Ladi by Michael Goldberger


Tell us what you thought about the October 2005 issue!

Moderator: Editors

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

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

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post October 14, 2005, 07:37:38 AM

Ladi by Michael Goldberger

I think this story suffers chiefly from an inconsistent voice that undermines the notion that it is being told by a child of a specific age. <br><br>I also think short pieces like this that exist almost purely to deliver a surprise ending should still be compelling on the ride to that ending, and that while I have no problem with the familiar ideas at play here, eg, child's response to parental turmoil, the writer should strive to offer something new with which to engage readers who recognize the nature of these twist or puzzle stories almost from word one. <br><br>Having said that, I think revision with an eye toward producing a consistent child's voice would be an important step in punching up this piece.<br><br>Dan E.

Master Critic

Posts: 767

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

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post October 18, 2005, 10:08:25 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

The child came through, and the struggle between his friends and parents opened up as the story unfolded.<br><br>The ending was typical---too typical, and I would have enjoyed a much better one. <br><br>I give the author credit because to tackle a story about a kid with an imaginary friend or a alien that only he can only see is a tough one to write. That theme has been used many times, but I did like the story in general.<br><br>This guy can write, and I hope he developes it!!!
Tesla Lives!!!

Post October 21, 2005, 07:09:54 AM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

Thanks for the credit. I'll try not to let you down.<br>Michael <br>:)
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

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

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post October 21, 2005, 12:37:47 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

One of my comments to Michael was that I couldn't quite figure out how old the narrator was supposed to be. I even fiddled a little with some of his speeches (and those of his classmates) in the hopes of arriving at something consistent ...<br><br>Unfortunately, I suspect that just as it is dangerous to try to use the 'voice' of a scientist or mathematician if you know nothing about their fields of expertise (or even if you do know something -- but you haven't actually TALKED to people in the field), it is risky to write as a child unless you spend a lot of time around children of the age of your character.<br><br>Now, primary school teachers could probably emulate the speech patterns of a typical five-to-ten-year-old, or at least tell you if you're doing it wrong; parents might be able to do so, but if their children are unusually clever (or unclever), the 'voice' they're used to might not sound right to anyone else.<br><br>As with anything else, you need to develop your 'ear' in order to write convincingly in the persona of something you're not (be it rocket scientist or kid with a not-so-imaginary friend).<br><br>Robert M.<br>
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Post October 22, 2005, 12:59:13 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

I agree Robert, there is a problem with the 'voice of the child' in my story. However I do believe that the problem at my case comes from a different source. As you know English is not my native tongue and it is very poor in compare to my Hebrew. <br>I believe that I can tell a child story since I have to kids of my own and I never passed age 16 (according to my wife) but is so hard when your language is not rich enough.<br>The reason I start to write in English is because the audience is simply bigger, the SF community is more established and mature so there is so much to learn.<br><br>This is something I try to improve, 'Ladi' is my first story written in English. I think Aphelion is a great stage and a great school. <br><br>Thanks again for the criticism and the good advice.<br><br>I hope to publish more stories soon.<br>Michael<br>

Master Critic

Posts: 889

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

Post November 05, 2005, 02:16:36 PM

Ladi by Michael Goldberger

honestly kids telling SF stories usually don't work at all for me but Ladi was pretty good, especially since you just knew that friendly trickster of an off-worlder would reveal him/her/it self to be a rotten turncoat.<br>and while there were a few neat touches that actually DID show Michael knows something about child mindsets (like the kid complaining about being touched as if he was a pet), the end resolution, although satisfying, was WAAY too brief. i mean, they ran for their lives? what happened next? even me, the detail shrugging minimalist, would like to have had more insight in this instance. where is Jacob now? did the aliens conquer earth? will this somehow tie in with a remake of V? give us somethin!<br><br>Lee
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 550

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

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post November 09, 2005, 10:48:23 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

For someone not writing in their native language, this is an impressive story. I agree that the theme is a bit trite and the child’s age ambiguous. However, I’ve seen writers whose language is English and unable to write this well. I would like to see more stories from Michael in the future.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


jaimie l. elliott

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

Master Critic

Posts: 889

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

Post November 14, 2005, 12:41:45 PM

Ladi by Michael Goldberger

<br>what's the author's native language then?<br><br>Lee

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

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

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post November 14, 2005, 03:32:45 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

Hebrew, I believe. <br><br>Anyone who can work in anyway in a second language deserves kudos. I find that ability amazing. <br><br>However, I don't know that a publisher is going to purchase a story simply because the author has such impressive skills. Michael has added to his burden by working in a second language. Because it's easy for me to say, I recommend that Michael work in his native tongue as, according to him, it sounds like maybe there is some space for a sci-fi market in Israel (which is not at all to say that he shouldn't continue working in English).<br><br>Dan E.
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

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

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post November 14, 2005, 08:57:48 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

Hebrew, I believe.

Anyone who can work in anyway in a second language deserves kudos. I find that ability amazing.

However, I don't know that a publisher is going to purchase a story simply because the author has such impressive skills. Michael has added to his burden by working in a second language. Because it's easy for me to say, I recommend that Michael work in his native tongue as, according to him, it sounds like maybe there is some space for a sci-fi market in Israel (which is not at all to say that he shouldn't continue working in English).

Dan E.
<br><br>Well, our long-absent friend Guy Hasson certainly made a name for himself there (in Israel), as well as publishing in English (often placing both English and Hebrew versions of some stories)! Michael, have you ever run across Guy or his work?<br><br>Robert M.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Post November 19, 2005, 03:19:14 PM

Re: Ladi by Michael Goldberger

Dan, you are right Hebrew is my native tongue. Nevertheless <br>I feel that writing in English expose my work to a much larger audience then here in Israel. I think that for a writer nothing is more valuable than the exposure he gets (as long as he doesn't compromise his work).<br><br>Robert, I know Guy. I red some of his stories and went to an artist class he gave at one of the SF conventions at Israel. In fact, the reason I decided to publish at Aphelion is that I saw Guy published several stories here. <br>I think it paid off, since I get good critics (good in a way I have much to learn from it).<br>I thank you all for your time and effort.<br>Michael<br>

Return to October 2005

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

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