Three Revolvers on Mars


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Post September 30, 2009, 07:42:45 AM

Three Revolvers on Mars

With a title like Three Revolvers on Mars, the author would be remiss in his duties if he didn't present the reader with a Spaghetti Western in Space. Mr. Knapp does not disappoint.
The language used is crisp and dry - much as the desert of Mars and the bam-bam blow-em-away characters.
I would have liked a little more description, however, of the three main characters Stygg, Gammel and Moric - because it's difficult to tell them apart without some physical characteristics. And I could have had more details about the author's idea of Mars' surface, just to spice up the story - details about locations. Mount Olympus - for instance, could make a nice setting or the chasm that stretches 3000 miles on the surface of Mars. Details make a story more interesting - especially a Science Fiction story. Without some details, you may as well have this Spaghetti Western set in Arizona or something.
I liked many things about this story: The Lorse (combination of Horse & Lizard) and the fact that the stable master just made up the name himself;
"The sky was grey, like cast-iron...";"Stygg drew a tiny black grain from his coat..." This reminded me of Clark's 3 laws, ergo, Any technology sufficently advanced will seem like magic to an unadvanced society.
Don't explain it - just go with it; "Unemployment rate 30% on Ganymede" nice detail;"It's a planet...It's prison...It's a bank...";
Did not like: "His face was worn, like a ragged strip of leather." It's just too common.
There were some bits that I just didn't believe. The whole thing with the hover-train that takes off into space: "Suddenly the entire train lurched and the planet drifted away." Nah. A train is a train not a rocket-ship - even at 1/3 the gravity.
Overall, I enjoyed it.
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Post September 30, 2009, 09:10:22 PM

I really enjoyed reading your critique. You made some good suggestions. Not sure about the physics of the train. I wrote this story a while ago, I remember looking up escape velocities, etc. I'm definitely not a scientist and I'm pretty sure everything in the story is completely impossible anyway, so a runaway space train didn't seem too bad at the time. :P

I agree with the face was worn thing. One of those lines that look good to you after the first 10 edits, then when you go back and read it that 11th time you cringe and wish you'd used something different.

Anyway, thanks again.
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Post October 01, 2009, 08:03:56 AM

3 revolvers on Mars

Just one more thing - If I were on Mars, I wouldn't kill the terraformers, especially if the planet was still in the process. It would be like: Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player!
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Post October 01, 2009, 10:44:35 AM

lol, touche.

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