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EdVaughn's picture


By EdVaughn in Teleport Us

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In a futuristic world devastated by nuclear war cyborgs are used to hunt down and dispose of the bombs. Human bombs. Only one remains and the cyborg known as Red has found it. A twelve year old girl named Electra.


ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett February 20, 2013 - 8:15pm

The language is a bit clunky here and there, especially some of the dialogue, but smoother than most.

There were a few areas where you used indefinite despriptions, "I practically had to drag her across the floor.", where definitive would have worked better. He's what he is, and she's a kid, so stronger, more decisive language works better to describe the way they're interracting, particularly in that opening scene.

The nasty knives line, I can't tell if you mean filthy or somehow frightening.

Maybe, instead of onto the podium behind him, onto the crucifix? Just a thought.

The imagery throughout is a lot of fun, intersting to watch, and in a compelling environment. The general quality was reminiscent of The Gunslinger, by Stephen King.

The emotional pace is great, and climaxes perfectly. Big feels at the end. 

A lot of fun to read, man. 

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff February 20, 2013 - 8:55pm

Hey thanks for reading. I appreciate the tips and especially the Dark Tower comparison.

Rob Pearce's picture
Rob Pearce from Cambridge, England is reading Lots of unpublished stuff and short story collections February 25, 2013 - 3:36pm

Good basic idea and some nice bits, but the prose is clunky in places. Also I found the characterisation lacking in places - there's a lot of Red's inner monologue about how he doesn't want to do this but not much real evidence of reluctance.

The fight scene in the church was way too easy and mechanically described.

There are a lot of sentence fragments, not always to good effect.

Does Electra need to be "the last"? It's a bit corny and doesn't really add anything. In fact, in so far as it made any difference it was to point up a missed opportunity - how does Red feel about being so close to completing his task? Will he have any purpose in existence beyond this?

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff February 25, 2013 - 7:45pm

Thanks for reading Rob. Had a real hard time with this story. So I'll be thinking about your comments on the rewrite. Appreciate it.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland March 2, 2013 - 6:09pm

This story packs an emotional punch that pays off. It’s defintily one I won’t forget. You did a good job establishing heart authority for Electra. However, you weren’t as successful with Red.

This could be a difficult task because he is a Cyborg, with few emotions, dry and detached.
One way to fix this could be to make it clear that when he first goes to retrieve Electra from the Raiders, that he is still just on his mission. You can cut the stuff that proceeds it about him caring about her when they took her because you can develop all of that in this scene.

When he’s battling to get the bomb back, to complete his task, he sees her vulnerability and recognizes how bad humanity has fallen when they resort to eating people for sport. This is a great opportunity for him to develop that bond that you mention. To feel protective of her as a person and not just a “task.”

I also think this story would greatly benefit if there were something in it for him in the end. Will he be killed if he doesn’t do his job? Will he starve to death? Is he being paid to do this? I don’t think I have enough information to believe he could carry out the task at this point.
If you want to leave it as is, then I’d suggest going the opposite route. He’s just a cyborg doing a job, so he can’t bond or have any negative feelings about it, Keep him detached and the same throughout and then maybe after the job is done show maybe a hint of remorse. Make all of the terror resonate in Electra. (I'd highly recomend, just showing us how this effects him and why he carries it out, it packs more of a punch that way, I'd like a little more reluctance on his part) Maybe that's just me, or it's possible I missed something. If I have time after reading more I may come back and have another read)

I’ve attached an lbl that may help with some of the chunkiness the above reviewers referred to. Please, take what advice helps and ignore the rest. This is the most emotional piece I’ve read in the competition so far and it takes the skill of a great story teller to pull those emotions out of their readers. You were very successful in that regaurd and I wish you the best of luck in your next draft. P.M. or reply here if you have any questions or I can make my thoughts clearer for you. Thanks for sharing.


EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff March 3, 2013 - 11:04am

Thanks for the review Jonathan. That is really helpful. I'll definently go over the LBL and use it for the re-write. Cheers.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 5, 2013 - 11:04pm

Human bombs? Wow!  Definitely a dark world you have there.  The story could use several more editing cycles to clean it up. I like that first sentence.  The second one could use a little work.  Seeing a non-trivial word twice like that is a peeve I have with my own writing.

It would have been interesting to be able to explore Electra and Red's relationship, short lived as it was, a little more.  I sensed that there was a conflict going on inside Red, but I felt more like I was being told it was there than seeing it played out in the story.  Adding in a touch more interaction between the girl and Red would probably help.  Maybe Electra talking about what she want's to do when she grows up?

Other than that, I can't really add much to Johnathan's review.  Nice read!  


EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff March 7, 2013 - 8:30pm

Hey thanks for the feedback. I agree it does need some more editing. I've jotted a few things down to try and fix some stuff. Hopefully I can get it worked out. Thanks again.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 9, 2013 - 7:19am

It's a good central premise.  The idea of human bombs is perfect extrapolation from current suicide bombers (does Electra know what she is?).  I liked the ending as well - bleak, with Red doing the job whilst not being completely unfeeling.  The problem I have here as that there a lot of this feels like it's been done many times before - wastelands, cannibals, hover-bikes etc.  It feels a little derivitive.  There isn't enough made of the central relationship, and it doesn't seem that Red goes through a moral dilemma in deciding whether or not to carry out the job.  The writing itself is good, a little clunky in places but nothing that couldn't be smoothed over with a few more runs at it.  It has a good flow for the most part, and theres no over-elaboration which I like.  There is definitely potential on show.

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff March 10, 2013 - 7:51am

Thanks for the comment Adam. Working on edits as we speak. I don't read or write SciFi so that's probably why the SciFi elements seem done before. Appreciate the insights.