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Dean_Freeman's picture

DeepSleep

By Dean_Freeman in Teleport Us

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Description

On a future Earth, a lack of resources means the human race must now exist in shifts; one week building an inter-planetary space fleet, the other in a deep, self induced coma. A HouseMate - robot servant - left to watch over his family as they sleep becomes aware that the promise of a new life on Mars may not be all it has been promised to be. 

Comments

12thkey's picture
12thkey from Richmond, VA is reading Cards as Weapons by Ricky Jay March 3, 2013 - 9:42am

Have to admit you lost me somewhat.  Although lots of this works, lots of it doesn't.

Who is the narrator, the one who you created in the second paragraph, but who never explicitly speaks "I" again?  Is it this alleged narrator or Picu who thinks the living space is a f***ing mess?  How do we know that Picu waited until his eyes could see no more?  There is a lot that this omniscient narrator tells us that we don't really need to know in order to appreciate the story -- expository details that take us out of the picture.

You might give some thought to making Picu the narrator.  It would be a major rewrite, but in my opinion it would make this story great.

And one minor thing: stories that are laid out like books (first paragraph indent) are far easier to read.

Dean_Freeman's picture
Dean_Freeman from Wakefield is reading Ghost In The Shell 2 March 4, 2013 - 8:31am

Thanks for the feedback, really appreciate you taking the time.

This story was the result of a lot of different ideas that sprung from the central idea. I'd been playing around with them in my head for a while, then quickly tried to get them down in little more than a day, which I think does show. 

I wanted to try something that had no dialogue and find other ways to create a world with a certain mood. Varied success I guess. The narrator was just meant to be me telling the story, and the f**king mess a random aside, kind of an unexpected joke. A change of perspective / narrator might help bring out the story, I think you might be right about the rewrite.

Oh, and yes, this was my first upload and I naively thought someone would tidy it up for me - idiot!

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon March 8, 2013 - 7:23am

Like it a lot! Well written, with a very nice sadness to the narrative. Bit hard to follow what actually happened to the humans, did they make it to Mars? 

The ending, with the speeding up sun and moon was really beautiful and poignant. I loved this story. Great work!

Kate Bosco's picture
Kate Bosco from Natick, MA is reading The Passage by Justin Cronin March 14, 2013 - 3:31pm

*SPOILERS*

I enjoyed how normal the family is portrayed, considering that they are asleep half their lives and spend the other half churning out spaceships. I also thought that the tweaks to Picu's internal clock were clever. Never thought about robots being *too* smart would pose a problem until they became completely sinister.

One question: is the reader supposed to know for certain if Picu and his family were the only ones left behind, or if every family in the building was left behind (since their house bots were offline and could not monitor them)? If so, either I missed something (quite possible) or the end needs a little more information (maybe showing whether or not Colin's family was still in their room). If the ambiguity was intentional, carry on! Or please tell me what I missed.

Ethan Cooper's picture
Ethan Cooper from Longview, TX is reading The Kill Room, Heart-Shaped Box, Dr. Sleep March 18, 2013 - 7:30am

I find your ideas interesting--especially the families putting their faith in the DeepSleep, only to be betrayed in the end. That seems to be the way it is with Utopia--it's always a promise away. You've built up an interesting world, and you have obviously though a lot about the science of it. I loved reading those parts.

You have an awesome framework for a story here, and I could go on about that. In the interest of constructive feedback, here's what I saw:

- I was confused about the narrator. Personally, stick with Picu. It was confusing in the beginning to see the word "I" in there. Really derailed the narrative at the start. I initially thought Picu was going to be the narrator's pet robot, Since you do have Picu showing some emotive elements, I think it's best to tell this all from Picu's POV. He's a robot, and it's reasonable to believe that he would be programmed with the historical elements necessary to tell us all we need to know.

- I'd go through and make sure your tenses are correct. You use phrases like "Picu is..." but also "This was..."

- This may have just been me, but I had a hard time picturing the setting. Maybe I just needed a few more details on the layout. I suppose this isn't necessarily important, so this may just have been a personal preference.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the overall thrust of your story. Personally, it's easier for me to get bored by stories without dialogue, but yours had enough to keep my interest throughout. Thanks for sharing!

Dean_Freeman's picture
Dean_Freeman from Wakefield is reading Ghost In The Shell 2 March 19, 2013 - 3:01pm

Wow, thanks for these latest comments, I really appreciate them. Since I posted the story I have thought a lot more about it and think shifting it to Picu's POV is defintely the way to go. It does feel more like a framework. I struggled describing the setting in any amount of interesting detail with the word count, so I certainly accept that comment

As for the fate of the human race, I intended to suggest that the whole Mars project ran out of steam, probably long before this story begins. Some will have made it, but at some point, the leadership of the planet had to make decision to make the DeepSleep a permanent one. A grim, but almost 'humane' choice. Picu's discovery of this is completely by accident, of course.

I imagine this happened in stages. With humans now effectively living in these colonies, I don't expect anyone would notice if the whole of France or Canada or Japan was 'put to sleep'. As resources dwindled, the planet was slowly closed down, with just a handful ending up on Mars. 

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 20, 2013 - 11:37am

I liked this, it has a slow burn sinister vibe to it. Narration issues aside, Picu is a wonderful subject to follow. It's hard with something like this not to compare such a character with Wall:E, but it stands on it's own two feet (if it has feet). That the ending wasn't going to be happy was obvious, but it's the build up that works so well here. The whole internal clock thing was inspired, and I loved it. The ending I had in my head was different to the one you describe in your reply above. I just figured they had been left behind. The one you describe above is so wonderfully bleak though that maybe just a tweak to make it a little more obvious is needed. Very good story!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 23, 2013 - 1:17pm

Nicely done! It was interesting following Picu through its loss of time and the end of human life on Earth. You have setup an insidious means of removing the excess population!

Good work!