See You in Hell


Tell us what you thought about the March 2005 issue!

Moderator: Editors

Commenter

Posts: 9

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

Post March 13, 2005, 12:38:30 PM

See You in Hell

Hey all-<br><br>It's great to have a story up at Aphelion! Any comments would be very welcome.<br><br>Thank you,<br><br>--G
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

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

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post March 13, 2005, 01:09:05 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Boy, authors are chomping at the bit this month. If he had just waited 30 minutes... :)<br><br>Ah, a simple game of chess in the park. What could go wrong with that? A lot, when one player is a demon, and the other the best chess player in the world--who is weak from addiction.<br><br>This was an excellent piece of fiction, and I liked it a lot. It was written with professionalism, and I didn’t notice anything in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. It was easy to follow, and the writing gave me a sense the writing was carrying me through towards the climax.<br><br>I like details. I like all the senses to perceive things so that the world is concrete enough that I can feel that I’m there. I didn’t get that from this, but I could see good reason not to--Marv is an addict, so his perception of the world is skewed, off. All of the world wouldn’t seem real to him, and I believe that he would only notice things a bit at a time.<br><br>I didn’t get why the musicians were in the story. They have dialogue, a sort of disjointed running commentary, so they were important. However, I didn’t see what their purpose was for being in the tale. <br><br>I liked the character of Xaphan. A true denizen of Hell, he came complete with tricks to bend the minds of victims, while holding out a secret that will let him win in the end. He was a very good thinking man’s demon, laying a mental trap. Marv may not have been the most sympathetic character to begin with, but it doesn’t take long to draw us into the idea that he’s playing for his life--in exchange for a chess set. He misunderstood. He thought he was earning an eternal Get Out of Jail Free card, but all he would get was chess pieces. That was as human a choice as I know of.<br><br>This was a very good plot. Even though it was about chess against a supernatural being, the story itself was human--human values, human frailties, human drama. Marv had it all. He had ability to live by his chess skills, but he blew it. Finally, he could have saved himself, but in the end, he chose not to. He chose to keep living as he was, even though he knew what would happen.<br><br>I thought dialogue/voice was handled well.<br><br>A lack of sympathy for Marv at first was the only real stumbling block for me, but only a little one. That he falls for his frailties at the end may trouble some, but I liked that. Some endings are tragic. Very well done. <br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on March 13, 2005, 01:12:14 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Commenter

Posts: 9

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

Post March 13, 2005, 01:38:51 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Thanks, Nate!<br>Hope I didn't breech and protocols by asking for comments, but this is one of those stories that I love one day and cringe at the next... I was eager to see how it played in the real world. <br>--G
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

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

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post March 13, 2005, 02:25:56 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Thanks, Nate!
Hope I didn't breech and protocols by asking for comments, but this is one of those stories that I love one day and cringe at the next... I was eager to see how it played in the real world.
--G
<br>Naw. This issue was late. I'd have been on-edge myself. The only bit of netiquette I see anybody breaking is that generally, topics are started "[title] by [author's name]". That way everybody sees it, and doesn't accidentally start a new topic about the same thing.<br><br>However, I would keep in mind that we all have day jobs, so reviews are things people fit in as they can. Luckily, this issue came out in time for a weekend where I didn't have anything planned, or I wouldn't have gotten to any of it for a quite while. Most of the Usual Suspects are notorious procrastinators, so I wouldn't expect many more reviews to filter in before the end of the month.<br><br>Nate
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1086

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

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post March 13, 2005, 04:19:08 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Its quite all right for writers to start topics about their own stories. And especially understandable when an issue is late.<br>What may be inexcusable to some is that I, myself, have been so busy trying to get back into my next Nightwatch story that I haven't read any of this issue yet- except for Jeff's story. I appologise, but hope to read everything and comment in the next week or two.<br> OK, I'm being an absentee landlord. I appologise. LOL! I plead the fact that it's hard to pick up in the middle of something one had to interrupt. OK? So there!<br>Hmmmm, channeling my inner grandchild again. LOL! I was the one who just *had* to stop what I was doing and write a replacement story for one that the original writer had to bow out of. <br> I will take a break and read everything in this issue. I'm sorry I haven't all ready.<br>Dan<br>
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom

Master Critic

Posts: 549

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

Location: Augusta, GA

Post March 14, 2005, 11:27:35 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Language as a conduit to imagery is the magic of story. This is not really hard magic; most people accomplish a little of it everytime they sit down to write. But the trick -- the excruciatingly hard part -- is keeping up the magic for more than a few lines. Greg did it with this story.<br><br>Like Nate, I did find the musicians' conversation out of place, but it didn't throw me off by much. The story was good and that's what counts.<br><br>Well done.<br><br><br>-- david j.
Check out my blog: http://wp.me/NXsO

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2528

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

Location: Mass, USA

Post March 14, 2005, 11:46:55 PM

Re: See You in Hell

<br>I guess this is my "one story" to look over for this issue. <br><br>Chess and Demons? <Perk> <br>I am a fairly strong player, so I'm interested in how<br>the chess side of things is handled. <br><br>I spy with my Birdy Eye that Kailhofer's critique is much more thorough than my latest reviews have been. <br><br>I discovered to my horror when I am sampling the old stories that after 2 weeks I start forgetting the details I need for my reviews! So out came some very short, slightly lazy ones. Bleh. <br><br>I'll post again after I read this in a FEW days. <br>( I think I can manage it before the end of the month!)<br><br>---RuefulPhoenix<br><br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

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

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post March 15, 2005, 12:49:22 AM

Re: See You in Hell

This was a well-written story about Hell. I love stories about Hell and devils (one of the best I've ever read is in the current issue of Black Gate called Amnesty). <br><br>I'm no chess player, but I found the chess dimension the strongest part of the story; it was immaculately handled and generated enjoyable tension.<br><br>However, I was left a bit flat by the ending. I guess with these kinds of stories it's either/or, so maybe I ought to tackle an alternative rather than telling others to reinvent the wheel.<br><br>I'm also not sure why our likeable sap was singled out for torment. Certainly no poetic justice that I could see. <br><br>Dan E.<br><br><br>

Commenter

Posts: 9

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

Post March 16, 2005, 06:44:38 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Thanks, all! <br><br>Unforgibbon hit it on the nose: there isn't much in the way of poetic justice here, and I guess that's what's been bothering me about the story ever since I wrote it. Demons can pick on random folks, but random doesn't make for the most satisfying conclusion. I'll certainly keep that in mind if I ever go back into this one. <br><br>Also, I was after something specific with the musician's banter. By intercutting their dialogue with Marv's thoughts, I was trying to demonstrate how easily Marv is distracted. I guess it didn't quite gel. That's good to know. <br><br>Thanks again for the feedback and comments; it's really got me thinking about where I was going with this story. <br><br>--G
User avatar

Junior Critic

Posts: 68

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

Post March 18, 2005, 01:02:12 PM

Re: See You in Hell

About my only complaint about the story, was that I am a chess player...who's played in the tournament venue before...<br><br>And I found the lack of "real" chess commentary a bit -- well -- lacking. I would have much more appreciated the interweaving of various other masters defences and attacks....and especially notation about that damn clock.<br><br>The slapping of the button, the anxious gazes at the dwindling time, the bleakness when you opponent moves and slaps so quickly...etc. etc.<br><br>So, other than that small point, it was a great ss and I'm most pleased to have liked it too!<br><br>Jim
-------------------------------------------------
[i:1lubxs05]always learning to write GREAT sf...[/i:1lubxs05]

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2528

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

Location: Mass, USA

Post March 19, 2005, 12:23:31 PM

Re: See You in Hell

<br>Hello everyone. <br><br>I enjoyed this story. Chess stories are tricky to write, beause if you don't play yourself, like all technical matters it's easy to make a blunder, and ChessPlayers are tired of seeing repeated blunders handling their game. <br><br>This tale passed the "blundercheck". The moves described do indeed appear to be from a Sicilian Defense. ( Though it's a pity we didn't get three more, so we could find out which line! Heh. )<br><br>I have to say I'm a little skeptical of a Photo showing Mikhail Tal playing Mikhail Botvinnik in 1989, as Botvinnik officialy retired from chess, and would have been very elderly, and Tal's already shaky health must have been on the verge of collapse as both men died some 3-5 years after that supposed photo. <br><br>I thought the style of our stranger from below was grand. I'm SUCH a softie for polite evil denizens! <br><br>Something bothered me just a little about the terms of the contract. If our Fiend is entitled to take Marv's small, worthless, and pitiful life at any moment, without notice or provocation, (presumably with intent to devour), why exactly are they playing?<br><br>If the demon wins, he gains nothing, and if he loses, he parts with a chess set, forgoes lunch, and has to check with the Souls Receivable Department of Hell in about 20 years to retrieve Marv's Eternality. <br><br>From Marv's point of view, yes he is a wasted man, but that does not usually entitle denizens of Hell to confiscate active lives without notice or provocation (with intent to devour). In the Epic world of the Scriptures (See "Loose", mentioned in my review folder), Active Lives are the battleground between the Lord, who has submitted his one son, and a text manual, and rested his case, and Hell, which maintains influences. In summary I see the effort made, but Man Vs. Hell contract clauses have to be carefully written! :)<br><br>I was a little surprised that Marv wants to play Black, because Black moves second, and has a 25% results disadvantage among players of qual strength. <br><br>Something interesting about the notation. What is described is called the "Old English Descriptive" notation, as it was used from about 1700-1975 or so. <br>Between 1975 and 1980, with the advent of international standards and the rise of computer programs, the chess world settled on an Algebraic system much like Battleship. Was the older system deliberately used to give the demon an "Old School" flavor, or is the author simply unaware of the new system? (P.S. There was a critical missing move in the text! Black's second move gives clues to black's system) <br><br>Old English : <br>1. P-K4, P-QB4 2. N-KB3, (Missing!) 3. P-Q4, PXP 4. NxP<br>Algebraic<br>1. e4, c5 2. Nf3 (Missing) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 ... <br><br>( I'll remark to Mr. Rudnick Each player does glance at the clock.) <br><br>As far as the conversation itself, if Marv is given to distraction, he must not be aware of the toughness of the game, because he initiates at least half of the conversation. This is after all a park setting, not a tourney hall, and the way Marv is described, it's not clear when he last was able to concentrate. <br><br><Giggles> We finally get a clue ( if accidental) to Black's system from the line "His king now lies safely behind two pawns as well as his rook." This means the Bishop is not fianchettoed on King Knight 2 / g7 as otherwise the line would/should have mentioned "safe behind a Bishop and 2 pawns". Therefore Marv is playing some sort of Najdorf/Schveningen or Pelikan system with the Bishop on King 2 / e7. ;)<br><br>I definitely notice the demon tries the favorite park trick of insulting the opponent when he is losing. :)<br><br>Then we have the ending. Stylistically, it is handled quite well. I don't have an opinion on the tragic nature of the outcome; there's plenty of tradition of <br>Man Vs Devil contests with weak characters who never do take full advantage of their chances. <br><br>In all, lots of fun. The chess comments I mentioned are technical finesses, not true mistakes. <br><br>----TaoPhoenix <br><br><br><br><br>

Junior Critic

Posts: 95

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

Post March 19, 2005, 01:47:07 PM

Re: See You in Hell

'his resolve a flickering light amid the burning pyres of his needs'<br><br> if you can write a like that-even just once in a while, you should never wonder about how your stories will play out in the real world. That line will resonate with me like the perfect hum of a tuning fork tapped just right for a long time. Bravo<br> Rob
User avatar

Senior Editor

Posts: 1086

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

Location: Northeast Georgia, USA

Post March 19, 2005, 10:10:21 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Excellent! Not being a chess fanatic, I didn't see the flaws pointed out in the previous posts. And I really liked the element of Marv suddenly realizing he'd only won the rest of his natural life, along with the chess set- Not salvation.<br>Things I'd like to have seen?<br> Just a little more internal dialog of both major characters. Just a bit larger hint of their thoughts.<br>A little more description of the park. Only the one table was real to me.<br>Marv pondering his options at the end, with some hint of his deciding to try for salvation instead of remaining stagnant. The ending as is leave all options open. Not necessarily a bad thing, just less rewarding than I was expecting while I was reading. On the other hand, the ending as is works better when one reads it a second time- knowing there isn't going to be a resolution. If that's a flaw, then put it down to the writer being too close to the story to be able to see it with the eyes of a new reader.<br>Hope this helps. I really liked the story.<br>Dan<br>
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
Brice Linch - Max Headroom
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 550

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

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post March 23, 2005, 10:55:07 AM

Re: See You in Hell

I'm also not sure why our likeable sap was singled out for torment. Certainly no poetic justice that I could see.
<br><br>Xaphan, a demon of the second rank who fans the flames of Hell, is obviously attracted to Marv's lost potential. What greater torment than to show an individual what he's capable of yet not obtained?<br><br>I enjoyed this story quite a bit. Writing in present tense can be difficult. I commend the writer on attempting something so challenging. I saw only one minor grammatical error. Overall, a nice story from beginning to end. Great job!
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


jaimie l. elliott

[b:2o4dvkjg]Check out my website:[/b:2o4dvkjg]
http://www.jaimie.org/

Commenter

Posts: 9

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

Post March 26, 2005, 01:36:00 PM

Re: See You in Hell

Thanks, all. The comments have been very useful to me in identifying the strengths and weaknessess of this story. <br><br>I'm glad that my research into chess and demons has been recognized! Earlier drafts had a lot more chess in them, but based on the comments, I think I might have struck a good balance in the end. <br><br>Again, thak you for taking the time.<br><br>--G<br><br>

Master Critic

Posts: 897

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

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post April 04, 2005, 09:58:40 AM

Re: See You in Hell

Great story! Chess can serve as a doorway to ideas.<br>During a friendly game of Chess without time-clocks,<br>good ideas or creative idea about your personnel <br>projects or your work can bubble up to the surface of your mind! If you're relaxed while playing, the chess board becomes a mantra, so to speak, which stimulates thoughts.<br><br>Shooting Pool also has the same effect.
Tesla Lives!!!

Return to March 2005

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

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