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Cipherscribe's picture

Chip Head

By Cipherscribe 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.

Description

In a dystopian future, human whores battle with humanetics to level the playing field, old madams are out to take your money and everything's bathed in a cold red light. The best way to escape might just lie in a tiny silver chip.

Comments

IrishMak's picture
IrishMak from NH February 28, 2013 - 10:08am

Interesting story. Nice premise and you handled it fairly well. It could use some editing and tightening, but it's very readable.  

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight February 28, 2013 - 10:25am

Thank you , IrishMak. Editing is something I do need a lot of help with. I'm eyeing that LR 'Trim the Fat' course right now. 

Thanks so much for reading.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight February 28, 2013 - 10:25am

I'm new at this. Double post.

IrishMak's picture
IrishMak from NH February 28, 2013 - 11:50am

We all need help with editing! The new version of mine I put up today corrected a couple things I saw yesterday. It's hard to catch them all on your own stuff. what I meant to type, and too often that's what I see.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight February 28, 2013 - 12:51pm

I know exactly what you mean. I don't know who said it, but I read once that you should never edit your own work. But if I have someone else edit it, it doesn't feel like it's all mine, you know?

That's why these critiques are awesome. Thanks again for reading.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries February 28, 2013 - 12:01pm

Interesting concept, hooked me from the first page with the imagery of the mutilated "robot" girls in a dingy lobby with old women. The forever-pregnant girl is quite sad, but it's a nice touch.  The technology is interesting as well, I suppose it's the drug of the future? He mentions he uses it for work, how is it used for non-recreational purposes? Just curious.

I agree with IrishMak though, it needs some tightening. I've attached a fairly cluttered LBL, and commented on some stylistic issues. Use what is useful and feel very free to ignore the rest.

Can I ask why you chose to go with the 2nd person POV? Imo, it's the hardest one to write in, and in this story I don't feel that it really adds something. I believe you would do yourself a favor if you switched to 1st or 3rd, but again, it's your vision. The main problem is that we get a lot of "you feel, you think, you say, you do" and this, to me, serves to disengage me from the story. If you stick with 2nd POV, try to find a way for the narrative to show rather than tell, if that makes sense. 

Thumbs up, I hope you will keep polishing this, it has real potential.

Thanks for sharing!

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight February 28, 2013 - 12:49pm

Wow, Linda. Thank you for the LBL and your kind words. That was awesome of you to take the time to do that. 

For the non-recreational purposes, you'll have to read the next story. ;) 

Just kidding. What I imagined was an architect being able to see his vision come to life and even walk inside, from room-to-room, even if the building is still in the planning stage. Stuff like that.

As for the 2nd person, I've never attempted it before and it just felt natural to do in this instance. For the immersion sequence, I felt it had to be second person for it to be truly immersable. But maybe not. I just went with it, if that makes sense. 

Thanks so much for reading and your critique! It will really help with the polishing. 

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries February 28, 2013 - 10:52pm

I like that idea about him being an architect, maybe you could get that through by having the MC use some proper architect lingo (whatever that is) when he notes his surroundings.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 1, 2013 - 6:29am

I like that idea. It would definitely add some depth to the character. Thanks for that!

Kakistocrat's picture
Kakistocrat February 28, 2013 - 5:21pm

Enjoyed this one Cipher.

 

Nice mix of unsettling and intriguing concepts. I like how you didn't elaborate too much on the various bits of tech. Too often scifi writers get sidetracked with the ins and outs of their imagined gadgets, at the expense of the plot.

The setting reminded me of a skewed vision of the Toymaker's Workshop in Blade Runner, very evocative. Again, the horrors hinted at rather than dwelt upon. You could almost sense the myriad of other harrowing, untold stories.

 

Kakistocrat,

RB ;)

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight February 28, 2013 - 9:05pm

Kakistocrat, thanks so much for reading and your kind words. I really appreciate it. 

Anthony M.'s picture
Anthony M. from Michigan is reading Girl With Curious Hair by DFW March 1, 2013 - 3:53pm

Hey, good job on a story. And in general you should edit your own writing if you can bring yourself to do it. That helps you become a better writer in my opinion. Keep up the good work!

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 1, 2013 - 4:23pm

I think you're right. Thanks for reading.

Dcityallstar's picture
Dcityallstar from Detroit Area March 3, 2013 - 1:22am

I was hooked from the beginning, I read it while the movie Touristias was on mute in the background. I imagined the story to carry on to involve some sort of kidney thief operation to help repair the girls.

I loved it and would like to read more. 

I was also taken back to Toymaker's Workshop in Blade Runner. 

Awesome Job Cipher 

I might give this a shot with one of the stories i wrote back a few years ago. maybe im kinda scared it might not be within the boundarys of the contest though. Or too late to enter ha. 

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 3, 2013 - 6:22am

Thanks for reading and the great review! Hm, stealing body parts to repair the girls, I like that. I look forward to reading yours.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things March 3, 2013 - 10:34am

Hi Cipher,

It's not at all unbelievable that this level of technology would find its home in pornography and the such. I was just reading an article about how the porn business almost drives technological innovation these days.

To be honest, the second person perspective didn't really work for me. I have a pretty hard time identifying with the... protagonist? Narrator? Character? In any case, it made it a little harder for me to get through, and like Linda said, second person is a pretty challenging perspective to use. I'm not sure the justification was there for this story.

I thought the beginning could probably be tightened up just a bit. A few sentences seem to be somewhat adjective-heavy. For instance, the word "old" is used four times in the first two sentences. If you focus on brevity, the story could be made a bit faster and stronger.

I think your story idea is fairly good. I definitely think there's room for technical improvement, but luckily, that's the easy part.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 3, 2013 - 11:02am

Hey Nathan, thanks for reading and the critique. 

I completely get what you're saying about second person. I've never attempted it before and for some reason I just naturally started with it. Like the story wanted to be told that way.

It would be interesting to try from another view point. I appreciate the honesty.

Linda also pointed out my heavy use of adjectives in her in her line by line. That's why I love this challenge and this site. I never would have caught the 'old'. Or, as Linda pointed out, "her old wrinkled palm.' Do palms even wrinkle with age? You know, I don't know. haha

Thanks again, Nathan. Great review. It will help me a lot with polishing.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 22, 2013 - 2:17am

2nd person POV is the hardest to get right, but I did quite like it here. It should be more immersive writing in that way, and I found it easy to imagine the place. It's a little rough around the edges, but it worked for me. The twist is a little contrived for me though. How many people would have used the chip? Overall this is a nice little morality tale, and gets my thumbs up.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 22, 2013 - 8:05am

Adam, 

Thank you so much for reading and the thumbs up! 

rdavis1227's picture
rdavis1227 March 23, 2013 - 7:26am

i realize it is possible that this was the intent, but you told the reader next to nothing about what things were when you introduced them.  for example the part where the masker is introduced, it was excedingly easy to get hung up on what does the chip do?  why does he need one for work?  why is it important the madam does not have one? having to ask questions multiple times takes the reader out of the story and in my case makes me want to stop reading.  but i was determined to write an honest, full review for my rb bro so i pushed on.  

 

there are real positives here.  in the abstract this is a fantastic idea.  it has a meta-love story element that is far from cookie cutter.  in the opening few paragraphes i could feel how dirty , dark and DARK the room was. 

 

keep trying.  green pixel 

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 23, 2013 - 7:40am

Thank you so much for reading and for the honest review. I really appreciate it!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 23, 2013 - 6:58pm

That was a nice trick you pulled there at the end! I didn't realize what was going on until the character did, and to me, that's saying something. In fact, you surprised me with most of the reveals in this story. A very good job on that front. The 2nd person pov was a little unnerving though. The story works with it, but I think it would be comfortable for the reader if you changed that to first person or third. Probably first.

Good work and Keep at it!

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 23, 2013 - 7:16pm

Arlane, thank you for reading and for the kind words. I've been trying to decide which POV to convert it to. I'm going to take your advice and go with first on the next draft. Thanks!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 23, 2013 - 8:08pm

That should be least invasive to the story, good luck!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 23, 2013 - 7:01pm

Double posted by accident.

wheel_man's picture
wheel_man March 25, 2013 - 8:17am

i told you i'd read it today!

i hated the first few paragraphs...honestly they felt overdone in the way it does when a writer is trying too hard.  that lasted a very short time, then i got totally caught up in the story...as i expect you did, too.  great job overall.

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 25, 2013 - 9:22am

Thanks for reading and the honesty, Wheel_Man, I really appreciate it. I was afraid of that. Glad to hear that you liked it overall. Thanks again!

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 25, 2013 - 11:03am

I liked your story.  It was gritty and rode the edge but it didn't topple over.  It was, I guess, tawdry in just the right places, if you know what I mean. As others have said, it could use a little smoothing, but I could follow along. 

I really appreciated the details.  I liked the repetition of the red light imagery, the strawberry breath, the naming of the currency "necron", and the setting. 

The technology felt really plausible. I believed in the chips, the humanetics (Was that it? I kept reading it as hermeneutics which added an extra layer of weird fun) and what they might do to a culture or sub-culture. 

The second person choice was a bold one.  I think it worked more often than not, especially in the immersed section. It is jarring and it felt creepy (especially for a female reader perhaps) but honestly, that is pretty appropriate for the story.  Then again, it does turn off a lot of reader and can read as a gimmick. You could probably get the same thing out of first person, if you wanted.

It was cool.   

 

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 25, 2013 - 12:12pm

Whammer, thank you for reading and for the great review. I'm so glad you liked it. 

Kriket.Viii's picture
Kriket.Viii March 25, 2013 - 11:47am

Masterfully done, sir

A thoughtful approach to a possible future.. Not often does a short story paint such a clear picture of an entire world.. This could very well be in our future.. Though embelishments abound, all great tales frequently rely on such things

Wonderful use of language and perspective.. Capitvating; riveting.. 5 of 5

Cipherscribe's picture
Cipherscribe from Michigan, but all my exes live in Texas. is reading Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight March 25, 2013 - 12:13pm

Kriket, thanks for reading and for the awesome review! Thanks so much!!

Makayla Grimm's picture
Makayla Grimm December 27, 2017 - 5:08am

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