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Bonaldi's picture

The business spirit

By Bonaldi in Teleport Us

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Bonaldi's picture
Bonaldi from São José do Rio Preto/Brasil February 28, 2013 - 5:51am

A young PA has a particular unexpected job interview with the CEO of a big company, Elemental Inc.

Anthony M.'s picture
Anthony M. from Michigan is reading Girl With Curious Hair by DFW February 28, 2013 - 4:46pm

Hi, I read your story and thought it was overall a decent read but could use some refining. There are some grammatical errors scattered throughout, nothing major though. In terms of story, it has plenty of potential but the life-after-death concept has some pretty complex implications that I didn't feel we're clarified at all. For instance, if people's 'ghosts' can be channelled essentially back into regular people, it seems like death would largely lose it's sway over human behavior. It seems like society would become complete anarchy. If a ghost can have a job, why would anyone pay any living human ever? I'm sure this was all in your head, but I was left wondering these things because they were sparsley addressed. Nevertheless, it was interesting, but would be better with some fleshing out of th characters (no ghost pun intended). Thumbs up.

Bonaldi's picture
Bonaldi from São José do Rio Preto/Brasil March 1, 2013 - 5:14am

Thank you! =)

Steven Zore's picture
Steven Zore from Brooklyn, New York March 3, 2013 - 3:45am

Awesome! Thoroughly enjoyed. It had the feel of a classic twilight zone.

Maria Stanislav's picture
Maria Stanislav from the UK is reading ALL the submissions! March 3, 2013 - 8:11am

I really liked this story! It reads very organically, the style feels appropriate to the setting, and the twist at the end is unexpected yet satisfying.

My (fairly minor) critiques would be:

  1. As Anthony mentioned above, the text would benefit from a polish and a proofread.
  2. The exposition is worked in smoothly in Julie's 'I did my homework' speech - but less so in Jack's asking her old she was 'when all hell broke loose'. In that one, I feel, he goes into detail that a speaker wouldn't, unless an author was holding a gun to their head. Take the gun away and see if that information could be dropped into the conversation more casually.
  3. The ending does need a little more work. In its current form, it feels a bit rushed. Try to show a little more of Julie's feelings at the shocking discovery.

Once again, this was a great read, and I enjoyed the premise (not to mention the pun in the title). Good job!

P.S. If you have a moment, I'd appreciate if you gave my story a read. It's right here - A Song For My Brother. Thank you!

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 23, 2013 - 12:36am

Definitely an Outer Limits or Twilight Zone vibe to this, so well done for that. It is a great build up and a good twist, but the ending was slightly rushed. I'd imagine Julie might be more than a little stunned. It needs another edit or two to clean it up, but it reads well, and your writing is engaging. I'm not too sure if ghosts fit in with the contest brief, but this was well done so I'm not going to care about that. It worked for me, thumbs up!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 26, 2013 - 5:43pm

This is another unique one!  I don't think I've read a story quite like this one in the entire competition.  Wow!  Not only that, you seem to have nailed all the elements, if you assume that a ghost is not a natural human. ;)  You did a solid job with your two main characters as well.

The only issue I ran into was a some very minor awkwardness in wording here and there.  For instance: "... the secretary had said ... she'd said" feels off.  Particularly with the next line starting with "Julie had ...".  If you meant that for effect, I'd recommend rewording it so that something indicates Julie is thinking that rather than just floating there.  Either that, or turn it into the beginning of a separate scene where Julie is sent in by the secretary.

Other than that, I'd suggest reading the story over out loud, or at least under your breath.  That should bring out the few other issues I spotted.  Nothing major, just editing stuff.

Great work!  I really enjoyed reading this! :)

Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations March 28, 2013 - 1:00pm

I'm not sure I accept the ghost as a "non-human character", and you would need to spend more time detailing the chaos after ghosts appeared, to make a case for either utopia or dystopia. You've set your piece a good 25 years inthe future, yet the only sign of this appears to be the technology for bring ghosts more to life (the holomatic). These are things that mean it may not be considered to meet the Teleport Us remit, but that's for the lawyers, so I'll focus on the story itself! (And imagine if I may it's only about 5 years from now...)

This piece would definitely benefit from a read through and edit, as there are sentences with fairly obvious errors, like :

"What do their friends and families might embrace,"

"watching her with and evident satisfaction"

- this detracts from the readers enjoyment, so give it a spruce if you can!

Also "anyone to anywhere" is repeated twice, which makes it jar a bit. Excise one of them?

The interview doesn't feel entirely natural, (or supernatural, I guess!). It's a difficult one to do, but you need to remember that in addition to explaining the company, and introducing the characters, your interview has to still be an interview - (Or if it isn't, she needs to be thinking all along why this isn't what she expects). 

Jack's speech doesn't really answer the questions it poses. What do ghosts need, and what does Elemental Inc offer?

One thing that I WOULD like to hear Jack say, is how he felt to ended up as CEO once more, what his ghostly experience was? This would be fun, and if Julie feels some empathy with what he is describing, then that might fore-shadow the big reveal that she is a ghost.

You might want to have some sign that Julie accepts that she is a ghost, or even that she is indeed a ghost - a reference to the Holomatic that she must have, or some sense of disconnect - the world reshaping itself to her ghostly eyes (do her parents hugs connect with her, or pass through?)

Ultimately, Julie has been exploited in a TV stunt, so I think we need that to reflect more on the ending. Also, it isn't entirely clear what your ending - the bit from "As soon as the last cable guy" onwards- adds. If there was a throwaway reference to the fact the Forbes Magazine journalist was dead, then we might conclude that Jack is about to go through the same process of disclosing to the truth to a recently departed, but that's probably not the case, is it? So you need to make the ending work more for you, I think.

Good attempt, and a potentially fun world and idea, but doesn't quite work in it's current incarnation, I'm afraid!

Liam

 

 

Bonaldi's picture
Bonaldi from São José do Rio Preto/Brasil March 31, 2013 - 4:49pm

Thanks for the feedback, guys!