Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rod: part six of six - Coffee

Tie's coffee smelled really good. A short blond woman approached.

"Gail, why a café? You know I don't eat."

"Someone new. I'll introduce you, then take off. She's seriously creepy."

"Another hot date? You know it's doomed", remarked Tie.

"Yes and no. How did you manage to attend both the Nobel and Ig Nobel ceremonies? Time zones?"

"I had a new body built, and copied my bits to it. But afterwards, we couldn't merge experiences. Something's wrong."

"Here she is. Tie, meet Jean. Jean, Tie."

Jean gave a low gasp as she sat down. "You aren't a breather."

"No", Tie said tentatively. Didn't everyone know his story?

Jean went on. "Not like Nosferatu. And unlike those machines, you have soul."

"I'm not clueless."

"Dim ones never have strong souls. Which comes first is hard to prove."

"So my other body, the new one, may not adjust?"

"You might try to split your soul."

Gail got up. "Gotta go. Bye Tie. Bye Ms. Bank".

Jean said, "You were right, Ms. Force. Fascinating. Thanks."


DQKennard said...

I liked your story, or set of stories, or however you want to classify them. I'm not going to systematically critique them, but here's a couple of notes. I think that as "burst fiction" it seems a little like cheating to serialize chapter-like sections; I think maybe they don't each stand sufficiently by themselves to really be fully in that genre. However, I think they're fun as mini-chapters of a mini-story.

What worked best for me was Rod's "voice" of dry humor in the face of events.

DQKennard said...

Also, while I've read some ultra-short stories (non-scifi), I haven't done so in a while. Thanks for putting it back on my radar screen and giving a couple of links.

Stephen said...

In Eric's introduction he mentioned serials like this one as an explicit goal. Yet, he hasn't published any. All his stories stand on their own. He's publish a number of his own stories, and none are serials either. My guess is that his site (even the new, improved version) doesn't have a serial structure that makes any sense. It barely works in this blog format, so i put in links to the start of the story, and made sure that all the bits go into the same calendar month. That way, you can use the side bar links to get to the next episode. Best i can do without much more work. Well, i suppose i could go back and edit each part to also have a forward link to the next.

Stephen said...

I find the "total disaster" events funny. They used them to good effect in the recent Iron Man movie. And like Iron Man, i over used it. Once was enough. I just could not resist. I wanted to milk the idea that a human equivalent machine would be fundamentally different than human. There was a second solution to feed this goal.

I also like events that are unexpected, and the outcome makes you squirm. Despite the shortness, there are hints to what happens next, and back references to hold it together. The humor should include irony, sarcasm, self deprecation and bad puns (which some will consider redundant). I haven't checked, but i assume that since i wrote it, those things are there.

In this short length, it sounds a bit like haiku. I consider them poetry. I have very little poetry experience, but have been generally pleased with the results. And no one else has an opinion that matters. However, please continue to comment as you wish.

The 'chapters' were written in isolation or in pairs. I had no idea where it was going. Once a chapter was done, i did not go back and edit it. Yet, there are back references to previous chapters as if it were planned. Where did that come from? Beats me. The last chapter begs for another, but the muse has run dry for the moment. The last chapter appears to be the start of a new story. I just don't know what that story is.

Very high terseness can lead to amazing ambiguity. This can lead to it's own humor. For example, "Democrats are more likely to own cats than Republicans." But, why would a Democrat want to own a Republican?