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adrenokrome's picture

Bad Signal

By adrenokrome in Teleport Us

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Description

In the future “You can have it all”. If you have money, power and privilege the world is what you make it but if you don’t you do as you’re told and where to do it. Tobi Grail is the latter. He works for Providence. They run everything and they charge dearly. Reality costs extra.

Comments

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) February 28, 2013 - 5:09am

I love it.  You build your world with so much colour and texture that it actually makes me jealous, and the hints to a wider universe are tantalising.  Frankly I could lose myself in the flow of your narrative and never want to be found.  The first person voice is perhaps the best I’ve read in the competition so far, and I love that vein of noir you mine throughout.  It’s a great blend of different influences - noir/cyber-punk/sf/manga (and I’ve probably missed a few).  I believe there’s even a nod to Jonathan Swift hidden in there.  One of the strengths here is that even the minor characters are such fun they deserve their own stories – particularly Dom and Ari.  It’s fun yet has moments of heart – particularly in the section you introduce Alicia. 


It feels slightly jarring when he switches from detective to repair-man, though it fits well enough within that noir kind of setting.  While it works very well as a short story, it left me wanting more, like you’ve condensed a bigger and more nuanced story.  You hit the word count dead on, so there have been some cuts here, but it doesn’t alter the flow at all which is impressive.  It makes me want the DVD version though, to see the missing scenes.  I suspect some might take issue with the ending, which is abrupt, but I thought it was spot on.  I love the throw-away nature of that last paragraph, and the running theme about the blanks that lead up to it. 
 

There is no doubt this would benefit from a bigger word count, and would probably be better as a novella so you can play up to the noir elements more.  That said, this is my favourite story so far.

adrenokrome's picture
adrenokrome from United Kingdom is reading Altered Carbon February 28, 2013 - 7:38am

Thank you very much for the positive words, I'm really glad you enjoyed. I enjoyed writing it, well most of it, the final edit was heart breaking lol but good practice in editing hard. The piece was originally bigger (it just kept growing lol) and considerable cuts had to be made and as such certain dynamics / concepts had to be edited out, it suffered a little as a result, such as the jarring you mentioned, but I figure I can do a directors cut lol. I'm glad you liked the ending though I can appreciate it wont be for everyone. I just didnt want to go down the whole epilogue style route to explain all the details. Thanks again for your comments, they really made my day.

adrenokrome's picture
adrenokrome from United Kingdom is reading Altered Carbon February 28, 2013 - 7:39am

Thank you very much for the positive words, I'm really glad you enjoyed. I enjoyed writing it, well most of it, the final edit was heart breaking lol but good practice in editing hard. The piece was originally bigger (it just kept growing lol) and considerable cuts had to be made and as such certain dynamics / concepts had to be edited out, it suffered a little as a result, such as the jarring you mentioned, but I figure I can do a directors cut lol. I'm glad you liked the ending though I can appreciate it wont be for everyone. I just didnt want to go down the whole epilogue style route to explain all the details. Thanks again for your comments, they really made my day.

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words March 1, 2013 - 10:15pm

I chuckled at "He wants people to call him 'Turbo'. We call him 'Fish." I also like "Nobody speaks equestrian anymore. Talking to food is a sign of madness," and "I dropped my towel, leaving me mostly naked and holding what looked like a high-end sex toy." Heh heh.

Although the writing style threw me off at first (and in the middle, and at the end), I ... think ... I ended up liking the madcap infusion of language and terms and identity changes. Initially, I was going to recommend making it a smaller story--about the protag and Alicia--but then it sort of is. I think. Maybe.

There's just so MUCH madcap terminology and so many identity shifts that I'm never quite sure of what's going on, especially right at the beginning (though I do get used to not knowing what's going on after a while).

It needs a good editing for grammar, too. Not for the slang and such, but for comma usage and a the run-ons. They make what is a difficult read because of the style an even more difficult read.

What I would say is that I think I could get into it better if we start with an Alicia moment. Get us right into the crux of the story without the lead up, because about a third of the way in, I let go of trying to understand and just rode the wave. But that was only after I had something human to lock onto.

 

adrenokrome's picture
adrenokrome from United Kingdom is reading Altered Carbon March 2, 2013 - 6:30am

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and for the insightful comments which I will use for a future edit of the tale. Glad you got to ride the wave in the end and a few of the gags gave you a chuckle, my style is constantly evolving, I tend to write in a stream-of-consciousness way and have a habit of going off on tangents so when it comes to the edit, it gets a bit weird for me lol. There are some mistakes which I also spotted but due to leaving it so late before the deadline, I didnt have time to rectify them. This is the first time I've ever written a sci fi tale from a first person perspective, I usually write in the third person, so your feedback really is appreciated.

All the best

Krome

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words March 2, 2013 - 2:42am

My comment multiplied for some reason. Please disregard this one.

C Patrick Neagle's picture
C Patrick Neagle from Portland, Oregon is reading words, words, words March 2, 2013 - 2:43am

And this one. Sorry about that.

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon March 7, 2013 - 1:03pm

Giving this story a thumbs up, warts and all. 

It really needs editing. You need to cut the detail density maybe by half. You need to look at structure, dialogue, plot. But even so, there's no way I could give this anything other than a solid thumbs up. 

Because you have attitude. You have personality. Your characters really come alive. Well done. 

The 'We call him Fish' line is going to stay with me. And I've read a lot of stories lately. 

adrenokrome's picture
adrenokrome from United Kingdom is reading Altered Carbon March 8, 2013 - 9:43am

Klahol,

thanks for your kind words and really appreciate the feedback, having re-read after taking some time away from it, the piece does need a better edit, the final story ended up well over the word count limit and as such, my first edit (this one) feels very rough, sacrificing some elements for others and not necessarily for the better, but its all part of the learning process, this challenge was tremendous fun and actually made me finish something for once.

All the best

Krome

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 25, 2013 - 12:39pm

A mostly smooth read.  There were one or two places with some word choice issues, things like "me made me", that are could be cleaned up with a little editing.  The world is interesting.  It felt gritty and violent, similar to Blade Runner and other movies of that era.  Very well done on that.  My biggest issue had to do with shifts in the surrounding environment.  I had trouble keeping track of where the character was and what was going on.

Good Work and Keep at it!

adrenokrome's picture
adrenokrome from United Kingdom is reading Altered Carbon March 26, 2013 - 5:12am

ArlaneEnalra, Thanks very much for reading and for your positive and constructive comments, its been nearly a month since I finished this and the one lesson I've learned is give plenty of time to edit, it's a car wreck compared to the longer tale I wrote (and then edited down) lol but all part of the learning process, but I've turned it into a longer novella since then and its ironed out the problems (he says prematurely, still needs proper proofing lol). The world is indeed influenced by cyberpunk, there's a few other nods in there too.

All the best and happy writing!

Krome