Galilee by Dustin J Monk


Tell us what you thought about the September/October 2010 issue!

User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2608

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post October 06, 2010, 11:38:28 PM

Galilee by Dustin J Monk

Feel like a dose of depression today? Here it is . . .

Excellently done, but damn, what a downer.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1304

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post October 08, 2010, 11:04:21 AM

Galilee by Dustin J. Monk

This is a story as science fiction should be: it is the future remembered. It is as if a college student sat down with a recorder 500 years from now and asked an old man about a particular event. “My professor says you lived through the Sensation Riots of 2478. Were you on Duncan colony? Oh, okay then, the Galilee Colony – I’m not sure I’ve heard of that colony…” And the story begins.

There are clues throughout for the reader about the future – things and locations that would be commonplace for the talker and listener: e-nerves; underearth; the space decks surrounding the spaceport.

I liked that the destruction going on wasn’t a result of an alien invasion or a robot uprising. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This may be our toughest battleground in space: not having the best technology – but rather having people live within the confines of that technology without going bonkers.

There are many personal touches that give the story punch. “It was a Galilean song and even now I cannot remember the tune.” “…and all you’re thinking about…is, where are my goddamn cigarettes.” “ The man with the spots on his hands washing his hands over and over again – Macbeth inspired perhaps – a way of saying “I’ve done all I can, I take no responsibility for the hell going on around me.”

I did have some problems with the science – for instance the burning of the city. I know that originally on day two of human civilization someone says, “What can we make fire from? – wood!” Then on day three someone says – “What can we make houses from? – Wood!” BUT when we actually get into space, I hope we will bring non-flammable materials to build our homes with. This story is 400 years in the future – so we will probably have had some time to think about it.

Also, the ‘hollow Sun’ deal – man, if your star has a hole in the middle that can be seen from a distance – well, tuck your head between your legs and kiss your hinny goodbye.

I liked the idea of the e-nerves as a way of keeping people under State control by instant gratification – but why weren’t these working on the rioters?

There are some archaic terms that I don’t believe will be used in the future – like ‘straightjacket’. I hope mankind won’t be forced to use physical restraints for the mentally agitated…that would be the job of the e-nerves.

I liked the grit of the main character. When your world is on fire you can: run away; feel sorry for yourself; or spit in death's eye - survivors often choose the last option. I liked his spunk.

All in all, this is a great story, well worth a good read. Excellent for a 1st time published author!
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
User avatar

Critic

Posts: 145

Joined: December 14, 2009, 11:20:06 AM

Location: I don't know?

Post October 28, 2010, 07:02:49 PM

Good story, a little confusing at times, but it went well with it being a first person tale. The tid bits on the culture, the tech, and society were great, not too descriptive of course, but hints; you did a great job of painting a world from the perspective of someone telling it as if that's his reality. I like the main character too, just a kid caught up in a shit storm. The same with his family, just trying to survive the madness around them. There were a few glaring typos, but not unreadable. Again, good job :D
“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.”
-Mark Twain

Commenter

Posts: 9

Joined: October 17, 2010, 09:40:33 PM

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post October 28, 2010, 10:36:26 PM

This is an example of a story where description is crucial. If you took away all of the fine details, then there really wouldn't be any story. What I really liked was how this story could have been set during almost any time and place in recorded human history, and the overall theme would still ring true. Riots, revolution against the powers that be, refugees trying desperately to escape are all familiar things.

Also, I do have some ideas that might explain some of the science-based issues. Houses built on another planet would most likely be built out of raw materials that already exist on that planet. So, they could be made out of wood/plant material, or they'd be built out of plastic or some light metal. Well, plastics are hydrocarbons, and they burn rather easily. Even some metals, that might be used in construction, will combust under the right conditions (ie aluminum in a thermite reaction).

The rioters might have been able to overcome the e-nerves pacifying effects through chemical means. A nerve stimulator that would calm people would probably cause the release of endorphins, and a dose of naloxone will block the effects of those natural chemicals. The name "Sensation Riots" makes me think that it was a rebellion against the whole e-nerve thing. Maybe the rioters had found a way to remove/disable them permenatly.

I do hope that one day straightjackets will go the way of the labotomy, and I think the e-nerve idea might work to some degree. Still, people have been known to overcome the effects of sedating chemicals. So, even with a higher level of technology, we might never totally replace the need for physical restraints.

Overall, this was a very well-written and delightfully depressing story.

Return to September/October 2010

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.