Starport by Joe Pezzula


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Post January 14, 2010, 02:16:08 PM

Starport by Joe Pezzula

The so-so Canadian-produced TV series based on William Shatner's (ghostwritten) Tekwar novels had an interesting closing theme that included the lyrics

"Are you real or not?
It's a fine line..."

This story drops us into a situation where the line between real and artificial has become sidewalk chalk in a rainstorm. You may have to read it twice to really understand the events depicted.

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You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

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Post January 17, 2010, 05:58:26 PM

Awesome concept. I agree w/ R.M. in that it's hard to figure out what's going on at first. For me the confusion stemmed in large part from not enough setting--am still not sure where she is when the events take place. If she's on a ship already, or in her room--part of it seems like she's about to go on a trip, part of it seems like she's already traveling. I know the setting isn't the important part of the story--but, how do I say it? I feel like in order to get the full impact of the weirdness/otherness of the protagonist's world--the whole inhibitor chip thing--you need a strong backdrop of scene, setting. The confusion about the scene/setting detracted from the real weirdness of the story. One of my writing teachers told me: Don't create artificial suspense (i.e. don't create suspense by withholding information from the reader). Give the reader enough information to feel like they're really in your world, that way the emotional impact of the story will hit them as hard as it does the protagonist.

Sorry for writing so much--but just wanted to comment b/c really did think the story was awesome.
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Post January 17, 2010, 10:34:56 PM

She wondered when the day would come for her own inhibitor chip to be installed to stop these feelings of uncertainty and disconnect.


And after reading this story three times, I wonder if I don't need an inhibitor chip, too . . . as it is, I just think that Allison needs a new OS and a good, swift reboot -- and I'm wondering why she hadn't gotten them long ago. Maybe she'll get that after someone repairs the boa-inflicted damage . . .

Could this be the ultimate in teenage rebelliousness?
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Post January 18, 2010, 03:33:59 PM

Past her Best Before date?

Ah, but do higher artificial lifeforms (sentient humanoid types) in this world have the right to remain unaltered even if they begin to develop eccentric behavior? To take this story further, what if Alison decided that she was having trouble connecting emotionally with her human (or human-form robot?) family, and tried to remove THEIR inhibitor chips?

Beware of machines that are capable of deciding that YOU are malfunctioning, and have the ability to try to FIX you. (viz. also "Thy Kingdom Come, My Will Be Done", where the penalty for violating religious precepts may be death).

RM
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

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Post September 10, 2010, 09:13:45 PM

Thanks for all the comments!

Hello!

Many apologies for not seeing this board until now. It's been way too long and with distractions, distractions....

Anyhow, thank you for reading and for the feedback. Setting the world is always a trouble spot for me, so I will definitely look to improve that aspect of future stories.

I enjoyed the world within Starport, and hope to revisit it in a future tale.
If you agree with me, then that makes two of us.

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