Memories of Sky by Michael McNichols


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Post January 24, 2007, 10:58:26 PM

Memories of Sky by Michael McNichols

This was a clever plot concept, but one which left me a little flat.

William, a vampire determined to kick the habit, makes it to Mars, where there should be no prey. There, he inadvertently creates a second vampire, and almost falls prey to a different kind of vamp, one which feeds solely on memories. He's saved by the vampire he created, but accidentally sends them both into another world to start praying on the aliens there.

I really liked that the plot fed itself, building on events to lead to an ultimate, yet dramatic, failure. William used the creature, but in so doing made it a vampire, too. Because of that, he could be saved from the green spiders. Then, because he wasn't careful about where he sent the two of them, he unleashed vampirism on the alien's home world. The characters grew, and changed as the story progressed. What's more, these were good characters. These are things that I look for, and they earned great marks here.

I was less impressed with the setting. I love sensory input, so being sucked inside an oversize jellyfish that flies through space is something where I'd like to know what it was really like. Likewise, clinging to a cliff face on Mars, dodging the sun's rays that would destroy him on contact, that the sort of spot that gets my attention. However, the lack of more setting details kept this, and other locations, from seeming real to me.

Telling vs. showing was a big problem for me. William wanted to get away, so then he went to Mars. Then he walked there. Then he climbed. Then he found spiders. The creature saved him, and then they flew away. Rarely in the story does the character experience what happens to him rather than us hearing an observation that it had happened. He does feel the loss of his memories, but soon after we just hear about him screaming, as a witness, when the other vamp dives on the flying critters.

Without William experiencing the plot instead of describing it, the story felt two dimensional to me, rather than being a full, well-rounded plot.

I'd have to say I think a little more dialogue (and not monologue) might have helped, too.


Again, hot plot idea, but it just didn't work for me.

Nate
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Post January 24, 2007, 11:29:37 PM

Re: Memories of Sky by Michael McNichols

Vampires on Mars? Why not! The universe is infinite so possibilities are also infinite.

I didn’t get into the story. Nothing grabbed me, but I did like it.

Sometimes it’s nice to read a story that exists for itself and not some deep meaning that the author is trying to present. This story is pure fiction wrote for the reader to read and enjoy. I did.

The writing very good, the characters could have been developed a little better and some more sensory input might have impaled the story into the reader.

Even if a vampire is getting attacked, its fear should be shown to the read in such a way that the reader will feel it.

A few minor sensory inputs will go far in this story!!

All in all a better than average read!
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Post February 02, 2007, 03:14:44 AM

Memories of Sky by Michael McNichols

there was no need for further character development or Nate's sensory input here, as this short belonged more in the poetry section than anything else.

it was ironic, sardonic and featured a mighty final twist that actually worked. there's very little else to ask for, and the distant, mythical mood of it also appealed to me.

however, even as a most forgiving unrealist i found the discovery of the creature/ship all too convenient. personally i'd have found another plot device, but then it may have been harder to sell William as alone on Mars. Also, the ship was suddenly organic even tho the natives never seemed to notice. But that's really nothing, i liked this story a lot.

Lee

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