Body and Soul by James M. Hines


Tell us what you thought about the March 2012 issue!

Moderator: Editors

User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2642

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

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

Post March 21, 2012, 11:58:18 PM

Body and Soul by James M. Hines

Way too much telling and not enough showing. Characters with little discernible personality. Too many things that just so coincidentally make everything work just right. I could go on, but I'll let someone else take over.

Not satisfying.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Commenter

Posts: 19

Joined: August 15, 2011, 11:10:29 AM

Location: In my cave

Post March 23, 2012, 11:59:01 AM

Re: Body and Soul by James M. Hines

I'm with you on the "show vs tell" issue, BUT I did like some of the underlying sci-fi theories. I recently read an article on the negative effects of zero-gravity on astronauts; it's intriguing to think one day we might have the opposite issue.

Imagry seemed good for me, though I found myself skipping through the dialogue.
"Don't look back--something might be gaining on you!"
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 550

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

Location: Atlanta, GA

Post March 27, 2012, 12:12:26 PM

Re: Body and Soul by James M. Hines

Ah, the dreaded infodump. Shame, because the premise of the story is quite interesting.

Right off the bat there is telling instead of showing. Here’s an instance:
She was a fair skinned woman with long red hair and deep blue eyes, all of which were complemented by her naturally curvy figure and full red lips. Jenna was an attractive woman by anyone's standards and the picture of health, but even so, she could never set foot on Earth. Her body was simply not capable of withstanding the bone crushing gravity.


That’s not a bad description. However, it’s very passive. You could rewrite it something like this:
She ran her pale fingers through her thick, long auburn hair. Her deep blue eyes lingered on her voluptuous figure. She pursed her full red lips, realizing that as attractive and healthy as she appeared in the mirror, her frail bones and frailer heart would never withstand the crushing gravity of earth. She sighed.


Also, there is no foreshadowing whatsoever regarding Jenna’s eventual betrayal. No hint she was married. Nothing to suggest she was ever in love. Not an iota to subconsciously communicate to the reader that she a grander purpose in mind. So the ending is jarring. I enjoy a twist, but that’s comes at you like a sledgehammer. The reader needs to be better manipulated. Writing is communication, and communication is an art.

One question I had was regarding low-grav effects on the body. Doesn’t a person get bloated? And isn’t low-grav bad in a number of ways? If anything, I would imagine someone living in that environment to have a shorter lifespan.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


jaimie l. elliott

[b:2o4dvkjg]Check out my website:[/b:2o4dvkjg]
http://www.jaimie.org/
User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2642

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

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

Post March 27, 2012, 02:40:24 PM

Re: Body and Soul by James M. Hines

One question I had was regarding low-grav effects on the body. Doesn’t a person get bloated? And isn’t low-grav bad in a number of ways? If anything, I would imagine someone living in that environment to have a shorter lifespan.
I wondered about that, too.

To my knowledge, you don't get bloated. What is known for a fact is that you get taller; without gravity vertically compressing you, your skeleton stretches out. Astronauts in low-g have suffered back and neck pains from this.

Also known is that your bones lose calcium and become brittle. You might think, "So what, they're in low g," but brittle bones can break from a lot of things besides gravity, like say, an accidental impact with a piece of furniture or a fall downstairs. Also, all of your skeletal muscles would atrophy along with the bone-thinning. There are other known deleterious effects as well. Internal organs and systems -- including the circulatory and digestive systems -- are made to work best at one standard gravity.

This is pretty enlightening, at least about the experience of microgravity:

http://www.academicearth.org/lectures/l ... e-on-earth

It's anyone's guess how we would adapt to low-g over a span of generations. Maybe bone would get replaced with cartilage. That would seem to make sense for that kind of environment, though I think the gravity would have to pretty low for that extreme. The species would adapt, and we'd quit looking familiar.

In the short term, gravity, or a substitute exercise regimen, is necessary, and even the exercise -- which you need a lot of -- only slows down the degradation.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

Return to March 2012

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.