Sarah B

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About Sarah B

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Pacific Northwest
  • Interests
    Scifi, hard sciences, medical science, boats and sailing, most things hand crafted and or nerdy.
  1. I'm game :-)
  2. Not much to comment on in this section, per usual it is very well written :-) I do agree that this section did feel like a slow down from previous sections. Perhaps I'm just missing the visceral threat/gross-out feeling that usually accompanied sections about unexpected BM (hehehe, my inner four year old couldn't resist). This time the event seemed common place with no real danger, which makes sense with how long they have been dealing with it. The personal drama/suspense was great. I loved seeing F interacting with his child/not child and the suggestion that he is not going to stay satisifed being 'uncle'. And poor A. That last line really makes me worry for her. Thanks for sharing!
  3. Surging ahead: very aptly named! "For any generational with a child, it was obvious those born on a planet..." This was a great point that I hadn't considered until it was spelled out. What would it be like for the generationals as a group to know that none of their children would look just like them? To know that their grandchildren etc would look more and more like the administration and v's? Great human touch to what could have been just a clinical detail. "They were loosing charge fast as the light grew..." a little unclear on what this meant. I agree with the previous critique that the market place was one of the most enjoyable parts. It's nice to have a quick breather from doom and menace and get a sense of hope for these characters. Likewise for poor Al! I did not expect to see A adapt so well but was pleasantly suprised! The apartment details were a great touch. Al is quickly becoming one of the most endearing characters to me since we're seeing less of J. Which begs the question.... should I be worried for Al's health? :-) Not much else to say, this section was a great read and I found very little to make notes on. Thanks for sharing!
  4. This is a long one that took up two slots. There is a page break near the middle if you prefer to take it in pieces or don't feel up to a double sub though. Content warning V for implied violence to humans. Animal harm is mentioned but not shown. All comments welcome. This was written to be a stand alone, but I am toying with the idea of writing other short stories in this world with overlapping characters. If there are any questions, characters or elements that as a reader peaked your interest and might merit further exploration I would love to hear about it. Thank you! Sarah B
  5. Sounds good. I'll check back before I send anything out. Thanks!
  6. If there's room, I'd like a slot next week. I've got a weird longish-short story, right now clocking in about 8,000 words. So, maybe one this week and one next? Unless there are no other takers for next week and the group would prefer it in one go? Eitherway is good with me. I have no deadline or reason to rush :-)
  7. This was really charming. For me, the story within the story stole the show. It reminded me in a way of the Princess Bride. As a reader, I was left wanting more of the frame story to give the nested story some more weight. I definetly got some fantasy vibes from L's story, but this could be real world/alternate history pretty easily. I like that you left that part of the context up to the reader. Song: I'm pretty sure the other's are right about the song. However, from trying to guess I now will have "Renegade" by Styx stuck in my head for the foreseeable future :-) Thanks for sharing!
  8. Well, I settled in and read straight through to get the full effect: "The children who ate their parents..." comming off of the last section about the first children being born on L, my brain jumped to "Girl With All the Gifts" fungus-zombie children eating the adults and taking over the planet. Figured it out by the end of the paragraph :-) Sure would have been a suprise ending though. Sharing the last of his tea with J: This was a really nice touch. Domestic disturbance: I loved the part with A backing away slowly from the two momma bears. Overall though, this section felt a bit like two combined info dumps. The first about the situation with the Vs, and the second about new food goop. I think maybe it read that way to me because first A gets a call and thinks while traveling, then A shows up and is told something, and then the conflict A was sent to take care of seems to self resolve. Around 90% through there's a typo; "If we have to eat printer goop now so we ca ...." can The word count was a bit intimidating, but as usual it was a pleasure to read. The overall effect of reading it straight through was a bit like fast forwarding through a movie and hitting play every so often. Sorry, I can't think of a better illustration. But there is a definite sense of accelerating towards the end. So... book 2? I'm looking foreward to it! Until you mentioned it though, I kind of thought they were all going to die. Glad to find out I'm wrong :-) Thanks for sharing
  9. Just putting my two cents in on a couple comments from before: Baby snoring: In my experience some babies breath loud, maybe not quite a true snore but audible. The doctor hesitating: Not the same but I have run into something similar to this in nursing. Even someone who is normally outspoken or forthright will sometimes hesitate if someone of equal qualifications is around when bad/complicated news has to be given. For me, sometimes it's a matter of 'sizing up' the other person to see who would be best to do it or who is most willing to. I could see this happening between the medical doctor and the guy with a science doctorate with personal ties pretty easily. A couple things while reading I'm not sure it could be avoided, but the opening paragraphs felt a little maid and butler. Even so, it set the stage very quickly. The ceremony, particularly right before D collapses felt a little rushed. This might have been intentional or perhaps seemed to come faster due to forewarning in the email :-) I loved the cloncuding lines for this section/chapter. Actually, I overall liked this section period. Thanks for sharing!
  10. Congratulations on the creepiest trees since the Wizard of Oz! The tree was creepy on the wall, and then just kept getting worse :-) I really loved the action scene, the pacing felt right and it was clear and suspenseful. The ticking time bomb of the lights going out was a great touch. I was a little unclear on N's line before the battle, "Not tonight A. Had enough children to take care of for the past year." Given that A takes this as innuendo, this line seems like N is saying they don't want to be with anyone tonight and end up with an accidental kid. Given all the details about reproduction in the colony already in the story, I assume this isn't what they meant? Eating the sparkle honey: This didn't ring true to me. For someone as apparently cautious and detail oriented and especially now that he is worried about his and J's child on the way, this seemed out of character. I really enjoyed this chapter, so I'm afraid I don't have very much that's useful to say about it. Thanks for sharing!
  11. Sorry for such a short critique but everything I made notes on has already been covered. One small addition: "DN looked like if an unjust God had given.." "as if"? The end definetly felt like a turning point. Reading that in a paper book I would expect to see a big "part 2" on the next page :-) Thanks for sharing!
  12. I think the revision of I having a confrontation when she first enters the city is going to do a lot to up the stakes and increase tension. The bar scene was also much more engaging than I waiting in line at the school, another great edit! There were a couple points that weren't clear to me: The orange arm bands were a bit confusing, but I chalked that up to "will be explained later" "Good to see you again G girl." I wasn't sure what this line from De was about since it seemed like he was talking to someone who had already been sitting with him? I also wasn't sure where the idea of poisen came in. I had assumed the reason Ir was troubled by the drink was familiarity combined with pain and nausea. "She cringed" "She'd learned" might not be worth fussing over, but there are a few places where there is close repetition of 'she' that draws attention away from the story for me and towards word choice. Pretty picky detail, fee free to ignore. The stakes have definetly been raised. I liked the immediacy of when I is in the alley and for me it felt like that was when this chapter really pulled into focus. I wouldn't have minded if the bar portion had been drawn out a little more with the same level of detail from later on. Well done! Thanks for sharing
  13. Welcome It's always nerve waking waiting for critiques, sorry it took me so long! In terms of tone, I have to say that the third chapter seemed the most polished and was the most pleasant to read, for me at least. The earlier sections have some great parts but the style didn't read as easily. When taken all together, these sections have an effect similar to the start of the Heroes series or the first x-men film. If you are setting up for an ensemble with interconnected futures that could be a useful cue to the reader of what kind of story this will be. A few specific parts: Chapter 1: "She fired two more shots into M's torso..." This feels oddly clinical compared to what comes before it, like we've suddenly taken a huge step back from the main character. Chapter 2: "First rays of sun..." "The only person not to notice..." feel free to ignore, this just snagged me. With this phrasing, it seems like every person in the town is up at dawn and looking at the sky except for this one person. "Immediatly struck by a wall of heat." I love the ways you describe the weather and heat through different perspectives. "A dotted line sectioned..." I'm not sure what they are doing with the lines. "Turning on the spot, he was bearly able..." I get what happened, but it took a couple times through. "If she could approximate a hug..." Word choice reads a little oddly here. General: The setting is really well done. As you said, it's more work setting a story in unfamiliar places but I think you make it pay off. You mentioned in the email that you are looking for places to flesh out. Looking back on the characters, the invisibility character could perhaps benefit from some more time/words. So far I'm on board with all the characters, but I'm not rooting for anyone yet. @Mandamon makes a good point that you could skip to chapter three and let the reader find their feet with that MC if you choose. Thanks for sharing!
  14. With A's inner dialogue, I'm getting a strong sense that this is a person not well and not aware of it. As a big fan of the 'slow decent into madness' trope I am hoping I am reading this right :-) Along that line, I noticed that A repeats himself frequently which I tool as a symptom of what's going on with him. It seems like you are hinting that he is himself possibly contaminated by the fungus and just interpreting the changes as symptoms of his implant? I may be way off, but in case I'm on target I wanted to mention it so you knew the hint landed. This might be weekly reader syndrome, but is there a reason they aren't using all the super cool hydroponics/future tech they used on the ships to grow food until they sort things out? Crappy coffee?!?! They are now officially doomed. The fact that they are still drinking it even though its been infected seems like a very bad idea... can't say I wouldn't be tempted after a couple days without caffeine though. I really liked the conversation between J and F and J's approach to the problem. Yes, I have a socially based problem, I will fix it with blunt force effort! This chapter endeared J to me as a reader a lot, whereas before I had no strong feelings for this character. And more people are drinking fungus biproducts.... nothing can possibly go wrong! This chapter really leveled up the impending sense of doom. Thanks for sharing
  15. I got this sub just fine, it just took me forever to get to it. Sorry! I have to agree that the fungus POV is fun to read but got a little confusing in terms of who is who. I imagine it's a fine line to walk though, since the confusion does drive home how different this POV's concept of life is than the humans. The garden scene was by far my favorite. It's a nice reminder of the nuts and bolts of what's happening, and why as a reader I want this colony to suceed. I am not a skilled gardener, but the timeline mentioned at the start of the chapter seems short for their 2nd-3rd attempt at a garden having ripe squash and full grown tomato plants. Unless the first attempts failed very quickly? Feel free to ignore, that just caught my attention in reading. Not much else to say. So far chapter six feels really solid. Well done!