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Wendy Hammer's picture


By Wendy Hammer in Teleport Us

How It Rates

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Once you have read this story, please make sure you rate it by clicking the thumbs above. Then take a few minutes to give the author a helpful critique! We're all here for fun but let's try to help each other too.


Thanks for all the great feedback on the draft, everyone. This was a fantastic opportunity and an excellent contest. 


Johann Thorsson's picture
Johann Thorsson from Reykjavik, Iceland is reading Echo Lake February 27, 2013 - 2:36pm

That was a great story, well done. It took a little while for me to get into it, but I realize now that you needed the set-up at the beginning. Maybe you should drop more hints at the start, or add some sort of conflict, because you very nearly lost me.

The way it is written is good, no need to change that, except maybe add a few details about the setting, it felt a little claustrophobic at first.

That said, I really liked this one. But it takes a while to get to, so give the reader something more (just a little) to hang on to as we get to the payoff.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes February 27, 2013 - 3:41pm

Thank you so much for your feedback and for sticking with it to the end!

I wanted a hint of claustrophobia there to highlight the themes and character issues, but perhaps I went too far.

I'm going to take your advice to heart and think about how I might get more conflict (or at least some more foreshadowing) into the piece more quickly. I should be able to work more details about a wider setting in there as well without a lot of trouble.

 I suspect that I'll find it all easier to accomplish outside the confines of the contest's word restrictions. 

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon March 5, 2013 - 9:17am

Loved this, and was hooked by the life of Starrr. Especially liked the Centipede mechanic, guess I personally felt affinity to it. Your portrayal of a future social TV function was spot on.

I really liked how the reveal of Starrr's true life came gradually and mimiced the gradual realization she felt herself. Very, very well written. 

Top marks! Thumbs up! 

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 5, 2013 - 9:23am

Thanks so much!   I'm especially glad that you liked Centipede--I have a soft spot for that game and had a lot of fun incorporating it into the story. 

SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes March 5, 2013 - 10:26am

Hi Whammer--great story. It was a blend of The Running Man and A Brave New World. I really love those books, so great job. I too, love those old arcades. There's nothing better than those old greasy joysticks. You blended the old and the new very well.

I don't have any real complaints. There were a few spots that could be smoothed out, but nothing that really stuck out. The interaction with Barnjamin was a little strange with the bolding and formatting of the dialogue, but you might have intended it that way. I liked that everything came full circle for Starrr.  

Overall, you have a great story there. Good job & happy writing. ~Sam

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 5, 2013 - 11:54am

Thanks for the feedback and for reading. 

I couldn't decide how to format that dialogue. Maybe I'll try italics, or just the straight font and the colon.  I wanted to stress that there is a disconnect between interior and exterior, and that everyone is so used to talking to their insets that they have a verbal signal to indicate dialogue with another person. I might not have to be so heavyhanded about it--or be smoother about conveying that in general. 

Stuff to ponder!  Great!  

ender.che.13's picture
ender.che.13 from Northwestern U.S. living in the southeast peach. is reading Ken Follett March 5, 2013 - 6:59pm

I loved it. It was extremely well written, and thoughtfully constructed. I found the end to be a little anticlimactic, and it felt a bit rushed, but otherwise excellent. I really enjoyed the pacing as well.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 5, 2013 - 7:09pm

Thanks for the read and the feedback!  That word limit about did me in. ( I'm rather longwinded).

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words March 6, 2013 - 7:03am

There's been discussion, as you've probably seen, over on the Teleport Us discussion board about people cringeing at 3000+ word stories. Someone, I believe Klahol, said, and I'll paraphrase, "I know something is good when I read 4000 words so fast that it didn't feel like I just read 4000 words."

That's what happened here. The pages just flew by. I enjoyed the story and will happily give you a thumbs up.

In fact, possibly the best praise I can give any story is that all I found to write about in these comments was nit-pick stuff. Soooo, here's the nit-pick stuff (plus some random thoughts I had while reading):

Pg 3: Should the line "Mo noted her rise..." be indented? Also, in case it was an accident and not stylistic choice: "She made the transfer[,] then..." or "She made the transfer[, and] then..." [<--the second is what my grammar checker would demand, but I tend to defy it.]

Heh heh: "Barnjammin." I just keep thinking of barnstorming biplanes. Heh.

I like the dissonance where Starrr and Co. talk to other people as if they are on a social media site, while they interactions with their onboard implants is more comfortable, more 'natural.'

Pg 5: There may be too many uses of the word 'but' here--in that there are two. But (heh heh), they're very close together. I'd also recommend using something like, "On Obstacle Course, Flo and her cohort struggled through..." instead of "Flo and her cohort struggled through..." I initially read that section as what Flo had been doing on the office worker show, and, actually, I'm still not quite sure if that isn't the case. Now that I've re-read it, I think it is. However, clearing up the confusion and associating the clean-up clearly with either the earlier show or this one would be, y'know, good. :-)

Pg 7: I'd lose "the" before "...lines appeared on the monitor." I kept thinking you must have mentioned them earlier. Again with "the beating blows"

Pg 14: Instead of "She flinched..." go with "Starrr flinched." Brings it back to the specific from the general.

I did find the addition of the Centipede game a bit serendipitous at the end. I know there are all sorts of reasons for that to have been included that don't break the laws of verisimilitude, but some hints as to what those reasons were might be good. Even better would be if the version of Centipede they chose wasn't the console game, but rather a 'life-size' version. Maybe with real centipedes (although then we are getting very close to the old trope of protag thrown into 'real-life' video game--ah, the memories: the rejection letter for a story featuring that trope, which involved Pac-Man, was my very first rejection letter, back when I was 11). At the very least, having a huge screen with the Centipede game (and electricution feedback, a la James Bond) would make it more, I dunno, futuristic.

PS (post-reading the comments above): I agree with Johann Thorsson--at first, I thought the beginning was too much beginning, too much world-building. However, it is required. It's part of the whole piece, and although there is a tendency in short fiction (and novels) these days to start in the midst of some conflict, I'm not sure that would serve very well here. Perhaps a hint, though. Have her looking forward to getting the 'thing' sooner. Maybe as soon as she gets up, thinking something like, "Had it come yet?" right before Mo sedates her because of her excitement at the prospect.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 6, 2013 - 9:43am

Thank you so much for the detailed comments. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story, especially if it meant you didn't mind the higher word count.

I say, bring on the nitpicks!  They are very helpful here.  I do need to clarify the first introduction of Flowrents.  My intention was that she was the office worker in the cleanup show.  The obstacle course section was a subsequent appearance by her character.  I'll work on that. 

Your idea for the very beginning is excellent (thank you!) and may solve at least one of the pacing issues. I may be able to sneak in a few more like it here and there. 

The ending is something I want to continue to play with.  At least one of my other readers thought the inclusion of the game was distracting---I'm going to see what to do about that.  I kind of like the live game idea, but wonder if it is too close to Obstacle Course.  I definitely have work ahead of me.  I'm looking forward to revisions. 

Thanks again for your kind words and your time! 

Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations March 7, 2013 - 6:11am

If the most critical thing I can think off, is that you'd be better off with only the first line of the description, which is such a wonderful tagline and you already KNOW something will go wrong, you can see that I liked it!

You do a good job here - it would be easy to narrate this with a more "now" voice, which would have been heavier and more critical, and spoil the "discovery". But you only hint at it - the comments about not understanding Grandpa, etc.

Some things you MIGHT want to think about - I have no solutions, but these are the thoughts and questions raised as I read :

Centipede game - as we know, these things are their own little reward systems, addictive in nature. Does it say something about Starrr that she needs this, outside of the AFIRMOS system which "does the same thing" (I.e. rewards for particular behaviour?)

Does it also say something about her that she ISN'T in a dating cycle? Or do we need to know more what a dating cycle actually is?

You might need to make it a little clearer - and only a tweak might be needed - that all the people on the gray line bus are domestics. I didn't get that, without a scan back. Maybe "like the Innards on the transport you came out here on" - because I thought for a second that all bus drivers were innards or something! (Me, dense...)

I think I'd like a piece of puzzle answered, which is how do the execs, exec? Via the insets? I.e. they all work remotely? Or do some of them travel into town (the grid) to do their stuff?

I don't think in the end, she made the right choice, do you? I mean, she made the right choice for the story, but it seems like these characters may not have a very long shelf life. The viewers are evil - more emotional charged than you might expect from an affirmed population (1984's minute of hate?). I think you have to be careful about straying into "the games can kill" territory as well, as that might be a step too far, and a step others have travelled before - from Vonnegut to Dr Who... 

I like the messing around with names, to "update" them, but I guess I question if that is something that has evolved, or something only the people on grid get?

And I wasn't quite sure what this was meant to convey - "She turned her attention outward as much as she could" - though I love the last line. Gamer yourself, I suspect, Wendy? :)

Great work. Enjoyed reading it!

Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations March 7, 2013 - 6:21am

Oh - and you can get round the Centipede problem, perhaps (I've just read other people's comments!) if you can give Starrr "home advantage". She might not know what home advantage is when it is given - until she sees the arcade machine!

Bright-ideas-r-us ...

As for upping the conflict, I agree that having her hang on the finding/delivery of the arcade game - rather than a fairly neutral introduction - might make the slow initial pacing zip by a bit faster!


Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 7, 2013 - 7:51am

Thanks for the comments, Liam!

I think many of the *ahem* adjustments you suggest could work very well. This whole process has been really helpful.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, overall, and I appreciate your time. 

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland March 10, 2013 - 2:40pm


I’ve lately discovered the trick to writing effective exposition that doesn’t bore the reader is to sprinkle in actions. So while things are essentially being told to us, we still get a sense of action while setting and world are being established. Also, characters by themselves, is tricky to do, because the longer they are alone the less stuff that actually happens. You solved both of those problems with the inclusion of Mo, and simple scenes like brushing teeth, and looking into the mirror.

When I read the first sentence I could tell I’d probably like the story, Maybe you didn’t start in the middle of action as far as the plot is concerned but from the very start of the story, your protagonist was “doing” something. Getting out of bed. And getting ready for her day.  You showed it to us and she wasn’t alone. Just Mo talking to her, gave me a sense of place and action

Plus you did a great job establishing heart authority in the first paragraph. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning is something we can all relate to. I imagine having our alarm clocks in our heads, or ears, would doubly suck. Everything about your opening worked well for me. If I could offer any advice I’d say have the looming arrival of the old game introduced sooner.

I have no problem with the ending and the inclusion of the game. I actually like how everything comes full circle, it's almost like being tortured by our vices but at the same time, it's entirely up to the protag rather or not they are "vices" or if her experience will work to her advantage, so long as she overcomes her insecurities that are subdued and stroked by Mo. It's time she wakes up and finds out what she's made of. I love the idea really.

 It actually was a little bit of a brain teaser for me. Like maybe someone tampered with her game in the first place to throw off her inset so they could get a new contestant. I can’t imagine people would volunteer for the shows. So maybe she was setup? That’s my conclusion anyway. They knew what she would decide, I mean, they knew she had that game after all so they must have known that she was a fan of the shows.

This reminds me a bit off that old John Ridder movie. Tuned In. And this story was so much fun. Read at a great pace. A real page turner. You definitely get a thumbs up from this reader.

Thanks for sharing


Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 10, 2013 - 4:28pm

Thanks so much for the read and the great comments, Jonathan. It's even more satisfying that you liked it--and all the feedback will make the revision process a lot easier. I appreciate your time! 

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 11, 2013 - 9:19pm

I can't help but feel a little sad for Starrr.  Having all she's ever known ripped away like that would be one heck of a jarring experience.  Here world is another one that I would classify as subtly dark and evil.  The idea that a group of people would enslave a large percentage of the general population in such a manner, even if the enslaved have no idea that they are, is deeply disturbing.

Very well done!  Excellent work!

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 12, 2013 - 5:45pm

Thanks for the comment and your time!  I wanted to create an insidious kind of dystopia--one that might sneak up on you. I'm glad you picked up on its darkness.  

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 11, 2013 - 10:10pm

Drat! doubled another comment accidentally. :(

Nathalie's picture
Nathalie from France March 13, 2013 - 4:55pm

Thumbs up!!

I really enjoyed it and you surprised me several times! I think the first part is the one I preferred because I thought there were a lot of great ideas in it, and you obviously put a lot of work into building Starrr's world. Loved the pov choice you made and the reading experience was both pleasant and challenging, which is my favourite combo. I should read it again just to go over the concepts you dropped again. 

Every new 'sections' kept me on edge but the "inciting incident" felt a bit confusing to me. I'm not sure if it went too quickly or if I couldn't visualize it properly, but after that, I definitely felt things were unraveling too fast for me compared to the first part that took its time to set up an atmosphere and the universe. I think maybe without the word count restriction you could elongate the second half and built on the tension. 

The final twist was great although I felt the twins explaining so much to Starrr was convenient for me as a reader but maybe not what I would expect given the context and who Starrr is. (This might just be me, obsessing over characters giving out long explanations at the end of a story :p)

So far the most creative and surprising story I've read, that could easily grow into a bigger and stronger story. 

PS: the ending reminded me a bit of Black Mirror S1E2, if you've seen it? (which is a compliment of course)

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 13, 2013 - 5:26pm

Thanks for the comments!  The word restriction got me and you're right, it shows a bit.  I had so much fun building that world and I'd like to do more with it. I'm hoping that with a little more space I can smooth out some of the shifts and make that final exposition more natural, etc. 

I haven't seen that episode of Black Mirror--but I'll be checking it out now. 

Thanks again for your time.  Glad you enjoyed the story! 

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 15, 2013 - 3:34am

This immediately reminded me of a Black Mirror story, so it’s interesting to see Nathalie’s comments (well worth watching all six episodes).  I really enjoyed this, it flows brilliantly, Starrr is great, the idea of the AFIRMOS is superb.  It is a brilliant dystopia – everyone designed with the same average features etc.  It has a decent arc to it, though the ending is perhaps a little too short when compared to the rest of it – Starrr has a huge choice to make with very little time to make it, and there is little sense of peril to the choice.  While it takes time to get moving, that didn’t bother me in the slightest.  It was well written and kept my attention fully from the first sentence.  This is a really good story.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 15, 2013 - 6:32am

Thanks for your time, Adam!  I'm glad that you enjoyed the story.  I definitely need to work on that ending.  I agree that it is the weakest link in the story.  I really need to watch more Black Mirror...but after revising, perhaps. 

CKevin's picture
CKevin from Charleston, SC is reading Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch March 15, 2013 - 5:19am

I don't know if it was intentional, but rather early on in your story I had this strange idea that you were going to reveal Starr as some sort of rodent, particularly a hamster or guinea pig, going through her paces and being trained/rewarded by an owner for proper behavior. I think it started with "bubbler" which made me picture one of those cage mounted water bottles.

In reality I did not believe for one second you would be doing something so hackneyed, but I found it rather amusing. It does speak to how well you created a mundane, static world that's familiar (cubicle farms, bland suburbia, reality TV) yet odd and unsettling when seen from the outside. It's the perfect type of dystopia, where the primary character initially sees it as utopia.

My only issue with the work is, oddly enough, very similar to your primary complaint about mine: I kept waiting for things to start happening. 

I think it may just be a stylistic difference between us since your world-building and character development was very effective and set the proper tone for Starr's entire existence but it wasn't until the halfway point, right after the electrocution, that I really got interested. From that point on things start rushing towards the end, which is not a complaint since once life starts going downhill things tend to pick up speed in that same direction if there is nothing there to stop it. To continue the metaphor, I do think the ending was a little abrupt as I couldn't quite tell if we were at the bottom and Starr was about to start the struggle up the next hill or not.

All in all I really enjoyed reading your story and would definitely do so again given the choice so don't think I am in any way complaining about it. Well done.


Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 15, 2013 - 6:39am

Thanks for reading and commenting on my story. I'm happy that you stuck with it. It is another slow burner, for sure. I need to tweak pacing a bit in the beginning and work on that ending. There's lots of work ahead of me. 

I did not really anticipate the guinea pig effect with the bubbler, but it can work in its own way, I think.  I put that in there to amuse myself--it's a regional dialect quirk from my home state.  Bubblers are simply drinking fountains. I also thought the word was just vague enough to add some flavor.  It looks like it did. Ha! 


lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles March 18, 2013 - 9:09am

Hey there. You get a thumbs up from me. I've seen some great first lines in this competition, and yours is no exception: "Starrr awoke to the faint but undeniably funky slap of a bass guitar and a lively horn section." Really great (and it's hard to make the 'waking up at the beginning of the story' thing work, so extra bonus points to you). 

You've got excellent pacing in this story. I was particularly impressed by the way you dropped the hint that she wanted to spend her money on "something else," then moved forward without telling us -- very intriguing! I also really enjoyed how subtle all the manipulations were, in particular the bit about being "kissed" with dopamine, and how her 13-hour day flew by. ::Shudder:: By the time Mo starts to manfunction, even I felt a little uneasy at his silence. Really good work.

It was fun to read another story that features a machine that "helps" the human race, since that's what my story is about to. It's here, if you're interested. I'd really appreciate any thoughts you have :)

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 18, 2013 - 9:27am

Thanks so much for the read and your kind comments!  I'll be happy to give yours a look when I can grab some time.

 This challenge has been really fun and I've had a great time reading stories. 

FreakyLemon's picture
FreakyLemon from East Anglia, UK is reading Your Deceptive Mind - A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking March 23, 2013 - 4:21am

Great story, not perfect but very good - the seven uses of 'she' in the paragraph starting with "A tiny pulse of stimulant was released from her infusion pump" distracted me briefly, as did similar issues elsewhere, however these would be fixed by an editor and the general story was good.

I didn't like the reappearance of the Centipede game at the end; it seemed a little overly fortuitous, however I liked that it appeared earlier in the story (since it was a nice link to the past, adding substance).  Thumbs up overall, well done.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 23, 2013 - 5:55am

Thanks for reading and the comments.  I agree that there is some editing to do.  I debated about what game to include in the end.  I couldn't decide whether its inclusion would create stronger cohesion or seem contrived.  Perhaps I need to think it through again. 

Rob Pearce's picture
Rob Pearce from Cambridge, England is reading Lots of unpublished stuff and short story collections March 25, 2013 - 5:51am

Meh. It's OK, I guess, but I really can't see what all the rave is about.

The opening is slow. It's all setup for the first half, and nothing that really stood out to grab my interest. Then there's the reveal of the Evil Overlords... which rather gets wasted by being dismissed in favour of an equally well-used "deadly games" meme. But even then the risk is muted and I didn't feel it. The return of the centipede game at the end is way too fortuitous, and unexplained. Finally some plot is happening and... it ends.

On the plus side, the opening sentence is good, although I wonder if you could have made even stronger use of the wake-up to show the AFFIRMOS in action.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 25, 2013 - 6:59am

Some sections of the story do need attention, I agree. 

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce March 26, 2013 - 12:40pm

Hi Wendy,

I really enjoyed your story, I wrote one of my own about dystopian reality TV, but it's nowhere near as good as this. 

I enjoyed the introduction -- amusing and lots of vibrancy in its appeal to the senses. The free stimulants to wake you up make me wonder if this future was all that bad! Stimulants, euphoria and dopamine may have kept me sane as a lawyer! Hehe. The pre-averaging surgery is quite chilling, too. All the drugs were, really, in a Brave New World sort of way where the people are all constantly a bit dopey, but happy. 


I thought the paragraph about the clothing being replaced was cool for world bulding, but probably not necessary and you could jump straight into the exposition on AFIRMOS. By the way, I thought your exposition was done really well - you trod the perfect line between world building and not creating an info-dump.

Really enjoyable story, thumbs up from me.


Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce March 26, 2013 - 12:44pm

Oops, double post! Sorry!

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 26, 2013 - 8:25pm

Thanks so much for the read and the comments, Jess.  

I tend to agree about the clothing information.  It was kind of difficult to decide how much to include and I was on the fence about that part. I wanted to emphasize the recycling (clothing, food, people), and to help with the group on the transport later. It may have been unnecessary. I'll rethink it. 


Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 27, 2013 - 8:44am

I really liked this story. You really set the scene and it was easy to follow along throughout. All I could think about is, where can I get a Mo and some regular Adjustments throughout my day. ha

And when she's on the transport with the gray bands, the town, you really told a great story. Even the Centipede and game shows with comments was a great touch. Thumbs up.

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 27, 2013 - 9:36am

Thanks, Cipherscribe!  I'm glad you liked it.  And, yeah, the idea of something smoothing out a work day is pretty tempting. (I say this while I'm sneaking some fun time while at work). 


Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries March 27, 2013 - 12:35pm

This was enjoyable, and quite clever. You got me thinking and discovering things after I had finished reading which is always pleasant. Spot on with the TV celebs, that made me smile (probably somewhat cruelly).

You've got a very effortless writing style, no hiccups or awkward phrasings in sight.

My one issue would be that the ending felt a bit rushed. I loved how the story progressed up to that point, but... I don't know, a little something seems to be missing. Ok, I'll just come clean. I'm a pessimist, and I was expecting the game to turn against her somehow.


Anyway, this is definitely a thumbs up. Thanks for sharing! 

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 27, 2013 - 1:17pm

Thanks for your time and comments, Linda.  I'm glad you liked it!

 In revision, I am definitely going to work on that ending.  I'd like to try to develop it more and smooth out those rough edges---see if I can make it gel. 

John Joseph Adams's picture
John Joseph Adams from New Jersey June 21, 2013 - 4:37pm

Hi Wendy,

First of all, I'm very sorry for the extraordinary delay. To try to make it up to you, instead of just giving you an overview of my thoughts, I actually went through your ms. and inserted annotations along the way and made some line edits (using track changes). You can find the annodated doc file (and a PDF version of the same in case you don't have something that will display tracked changes) here:

As to the story... I'd say this is the best of the three stories I read for this challenge, and is the closest to being publishable. I think there's some good worldbuilding here, and you hit all the points of the challenge exactly and in interesting ways. Overall, I'd like to have seen the protagonist be a little more active rather than so passive (basically she just has stuff happening to her), but because of the situation she's in that may be unavoidable. I think the biggest thing you need to adddress in the story is making clearer some of the worldbuilding elements, especially the "turned in" stuff. I have a general sense of what that is, but I was never entirely sure what it was exactly. It's interesting, though, so it keeps the reader invested in the story's outcome, so that's a plus. 

So those are my general thoughts, and I have several other comments and suggested edits in the ms., which you can download via the link above. Apologies again for being so tardy with my critique!


Challenge Parameters

-Explore a utopian/dystopian theme: Yes.

-Feature a technology that's scientifically plausible: Yes.

-Feature a non-human character: Yes (Mo). 

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes June 21, 2013 - 7:47pm

Thanks!  I really appreciate your time and the specific notes. 

 I can see how the subtle (and not so subtle) changes improve pace and the prose.  I have things to think about in the larger sense of the story too.  I had a wonderful time trying to create my world, but now I can try to refine it. This will help. 



SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes June 24, 2013 - 8:05am

Way to go Wendy! Your story was great and now you have a pro saying the same! Keep up the great work. ~Sam