The Machine Fink By Mike Phillips

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Post April 19, 2013, 07:01:42 PM

The Machine Fink By Mike Phillips

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Post April 20, 2013, 03:39:54 AM

Re: The Machine Fink By Mike Phillips

This is a great story. The first paragraph was a little strange but a good hook; gunshots.

I've never been in a foundry, although I've seen plenty on the Discovery channel and Quest, and the description of Fritz and Billy's work on the melter, melting down scrap, was fascinating. When they were feeding in the brass turnings and the smoke is belching out, I could almost feel myself choking and my eyes stinging.

The tale itself is an interesting take on gremlins (the original imaginary creature, not the film), it makes sense that a machine fink might be a distant cousin to the aviation related trouble makers. The twist at the end was good, and that the adversity brought the slightly estranged Fritz and his son-in-law back together was a nice touch.
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Post May 03, 2013, 10:53:47 PM

Re: The Machine Fink By Mike Phillips

Problem #1: The author made an erroneous assumption about what happens to live ammunition when it's burned. Yes, it does explode -- sort of. But since it isn't confined in a way to contain its combustion pressure (as it would be in the chamber of a gun), the cartridge casings blow apart. Usually, the bullets themselves hardly go anywhere, but bits of the cartridge casing can fly around. They seldom do any damage.

Also, the noise produced is much different from gunfire; more like popping bubble-wrap. I doubt anyone would have heard it in that place.

Other than that, not bad. There were some technical errors, and the dialog seemed a little odd. The ending was great, but the description of the factory was probably the best part of the story.
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