The City

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hallsr71
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The City

Post by hallsr71 »

Hey, this is my first time published anywhere. Any feedback on this story would be appreciated. It's really hard for me to evaluate my own work, and while friends/family are great to have read a person's stories, I'm not always sure they're objective.
hallsr71
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Re: The City

Post by hallsr71 »

Thank you for your comments. I'm sorry about the ending. I don't usually write tragic endings, but this is an exception. My brother read the first draft of this back in 1999 when I originally wrote this, and I think he wanted to clobber me because of the ending.<br><br>Ultimately, I intended this tale to be included in a much larger series that takes place in this universe, most of them with a much brighter outcome. However, my thinking was to use this story (and possibly one or two others) to set the norm, that it is not easy to break the almost supernatural type bonds the empire holds over everyone; so that when triumphs are achieved, they will be that much more outstanding.<br><br>With regards to the holes you've pointed out, perhaps I'll end up revising this again to fix those, or at least make them more clear. A large problem I've noticed myself having is forgetting that while I know the subtleties of what's going on in a story, it's not always so clear to the reader. <br><br>So yes, it would seem that Michael's job is a rather simple one. But the truth is, it is not simply to kill. Agents or "hitmen" of his type have a more sinister secondary generalized role to get to know and gain the confidence of their targets prior to killing them. Removal of their emotions (at least theoritically) enables them to follow through with this. The reason for this is twofold: A) To learn anything additional the target might know. And B), more subtly, to continually strengthen the mysterious and pervasive "cold" that is the true ruler of the empire.<br><br>Thank you again for your time.<br>
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kailhofer
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Re: The City

Post by kailhofer »

I felt that this was a fairly ambitious piece. It's goal: follow a cyborg assassin on his most difficult mission--to kill the woman he loved.<br><br>However, I don't think this piece delivered as well as it could have.<br><br>My first problem with the piece was the detached nature of the protagonist. He is apart from the rest of humanity, and he also perceived the world around at him from a distance. Therefore all of the sensory input that makes a setting real was removed. The rain was cold, but he ignored it. Someone was murdered at the restaurant, but it didn't concern him. He had cybernetic devices implanted inside him, but he didn't feel anything, and we never saw what they were. All of this made the world-building unconvincing for me. For all practical purposes, he could have dreamed the whole thing.<br><br>Feeling and perceiving things is what makes the setting and characters real, at least for me. Without that connection, the result on the character is a sense that he is an impervious machine. If he can't feel the chill, or the sense of loss, or the emptiness of his soul... then the audience never sympathizes with the hero. They're never drawn into the storyline on a personal level. I know I wasn't.<br><br>I never bought Michael's love for Catherine. I think this was because we never saw what happened in his mind that he could kill her. As I recall, he was defiant & frustrated. He wasn't going to do it. Next thing I saw, it was done.<br><br>I felt robbed of the drama. I wanted to know what went through his head--how he gave in. How did he do it? As he looked into the radiant pools that are the eyes of your beloved as you hold her, how did he crank the hammer back? What did he think? Did he see recognition in her eyes? Did he feel his finger tightening on the trigger, or did the implants do that and he fought against them? Was her face confused, not realizing what had happened, or was she terrified? Did he smell the gunpowder or the charring of the spot around the crimson hole in her dress that a shot that close causes? What did he feel?<br><br>In my view, this was the climactic moment. This was the spot where it's his last chance to defy his programming, the point where he can be most human, the most alive, in the whole story--even if he gives in to it like he did. But this moment, as it was written, was done as if you were supposed to see it from across the room, not close enough you can smell the fear.<br><br>I'd have to say there was something unbelievable about Catherine as well. When he first saves her, did she not notice that her savior takes a knife to the chest, and then snaps her assailant's neck with his bare hands--without so much as a yelp or even breaking a sweat? I'd like to think, if it was me, that I couldn't help but notice something like that. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.<br><br>That the ending wasn't happy was fine with me, but that it was detached, robotic, was not. At least if we could have found out what she was running from, what she was supposed to have done or seen, that could have brought back out the humanity. <br><br>Like Donald, I didn't understand the need for the undercover action if the assassins could just walk in, Terminator style, and blow her away without repercussions. I saw the reason in your message, but that didn't come through in the text.<br><br>An author's first time published is a special thing. You call your relatives and all your friends. Everybody's happy for you, and all is good in the world. I feel bad if I've tarnished that for you, but I stand by what I said. This was very ambitious, but if you had just connected the story on a human level and perceived the world with all your senses to make set dressing concrete, I say this would have been one hell of a great story.<br><br>Nate
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Megawatts
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Re: The City

Post by Megawatts »

I don't like this type of story, but I feel the author has <br>talent. His discriptions made me feel as if I were there, and at times I was wondering what I would do if I were Michael. Also, the author suggested that in the future we might easily be controlled by implants or some other mind controlling methods that are powerful<br>enough to make us go against our desires or believes.<br>Such a world is possible! even now.<br><br>
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