Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima


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Post July 13, 2005, 09:33:39 AM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

Yeah, c'mon. It's not often you see a police procedural yarn mixed with -- well, read the story.
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Post July 15, 2005, 03:14:05 PM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

...As a matter of fact, if the 'medical facility' would have purposely bought a foreign slave for the sole purpose of having him explain the technology or crafting of the glass eye, it might have made more sense.  I couldn't quite get why this fellow wasn't just sold as farm labor or salt mining.  
<br>Well ... it would be a lot more energy-efficient to just capture slaves locally (from another kingdom not too far away) than to haul one several millennia if all you wanted them for was cheap labor. I would assume that our missing person accidentally stepped through a 'wrinkle in (space)time', and then used his technological know-how to play 'Connecticut Yankee in Pharaoh's Court'.<br><br>The story didn't even say that the owner of the glass eye was the subject of the detective's original investigation -- but I suppose he should be, per Occam's Razor.<br><br>
...So the story had good structure and well-defined delivery but the plot was only clever the first four or five times it was used.  And don't forget, ancient Egyptians did not use a phonetic alphabet.  You couldn't write down even bad equivalents of foreign words...
<br>Actually, I think there was some sort of phoneme-hieroglyph correspondence that would allow a name to be 'spelled' by stringing together symbols for words that sounded roughly like the desired syllables. (The result would be utter nonsense in Egyptian, but them's the breaks. If there wasn't such a correspondence, how would Dr. Jackson know how to pronounce 'chappa' and 'kal-tesh' (or however it would be transliterated)?<br><br>Robert M.<br><br>Just something to think about for the next story.  <br><br>Bill<br>[/quote]<br>
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Post July 18, 2005, 01:01:49 PM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

... 2,500 years ago, the 'spot' between floors of the building should have translated to somewhere between the solar systems.  .  .you could probably figure it out if you needed to.  .  .but that would destroy 99% of all time travel plots, so it is probably best if conveniently disregarded. ...

Bill
<br>Hey, pick up Spider Robinson's 'Callahan's Con' for an interesting take on that very effect. Even if your time travel device can pin you to a location (compensate for all the rotational and orbital motion), it doesn't help if you forget to tell it to do so ...<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 18, 2005, 07:52:07 PM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

I think this story suffered from not knowing what it wanted to be: a human story or one with a surprise ending.<br><br>I mean, not every story has to try and explore the depths and limits of the human experience, but more than was given here might have helped. Archaeologist uncovers evidence of modern man in a 2500 year old jar, then finds out that the police are looking for that same man, and fills in the blanks for the detective. That was pretty much it, except that suddenly the detective became a better man.<br><br>I thought there were some problems with logic that interfered with characterization & the flow of events:<br><br>Why did the detective have to come on the weekend? The professor puts him off until then, but I missed why it had to be that way, especially after making such a fuss about it. Plus, if it was his only lead, why would a detective allow it to take that long? Hernandez said he was concerned and that every day lessened the chances. For all he knew, Grover could have been the kidnapper, and after that many days, Preston could have been dead in some box in the ground.<br><br>Was it important that the professor's parents had met during the Korean War? This seemed an extraneous aside that drew away from the already slow and struggling dialog. Likewise for the spruce tree outside the window, and the background on the university and its founder. I like detail, but I prefer it to be about the place where the actions take place or about the characters in the story, and not as added asides.<br><br>Why, after finding a 2,500 year old credit card that Grover suspected was related Preston's disappearance, would an archeologist "throw" it out onto the table? It was clearly important enough to him to call the detective in the first place. Grover had to believe that it was really Preston's card, and that it wasn't a hoax. Plus, he's a man who made a living finding and preserving evidence. Why ruin it by tossing the brittle card across the desk?? It all seemed like it was contrary to his character.<br><br>Finally, why, if he did think it was the missing man's card, did a lecturer who talked all day, do such a poor job of explaning his own theory, and then just clam up, pushing the file over to the detective? I minored in anthropology, so I've listened to a LOT of archeology lectures. Those guys don't stop talking about their finds. They want you to know every excruciatingly boring detail.<br><br>On the plus side, I really enjoyed the bit where a different archeologist took all the credit for the find. That seemed very real.<br><br>In terms of pace, I thought it was a mad rush to get to the end, rather than careful development of character. I mean, it wasn't even a surprise ending, since Grover let us know what really happened. We don't know why Hernandez's life is all better now, and how it was influenced by the events in the opener. There wasn't enough character development for me to fully appreciate the change in the man, or why it should have been important to me. Harry didn't have a tragic flaw or anything like that I noticed that drew me to him, or that could have been resolved during the story's journey.<br><br>IMO a surprise ending should be surprising, but if it's not going to be, then a writer needs to take time to develop the character over a longer plotline so the reader can appreciate the human side of the story. I guess what I'm saying is hang in there a little longer, and find out the real yarn your characters are trying to tell, then do right by them.<br><br>Nate
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Post July 19, 2005, 09:25:53 AM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

Thanks guys. I really appreciate your insights.

I'm going to keep all your comments in mind for the next submission. I promise a longer and more detailed piece.

Can't bank on Aphelion accepting it though!  :D

Mr. Moriyama...its not the one that I just sent you!!
<br>Mister Moriyama ??<br><br>Why is he writing to Robert's Dad?? :)<br><br>Nate<br><br>(I've started padding my message total, sorry. I'll never catch Robert if I don't.)<br>
Last edited by kailhofer on July 19, 2005, 09:26:46 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 20, 2005, 10:50:31 AM

Re: Pot 62 by Sohrab Koohpaima

Well written story, and an interesting plot.<br><br>Someone who disappears then evidence of him is found in a sealed pot over 2000 years old would make any detective's eyebrows rise! <br><br>I like a better "closure" than the one giving, but the story worked for me.
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