A Thousand Times


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Post April 20, 2005, 11:46:18 PM

A Thousand Times

Apart from the few ss errors and missing words this story reads well from start to finish. The formatting could have been better, but it is well paced with a good central charactor<br><br>Boomer

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Post April 29, 2005, 08:28:13 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

Gee... I guess that no one else liked the story... by the number of insighfull comments found here... Oh well, better luck next time
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Post April 29, 2005, 10:53:27 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

Gee... I guess that no one else liked the story... by the number of insighfull comments found here... Oh well, better luck next time
<br><br>Could be they haven't read it yet ... it didn't go online until around the 11th or 12th, and as some other threads have noted, sometimes it's hard to find time to read everything in an issue. Sadly, the longer stuff (in Jeff's Serials and Novellas section) frequently gets left until last (which sometimes equals 'never got around to it'). And there are only a handful of readers out of the dozens or hundreds of Aphelion visitors each month who ever bother to post comments on anything (mainly The Usual Suspects (Nate K., dsullivan (who is having computer problems this month), et al.).<br><br>(My excuse is that I have to read every short (< 7500 words) story in every issue, PLUS a few that I don't accept. Then there's the day job, eating, sleeping, reading other stuff (I know, 'it's a OUTrage!') ...)<br><br>In other words, getting only one post (or none at all) doesn't necessarily imply that the story is bad. Replying to or commenting on the comments you do receive is a good way to stimulate more feedback (as people are more likely to view a thread with new posts, which might lead to them posting as well).<br><br><br>Robert M.<br>(who MIGHT get around to reading your story, but ain't promising anything)
Last edited by Robert_Moriyama on April 29, 2005, 10:55:07 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post April 29, 2005, 11:12:52 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

I, for one, haven't been able to make time to read everything in this issue. And I apologise for that to everyone. But the deadline for my Nightwatch story is beginning to loom on the far horizon- and I do want to turn it in on time. I will finally get to read everything, but it'll probably be a while.<br>Dan<br>
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Post April 30, 2005, 10:13:00 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

This is a good read.<br><br>I thought the beginning was the weakest part, with the flow being slow and tentative... as if the author was casting about, trying to get a feel for his universe and his character. The story finds its tone by the time Charley wakes up in the alien cell, and keeps it until the end. It almost gives the impression that to Charley the real world was an unreal place. Perhaps that was intentional, but I would have recommended writing a new beginning after the end was completed, when the character and his arc were fully known by the author. It's just my opinion, but I think the beginning would flow better and bring in the reader more quickly.<br><br>On setting, I asked myself if the ship seemed like a real place. At first, I'd have to say no. A stinky Chief Petty Officer, a largely un-described radiation suit and reactor vent, a sore shoulder from an unknown-shaped hatch... that's not a lot to go on. Since Charley was the only human character of any real significance, it may have been advisable to describe him in more detail. That way when he's crawling along in the dark recesses on the outside of the ship, I could have pictured the face inside the helmet as it was illuminated by the displays inside it. <br><br>Detail helps with tone. Imagine the effect it could have had to describe the bridge when it was working and then show it as it was when Charley steps onto it. It doubles his isolation, his desperation--just from using more description. As the story progressed, the setting became more real, possibly because Charley was growing in sync with it. All the senses were thrown in, and that helped. <br><br>I liked the computer and all the regulations. I chuckled out loud when he had to verify all those deaths before he could do anything. Very clever. One thing that didn't strike me as right was having Charley on this ship in the first place. The vibe I got was that this was like 18th century sailing ships, where some of the crew were the dregs of humanity. Except that this was an elite ship with a first-of-its-kind mission. That kind of trip usually gets all-volunteer, top of their class types, rather than bottom of the barrel. If deep space exploration was commonplace, I could have swallowed this better.<br><br>This story held together well, in my opinion, and had a ring of truth to it. That's something we all try for in our stories, but few of us manage to attain. It's plot had a forward momentum, keeping the audience reading, hungry to find out what happens next, and that's no small feat.<br><br>It's a small nit, but the computer calling him Captain and then Charley interchangeably bothered me. Charley himself says that he didn't think it was worth correcting it, but it goes back to calling him Captain, even though he had given the machine a direct order to call him Charley. Was its new-found independence interfering with it's performance?<br><br>Other than that, I felt this was a wonderful story. Fun to read, interesting, and inspiring at the same time. Romantic as well, if you believe the computer loves him.<br><br>Well done!<br><br>Nate
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Post May 01, 2005, 12:43:54 AM

Re: A Thousand Times

Wow! Thanks Nate. That was everything… well almost everything I needed. A couple of things I need to add, one being the 17,000 word restriction for submittal, which tended to limit the amount of description I would have liked to have put in. No excuse I know… I can almost hear the ‘write better and tighter’, and I will have to agree. The other is the beginning. This bothered me a lot, and I did honestly try to re-write it several times, to no avail. I’ll definitely have to look and try to re-write it again, now that I know its not working. As to Charley. On a ship the size of a battle cruiser, and the unsaid limited amount of manpower available for a long cruise, one or two screw-ups are bound to slip in. Having been in the military myself, its surprising how some of them seem to fly below the radar. In Charley’s case, I wanted him to be more of the bad luck, no luck type of person rather than a complete waste. He is a good power tech, as he said after all; just more concerned with him self than anything else. (met a few of them). All the other comments and suggestion are taken to heart, and I enjoyed reading them. Thanks again Nate.

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Post May 01, 2005, 12:45:34 AM

Re: A Thousand Times

PS: Hadn't thought of that, but yes, you could be right. the CI could very well be in love with Charley.

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Post May 01, 2005, 12:54:04 AM

Re: A Thousand Times

 A couple of things I need to add, one being the 17,000 word restriction for submittal, which tended to limit the amount of description I would have liked to have put in.  
<br><br>Actually, there is no 17,000 word restriction. (I just rechecked the guidelines to make sure that some rogue piece of information hadn't survived there, undetected and waiting to pounce, all these years! :) )<br><br>We do provide the SWFA definitions for the different types of writing out there, but the only distinction anyone needs to remember is 7500 and 7501. That's the dividing line between what goes to Robert M. and what comes to me. :) So, next time you come up with a story idea, write away!<br><br><br>--Jeff Williams

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Post May 01, 2005, 12:58:29 AM

Re: A Thousand Times

;D Now he tells me... now he tells me <sobbing>
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Post May 01, 2005, 01:44:08 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

All the other comments and suggestion are taken to heart, and I enjoyed reading them. Thanks again Nate.
<br>It's nice to see a happy reception. I'm usually afraid that I just destroyed whatever fragile ego an author had left.<br><br>BTW--I don't blame you for trying to "seed" the reviews with one of your own. We all crave feedback. Even if you don't get it right away, rest assured, sooner or later one or all of the Usual Suspects will speak up.<br><br>Keep up the good work.<br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on May 01, 2005, 01:48:37 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post May 10, 2005, 05:48:23 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

I agree with Nate that the story began slowly. It didn't really grab my interest until about a quarter way into the plot. You might want to start the story with Charley already in the vent to help speed things along.<br><br>I really enjoyed the concept and, for the most part, on how it was executed. The funniest scene is when the ship forces Charley to verify the death of every other member of the crew before it begrudgingly bestows him the rank of Captain.<br><br>Now for a bit of a tongue-lashing. Please work on cleaning up your spelling, grammar, and formatting issues. It really is a pet-peeve of mine, and it’s not because I’m a perfectionist (not even close), elitist, or obnoxious. I would really hate to see a good story be rejected by an editor because he or she deems it unprofessional. If they’re going through dozens or hundreds of manuscripts, they are going to look for reasons to reject it to lighten their workload.<br><br>Overall, a good read. A bit sloppy, but I think it has potential.<br>
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Post May 13, 2005, 10:06:34 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

Jaimie:<br><br>Have a bit of a grumble myself. I started with 3,564 spelling errors, and between hundreds of spell checks, re-write and my editor using her big red pen to slash and burn her way through my master piece, I thought we’d found 99.9 % of them. Could you give me some idea of the number of spelling errors [Oxford English] I am down to?<br><br>As to grammar. Am I dealing with a cultural difference between American and English usage of grammar, etc. or something else?<br><br>Thirdly. I have sent an e-mail to our esteemed story editor asking if there is a better format to send submissions to him, as I have no control (at this time) of how the story will look once posted on Aphelion.<br><br>Boomer <br>
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Post May 14, 2005, 01:42:55 PM

Re: A Thousand Times

Send me a private message with your email address, and I'll send you an edited version of the story. I probably won't be able to do so until I get back from my honeymoon in June.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
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jaimie l. elliott

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