, 09:36:10 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

For at least a couple days after reading this one in the slush pile, every time I heard a noise or thump somewhere, I said, "Coelacanth!" Once I explained it to one of my daughters, she thought it was pretty funny, too.
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Post September 22, 2013, 04:49:03 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Non-stop, rip-roaring fun! Great descriptions -- you can't not love a story with lines like
She had arrived at the living room's single la-z-boy recliner, and was lowering herself into it like a large piece of pneumatic equipment folding itself up.


Five stars! Thanks, Rick!
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Post September 24, 2013, 05:45:01 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Nice story! And very nice use of the one-word, new meaning mechanic. As noted by the other commenters, "coelecanth" will forever carry the connotation brought to it here... Not sure if that's a good thing tho... :-)

Good stuff!

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Post October 14, 2013, 12:55:51 AM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

In the more "Critique" vein, this is one of those that I felt needed a clear date stamp pretty early on. "...and an old paperback I'd found at a yard sale. The paperback's cover showed rocket ships, explosions, and a female in a silver spacesuit shooting a ray-gun at something with tentacles. " - Could be anywhere in a *fifty year spread* and for me what resources are available in fifty years matters!

"...movie "Close Encounters"." Okay, partial ... post 1980's.

But maybe the creeping problem of SciFi anywhere is when it is written "classically". By now I get mightly suspicious of stories that don't *both* state dates and reasons for not having any computing device *anywhere in the plot*.

That's the tragedy of SciFi for me ... you can't just write it like it's 1988.

There's no easy fix, but just send anyone inside anywhere to Google something. (If you are a privacy fan make 7 extra lines why it's Startpage and not Google.)

Just anything but this generic "could be anywhere from 1984 to 2005" type timing!

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Post October 14, 2013, 12:36:36 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

TaoPhoenix:

Thank you for writing that. I confess that what you've brought up never occurred to me. It's something to think about ... which is always good when I can manage it.

--rick

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Post October 16, 2013, 01:41:24 AM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

regrehan wrote:TaoPhoenix:

Thank you for writing that. I confess that what you've brought up never occurred to me. It's something to think about ... which is always good when I can manage it.

--rick


Hi Rick!

"You have been granted a a small cup of seven thoughts. Don't waste them!" :P

SciFi is in a strange spot where it has to simultaneously "think about the future" and yet be written often as commentary to problems of its own time.

So at the first level you get "Social Commentary lag" such as a few brilliant ... but dated ... Star Trek Original Series episodes. First Interracial Kiss, (the FanFic of the 80's solved that one!), basic ethnic civil rights, and more. But then the author is trying to also look ahead at something that hasn't happened yet, and solve that too!

Yikes!

But a big problem is when a story misses some element of "tech that will never go away". A lot of stories can be forgiven for not jumping all over how Facebook and Apple stormed into our lives.

But the surprising one is ... computers at all!

Think about it. I am sending a note to one charming Richard Grehan (Esquire? Second?) ... over a (modified) fifteen year old internet forum ... and no one in a SciFi story EVER does? What world are all these people living in? And why won't they turn on their computers to do *anything*?

Bang. Even as late as the early 1980's people knew about computers... but no one "took them seriously". (Come on, everyone learned to make little games in Basic on a Commodore 128 in 1985...). But in story writing, there's a supremely peculiar trend I only noticed the last couple of years that somehow "computers just don't appear".

Now let's see if I can lead you hopelessly astray, courtesy of the xkcd comic:

http://xkcd.com/903/
http://xkcd.com/978/
http://xkcd.com/214/
http://xkcd.com/715/

... And look at that. More tech than any SciFi story except one written self-consciously written in the last four years!

Yours in writing,

--Tao

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Post October 16, 2013, 01:50:31 AM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

TaoPhoenix wrote: Hi Rick!

"You have been granted a a small cup of seven thoughts. Don't waste them!" :P

SciFi is in a strange spot where it has to simultaneously "think about the future" and yet be written often as commentary to problems of its own time.

So at the first level you get "Social Commentary lag" such as a few brilliant ... but dated ... Star Trek Original Series episodes. First Interracial Kiss, (the FanFic of the 80's solved that one!), basic ethnic civil rights, and more. But then the author is trying to also look ahead at something that hasn't happened yet, and solve that too!

Yikes!

But a big problem is when a story misses some element of "tech that will never go away". A lot of stories can be forgiven for not jumping all over how Facebook and Apple stormed into our lives.

But the surprising one is ... computers at all!

Think about it. I am sending a note to one charming Richard Grehan (Esquire? Second?) ... over a (modified) fifteen year old internet forum ... and no one in a SciFi story EVER does? What world are all these people living in? And why won't they turn on their computers to do *anything*?

Bang. Even as late as the early 1980's people knew about computers... but no one "took them seriously". (Come on, everyone learned to make little games in Basic on a Commodore 128 in 1985...). But in story writing, there's a supremely peculiar trend I only noticed the last couple of years that somehow "computers just don't appear".

Now let's see if I can lead you hopelessly astray, courtesy of the xkcd comic:

http://xkcd.com/903/
http://xkcd.com/978/
http://xkcd.com/214/
http://xkcd.com/715/

... And look at that. More tech than any SciFi story except one written self-consciously written in the last four years!

Yours in writing,

--Tao

You should be making money writing this stuff! Image
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Post October 16, 2013, 01:02:14 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Tao,
Aren't you forgetting 'cyberpunk'?

I wish I could . . .
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Post October 16, 2013, 01:35:13 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Lester Curtis wrote:Tao,
Aren't you forgetting 'cyberpunk'?

I wish I could . . .


Hmm... No. I like Cyberpunk, and it's more relevant today than ever!
However I had to just rein myself in before I created an entire book on one story!

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Post October 16, 2013, 01:37:20 PM

Re: Intelligent Drain-o by Rick Grehan

Mark Edgemon wrote:You should be making money writing this stuff!
Image


I just about have a "home base" set up here now, after several months of interim temporary measures, so any year now!

I might go make a thread over at C&C with gory details.

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