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Vernillat's picture

His Man Stanley

By Vernillat in Teleport Us

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He may have been a barbaric alien, but Stanley was the most efficient and loyal servant Lord Webb had ever employed.


YouAreNotASlave's picture
YouAreNotASlave from Birmingham United Kingdom February 13, 2013 - 11:19am

brilliant. love the mixture of empire and space exploration, and the dialogue flows rly well. sets up all the elements of the story and they come together nicely, but also in quite an unexpected way. keeps you guessing. really enjoyed it though!

one thing might be to put commas to mark when characters are thinking, it got a bit confusing at times. apart from that it's v.good though.

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. February 13, 2013 - 12:33pm

Thank you, I'll bear that in mind.

Glad you liked the story.



klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 14, 2013 - 11:39pm

Yes, this worked for me.

However, I have seen sharper portrayals of the very special tone of voice of Victorian (or neo-victorian) British Empire. Some P.G. Wodehouse, perhaps? Or maybe Ministry Of Space, a very cool alternate-history graphic novel. Seems to me you might have been inspired by the world of The Diamond Age, which is of course a very cool depiction of a future victorian empire. 

Suggest reading up on any of those, and maybe touching up a bit on the British dialouge. 

Also, dystopia. 

The British Empire during the height of its reign was quite the dystopic place, if you were a subject or living in the sphere of influence. The immense power combined with the arrogance of the british 'master race' make for some very dark depictions of life. Maybe you should touch on thoise, to up the dystopian part of the story. 

Hope that helps.

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. February 15, 2013 - 1:21am

Thank you kindly for your kind words, I‘m happy you enjoyed the story.

Going full Wodehouse however is probably not an option.  That‘s the kind of linguistic brilliance one can only aspire to, but can probably never reach.
I have not read The Diamond Age, but I‘ve had a look at a summary, and it‘s going on my list.  Thank you for the tip.
As for utopia-dystopia, I did try (rather weakly) to put a bit of perspective on that.  The rulers of the planet Britannia defiantly thought that they had created an English utopia, incorporating all that which would make English society wonderful and fair.
But it was pretty obvious that not all the inhabitants felt that way.
That‘s the problem with utopia.  In it‘s sincerest form it is a place where everybody‘s happy, everybody’s in agreement and everybody‘s equal.
I think that the human condition would not allow such a society to exist, not in the past, not at the present and not in the conceivable future.
We have a long way to go.

Many thanks.


ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 19, 2013 - 9:32pm


That was a nasty trick.  A nasty, nasty trick.  An obvious one, but a nasty trick none the less.  This is the kind of story that keeps me smiling, anticipating what I know is coming.  There's just something about an apparent underdog turning out to be anything but.

You should run through it editing one more time.  There were a few things that seemed off but didn't trip me up too badly, and one thing I noticed on page 8:

"I show of force like that will defer them from taking measures against us."

I think that first word is supposed to be 'A'

Excellent Work!

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. February 20, 2013 - 12:23am

What ho Arlane!  Thank you for kind words.

And thank you for pointing out the typo, there are some things beyond the spell-checker.

You are obviously right about one thing, when you start reading a story like this (with the secondary characters name in the title noi less) you know he’ll either turn out a savior or a Judas.
The point of course is making the exposition fun, or at least interesting.

Thanks again.


Juice Ica's picture
Juice Ica from Rhode Island is reading The Twelve by Justin Cronin & Beautiful Creatures February 25, 2013 - 1:18pm

This was fun. I enjoyed the pompous humans and their total hubris in not realizing you cannot just go conquer any old people you want, they are often more powerful than you can imagine. Like Arlane, I knew it was coming but I looked forward to it the entire time I read it, wondering how it was going to show up. A little editing would do this story a lot of good in terms of grammer and all that but otherwise, great story. Thumbs up!

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. February 25, 2013 - 3:38pm

Thanks a bunch!

As I've always said, its the trip not the destination that can be the most interesting.



Hildur Enola's picture
Hildur Enola from Iceland is reading The Anansi Boys February 26, 2013 - 7:25pm

Hi Vernillat

This was to politacal for my taste. I couldn´t connect with the characters or what they were doing. But I see that its getting some very positive responses, which goes to show that we all have our different tastes.

I´m sorry, to be the sour grape here and wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. February 26, 2013 - 11:12pm

Not a problem, sci-fi is a many splendored thing.  What goes of some people does not go for all.

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

I like the story arc you have here, it's very neat and fits perfectly within the limitations.  Webb as a character is very fun in his obvious superiority and pomposity, very Victorian general.  The obvious flaw of why have Stanley as a servant / man's man is covered very neatly by his character - it is completely believable that Webb would overlook the dangers (very Grand Moff Tarkin).  My only slight negative here is that the ending is just a bit too obvious, though I liked the part with Stanley and the violent demonstrator, it's a neat little way to try and play with the expectations.  The difficulty with this is that without a voice, it's very hard to demonstrate Stanley's loyalty.  The ending may be a touch on the obvious side, but that's not to say it isn't satisfying.  This kind of revenge tale is satisfying - it's always good to see such a pompous character realise what his arrogance has helped bring about.

Vernillat's picture
Vernillat from Reykjavik. is reading Stephen Baxter. March 5, 2013 - 9:42am

Thank you very much!  What an uplifting review.

Yes I do realize that you can see the end coming a mile off, especially if you're used to these kind of stories.  I'll probably repost it soon on, and I'll have to see if I can't work out an ending that's maybe a bit more surprising.

Thanks for the tip.