A Lack of Power By K. W. Ramsey

Tell us what you thought about the May 2010 issue!

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Post May 16, 2010, 11:28:24 PM

A Lack of Power By K. W. Ramsey

This is a cheerful little jaunt (mostly) into office politics . . . a fun read, for the most part, with an object lesson for the oppressors of the downtrodden.

I did experience a profound disconnect early on, though . . . while John is on the elevator, that flowery-smelling brunette seems to have exited the elevator -- without ever having gotten on . . . ? It's a bit unclear. Re-reading the passage, it seems she got on at a different floor and then got off again, but I was confused.

I think the technical jargon was maybe slightly overdone, but it was all delivered with the voice of authority (as in, personal familiarity).

A little rough in spots, but a good job, all considered.
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Post May 25, 2010, 04:10:27 PM

Lack of power

If it would have been me writing this story, I would have placed it a little further off on the timeline. Trying to associate the building of the Hab to the market downturn of 2010 places the tale too close to the now, and Toronto hasn’t become the dominator of our financial world through Green technologies. Nice try though, Canadian author.

I would have also chopped out most of the front 25% of this story. As Joan Rivers once said, “Enter talking”: we need some action or some dialog. I did like the line: “He whacked the…close door button repeatedly, with the urgency of a panicked chipmunk.” I know the first of this story was supposed to set the scene, but I’d start out with more dialog and fill in the blanks along the way.

I’d take out the paragraph about “John was originally from out-Hab and had spent most of his…” unless you could put it in after some dialog. It is exceedingly dull. Believe me, we are all there, in that cubicle of mindless, hopeless death already.

Having said that, I enjoyed mostly everything after “’Dinsmore!’ barked a voice behind John.” But then again, do we really have holographic projection machines that are interactive and would be used on a peon like John Dinsmore?” No. They aren’t available yet and they won’t be in use on trivial people for at least another 20 years. The economic crisis of 2010 just tacks down the date of this story too much.

As far as the way John is treated, man, it is spot on. “The laziness of today’s employees…Did I hurt your widdle feelwings…No buts! You failed in the tasks I assigned. It’s a wonder you still have your job…” Spot on. I’ve been told the same thing, but I am lazy, so I can’t really fuss about it. I’m so lazy that my actually doing something is like double-work.

Of course, John’s boss is reaping all the benefit of John’s extra work.
AND THEN you have a little action thrown in with the gangs. Good timing here. You need some foreshadowing at the beginning, but it was just too much for my taste.

I like the last paragraph. Alpha male stuff and all that.
The title was funny because it could be taken two ways. I’d still pare down a bunch of the front end.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.


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Post May 29, 2010, 07:37:17 PM

First let me say, thank you both for the feedback. I really do appreciate it.

I originally submitted this story for Tesseracts 14 but it didn't make the cut. I ran into both the editors at Ad Astra, and they actually remembered it! One said he graded it at 85%, and the only reason it didn't get in was because there were so many at 90%. The other gave me feedback very similar to what you provided. I've already taken it into account in the projects I've been working on since finishing this story, and your comments really reinforce this.

Again, thank you.

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