Heaven's Radio by Jason Arsenault

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Post October 04, 2018, 02:46:25 PM

Heaven's Radio by Jason Arsenault

I liked this story quite a lot; it has well-developed characters and a very interesting plot, full of intrigue, deception, and political power machinations.

This is also a story told from the viewpoint of non-human aliens, insectoid in this case. Decisive aspects of the story line hinge on elements of their ecology and physiology, and particularly for the main character, their psychology as well. This was all quite well done, while still allowing the characters to be relatable from a human perspective.

My suspension of disbelief had one major failing point. A recurring event of major significance in the story was the occurrence of very loud noises which should not have happened. The explanation is that these were caused by electromagnetic transmissions from another world, but signals from space cannot make sound waves in air. If they could, we'd all be deafened by the next sunspot. As well, the radio signals mentioned in the story would be nearly imperceptible to begin with due to the inverse-square law.

One thing that I found mildly annoying was the parenthetical explanation
(One orbit Of-Zyne = 5.66 Yu'Mann Urth orbits.)

It has the feeling of being directly addressed at the reader, which always disrupts immersion in the story. I think this information could be woven into the narration more gracefully.

As well, I thought it a little out of place that the males of this species were referred to as 'men.' It's too easy to think 'human' when reading that word.

The story ends with the threat of a reawakened interstellar war, but also with the hope for peace and understanding.

So, for me, there were a couple of speed-bumps, but overall this is an unusual piece of work and quite satisfying.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?


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Post October 08, 2018, 04:48:02 AM

Re: Heaven's Radio by Jason Arsenault

I really appreciate your comments and insight. Indeed this story was a great deal of study to get it in its current form. For the physics components you described, I might have failed to explain them adequately, but the noise wasn't produced by the radio waves, it was caused by the reorganization of the ancient ruins in orbit, which induced a type of diabatic compression effect directly through the stratosphere. This information might have been truncated in later edits or I failed to make my points across in the final cut. Another disbelief of physics is when they discover in space that the older civilization could generate gravity, meaning they had a different notion for centripetal/acceleration gravity (that they experience in the slingshot) versus mass attraction gravity; I completely removed the two or three paragraph that talked about this distinction, because from their point of view, it was a completely normal dichotomy. For the in parentheses comments (the story was a transmission from Gardner meant to be understood by humans), there was simply no way to use metrics that we know on our planet to describe what they measure on theirs, so the units needed to be defined or they were meaningless, but I understand that this diverts from the narrative; it did also hint, if one wishes to calculate, when the invading faction of the Of-Zyne are likely to get to Earth...

In any event, thanks for the read!

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