Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball


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Post February 16, 2015, 07:59:13 PM

Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball

The writing was good, no problems there. I like the story but am sometimes left a little wanting when it comes to the "it was all a dream/all in their head" trope. It had a very ethereal feel to it kind of an extra sad, Martian Chronicles with schizophrenia. I was made to feel something by this story and the narrative was well spun. Good job!
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Post February 25, 2015, 07:46:49 PM

Re: Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball

Eddie, I appreciate the feedback very much. I am honored to be included in the February issue and look forward to continuing to read all the fantastic stories here. The few I've read so far have been great. There is a lot of great writing being done on Aphelion. -Brian
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Post February 28, 2015, 04:30:55 PM

Re: Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball

This seemed to me to mostly be an exploration of psychosis, and I found it pretty convincing. The character's situation is dismal, and doesn't seem to change much; it seems to get better--a little--when she meets Austin, but ultimately I couldn't be sure if he was ever real at all or just another hallucination.

One thing that stood out for me was the little bit of deus ex machina concerning the airlock, in it not having an override available to personnel inside the ship. I've seen this used before, and it jars me as an unthinkably bad design fault. The firehose ploy wouldn't have worked either; in a sensible design, the airlock doors act by default in a mutually exclusive fashion, so that they can't both be open, and the inner hatch would not have sealed on the hose, thus preventing the outer hatch from opening. Finally:
She went to grab his arms and was thrown down by a thousand pounds of pressure, the weight of an elephant.
this would not happen; atmospheric pressure acts in all directions, and you've treated it as acting unidirectionally as though it were gravity. Realistically, the pressure would have crushed her to death before she could get out of the hatch anyway--and him, too.

I didn't notice any mechanical errors in the writing (punctuation, spelling, etc.), but the rhythm of the sentences seemed to be a little monotonous overall.

Hope this helps,

LC
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Post February 28, 2015, 07:53:57 PM

Re: Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball

Lester, Think you might have missed this-
"Inside she punched in the override code on the keypad."
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Post March 01, 2015, 12:07:34 AM

Re: Venus Forms by Brian W. Ball

BallerB wrote:Lester, Think you might have missed this-
"Inside she punched in the override code on the keypad."

No, she did the same thing he'd done--from inside the airlock. I meant:
It turned out she had passed him a dozen times. He caught the corner of her eye as she ran through the pod-docking hangar. He was in the airlock. He stood inside the double sealed doors looking at the floor. His face was still, as if he was waiting for something to happen. The thick glass door to the airlock and hatch outside were shut tight. Only the person inside could punch in the release code.

What I meant was that the airlock should be controllable by people who are inside the ship, but not inside the airlock.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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