Veld Opal by Jens Rushing

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Post March 27, 2007, 06:18:25 PM

Veld Opal by Jens Rushing

This is a well written adventure story set in a complex imaginary world. The story is structured well, the characters are interesting, and the action is exciting.

The ending, however, was a dis-appointment. The reader deserves a more satisfactory outcome after soldering through to the end. Remember, you don't have to write a happy ending, but you must give the reader something to be happy about if you want him to read your next opus.

Cary Semar
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Post March 30, 2007, 01:11:09 PM

Re: Veld Opal by Jens Rushing

Hey, I actually read a story this month! 8-)

This seems to be a hard fantasy story. The theme of environmental catastrophe is very evident. It might even be construed as dystopian in nature. It’s certainly dark.

I enjoyed the story overall, albeit I mirror Cary’s sentiments on the ending. Also, I had trouble emphasizing with the protagonist. I didn’t find him very likeable or interesting. There were a couple moments where it seemed the author inserted tangents to make him more sympathetic. For example, we discover that his dirigible crash landed on the bad guy’s lawn and that justifies his survivalist attitude. However, I thought this forced, as if the writer realized the main character’s shortcoming and tried to rectify it. All speculation on my part.

On the positive note, I did find the writing to be well-polished. I assumed that Mr. Rushing was an experienced writer before I read his bio. Sometimes, you can just tell.
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Post March 31, 2007, 05:30:05 PM

Re: Veld Opal by Jens Rushing

I was not overly blown away by this one.

I only barely made it past the hook, never empathized with the hero, felt the pace was slow, couldn't see enough description to tell what the heck was going on when they landed in the city (chased by 50-foot mutants, or maybe the dead, er... what?), and then was left very flat by then ending. Why did Hanjan just walk away from the jewel and the money? He needed it to pay his bills/bounty, ala Han Solo.

There was no resolution.

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Post April 19, 2007, 10:44:27 AM

Re: Veld Opal by Jens Rushing

Hello, everyone! It's Jens, the author.
I actually wrote this piece about two years ago, just after college, when I first decided I wanted to be a writer. I was perusing markets and came across Black Gate magazine, which wanted "epic" fantasy. So I thought I'd write an epic story, and, sitting at my desk, pondered over what made fantasy epic, then thought of Lord of the Rings, and realized, "That's it - exposition!" So, that's why the story has five pages of opening. To make it properly epic, you see. This was my reasoning two years ago, on maybe the second or third story I ever wrote.
I've learned a lot more about writing since then; the necessity of a quick pace, of an indelible hook, stronger characterization in fewer words, etc. I sent this piece to Aphelion back in August, with only the quickest of tune-ups, and I've learned a lot since August, even. And while I'm glad that the piece is on Aphelion, it's not representative of my average quality of work.
Everyone, thank you for reading the piece and offering your praise and criticism. Both are nice to hear; really, it thrills me that anyone read it, let alone enjoyed it. If you enjoyed my little imaginary world of floating continents, I have some more (and much better) stories set there, soon to be released or on the market. "On the Old Dabreu", about the dreaded sky-pirates of Aetheria, will be in 1018 Press's "Black Sails" anthology. Uh... and I have a good number more that are currently looking for markets, as well as a 30,000 word novella nearing completion. My goal is to release a short story collection set in Aetheria, with the novella as the centerpiece.
I also write sci-fi and westerns. I encourage you to visit my webpage ( for a journal, some more stories, and a list of publications.
Thanks again, everyone who read it! I really appreciate your feedback!

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