A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher


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Post July 03, 2007, 11:26:31 AM

A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

I've always liked sky elevators, and this one seems to be well-thought out.  The whole story was well told and the ending had the air of a classic SF novel.  The passage about the mysterious old lady added an extra dimension of realism and the whole story could easily have lasted much longer.  
The only thing that stood out as odd was the Lunarian's telepathic ability.  It seemed a bit pointless; nothing else in the story depended on it.  Again it gave the impression that a longer work would reveal more.  
*Spoiler Alert*
OK, 2 things.  At the end it says the children could trace their descent from the six men.  I thought they were grown from already viable foetuses?

Anyway, brilliant.

Gareth

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Post July 08, 2007, 02:42:28 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

The intro works; action at the beginning of a story always grabs one’s attention even if the action is just a state of excitement.

An elevator to the moon? Good SF and the science behind it is suitable for a science fiction story. Some might say that it would be impossible to create such a transportation system, but in SF our imagination must be unlimited so that we can take the possible and develop it into the extraordinary.  

The characters were a little flat, but Doc’s Slavic nationality came through by the correct use of mixed grammar. Just the right amount!

I find it hard to believe that the moon settlement hasn’t communicated with Earth for a century!

The description of the elevator and its components was Okay, and the dialogue between the elevator operators good. And the explanation of the events leading up to the virus contamination worked.

The weird look of the moon girl just might be after humans spend a century in reduced gravity!

The ending developed further than I thought it would, with the moon’s inhabitants dead, but the red-ice that had gone to the moon had foreshadow that event.

Once they landed on the moon, things got really got eerie. The kid who survived, the bodies charred and scattered around, the machinery still running and the fact that almost everyone was dead presented a classic type SF story. But the old woman who appeared as a homeless person, symbolized the aftermath of a catastrophe, a catastrophe that a single virus could inflict!

No a bad story but the theme was of an older type set in the sixties and seventies SF stories.

Keep editing your works over and over again for errs.

The good points: Excellent descriptions, very good use of dialogue, believable plot, good tone, and logical developments.

Bad points: Characters a little flat--but not much. A little confusing in the beginning, but that might be attributed to my state of mind. You see, I just quit chewing snuff, and the withdrawal symptoms are killing me!!!

For an SF story it was good, and for a first SF story it was excellent!!

A nice read!!!
Tesla Lives!!!
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Post July 11, 2007, 12:27:18 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

;D  Hi GDJ,  Hey - the reason there are six fathers is because: the five ella workers were handed cups and pointed towards donating rooms by Doc, so he could mix their genetic material with the ova from moon women (already on ice).  The fetus's were completely formed moon babies which is why the moon child was given the option to proceed or stop production.  You wouldn't want to start a new race with only moon fetuses - using only a million people as a genetic base.  Or would you?   Thanks, bottomdweller
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Post July 19, 2007, 06:06:40 AM

A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

am a sucker for space elevators myself, and here we had all the major components. also, the various levels of the elevator were well described and the technology appealing.

however, this story needed to be much, much longer because as it stands we're just all over the place in terms of pacing and events. from the earth dying to the moon, then Max is crashing into a starbucks machine right after enountering this lady that came out of nowhere.

all excellent parts of a promising whole, but pressed together too tight for comfort.
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Post July 22, 2007, 08:11:42 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

There were several things I liked about this story. First, that it had that "classic sci-fi" feel. I liked that style as a kid, and I still like it today. Second, that careful thought was given to some of the science in the story. This seemed to be a plausible enough elevator scenario. Finally, the posies thing, linking back to the black death. Nice tie in.

However, there were a few serious flaws as I saw it. Because the science of the story was so well established, I expected it to continue to obey those rules. That is, the "world" of this story is defined as one where biology acts as it does in the real world. That is, viruses act just as they do in the real world--they replicate, they spread, and some of them kill. Doc said he was going to try to make a vaccine, and that it was easy for him to isolate it. But unless I missed it, he never does make one. Then these brave souls launch themselves at the Moon, landing in the space where the virus was supposed to be multiplying itself. Obviously, it didn't need to be inside a host human to survive, yet these guys never get sick, either from the water or the infected bodies. I also didn't see anything about inoculating the fetuses, which would catch the virus & croak.

Is this birthing technology limited to the Moon? Wouldn't it also exist on Earth? Couldn't someone just hatch big batches after the virus was under control?

If they did make a vaccine, then why never give it to earth? Shoot some back down the line, or send the formula. They knew someone would make it. If these men dedicated their lives to raising all the Moonies, wouldn't such selflessness extend to people back home?

Along those lines, how did these regular guys become such saints? Sure you'd want there to be people, but I missed the seeds of their motivations in the early part of the story. I mean, wanting humans to survive is very different from wanting to be a dad to a million children. Imagine what it would take to live up to thatt. All I can say is that it must have been one hell of a screening process to get hired.

Overall, I did like the story, but I got hung up on a few issues.

Nate
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Post July 23, 2007, 05:46:45 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

;D
Wazzup! Really, Doc did make up the vaccine and was administering it as Max and the others walked into Midway as evidenced by the paragraph:
Max walked through Midway's door into the large, transluscent room at 55,000 kilometers, pealing off the zipsuit (zipzuit might have been better) as though disgusted with it. Doc grabbed his arm briefly, shooting him in the neck with an air-inoculator.
(ergo my friend, the vaccine) bottomdweller
as far as the virus dying out - wouldn't it die out if their were no survivors? - If humans died out, wouldn't the cold virus die within a matter of 12 days?
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Post July 24, 2007, 06:29:12 AM

A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

never ask "why" or "how" about events in fiction...it's fiction. as tempting or urgent the need may be, it's a story and whatever happens therein is simply that - part of the story's reality.

however, my WHY has to do with how come it's so short? you have enough going on there for a seriously-sized novel.
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Post July 24, 2007, 06:22:34 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

;) wazzup Hey, you write the novel and we'll split the bucks. Just say at the front 'based on a short story by Mickie D.' Thanks - I'll take mine in twenties - please.
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Post July 25, 2007, 05:04:05 AM

A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

This is an Out of Office Reply. The recipient is incapable of seeing a writing project through, and will get back to you some Monday in the relatively near future.

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Post June 01, 2008, 08:33:42 PM

Re: A Pocket Full of Posies by Michele Dutcher

This story has the makings of a much longer, more epic-inscope novel. I hope you pursue it - there are a lot of intriguing themes raised in the story that could be further explored in a deeper, longer work.
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