Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith


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Post August 12, 2004, 08:36:58 PM

Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

Haven't finshed this just yet, but I'll give an early comment because I may not do so before September (the story is looooonnnggggg).<br><br>The first half a dozen chapters are a promising set up for a great read. There is a fair bit of background to be brought in, but it's done almost solely through dialogue, and so it is not cumbersome, in fact it allows good character development.<br><br>Although the story line is a bit cliched (a former cop gets involved in dealing investigating a series of murders linked to an acting troupe) and the title has been used a bit too often, the settings are original and quirky, not least of all the "actor-thingies" which are slimy little animals with shape-changing abilities.<br><br>I wondered, given the authors (rather impressive) movie-writing credits, if he was having a little dig?:)<br><br>Your script-writing influence is evident as the story is visually set up like a movie, with many of the descriptions reading like director's instructions. I'm sure this is deliberate, since acting is central to the story.<br><br>There is obviously a carefully put together plot at the heart of this, but the atmosphere allows for regular injections of humour, and a bit of a snigger over people who take themselves too seriously. I like Tide's sarcastic attitude. He has strong dislikes but few qualms!<br><br>Since I've apparently become self-appointed Pedantic, I will point out the only real ? I have come across so far.<br><br>"playing the scene I'd of seen if my wall..."<br><br>This should be "have seen", yes?<br><br>Looking forward to reading the rest.
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Post August 15, 2004, 09:29:39 PM

Re: Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

I like this one. Its hard enough to do the hard-boiled noir detective, but to also reduce the coloquialsms to generic terms must have doubled the workload. This was done really well. Once I started reading, it was hard to stop. Because it was one of the longer stories, it was bedtime before I was halfway through. I finished it tonight after work. <br>I particularly liked the different aliens- each one seemed credible and individual. The technology the Newsies relied upon was a very neat concept, too. And the Detective's sense of humor was worth the read, alone. I thought that the major characters seemed particularly well developed- and even the minor ones were well done. It was almost as if they had a life outside the story that we'd been given a glimpse into.<br>Very good work.<br>Dan<br>
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Post August 16, 2004, 06:03:45 PM

Re: Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

Greg and Dan are correct about the long part. I read at a fair pace, and it still took a bit over two hours to take it in.<br><br>The detective tale is good, and I did not figure out the mystery before the end. (I fixated on Lop Side, the literal "Red" Herring.) I also liked the classic showing of the killer's hand at the end by having someone imitate one of the characters.<br><br>I have to give credit on excellent vocabulary choices in giving the world an alien "feel" to it. It took me a while to get used to "Wedrevolution" and the like, but once I got it, I liked it.<br><br><br>On the minus side, the mention that shidoans don't like to capitalize their words didn't wash with me. Tide puts capital letters on everything else just fine. It was as if the author was trying to talk to us, instead of the character, and I wasn't ready for that kind of "breaking the fourth wall."<br><br>Description was somewhat sketchy. I mean, I really don't have any idea what Red looked like, and some of the things he did were difficult to picture--especially the "checking the screens" he does at the party. The planet the actors came from was hard to imagine from the verbal clues, as well as the Hub and other settings.<br><br>This was a little disappointing, since this world was rich with interesting bits and settings. Usually if an author spends that kind of time defining a universe, he or she wants you to know what it looks like, too.<br><br>There were also some success strings of unidentified dialog which were a little hard to follow.<br><br><br>All in all, I'd give it a thumbs up, inspite of my quibbles. <br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on August 16, 2004, 06:05:01 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post August 18, 2004, 01:44:21 PM

Re: Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

I enjoyed this piece quite a bit. It had the distinct feel of noir in a science fiction setting, further enhanced by the first-person POV. I also liked the comedic touches that, thankfully, did not overwhelm the serious nature of the plot.<br><br>The story unfolded like a script, heavy with voice-over. Very appropriate, I think, for this type of story. I commend Mr. Smith on how he articulated alien species without detracting from the narrative, one of the most difficult tasks for a SF writer.<br><br>Only editorial comments I have is that the formatting seemed to be off in a few places. Spacing between paragraphs seemed inconsistent. I also noted one occurence of "they're" when it should have been "their":<br><br>They did they’re slime-burping bit.<br><br>I also echo the sentiments you might want a different title. Perhaps something a bit more theatrical? :-P<br>
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Post August 18, 2004, 03:22:34 PM

Re: Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

Some of the formatting inconsistencies were my fault. My word processor doesn't always fully cooperate in these matters. :)<br><br><br>--Jeff Williams
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Post August 18, 2004, 03:24:01 PM

Re: Red Dwarf By Ebbe Roe Smith

That's why I don't trust HTML converters. :)<br>Dan<br>
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