Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

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Post February 09, 2017, 09:33:01 PM

Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

Some fascinating subjects explored here, and done in a very original way. Good job jumping into the very important areas of transhumanism and medical ethics; not nearly enough is written about either one. Singularity anyone? The oldest lie in The Book - ye shall be as gods.

The wi-fi explanation for brain transplant seems quite original. Nice plot device. (If only Dr. McCoy had wi-fi instead of a "neural nebulizer" in the Spock's Brain episode of Star Trek!)

I'll admit to being a bit confused about the ending, but it feels like a sort of "triple cross" occurred which meant several of these people were up to no good. In any event, very interesting story well told.
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Post February 09, 2017, 10:07:15 PM

Re: Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

I was happy to see you make your own interpretation of the end. Which is actually why I wrote it the way I did. Would it shock anyone if I said I was a huge fan of New Wave of Sci Fi writers like Ballard or Zelazny as a teen? I wanted people to engage a bit with the ending by filling in some of the blanks themselves. There are numerous ways he could have gotten out at that point, but now the reader's free to fill it in. Sort of like poetry, there often isn't an absolute correct answer. :) Unfortunately it's getting harder and harder to find venues that allow for a little artistic speculation to go with scientific speculation.
Glad you enjoyed it!

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Post February 09, 2017, 10:31:46 PM

Re: Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

WHEW I'm glad to hear you say that. And I REALLY like when things are left somewhat ambiguous on purpose (although I'm a big believer in leaving enough clues to come up with the most likely ending). But where there are larger issues at stake, the reader must be encouraged to think about it.

I believe no one was innocent in this story because the whole situation is like one big cautionary tale. Brain transplant? Computer interface? Gee, what could go wrong. Immoral? Oh well not really, you see technology has superceded morality....

And yes, a "pox on all their houses --- of Doctors" who participated.

Again, good job!
Glenn Diamond


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Post February 12, 2017, 09:41:25 PM

Re: Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

There were a few clues as to "my interpretation" of the ending, but it they were too obvious, that would eat up the open endness of it. There is certainly an undercurrent, and certainly, the moral is absolutely, "Just because YOU can do something, doesn't mean you should." In science just like life, people forget that ability is not the same as rightness.

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Post February 18, 2017, 09:57:47 AM

Re: Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski

The intro worked. “The handsome face creased in thought” I like how the author used creative adjectives in this story like the example ‘creased.’ The beginning unfolds with a patient waking up from a medical procedure.

I like the thoughts and feelings of the medical team that transformed Roger into a young man. All through the story, their hopes and disappointments reflected their moods and became the center of their lives for a while. The team’s involvement with one another bordered on a conflict in itself. Good sub action!

The way Roger escaped is beyond our technology yet, but like all speculative fiction stories, this story presents a scenario that might happen in the future.

Today we have paraplegics controlling the mouse with their thoughts. Blind people are seeing with the aid of TV cameras, medical equipment is in use that captures our brain waves, and artificial arms are already helping many veterans cope with life! And the MRI machines?

I like how the author balanced the story and as I said before, his creative use of adjectives in the beginning. I can’t think of anything to add that might make the story better; he did a nice job.

As I read the story, I got the feeling that this one might be a good story for a screenplay.

Good job!
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Post February 28, 2017, 02:16:17 AM

Re: Aristeas Of Passyunk Avenue by Paul Lubaczewski


You may have noticed that we lost a couple of posts on this thread: the ones where I asked about the title, and your response. Just in case those posts don't get restored, you may want to briefly restate the explanation behind the title.

Aside from that, the one thing I think bothered me most about this story was your treatment of dialog attribute tags. "He [or she] smiled" is quite prevalent, especially from the third scene. Try running a search for 'smile' in the text; you might be surprised. You do a lot of telling (as opposed to showing) in your dialog tags.

About a third of the way in, you tell how Roger had set up an alternate identity for himself, with access to money and other resources, but he needed to get out of the facility to take advantage of that. When I read this, the first thing I thought of was, suppose he gets out and finds that his new identity has been stolen? I kind of expected this to happen, and, though it would have been different, it would have been a great story in its own right. What would he do, with all his resources unavailable--no money in hand, nothing but his knowledge and experience and a strong new body?

I think you have a major plot hole with his brain being connected by wi-fi or something like it. If that signal is sensitive enough to be tickled or "itched" by a wi-fi signal, any nearby lightning strike--'nearby' being within maybe a mile or less--will probably knock him unconscious, if not kill him outright. He needs the equivalent of a tinfoil hat: electromagnetic shielding. That could be bulky--and it would also isolate him from the connection he found to the facility's computers.

Second problem I see with that is that every individual nerve signal between the brain and body needs to be duplicated independently of all the others. Accomplishing that seems like an awfully tall order to me. You mention this as a concern of his, but fail to solve the dilemma. That's kind of like telling the reader you have a plot hole.

Then there's the problem of how these electronics get their power--and dissipate the heat they produce. The bloodstream can be the heat-sink, but the power is still a problem.

I do like the predicament you placed the facility's staff in: they can't just call the cops when he runs amok, not if they want to stay out of prison themselves, anyway. I thought the dungeon felt like a bit of deus ex machina, though. Oh, how convenient; we've got just the place for him ... but how did he get out? That part looks to me like another plot hole.

Anyway, it wasn't bad overall, and the premise is interesting.

Thanks, and I hope this helps.
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