The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudnick


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Post March 14, 2005, 06:18:57 PM

The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudnick

This one was a really fun read. A revenge story, but on the light side. As soon as the Leudies start lording it over Wiggins, I immediately built up sympathy for the assistant assistant port keeper and built contempt for the Leudies.<br><br>But I guessed what kind of radiation affected the diamonds as soon as Wiggins smiled when he read the specs. But that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story a whit. I thought the ending was super!<br><br>I saw a moral to the story--don’t mistreat people today; tomorrow they may be in a position to hurt you. Case in point: I once knew of an army sergeant who tormented a PFC at every opportunity. The PFC went to OCS and became a commissioned officer, and guess what--in his first assignment as an officer he had the sergeant in his unit.<br><br>I didn’t see anything in the story to quibble about. Simply a fun read.<br><br>Donald <br><br><br>
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Post March 17, 2005, 01:25:13 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

<grin> gosh, I love this forum....the feedback is SO important to us 'newbie' ss writers -- so thanks so much Don for your kind appreciative feedback...<br><br>And yes, it was meant to be a light and fun filled ss, a la asimov (like I'd ever be that good ;-) and almost like a slice of life for this minor bureaucrat. I know that the forecasting of the ending could be sussed out early and while that bothered me no end during the writing as I just couldn't yet 'hide' it well -- the knowledge that in a few more million lines of ss writing, I'd be able to do just that comforted me somewhat. And a moral to the story? Don't all ss have one....hope so....I think that's important to a ss writer, that somehow something "extra" be passed along...<br><br>Oh, on that note, I've 'sort of' fallen into a new position as everything I now think of, location wise, is out on the Rim. Yes, I've recently in the past 2 years read TONS of Bertram Chandlers works and love what he did, Rim-wise.....and I guess I'm trying to 'emulate' him....<br><br>I have 3 more in the works and my first sf novel *should* be done by early fall and yup, it's out on the Rim too....<br><br>Hope you all enjoyed same....<br><br>Jim<br><br>
Last edited by JVRudnick on March 17, 2005, 01:26:42 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post March 21, 2005, 08:41:00 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

<grin> gosh, I love this forum....the feedback is SO important to us 'newbie' ss writers [snip]
I have 3 more in the works and my first sf novel *should* be done by early fall and yup, it's out on the Rim too....
<br>I'm not sure 'newbie' is quite the correct term. Your other publishing credentials are extensive. Most of us "old hands" would kill just for the agent part... :-(<br><br>You've written a good story, Jim.<br><br>It was written with professionalism, had good variation in sentence structure and vocabulary, and definitely gave a sense that the writing was carrying me along.<br><br>Set dressing might be the only black mark I could give. It was clear that you tried to make some things more detailed, like the description of the Leudies and Ttseens, but not other important items like Wiggins himself, or his lizard, or Allison. They were all important characters too, but their description was minimal. Likewise his office, which was a major setting in the story. My eye for detail would have loved to see more about all those species in the cafeteria. Also, I wouldn't be me if I didn't call for more than just sight and sound in a story. When only those are used, it always reminds me of a television show rather than a real place.<br><br>Also, I was forced to wonder what the first Assistant Port Keeper as well as the actual Port Keeper actually did.<br><br>Top marks for characterizations and plot development. Wiggins drew my sympathy right off. The story felt believable and true down in my gut, and that's the real gauge of success for any reader. It unfolded in a way that made sense. Wiggins made a choice based on things he learned during the course of the story, and that's the right way to do it.<br><br>Fair marks dialogue. While the Leudies had a definite "uppity" speech pattern, I was disappointed that all the species could speak that well. If Ttseens had a mouth like a dog, I doubt they'd be able to pronounce labiodental consonants like "f" or "v". They wouldn't have teeth in the right spot. They may manage dental or alveolar consonants like "t", "d" or "n", but probably wouldn't sound quite right. A voiceless alveolar affricate like "ch" would be right out. [Sorry, I hadn't exercised those parts of my brain for a while, so they were itching to be used.] These items would be unimportant if they used a translation device. However, if you use the Ttseens again in one of those stories, you might add an extra layer of realism by making them sound like they really would.<br><br>So, minor quibbles only. Nicely done.<br><br>Nate
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Post March 22, 2005, 10:47:00 AM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

The writing was professional. The pacing was about right for the story. I had trouble getting interested in it, but I attribute that to the topic. Since I deal with bureaucracy all the time, I actually found myself rooting against Wiggin at the beginning. Yes, I know, that seems horrible, but you really have to understand my line of work. Bureaucrats make my life hell. So I'm a bit biased.<br><br>I think I would have liked the story a bit better if Wiggin took a more active role in exacting his revenge (mimicking his friend Allison's sentiments). It seemed a bit unlikely that these new type of diamonds would just happen to be susceptible to the very radiation emanating from the neck snakes. One way to make it more plausible would to have Wiggin be more proactive instead of reactive to the situation. Or better yet, make the diamonds susceptible to many types of radiation but somehow, in the typical fashion of bureaucracy, the paperwork detailing that got lost.<br><br>Wiggin made a very likeable protagonist. I also enjoy seeing strong female characters in SF, since they seem under-represented, so Allison struck a chord with me.<br>
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Post March 25, 2005, 12:41:34 PM

The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudnick

as someone who spent years doing freight forwarding at a major airport and carried out many of the tasks Wiggins faced in the story, I found the setting both atmospheric and satisfying.<br>the plot, however, lacked impetus for me as it simply didn't contain what i would consider an exciting string of events. having said that, the story can be taken as "a day in the life of", and as such works well.<br>additionally, enjoyed the reference to Encyclopedia Galactica, and the various people inhabiting the Rim universe. In fact , these Leudies didn't seem so bad to me, and i also didn't identify with Wiggins' indignation too much. Sure, he was doing his job, but so were they as profit maximizing traders, so mayhap taking it all personally was wrong of him. I know coz similar things happened to me back in the day.<br>And where did the name Leudies come from? it felt like a loaded name, the kind meant to generate feelings of dislike. Plus, i think their physical appearance was inspired by that sycophantic creature hanging around Jubba the Hut in Return of the Jedi. Correct?<br><br>Lee
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Post March 25, 2005, 02:43:49 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

Lee....you're one VERY observant reader! Yup, credit Lucas with the seminal idea on the 'blue skinned' sycophant of Jabbas....and "Leudies" came, dunno why...just did?<br><br>and a 'day in the life' was about it too...to be REALLY honest, it was a chapter in my novel, rewritten from Wiggins POV tho, that I had to cut...works well tho as a standalone I think....<br><br>and while I've never been a bureaucrat etc...the background did seem to work well...thanks all!<br><br>Jim
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Post March 28, 2005, 12:27:35 PM

The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudnick

was it Jubba or Jabba? man it's hard to remember all these things!<br><br>Lee
Last edited by neoadorable on March 28, 2005, 12:27:59 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post March 28, 2005, 06:46:57 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

am pretty sure (i have a 13 year old who watches it weekly - part of the "impetus" for that dang blue skin I used I'd say!) it's Jabba.....<br><br>Oh, and while this might not be new to some of you, there is a whole collection of folks who're very very much into Princess Leia and that dang outfit she wore when lounging at Jabbas feet too...<br><br><shrug> where do people find the time?<br><br>Jim
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Post March 28, 2005, 09:15:44 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn

...Oh, and while this might not be new to some of you, there is a whole collection of folks who're very very much into Princess Leia and that dang outfit she wore when lounging at Jabbas feet too...

Jim
<br><br>I believe the group is called heterosexual males with a pulse. (It includes some lesbians as honorary members.) I'm not sure what the group who are very very much into Jabba are called, however.<br><br>Robert M.<br>
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Post March 28, 2005, 10:04:46 PM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn


I believe the group is called heterosexual males with a pulse.  (It includes some lesbians as honorary members.)  I'm not sure what the group who are very very much into Jabba are called, however.

Robert M.
<br><br>Jabbawackies maybe? "'Twas brillig and the slithy toves..."<br><br>Donald<br>
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Post March 29, 2005, 12:13:35 AM

Re: The Assistant Assistant Portkeeper by J V Rudn


I believe the group is called heterosexual males with a pulse. (It includes some lesbians as honorary members.)
<br><br>That group also includes hetrosexuals and lesbians *without* a pulse. I happen to know several dozen zombies and vampires who underwent spontanious re-animation- no matter how well drugged they were -whenever that scene came on the viewer.<br>Dan<br>
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