Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart


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Post September 19, 2015, 07:23:33 AM

Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

Wow, what a complex story. In a distant way it reminds me of the efforts the groundbreaking Star Trek Vulcan episodes that tried to really paint a complex culture of romance more than "just humans with funny looking faces".

This one is so complex that it could require both author comment and some extra material to make sense of it all. I don't understand the dialog method; one side is in regular quoted speech, the other side is in some kind of either telepathy or alien nonverbal communication or something. It's not like speaking to someone in a coma where they can't reply, because it meshes too well.

And it really set out to build worlds! I might slightly prefer the dialog method be made simple somehow, and then it would allow me to focus more on the complex bio-needs of their mating styles.

This one really opens up doorways!
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Post September 21, 2015, 02:31:48 PM

Re: Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

Thank you for your kind words! I'm a little embarrassed that my narrative style was not meant to indicate anything so cool or fantastic as telepathy or alien mind-melding. I wrote the story as an experiment in voice based on NPR's Story Corps series. In Story Corps episodes (in case you aren't familiar), two people who know each other go into a recording booth and one of them tells the other one an autobiographical story. The other often responds with a question or interjection of some sort. Vayrulia's part is really meant to be straight first person narrative and then Nusse is the "other" responding to the story, or as this turned out, helping Vayrulia to tell her story.

I'm not sure it was an entirely successful experiment. I certainly didn't mean for it to be confusing. But I did have a lot of fun writing it.
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Post September 21, 2015, 08:02:45 PM

Re: Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

I get it. Good experiment. Good Story.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

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Post October 03, 2015, 01:15:05 AM

Re: Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

KateStuart wrote:Thank you for your kind words! I'm a little embarrassed that my narrative style was not meant to indicate anything so cool or fantastic as telepathy or alien mind-melding. I wrote the story as an experiment in voice based on NPR's Story Corps series. In Story Corps episodes (in case you aren't familiar), two people who know each other go into a recording booth and one of them tells the other one an autobiographical story. The other often responds with a question or interjection of some sort. Vayrulia's part is really meant to be straight first person narrative and then Nusse is the "other" responding to the story, or as this turned out, helping Vayrulia to tell her story.

I'm not sure it was an entirely successful experiment. I certainly didn't mean for it to be confusing. But I did have a lot of fun writing it.


Well, that's why I suggested you make a remark, because now we know where to look for the prototype form, then we can re-read the story.

One thing we don't see much anymore is when in print form story collections, you'd sometime get an Author's Note and this is where that would go.

I'm getting a bit stuck on a story I planned for the Haloween Flash edtion, but in some of my sketch versions the story would still be Flash length but then additional author's notes below might help the reader catch up with some unclear assumptions and/or cultural conventions. I was pondering making them "temple scribe's notes" or something.

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Post October 03, 2015, 09:14:38 AM

Re: Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

Yes, this is a complex story. It is a good experiment, and one that I should re-read.

I’m at a lost as to the theme of the story, but I think it suggests that the young will find a way to be together—no matter what race.

It's always interesting to experiment with voice, tone and style. The experiment itself is always a success; elements of the experiment can be studied, discarded, used in future stories, modified or mused over. Yes, I believe it is good to experiment!
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Post October 05, 2015, 02:05:52 PM

Re: Short Story: Symbiosis by Kate Stuart

Oh, I hadn't even thought of author's notes. What a great idea!

"temple scribe's notes" - Love it.

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