Dip by Edmund Schluessel


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Post October 18, 2017, 01:51:20 PM

Dip by Edmund Schluessel

Heisenberg's principle? It’s been awhile since I fooled around with Quantum Mechanics. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a wormhole to a time retarded universe in which one second in theirs is five years in our? We could replace the refrigerator with that one. Just put food into the wormhole to that universe and presto! After five years it’s only a second older and the good thing is----it’s still warm!

And instead of a microwave, how about a wormhole to a newly formed universe that’s still hot. A good oven. And Schrodinger’s cat is neither dead or alive? So how can anybody kill it? But it sure as hell can scratch you! After reading this story, I think I’ll get the old Calc books out again and review them. It’s been twenty years or more. I loved science once, but haven’t ventured into that area for twenty years or more. The secret to science-------is math!!

The author as attempted to interject real science into a story that will stimulate the readers’ interest in science. I like that, for it shows multiple levels of writing. Star Trek has produced many physicist today by making science so desirable in the sixties with its fantastic ability to give science a ‘cool lifestyle’ aura, and in the not too distance future something like Warp Drive will be on the horizon! So yes, these stories have a place.

This story might be too scientific for most readers, but it should be read by all. However, I did notice some good story telling techniques like getting the reader’s attention in the first paragraph!

The show and tell techniques also balance out well. The use of sensory input in taste was used, but I would have like to read more sensory input like feeling warm and maybe a reference to air temperature in the conference room when the crowd rushed to eat. Little references go a long way.

An engineer or physicists capable of creating a devise that produces the pocket universe, would have safeguards against what is obviously an overload incorporated into its ‘fail safe’ system. A better ending might have been something so abstract in thinking like a paralleled singularity placing all the laws of known physics with the cave men.


Good story and I liked it. Nice!
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Post October 19, 2017, 04:11:00 PM

Re: Dip by Edmund Schluessel

Hi Megawatts, I'm glad to hear you liked what I wrote!

I grew up on Star Trek and Asimov and something that's important to me in writing is that the world-building is consisten, that is, that there's some level of scientific rigor. That said, a couple of things I've written recently have a more dreamlike quality...I'm experimenting a bit.

I tried not to be too blatant about setting. Thus I opened the part in the hotel conference room with a comment about the temperature, tied to Nehal's physical discomfort ("the sweltering New York summer was always ten degrees worse in Manhattan") but I hoped that would stay with the reader over the next few paragraphs without having to reference it again. If it wasn't enough, I'll take that on board!

I'm not sure I agree that Fred would have necessarily built in a failsafe though. The heart of the story is the conflict between pure science and practical applications, the sublime colliding with the mundane (a parallel universe filled with guacamole, a brilliant researcher reduced to being a spokesmodel). Fred Tarkies doesn't make the wormholes -- he just monetizes them. He's confident, a good salesman, but he's concerned with getting something that can be sold profitably, not with perfection.

The first self-propelled automobile, Nicolas Cugnot's steamer, got into an accident on its first public drive. The first public demonstration of a passenger railroad led to a fatality. One of Orville Wright's demonstration flights for the US Army caused the first fatal air accident. Nobody would doubt these were devices built by good engineers and yet they were still dangerous technologies.

Fred meanwhile doesn't understand the math of what he's doing -- it's Nehal who explains the time-freeze aspect of the pocket universe. He thinks he's good, sure, but he's no Brunel, no heroic Engineer-God like Stephen Baxter writes about.

And that's the third iteration of sublime versus the mundane: Nehal is a purist, yes, but ultimately she is ineffectual. Her decisive act in the story is to be passive. She wants to be with her mathematically-perfect spacetimes (and this is something that echoes my own character...I've always been theoretical, not experimental, when it comes to science). You're meant to side with her, of course--Fred is a consummate ass!--but at the same time, Nehal and Fred are incomplete opposites. Keep these two types separate, and nothing ever happens. Bring them together, and disasters can happen.
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Post October 31, 2017, 04:56:29 PM

Re: Dip by Edmund Schluessel

I liked this one quite a bit, though I had a hard time following the physics (from the explanatory thread elsewhere). It's possible I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read the explanation; this is more a character-driven story.

It reminded me a little of Gregory Benford's Cosm, a truly superlative work. This story differs in that the 'pocket universe' in Dip is a lot more accessible and easier to interact with.

The big problem I had with this story was with the technology. This anomaly is sustained (if not also created) with such an unimpressively puny bit of electronics that it largely quenched my willing suspension of disbelief.

Also, the concept is just way too big for a short story; Benford's Cosm would have felt the same at this length because it just takes a whole lot of reader exposure to get comfortable with such enormous ideas.

Luckily, the character arcs (primarily that of the MC) have what it takes to do the heavy lifting. I felt it to be wholly appropriate that she didn't even feel it was worth the small effort to save the universe, knowing that some other overambitious fool would just destroy it in like manner and for some equally shallow gratification.

Very good job.
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Post November 02, 2017, 04:17:10 PM

Re: Dip by Edmund Schluessel

Thank you Mr. Curtis, I greatly appreciate the kind feedback!

Lester Curtis wrote:I liked this one quite a bit, though I had a hard time following the physics (from the explanatory thread elsewhere). It's possible I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read the explanation; this is more a character-driven story.

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