Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver


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Post February 17, 2012, 12:23:49 AM

Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

This thing had me continually wondering, "What the hell -- ?!" -- right up until the last little chunk, maybe half a page worth -- and then, I got really disappointed, and immediately thought of this:

http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelin ... mmon.shtml

Sorry, Dave, but you lose points for that trick. On the positive side, you did a bang-up job of turning Mars into a comic book.
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Post February 17, 2012, 01:30:25 AM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

Lester Curtis wrote:This thing had me continually wondering, "What the hell -- ?!" -- right up until the last little chunk, maybe half a page worth -- and then, I got really disappointed, and immediately thought of this:

http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelin ... mmon.shtml

Sorry, Dave, but you lose points for that trick. On the positive side, you did a bang-up job of turning Mars into a comic book.


The stuff with Zac and Janey rubbing their rubber space suits against each other was amusingly chaste and kinky at the same time -- appropriate for a 50s-style comic book scenario as inhabited by a pre- or actually-pubescent boy.
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Post February 22, 2012, 04:59:45 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

I'm with Lester on this one - I was disappointed as well. It's not as if this story line hasn't been done to death.
When I read the title "Mission to Mars!" I wondered, "Why Mars? Come on - why not Gliese or Bernards? I know what Mars is like - we all do." As I kept reading all I could think was 'I hope Bill Wolfe doesn't see this - he'll tear this guy to pieces.'
Sorry, just not in favor of the same old same old. The writing style is great, so why waste it on this story line?
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Post February 23, 2012, 01:01:10 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

Once upon a time the Mars of literature was a habitable planet abundant with water running in canals bult by the indigenous population. That planet has long since been destroyed by advancing science.

For me at least 'Misson to Mars!' brings back the old days of inhabitable Mars, making me want to reread some of the old tales.

And the martian tale within the story is not a bad one. It has mystery, it has action. Never mind that the science seems more than slightly off. It all actually starts to make perfect sense once the story reaches its pivotal point.

But the way I see it, 'Mission to Mars!'is not at all a tale about Mars. It is about the emotinal make up of a boy growing up, as refelcted by his comic book induced fantasies. It can hardly escape notice how the names of persons form real life appear in the martian tale.

Now, Bottomdweller, Lester Curtis, I'd like to ask something of you. Do you remember the line ' "Poor Frank, he never stood a chance" ' from the martian tale? With that in mind, please reread the last two paragraphs of the whole piece. What do you see?
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Post February 23, 2012, 02:41:30 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

vates wrote:Now, Bottomdweller, Lester Curtis, I'd like to ask something of you. Do you remember the line ' "Poor Frank, he never stood a chance" ' from the martian tale? With that in mind, please reread the last two paragraphs of the whole piece. What do you see?

Hiding in plain sight . . . there's the obvious story-within-a-story, but then another element; kid with no dad, finding a way to adjust to his loss.

Yes, all the pieces fit together quite nicely, but it's still a worn out plot; still too Twilight-Zone-ish. And that detracts and distracts from the kid's story. Keeps it from being too schmaltzy, but tends to bury it at the same time.
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Post February 27, 2012, 03:00:50 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

Lester Curtis wrote:Yes, all the pieces fit together quite nicely, but it's still a worn out plot; still too Twilight-Zone-ish. And that detracts and distracts from the kid's story. Keeps it from being too schmaltzy, but tends to bury it at the same time.

One thing I like about the story is that you can look at it from different angles to see differrent things.
While I think your point of view is perfectly valid, I do not share it. I do not think the boy's story gets buried. On the contrary, as the tale on Mars actually happens in the boy's mind, it is mainly about the boy himself, telling a tale about growing up.
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Post February 27, 2012, 03:18:43 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

The writer certainly has a natural writing style. That’s a good thing. The words flowed well.

Unfortunately, as many have pointed out, the logic wasn’t there. I don’t mind the concept, even if trite, but the execution was flawed. Some of it was just plain sloppy:
Zac turned to Janey long enough to brush a stray hair away from her face.


Weren’t they wearing space suits? How did he brush her hair through the helmet?

There are too many other inconsistencies in the story for me to mention without seeming as though I’m dog piling. I’ll let Bill do that. :wink:

It can be a bit frustrating when you see someone who has natural talent not applying it well. However, you can be trained on how to plot and manage a story better. Having innate talent is something that you cannot normally learn.
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Post February 27, 2012, 03:58:57 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

Jaimie wrote:...Some of it was just plain sloppy:
Zac turned to Janey long enough to brush a stray hair away from her face.


Weren’t they wearing space suits? How did he brush her hair through the helmet?...


Given the breathable atmosphere, I just assumed that they weren't wearing their Classic 1950s Fishbowl Helmets. So why were they wearing their "rubber spacesuits"? Maybe it was too chilly or damp for shipboard uniforms (or they were practicing Safe Snuggling by wearing their Tea Party-Approved Santorum Brand Full-Body Condoms).
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Post February 27, 2012, 04:04:13 PM

Re: Mission to Mars! by Dave Weaver

Robert_Moriyama wrote:
Jaimie wrote:...Some of it was just plain sloppy:
Zac turned to Janey long enough to brush a stray hair away from her face.


Weren’t they wearing space suits? How did he brush her hair through the helmet?...


Given the breathable atmosphere, I just assumed that they weren't wearing their Classic 1950s Fishbowl Helmets. So why were they wearing their "rubber spacesuits"? Maybe it was too chilly or damp for shipboard uniforms (or they were practicing Safe Snuggling by wearing their Tea Party-Approved Santorum Brand Full-Body Condoms).


Yeah, I thought that was the case as well, but then later I read:
But now they were surrounded by a thick clinging whiteness that froze up their glass bell jar helmets.


So I really was confused. Just a show of someone taking off/putting on a helmet would have helped.
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