Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama


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Post May 19, 2005, 11:08:30 PM

Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

I didn’t start reading the Al Majius stories until Matter of Faith. So far, I’ve found but little trouble in following the stories or learning the various characters. I have enjoyed every story I’ve read so far, but Antimatters, I think, has been the easiest to follow. Maybe because I’m becoming more familiar with the story as I go along. Or maybe because the plot in this one was relatively uncomplicated.<br><br>I‘ve been pretty busy, and haven’t dug into the archives or read the Materia Magica, but that hasn’t been a hindrance to understanding and enjoying the stories.<br><br>This one was a fun read. Robert gives us suspense, danger, drama, and a good sprinkling of humor. I thought it was well written and very easy to follow. An enjoyable read all the way through. <br><br>Now that he’s keeping busy working at his editorial duties, I’m glad that Robert still finds time to entertain us with his Al Majius stories. <br><br>Donald<br>
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Post May 19, 2005, 11:16:26 PM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

If you started with 'A Matter of Faith', and read 'A Matter of Urgency', then you might remember Prufrock, mana sinks, and Morgenstern -- the three main elements here. There are other stories that refer to characters or events that happened several stories back -- years in Aphelion time. Even I have to refer to 'Materia Magica' and/or the stories themselves to get details (names, spells, etc.) right ...<br><br>Obviously, if the stories are ever collected or adapted into a single 'novel', keeping track of things will be a lot easier for the reader. (I am assuming at least one reader, but wouldn't mind having two, or even three.)<br><br>Robert M.
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Post May 23, 2005, 10:31:47 PM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

It's been a while since I looked at the Materia Magica. I hadn't noticed the depth of modern technology in the previous stories, so this one took me by surprise. <br><br>Given that magic is around to reveal the depths of space without all the techno-gear, x-ray astronomy of black holes wasn't something I expected people would have developed here. It’s not bad or anything, just surprising.<br><br><br>Good job, Robert. Humorous and interesting, as usual.<br><br>I couldn't help but wonder if Githros' tongue-action was meant as a "You want sensory input? Take that!" sentiment. Whether it was or not, it's probably going to be the most remembered moment. :)<br><br>On those lines, however, I didn't get a good picture of the suit of armor in my mind. I settled for a water-filled suit of crystal plate mail, but the description of the wand controls reminded be of a bottom of the ocean diving suit/apparatus instead. Can you fill me in?<br><br>On plot, I'd say things were more "simply" focused than usual. Just "Go in there & magic those things outta here!" In those regards, Al chooses to takes the challenge head on & does his duty for the realm. Well done and well executed. The only thing that might have added to it would have been if Al had to draw on something he learned on the way to remove the artifacts. That way, the plot builds on itself, tying in to previous action. Not a big thing, since you already had the embedded shards replaying themselves from the previous story.<br><br>Unless my memory skipped, the POV expanded a little here, too, from previous. Janine and Morgenstern revealed their thoughts and their fears. It was nice. I thought it added depth to both of them.<br><br>Morgenstern's worry adds a good potential twist: maybe Al will have to save Morgenstern to save the world's mana, and remove the weakening shards that help protect Al's own life. Catch 22. I can't see the Morningstar being very happy with that idea!<br><br>I can see one potential problem, though. The human depth gained to Morgenstern may further take away the perceived danger. After all, Al wins all the time against him, and now we know Big, Bad & (now) Ugly has worries about weakness. Last time out, Big M was a heavy hitter, trying to wipe everyone out in a surprise attack. Al put it in "high gear" and won the day, barely (pun intended). After this string of defeats and new weakness... Morgenstern seems less a threat, and this could potentially interfere with the audience's emotional involvement next time out. <br><br>Or I could be off my nut. I never can tell.<br><br>Anyhow, nice story.<br><br>Nate
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Post May 27, 2005, 10:08:18 AM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

It's been a while since I looked at the Materia Magica. I hadn't noticed the depth of modern technology in the previous stories, so this one took me by surprise.

Given that magic is around to reveal the depths of space without all the techno-gear, x-ray astronomy of black holes wasn't something I expected people would have developed here. It’s not bad or anything, just surprising.
<br>In 'A Matter of Urgency', Al and Githros are exorcising a demon from a network server when the Baldies attack Billy and Janine.  In 'Grave Matters', a PDA is mentioned; and there are references to phones, cars, and (I think) airplanes throughout the series.  In general, I think Al's world has technology not too far behind ours; not everybody can do magic, although they can use magically-imbued tools (blasting wands, etc.), and there is a reliability issue --  ... On the other hand, the Masters seem to imply that their knowledge of the effects of water as a neutron-slowing medium comes from study of Prufrock's world rather than from research done in their own Realm.  <br>
I couldn't help but wonder if Githros' tongue-action was meant as a "You want sensory input? Take that!" sentiment. Whether it was or not, it's probably going to be the most remembered moment. :)
<br>I'm pretty sure Al, Janine, and Billy will remember it ... :o<br>
On those lines, however, I didn't get a good picture of the suit of armor in my mind. I settled for a water-filled suit of crystal plate mail, but the description of the wand controls reminded be of a bottom of the ocean diving suit/apparatus instead. Can you fill me in?
<br>You have the right idea.  Picture a suit of medieval plate armor.  Now, for each segment, substitute an aquarium, flattened so there is only a fraction of an inch between the front and rear sheets of glass, and curved to roughly conform to a part of the body.  As Al says, the sucker is heavy.  The gauntlets aren't articulated (i.e., no jointed fingers), but one has a hole big enough to insert a wand so that the wearer can grasp it (to allow mana and the user's will to affect the wand).<br>
On plot, I'd say things were more "simply" focused than usual. Just "Go in there & magic those things outta here!" In those regards, Al chooses to takes the challenge head on & does his duty for the realm. Well done and well executed. The only thing that might have added to it would have been if Al had to draw on something he learned on the way to remove the artifacts. That way, the plot builds on itself, tying in to previous action. Not a big thing, since you already had the embedded shards replaying themselves from the previous story.

Unless my memory skipped, the POV expanded a little here, too, from previous. Janine and Morgenstern revealed their thoughts and their fears. It was nice. I thought it added depth to both of them.
<br>The spell used to banish the mana thingies was the same as the one used to banish Prufrock in 'A Matter of Faith' ...<br><br>I dunno if it was really a POV expansion.  Janine has expressed her feelings before, although we rarely see her unless Al is with her (exceptions:  her trip to the other-dimensional bazaar in 'A Matter of Taste'; her conversation with Billy in 'A Matter of Time').  And the scene with Morgenstern had a 'cheat' to keep Al as the viewpoint character -- Al 'saw' the scene in a dream.<br>
Morgenstern's worry adds a good potential twist: maybe Al will have to save Morgenstern to save the world's mana, and remove the weakening shards that help protect Al's own life. Catch 22. I can't see the Morningstar being very happy with that idea!

I can see one potential problem, though. The human depth gained to Morgenstern may further take away the perceived danger. After all, Al wins all the time against him, and now we know Big, Bad & (now) Ugly has worries about weakness. Last time out, Big M was a heavy hitter, trying to wipe everyone out in a surprise attack. Al put it in "high gear" and won the day, barely (pun intended). After this string of defeats and new weakness... Morgenstern seems less a threat, and this could potentially interfere with the audience's emotional involvement next time out.
<br>Okay, fine.  I'll have the Big M do something really horrible to alienate the audience again.  Something involving small, cute, furry animals ...<br>
Or I could be off my nut. I never can tell.
<br>Is this a tribute to Jim Carrey's line in 'Batman and Robin'?  ('Was that over the top?  I can never tell.')  Or are you just revealing your darkest secret -- that people often tell you that you are off your nut?<br>
Anyhow, nice story.
<br>Fine, fine.  I'll run one of your stories.  Stop being so nice, or people will get suspicious.<br><br>Robert M.<br>
Last edited by Robert_Moriyama on May 27, 2005, 10:16:02 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post May 27, 2005, 02:42:09 PM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

Is this a tribute to Jim Carrey's line in 'Batman and Robin'? ('Was that over the top? I can never tell.') Or are you just revealing your darkest secret -- that people often tell you that you are off your nut?
<br>Well, since the line between genius & madness is so close, I have to keep checking which side I'm on. ;)<br><br>
Fine, fine. I'll run one of your stories. Stop being so nice, or people will get suspicious.
<br>I could chastise you over the lack of description, etc., but what good would it do? You're too darn stubborn to change fundamentally how you write, especially based on my word alone. Besides, you do have skill in comedy, and it would be a glaring omission if I didn't acknowledge it.<br><br>Hmm... I'm getting along with Robert. Time to check the basement for pods again. Maybe I've been body snatched and don't know it...<br><br>Nate
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Post May 31, 2005, 09:46:50 AM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

Poor Robert -- I think folks are afraid to comment on his story now that he's an editor.  (Either that, or they think it's SO BAD that they figure the polite thing to do is to say nothing ...)<br><br>The story was okay, if a bit tongue in cheek, or perhaps tongue ON cheek at the end.  It definitely helps to be familiar with at least the last couple of stories if you want to understand what's going on and who these people are.  <br><br>(Oh, damn.  I've failed to provide the rave review I promised.  Now I'll have to make sure anything I submit here is at least 7,501 words long.)<br><br>JRM
Last edited by John_R._Murray on May 31, 2005, 09:47:19 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post May 31, 2005, 08:25:26 PM

Re: Antimatters  by Robert Moriyama

John,<br>Bad news. Everyone's screwed.<br>:o <br>Not many comments on Jeff's story either. I suppose I should prepare myself for a sudden influx of Mare Inebrium stories. ::)<br>But that will only last 'til August, when *I* have a story due that no one will read... again. <br> ;)<br>Dan<br>
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