Alternative Energy By Mike Wilson


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CCC

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Post September 19, 2011, 04:10:12 AM

Alternative Energy By Mike Wilson

I feel that this story had a lot of potential, but didn't use it. The setup was interesting - a form of energy extracted from dead human brains, the supply running out and no-one talking about it, a clear allegory to the current oil crisis - but it just didn't go anywhere from there. Martin is captured, tortured for information, and then... let go, by someone inside the company who realises the problems.

I was waiting for the entire story for someone to realise that if dead human brains can provide fuel, then they can be extracted with minimal trouble from live human troublemakers, like Martin. Whether he managed to escape that fate or was forced into it, it could have made a very powerful ending. As it is, the story starts well (and it starts really well), but... well... fizzles out.
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Post September 21, 2011, 03:32:16 PM

Re: Alternative Energy By Mike Wilson

I was waiting for the entire story for someone to realise that if dead human brains can provide fuel, then they can be extracted with minimal trouble from live human troublemakers, like Martin.
Me, too. Amazing the author didn't think of that trick; it might have saved the story . . .

Nahh. Fusion fuel from human brain DNA?? Gimme a break!!

Seriously . . . The author could have come up with any number of substances for this use, and most of them would have made more sense.

And then, the CEO of the company gets in front of the board and TELLS THEM THE TRUTH -- ??!! Certainly not the behavior we've come to expect from those types, although it could have been even less believable (he could have told the press!). Okay -- maybe he already had a plane ticket to Argentina ready, and a briefcase containing the company's payroll and pension funds in it.

Finally, the tone of it was a little more preachy than I liked; especially at the end.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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Post October 06, 2011, 08:56:45 PM

Re: Alternative Energy By Mike Wilson

Lester Curtis wrote:

Nahh. Fusion fuel from human brain DNA?? Gimme a break!!

In the context of the storyI took fusion to mean something like power generation. Still the part about the human brain reads rather like black magic than science. So maybe at the center of each power plant there is a dark mage? However, considering how brains are involved, it might be just zombies on treadmills.

Lester Curtis wrote:
CCC wrote:I was waiting for the entire story for someone to realise that if dead human brains can provide fuel, then they can be extracted with minimal trouble from live human troublemakers, like Martin.
Me, too. Amazing the author didn't think of that trick; it might have saved the story . . .

Hands up who didn't think along this line!

By the comparison to oil made in the story itself it seems the author was aiming at a power source of finite resources and unfortunately missed. That the chosen power source can be regrown could give rise to a varity of dystopian scenarios.

But whether finite ot not, let us take a look at the philosophy of Marty and his friends. Their point of view is nicely summarized in the story:
Marty stared. "Don't you see? We are using up a finite resource! What happens when the ancient brain material runs out? Our society will grind to a halt!"


So the current system is percieved evil because lack of resources will eventually make it collapse taking society with it. Thus they are convinced of a right or even duty in the name of society to fight that system. And how to fight the system? Cut off the resources! Running the risk of bringing down the system and society with it even faster.

So either in their eagerness they have lost focus of the reson of their fight, or they at least subconsiously are convinced, that the situation actually is not that bad, and their sabotage will not hurt society. One could ask the question, whether these people act responsibly...

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Post October 07, 2011, 08:09:21 PM

Re: Alternative Energy By Mike Wilson

Well, I read the tale rather simply, and didn't pick up on the Kill the traitors trick, I was assuming that the matter needed to be dead ... or something. I Suspended Disbelief.

But yeah, this read like a Children's Fable, ... which could be fine, children need abbreviated easy plots to work with. So that's my new suggestion, check a few scenes for violence then make it children's story.

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