Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday: Pulp Edition (30 June 2009)

One of the neatest things I picked up at Apollocon over the weekend was a collection of SF short stories published by Audio Text, AKA Infinivox. They recorded the best SF from 2008 and I listened to the first one this morning, "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story" by James Alan Gardner. The story is up for a Hugo and available online.

It's a charming story filled with good characterization and a pretty big sweep, human-wise. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's the opening twofer:
This is a story about a ray-gun. The ray-gun will not be explained except to say, "It shoots rays.
So simple. Yet, as the story progresses, there's a lot to this story, just under the surface. But the point is that you don't need to know how the ray gun works. It just does. A common theme I write about it that too often, writers think you want to know how certain things work. Isn't it good enough to know that it does and move on?

For my addition, I'm throwing up a few lines from my steampunk story. At the writer's workshop at Apollocon (discussion of the workshop coming soon at SF Safari where I'm blogging about the panels I attended), I received some good feedback. Patrice Sarath, the leader of my small group of five, liked my story but thought I should have started later in the chapter. For those keeping score, the opening sentences were these from a previous Twofer Tuesday. (If I'm not careful, I'll be submitting the entire chapter before long.) Here's her suggestion as to where the chapter really starts:
In fact, when the murderer had been thrown in his cell, Kionell remembered the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach and the sweat that almost instantly dampened his palms. He had cried out to the guards that he was innocent, that there must be some misunderstanding, that he was in the wrong cell. He even reached between the bars and swiped at the retreating guard’s back. All they had to do, Kionell screamed, was contact his master, Gregg Landingham.
This, of course, brings up other questions (why is Kionell in prison at all being the first one) but I'll fix all that later. One of my fellow reviewers, after reading what Serkis did to Kionell, considered Serkis 'crazy scary.' I smiled at that as I think the same thing.

If you want more Twofer goodness, the Women of Mystery blog is the place to be today.


Leah J. Utas said...

I feel his terror. Good going.

Barbara Martin said...

Good job on building the terror in Kionell for the reader to feel it. This passage is downright creepy.

Scott Parker said...

Leah - I'm glad you feel his terror. I had a mischievous grin on my face as I wrote it.

Barbara - Creepy is something I was going for. Some of the folks in my critique group squirmed as I read it. Yeah!

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