Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer


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Post August 15, 2004, 11:01:49 PM

Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

I was half expecting a Boris Karloff type monster sent out by Ygor to terrorize the locals. It was nothing like that, but the title was appropriate.<br><br>It took me a little while to get into the story. I thought the transition of scenes might have been a bit smoother. In one transition, Jake empties the gun into the rogan's chest. In the next scene, he awakens to the sound of the door opening. This led me to think that the previous scene had been a dream.<br><br>Also, IMO, the introduction of the characters might have been a bit more thorough. I was confusing Neal and Roger for a while (but then, I'm easily confused).<br><br>Anyways, once I got into the story, I enjoyed it and was held in nonstop until the end.
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Post August 17, 2004, 11:24:54 AM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

I was half expecting a Boris Karloff type monster sent out by Ygor to terrorize the locals. It was nothing like that, but the title was appropriate.
<br>I hate the title, but I couldn't think of anything better. It used to be called "Creators," but I remembered a message I received from Cary on my first story where he expressed a distaste for one-word titles. He went on to say that often whether a story is read or not depends on a catchy title, so I tried to think of something that would grab.<br><br>
It took me a little while to get into the story. I thought the transition of scenes might have been a bit smoother. In one transition, Jake empties the gun into the rogan's chest. In the next scene, he awakens to the sound of the door opening. This led me to think that the previous scene had been a dream.
<br>I could see that. I was going for a flashback nightmare in that scene, but must not have been clear enough.<br><br>
Also, IMO, the introduction of the characters might have been a bit more thorough. I was confusing Neal and Roger for a while (but then, I'm easily confused).
<br>Since one is a clone of the other, confusion is understandable. Still, I should have worked harder at that.<br><br>
Anyways, once I got into the story, I enjoyed it and was held in nonstop until the end.
<br>Thanks. It's always nice to hear a good word.<br><br>This story is certainly not "bulletproof", and has been rejected by some of the very best in the business over the last dozen years. In fact, one editor told me that it "rushed, unstoppable, to the sea--like lemmings". I didn't think it was as bad as all that, so I kept throwing it out there.<br><br>Nate
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Post August 21, 2004, 12:48:10 PM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

Very Twilite Zone, I thought. :)<br>I noticed the abrupt scene changes mentioned above, but they only created minor turbulence to my reading. I thought the first train scene was a nightmare based on a real memory when Jake woke up in the next scene. (shrug)<br>The story itself worked well for me. The set dressing was carried more by the dialogue than by narrative passages. That helped the pacing of the story, which built as the story progressed. Every scene seemed to crank it up a notch. This was a Noir sort of story that would have actually been hurt by lavish descriptive passages. <br>I can't imagine why it was rejected before, unless those editors saw the story as having the "bad guys" win. I don't see it that way. I guess Cary didn't see it that way either.<br>And congratulatins Nate, on having a novella, a short story, and a poem all in the same issue. That doesn't happen often.<br>Dan<br>
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Post August 21, 2004, 08:00:49 PM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

Very Twilite Zone, I thought. :)
I can't imagine why it was rejected before, unless those editors saw the story as having the "bad guys" win. I don't see it that way. I guess Cary didn't see it that way either.
<br><br>I suppose that just about every writer has recieved a rejection slip with a scribbled note from the editor saying something like this: "This story started out bad and kept getting worse as it went along..." The writer then submits the same story to another editor who praises the story to the high heavens. <br><br>I've experienced that. Also, I've changed one story based on comments by an editor, only to have another editor say that she'd accept it if I make a change or two--which made it basically the same as the original version!<br>
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

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Post August 21, 2004, 09:00:09 PM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

Yes, I've certainly experienced that. A few months ago, I received a SIX A4 page typed rejection letter from www.sfcrowsnest.com. story was Catch A Burning Star. It was featured in the May Aphelion. <br><br>Sometimes, I think everything comes down to an editor's personal preferences and prejudices.<br><br>

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Post August 22, 2004, 01:59:55 AM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

Yes, I've certainly experienced that. A few months ago, I received a SIX A4 page typed rejection letter from www.sfcrowsnest.com.

The story was Catch A Burning Star. It was featured in the May Aphelion.

<br><br>Six page rejection? Interesting. I once got about four pages from Leading Edge, but they offered a lot of good advice. I missed Catch a Burning Star in the May issue. I wasn't very active at the time--personal problems. Have to find time to go back and read it.<br><br>Donald<br><br><br>
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.
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Post August 23, 2004, 02:23:20 PM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

The "Inc." in the title established this as sf rather than horror, I think, and the blurb finished the job, so one of them there graphics to identify the story type (serial or novella; comedy, drama; fantasy, horror, sf) suggested elsewhere in the lettercol would be redundant in this case.<br><br>Well-handled action/adventure with a speculative twist.  There was a strong Blade Runner influence (the Rogans, like Replicants, being illegal on Earth), with a hint of Scanners (where the hero learns that the villain is his older brother, and that both are the children of the creator of the drug that started it all).  The implanted memory / identity confusion elements again echo the Director's Cut of Blade Runner (which strongly suggests that Rachael was not the only Replicant who didn't know what she was), and more recent movies (The Bourne Supremacy, which continues Jason Bourne's quest to learn his true identity and history; The Manchurian Candidate, with 'created' politicians, implanted memories, and mind control).<br><br>Nate could pick up the ball and run with it from the end of this story into a what-comes-next piece, or pieces*:  how do the Rogans use the power they have stolen by replacing world leaders?  How will this new race develop and what kind of culture will they build on their new world?  A completely different kind of story built on the foundations established here.  (Alternatively, we could have another action/adventure piece with Jake trying to verify the truth of Roger's version of their family history -- opposed by factions of fifth-generation Rogans, who believe that his efforts endanger their plans.  If the fifth-generation Rogans have emotions, they are likely to develop (a) ambition, (b) jealousy, (c) insanity ...)<br><br>Back to you, Nate the K.<br><br>Robert M.<br><br>*(Just what Cary and Jeff want -- another series. But if the subsequent stories are in different sub-genres (political thriller; frontier story; sociological study) and are reasonably self-contained, you wouldn't have the problems that the Majius stories pose).
Last edited by Robert_Moriyama on August 23, 2004, 02:26:05 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post August 24, 2004, 08:21:41 PM

Re: Frankenstein, Inc., by N.J. Kailhofer

Nate could pick up the ball and run with it from the end of this story into a what-comes-next piece, or pieces*: how do the Rogans use the power they have stolen by replacing world leaders? How will this new race develop and what kind of culture will they build on their new world? A completely different kind of story built on the foundations established here. (Alternatively, we could have another action/adventure piece with Jake trying to verify the truth of Roger's version of their family history -- opposed by factions of fifth-generation Rogans, who believe that his efforts endanger their plans. If the fifth-generation Rogans have emotions, they are likely to develop (a) ambition, (b) jealousy, (c) insanity ...)
<br>Thanks, but I'm still trying to sell Jeff on a Nightwatch idea. After that, my story ideas file has 74 posibilities I haven't worked on yet. I should give those ideas a chance to see daylight first, before revisting any.<br><br>(Unless some trolling editor wants to hire me to. If so, I'll drop those others like a stone through a wet paper bag.)<br><br>Nate
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