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for Hey, I Thought You Were Dead

5/28/2017 c1 17Starre of the Night
That's so cool!
Love it. Keep going.
12/28/2005 c1 kippinator
Wow. This is… odd. It’s an interesting idea, and you could really take it places, but I think the piece needs a little reworking. This review is going to be full of editing response, so if you feel finished with the story don’t bother reading.

First of all, I have to admit I was put off right from the beginning. I generally avoid starting sentences, especially first sentences, with the words ‘even though’. (“Even though the world raged around him, Jack didn't notice, or even care.”) It gives the feeling that you’re making excuses for something the reader doesn’t even know exists yet. In this situation, I’d start the sentence with ‘Jack,’ to invoke sympathy for the main character right from the first word. “Jack didn’t notice the world raging around him, and wouldn’t care if he did.” Or try beginning with a different subject: “The world raged around him, but Jack didn’t notice or care.” Or you can throw in a little description, to add some interest: “Jack paid little attention to the world around him, and never even noticed the chaos it raged on the streets every day below his hospital room window.” I’m just playing around now, so try a few things out, and don’t be afraid to have fun with it.

Further along in the story, you introduce a character named Eric. There seems to be a bit of confusion around him. You might want to mention him more towards the beginning, so it doesn’t look like he dropped out of nowhere. Maybe you can include some emotion in the introduction, about how Jack is depressed because his best friend Eric just died. Rawness like that can really snare a reader, if you play it well.

You can do what you like with that idea, but there is a small perspective problem I found that does need revising. The sentence “Eric remembered a science fiction story he had read years before…” is from Eric’s POV, while everything else is from Jack’s. This definitely raises a red flag. It’s extremely awkward – at best – to drop in an alternate perspective like a random hailstone in a rainstorm. Either rework the whole story to include more of Eric’s thoughts, or cut the sentence, or simply make it Jack’s sentiment instead of Eric’s, but I’d highly advise not to leave it that way.

On a more cheerful note, I must say that I’m really fond of the last paragraph. I love the detail of Jack mentioning the hospital robe, and how you bring the story back around to describing how drab the existence is (“Everything is still gray, black and white, except for me…”). Also, there’s always something delightfully ironic about ending stories with a suicide note. This one is especially interesting because it also leaves a cliffhanger, which I think works beautifully. It’s like this story is the first in a series about the different worlds and afterlives Jack passes through. It definitely begs a sequel.

So I think you should look over the problems I’ve mentioned here, maybe embellish the detail a bit, polish the piece till it glitters, and then start on the next afterlife. Or maybe I’m just your typical “write more now or ill kill u!1” fp.com reviewer at heart. You know, whatever.

*And by the way, thanks for responding so quickly to my first review. You’re a real gentleman, and there should be more of you in the world.
12/27/2005 c1 27kippinator
Okay, dude. I read a few of your other essays, and I liked them. I read the ones about Mary Sues and review construction. You have interesting things to say, and I agree with most of it. (I would have made the Mary Sue essay a lot longer, rantier, and much less constructive, but I suppose you're just a bigger person than me.) This submission, however, needs to be looked at again. I think you're having troubles with your files, or fp.n account, or something of the sort. I'd like to read it, though. If you read this and re-post within the next few weeks, send me an email, and I'll read.
2/15/2005 c1 3pufnstuff
I have the singular privelege of having read the original, back around 1986 or so... It impressed me then, it continues to impress me today. Not only is this an extremely well-thought and original story, it is also a deeply personal view of what the afterlife, if it exists, might be like. It is thought-provoking and mature... I have always thought ti would make an excellent episode of "Twilight Zone" or some similar anthology. I think that, more than any ther of his work, it shows that GitM has the talent and flare to be a professional someday.
6/18/2004 c1 5PriestSnatcher
Whoadude...this is one of the best "life after death" stories I've read. Usually they're all "once upon a time Fluffy died and went to heaven and everything was made of marshmallows and cookies and..." Crap. This one actually made me think, and feel for Jack. I liked how he was weak in life and then he whacked his friend and became the head librarian. It's like the law of the jungle exists at all times, even when you're dead. Or something. :)
10/11/2003 c1 28GambitsJami
I for one am glad you put it up. Chris Roxby pointed it out to me. It's very good.
6/25/2003 c1 31Justokre
That was very interesting and well-written. Worth the read.

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