Chatak's Bad Day By Dan Shelton


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CCC

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Post September 14, 2008, 06:24:33 AM

Chatak's Bad Day By Dan Shelton

Well, that certainly is a bad day. But it ended positively for Chatak.

An interesting idea, and an interesting story, but I'm left wondering exactly how the invader managed to stay hidden on board for so long... it's not as if it was a big ship, after all, although that corridor with the lights going out one by one did sound like a lot of wasted space for a supply spaceship...

KLC

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Post September 19, 2008, 04:11:48 AM

the lights made it more mysterious!!!
And not being able to see the guy also made it more mysterious.
There wouldn't have been much of a story if Chatak just woke up with a gun to her head...
"It is never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot

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Post September 23, 2008, 08:29:16 PM

Neat trick with the computer by an enemy spacejacker - homicide bomber. Would Chatak make the transition from pilot to space marshal?

Well done.

gino
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Post September 25, 2008, 12:34:19 PM

Sorry, I don't buy it. By the time spaceships get large enough to walk around in comfortably and routinely - we won't be using screwdrivers to get to fuses. I think some thought should have been given to how the workings of a spaceship might be different a hundred years from now. It's like the difference between an antique wooden radio and an ipod. Come on...we can be more creative than wires and fuses, can't we?

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Post September 26, 2008, 04:57:13 AM

KLC wrote:the lights made it more mysterious!!!
And not being able to see the guy also made it more mysterious.
There wouldn't have been much of a story if Chatak just woke up with a gun to her head...


Oh, I don't deny the effectiveness of the corridor as a storytelling device. It's just that the viewpoint that there wasn't space for someone to hide on the ship (incorrect, as it happened, but expressed by the pilot) doesn't quite fit with the necessity for a corridor long enough to pull that trick in being on the same ship.

bottomdweller wrote:By the time spaceships get large enough to walk around in comfortably and routinely - we won't be using screwdrivers to get to fuses. I think some thought should have been given to how the workings of a spaceship might be different a hundred years from now. It's like the difference between an antique wooden radio and an ipod.


And, assuming that you have spares and tools on hand, which is easier to repair; the ipod or the radio?

War is not a situation where you want equipment that you are not fully comfortable with, because then if there's problems, you could lose your life, and military commanders prefer not to lose soldiers. They also prefer to have as many soldiers out there fighting as possible. If you have equipment that requires steadiness of hand and clean contacts to replace and a full lab and workshop to repair, versus equipment that can be unscrewed in a rush, the fuses checked visually and easily replaced even when under fire or when facing a variety of possible contaminents, the better choice may quite often be the second type; even if everyone not in the military considers it horrendously outdated. Especially if everyone else considers it horrendously outdated, because then you might be able to get it cheaper.

I think the fuses work in the story. Now, the wastage of energy implied by a whole string of lights in the corridor rather than one helmet-mounted light for the pilot is an entirely different issue...
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Post September 26, 2008, 12:45:28 PM

Okay, let me put it this way...Think about the Terminator...he's in the future, he's not made of wires and fuses, he's made of a metal/nanobit material that can reconstruct itself into any form whatever. I'd just like to see more creative materials - nanos, crystal, liquid stone, at least fiberoptics. You can tell the same story upgrading the machinery, because it's eighty years in the future.

I think that as Sci Fi writers we have a responsibility to our readers to peer down that long corridor called time and give a nod to what might actually be coming our way as far as technology. My hero: Arthur C. Clark.

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Post September 26, 2008, 03:54:52 PM

First, there should be no reason these two can talk to each other. Different species, different planet, different everything and they can speak in colloquially to each other?

There is a split between parts of the story where she can't remember anything and parts where she has no problem remembering what happened. One or the other would be better.

Suiciding the lead ship in the fleet is not going to win a war for anyone. In space ships would be well separated, and you expect to lose some vessels.

The ending was a bit weak as well. There really was no reason for the hijacker to appear at all. He oculd have controlled the ship and crashed into the fleet long before the pilot woke up. If he was suiciding this would be best. Instead he waited so he could gloat. We all know what happens once the evil villian explains his plot to James Bond.

Aside from the story problems the writing was good.

FBG

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