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for The Veteran

2/25/2009 c1 2chasing givenchy
I normally dislike reading sci-fi on this site because the stories I've read so far have a uniformly recurrent theme, awfully unconvincing characters, and staccato writing style, so I completely floored by this one— first by the plot, then by the sheer quality of good, well-paced, evenly-balanced, ENGROSSING, INTERESTING, ENTERTAINING sci-fi. I don't think I've ever read anything this enjoyable since Terry Pratchett, or maybe the Outernet.

Not overflowing with apt witticisms, I agree, but you've proved that human characters and electro-fantasy can go together, and they can go together well. I guess because I'm less bent towards sci-fi, I thought the ending was the high point. Especially how he's helped up the previously disastrously handicapped veterans. Love the multiplicity of the title, and the soulsmith's "that does scare me sideways" admission. The parting shot of the story was like a bullet to the heart, or some such overused simile. The gritty, believable tone of the story was perfect: nothing overdone at all.

There's just one thing that jarred the writing flow, however. Numero uno narrator veteran tells the other guy about cacostrophe exposure, but then he goes on to reflect on the circumstances and aftermath for so long, the reader gets disconnected from what happens earlier. To see the other guy wincing in sympathy after so long produces a sub-conscious "Huh? Say what? ... Oh, oh yeah, that." My suggestion would be to cut off the internal monologue after "lucky it wasn't worse," go into the reaction of the other cripple, then go back to numero uno narrator veteran's thoughts.
12/2/2008 c1 JaveHarron
Interesting short story here. Set in the Archoverse, correct? So far in the Archoverse, people seem to be fairly tolerant of prosthetics and grafts. Why would the vet be so villified, then? Of course, this might just be a remote or backwards part of the world.

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