Dreams on the Wind by Steele Tyler Filipek

Tell us what you thought of the February 2010 issue.

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Post February 19, 2010, 05:01:06 PM

Dreams on the Wind by Steele Tyler Filipek

The answer for jet stream wind produced power in a global warming scenario (given that Aruba is under water).

A "volunteer" maintenance force of technicians is subjected to frequent and unannounced disaster drills implanted neurally.

Corey relives his crime in recurrent dreams, often neurally induced. Does he welcome these as a respite?

A nice read.


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Post February 22, 2010, 05:26:33 PM

I thought this was a pretty good story. I liked the idea of the "windmill." It's a cool sci fi concept. I'm not sure I could envision it completely based on what is given in the story, but that's probably not important. Trying to give too much detail in this case might bog down the story unecessarily and take away from the tension. It's enough to know that the characters are in mortal danger hanging by magnetic boots 6 miles up.

I think it was a good idea to have the two characters play off each other. One is being brave doing what must be done, the other is crippled with fear. This helps to increase the tension of the situation.

I like that there was a subtle change in the main character at the end. He is a little more hardened by the events of the story.

The only constructive criticism I will give is that occasionally there is an awkwardly constructed sentence. For instance, the word 'right' in the very first sentence makes it sound odd to me:

Corey slept, dreaming of Megan and their honeymoon in Aruba, right as the alarm went off.

Maybe it's just my tin ear, but it seemed like there were a few awkwardly worded sentences thoughout. Sorry, I didn't make note of them as I was reading.

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Post February 22, 2010, 09:01:55 PM

I liked this one, too. The life-or-(near) death action was great. I thought the tough-guy/coward thing was a little bit overplayed, but it wasn't too bad.

I wondered about all the repeated drills and no real emergencies. Is this part of their punishment?

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Post February 25, 2010, 12:55:27 PM

The old memories popped up with me one after another in this story! You see, I worked in a coal-fired generating station, and I know what it’s like when alarms and buzzers go off, and control room operators spring from their chairs and frantically look over the computer screens to examine the problem. And the big problems always happened on midnight shift when everyone was half-asleep. ( A chair can very comfortable at 3 am )

An action filled story. Liked it from beginning to end, and often felt the stress Corey was under as he responded to the emergency.

I would really like to see a windmill that big! It must have reached the Jet Stream. I wonder how many megawatts it could produce under full-load?

The intro worked. It might not have ‘grabbed’ one’s attention, but it did get it.

I wonder why the author used a feminine voice as an announcer?

The action begins and almost never lets up. That can be a good point, but for many reader they need longer breathers than the ones in this story. For me, it’s Okay---at least for a couple of chapters in a novel. For a short story under ten thousand words, total action usually works for me.

The sub-plot of Corey accidentally killing his girl friend, and the thought that she was unfaithful the him, was introduced, I fell, at the right time in the story,

The grammar and writing Okay, for the story wasn’t too hard to follow, and it did progress in a rather logical sequence. No big, unconnected jumps in time or place. Some better word choices might have helped, but I can live with the way it was written. Also better attention to dialogue is needed, but like word choices it wasn't terrible.

Corey’s remembrance of Megan in the story were not sharps jumps that would distract the reader. And the reference to Jackson’s embezzling also was short and in line with their criminal sentencing--the reason they were on this ‘Mega Windmill.’

The emergence was simulated and didn’t happen in real time. A good futuristic story about our electrical net, and how generation might be.

Another element of this story reminded me of Viet-Nam.

When in Nam, I served with guys that had the option of going to prison or serving in the army, usually six years from what some told me. Their crimes, at least the ones I know, were stealing cars and taking them for joy rides. Remember, most of us were in our late teens.

Just an added thought about how some stories can bring forth memories from the reader.

Good action story, but room for improvement.
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Post February 25, 2010, 01:29:17 PM

Part of my Navy duty consisted of a year at Camp Pendleton in 1964-65 as a medic. Not just a few young Marines from small Southern towns had been "recruited" by the local Sheriff. "Jail or the Marine Corps, son."

One cannot imagine the unspeakable horror in the Chernobyl control room when the announcement "this is no drill" was broadcast. I wonder if they even had disaster drills.

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Post February 25, 2010, 03:24:30 PM

I enjoy this story immensely. It kept me engaged from beginning to end. It had all the right elements: pacing, dialogue, plot, subplots, interesting characters. There was just enough description to kick start my imagination without being bogged down by the details.

This was not an easy story to write, especially when you factor in the simulation backdrop. I applaud the author for pulling it off so smoothly.
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Post March 15, 2010, 10:51:44 AM

Feminine Computer Voices

Somewhere this developed into a major Tech meme. I think I recall reading that someone decided female voices for computers were "less threatening". Then this got picked up in the SF shows with Star Trek at the lead.

Then enter Jane Barbe, with runner up Pat Trumbull.
Great explanation:

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