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About aeromancer

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  1. I mentioned this in the Lounge and @Silk OK'd the thread, so I'm starting this here. The members of Reading Excuses are quite a diverse bunch. Diverse in a lot of contexts. This thread's context is in terms of skills sets. There's a lot of components to good writing, frankly too much for any one person to do all of it. That being said, this thread is for the various members of RE to post there various skill sets and specialties, offering to help writers with advice on components that make up good stories. In other words, a thread for RE members to offer up their help. If you have a specialization, like say world-building, character arcs, familiarity with the nuances of sub-genres, linguistics, anything that you've felt help your writing come alive, and you want to help forward this community, post here. Post what you can do, what you're good at, how you might help, and how people can contact you for that help. There's a lot of people on these forums and a lot of skills between us. And even non-forum members, this forum does exist for the whole of the Shard, so feel free to offer help or to ask for it. I'll try to unofficially curate this list using my topic post, in case the thread gets a bit too cluttered. Now, for this to work well, there are going to need to be a set of guidelines, open of course, to suggestions. Respect: Common courtesy goes a long way. No one likes their opinion being ignored. When having discussions, please treat other people with the same respect you'd like to be treated with. Help is Offered, but not Guaranteed: A lot of us are busy in our spare time. When we post here, we are saying that we'd help, but please understand if people lack the ability to do it urgently. Be Realistic: Both ways. As of now, there's no hard caps to anything, but requests should be realistic, as well as offers. Don't offer the moon, and don't ask it. Links to Externals: This isn't actively discouraged, but the idea of this thread is to incorporate the human element within these discussions, using interactions. Pointing to a set of online resources is a good start, but it'd be nice if this could be something more. Keep It Simple: If we have a nice list of skills, that's very easy to look through. A cluttered list, not as much. Sample Post: I'm aeromancer. I specialize in worldbuilding based around hard science or Sanderson's Laws compliant magic systems. In addition, I've made a study of game theory, so I'm always up for discussing games or systems surrounding those. The easiest way to contact me about them is to use the AMA page in my signature or PM me directly.
  2. I have similar habits, I suppose, though I do like your list. I'm currently playing Kerbal Space Program, while dabbling through The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, The Last Remnant, Reccetear, and multiple Tales games (I like starting them more than finishing them, apparently). And I'm trying to 100% an Etrian Odyssey 5 playthrough. I tend toward RPGs, similar to you, judging from the list, but I have a soft spot for story-less but mechanics heavy games like XCOM or Etrian Odyssey. (Or Kerbal Space Program, come to think of it.)
  3. Hmm. I can definitely Devil's Advocate if you need someone to try and bounce arguments off of, but I've never felt particularly compelled to explore the depths of philosophy, so I can't rattle off recommendations. That said, I found RA Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt rather excellent when it came to how it handled philosophy (I can go into greater detail, but that's better done on a different thread.) That aside, I can recommend a few non-fictions if you want interesting and exotic philosophies. Not a lot, though. This sounds great! I enjoy psychological horror, as I also enjoy figuring out what makes people tick. I don't think I'm quite good enough to try my hand at writing some yet, though. You mentioned a vested interest within the video game industry, so I'm slightly curious as to what genre of game you play. (My current avatar may tip you off that I happen to enjoy the odd character-driven game from time to time.) Great meeting both of you, @Severian4Scadrial and @Alderant
  4. This is kind of a public service announcement, but also kind of selfish. I noticed we have quite a few new members, and I have terrible name-personality internal recognition software. So, we have an old thread for that! It's here! If you want to introduce yourselves, or read up on the introductions of old members, that's the way to do it. (And the only update to my profile is that my profile picture is no longer Kane.) That said, I also think we might want to start a specialization thread of some sorts in addition to our introduction thread. In other words, aside from writers, we have some very good resources on this forum as well. Hard science fiction, specifically physics and inorganic matter would be my specialty. If anyone wants some advice on worldbuilding with those elements, I'd be happy to help.
  5. Thoughts As I Go: Pg. 1 – It takes a while to find out what a ‘night like that’ is Pg. 1 – I see you enjoy using the exclamation mark mid-sentence. It’s not often that technique is seen this side of the millennium. Pg. 1 – Is this supposed to be a friendly discussion, or more of an old rivalry? I can’t get a good vibe on either. Pg. 2 – It’s a bit disjointed, to be sure, but the priest’s introduction is alright. Pg. 2 – R’s name is a palindrome. Huh. Pg. 4 – R claims the beer was good. But the introduction states otherwise. Does R just have that bad of a taste? Pg. 5 – Rook, not rock, assuming this is chess. This would make the setting Medieval Europe. Pg. 5 – ‘Guy trying to mug him.’ Guy is modern English, something like ‘vagabond’ would better suit the piece. Overall: I find this to be interesting, and at the least I’d read a few chapters further. I do like the routine that R and P have, though the city has done nothing to capture my interest, except for an oddly named tavern. The beginning was a false start, as R appears to be the main character, and Y and A serve nothing to introduce him, but if they aren’t going to be characters, you might consider rewriting that segment from R’s perspective as well, to avoid giving the readers false impressions.
  6. Thoughts As I Go: Pg. 1 - You have ‘morning’ and ‘tidally-locked planet’ in the same paragraph. Not that it’s a problem, just that mornings on tidally locked planets take about a month and a half. Pg. 1 -Now we’re up to three month long morning, given that a Q year is about 2 terra firma ones. Pg. 1 – Sweet forcefield. Bet they use a lot of those. Pg. 2 – What are Ms? Sentient aliens? Dune style sandworms? Pg. 3 – I’m very unclear on precisely where on the planet they are. Pg. 3 – Why is E blaming N for the pain of bringing up T’s name, when E brought it up? Pg. 5 – I am lost. Holograms? Wasn’t N real? Pg. 6 – Earth’s legacy is an odd description for cancer. Pg. 7 – So this is now a Fallout Vault. All-female planet? Why? I don’t understand. Pg. 7 – Are you referring to double X male here, or some other variant? And is E a double X? You imply her biology is different, but you don’t specify how. Pg. 7 – Also, why are people living on this planet if there are apparently other inhabitable ones? Pg. 8 – Giant intelligent beetles? Cool concept, but I have a feeling that this isn’t going to be explored. Pg. 8 – I don’t like asymmetrical animals, even alien ones, unless there’s a really good evolutionary reason for it. Pg. 9 – Where did these Ms come from, if not colonists? Pg. 10 – Cool gun, but how does it work? Overall: There was no indication of any scientific expertise on E’s part. There is ample motivation to get off Q, but that’s because it’s basically the bad parts of Tatooine mixed with the terrible parts of Arrakis. I don’t really have an interest to tell you the truth, E is the only fleshed out character and the world is a desolate wastespot seemingly built with recycled tech. It’s a world usually used for high-stakes survival, and there’s just not so much of that right now. It could use a little punch up, to use your own words. I didn't find the info dumps to be too long, but I'll never find info dumps to be too long. Oh dear. I fear for my upcoming works.
  7. Yes, forced sterilization is a much greater deal than X makes it out to be. I do not disagree with that. However, X is a psychopath, so I ask you take that into consideration when he says things like that. Part of the point of X saying that was to demonstrate his moral integrity, or more specifically, his complete lack of it. Now for the rest. You may ask why I'm doing this and the short answer is because I haven't really had a good legal argument in a while so I find it hard to resist. I would ask you to please understand that nothing from what I say from now on is germane to my piece and rather is just rhetoric on my part. Also, none of it is personally directed against nor necessarily my personal opinion, I would happily play devil's advocate under most circumstances. The fact that Bell has never been overturned says a lot about the nature of the right to procreation, namely that it is a state-held power, presumably under the 10th Amendment. That is to say, since Bell upheld the right of a state to make such a law it shows such a right is neither enshrined in the Constitution, nor any of the Amendments at the time. Skinner, the case you quoted uses the 14th Amendment (specifically the equal protection clause), which was passed in 1868, thus the 1927 ruling was aware of it at the time and passed their judgement within their understanding of it. It addition, the court did not explicitly state that the right to procreation is considered fundamental under the Constitution, and an argument could be made that from the fact they needed to use the 14th Amendment, which only protects the rights of the people to be tried under law equally, that must mean there is no other, stronger stature that would have enshrined reproductive rights. I find your quote humorous to say the least, because every part of that quote, except for the second sentence, can also be used to refer to several other punishments, up to and including the death sentence, which currently seems to be thought of as a state-held power. Now, the death sentence's legal status in US law is far beyond the scope of what I wished to get into, but the fact remains that just because a power contains 'far-reaching and devastating effects', or that '[t]here is no redemption for the individual whom the law touches', or even if the subject is 'forever deprived of a basic liberty', that does not mean the State does not have that power to exercise in extreme case, in means that the State must be meticulous in using said power. Indeed, Skinner does suggest Bell is only tenable under extreme circumstances, especially since the 14th requires the punishment to be distributed equally, and there is nothing within Skinner that agrees with the logic that Bell is founded on. However, Skinner is only a decision on an aspect of the case, namely that Oklahoma was not permitted to carry out forced sterilization because that punishment was not applied equally, namely that Oklahoma would never use it in the event of a white-collar crime of equal magnitude. (And, as I have said previously, a logical structure can be created where this would support the idea that the state has the power to force sterilization.) Therefore, despite Skinner being unanimous, as well as ruling against force sterilization, it does actually have a significant bearing upon the the core of the Bell ruling due to the 'narrow degree' of its rule. To use a contemporary (and somewhat controversial) example, perhaps consider Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, not because they considered the them to be protected under the 1st Amendment, but rather because they felt that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted inappropriately for an anti-discrimination commission (by comparing Masterpiece Cakeshop to slave-owning, among other things) and thus did not retain the right to prosecute. Now, should Skinner be considered the end-all for eugenics, perhaps Masterpiece should be the end-all for free speech, but I would argue with both the assumption and the comparison. I merely bring it up to prove that not all aspects of a decision correlate with all the legal statures involved. (The jury is, almost quite literally, still out on whether the 1st Amendment would work under the circumstances of Masterpiece had the Commission not acted inappropriately, but similar to the argument I keep using, one can argue that from the lack on invocation of the 1st Amendment under these circumstances, the 1st Amendment cannot be invoked. Indeed, such can be discerned from Justice Kennedy's statements. But I am getting off topic.) In any event, the quote you used was from Justice Douglas. I shall continue were you left off. "We mention these matters not to reexamine the scope of the police power of the States. We advert to them merely in emphasis of our view that strict scrutiny of the classification which a State makes in a sterilization law is essential, lest unwittingly, or otherwise, invidious discriminations are made against groups or types of individuals in violation of the constitutional guaranty of just and equal laws." Or, in other words, the right to sterilize is a power given to the states (ergo the right to procreation is not sanctified under the Constitution), but the States are advised to kindly refrain from abusing their power in horrible ways, less they suffer the wrath of the Supreme Court for doing so.
  8. Thoughts As I Go: Pg. 1 – It seems odd that the default expectation is for caddies to steal luggage. Pg. 1 – I know not specifying coinage is an easy shortcut, but even something like ‘royals’ or ‘chits’ would be helpful. It’s also good for atmosphere building. Pg. 2 – The name is A. Like the snake. Pg. 3 – A’s sudden attraction to this man is a bit too sudden. Pg. 4 – What indicates the trap? A keeps indicating this guy is sketchy, but this is almost exclusively tell, not show. Pg. 4 – Depending on the gas, merely holding your breath may not even be enough. Pg. 4 – Also, is there no one around? A got off a skyport. That sounds like a place where Pg. 4 – And now there’s magic in addition to the scrimshaw technology. Pg. 5 – Good taste in weapons. Pg. 6 – So Miranda rights exist in this world. Overall: There’s a lot of poor setup in the beginning. I’m not sure what’s going, or what’s happening. The later half clears up some things, but it just makes the beginning confusing because A does not behave as I would expect someone to behave who wields sabers and blunderbusses. I'm also just not so invested because I have no idea what stakes are on the table for anyone. Sorry if this isn't much help.
  9. ...And the fact that X is plotting the cold blooded murder of a family member doesn't? I mean, sure I get that turn-offs exist, I've chucked books three pages in when they left bad tastes in my mouth. The main character isn't even a chauvinist, he's just a horrible person, and he's a horrible person because of his abject disregard for human life, not his abject disregard for human gender (although, to be fair, that's not one of his redeeming qualities). I get that you might not want to read through things I write, and I'd encourage you not to if you actually object to things I write and bring it directly to my attention, this just feels weird to have a psychopath called out for being a chauvinist. Not exactly. See, what you're referring is plotting to kill someone who you think is alive. However, currently U.S. law does not recognize time travel as valid. (Because it's impossible.) Plotting to kill someone who is already dead is impossible, therefore, not illegal. Technically. I mean, in iteration 2, he'd be guilty of murder, but that J wouldn't be an accessory. Unfortunately, you aren't right about this either. See the Supreme Court Case Buck v. Bell (1927), which was decided 8-1 in favor of compulsory serialization for the intellectually disabled. I'm not making this up, though I wish I was. (This was technically a ruling in favor of a State's right to create such laws, rather than supporting the law itself.) In other words, the right to reproduce is not guaranteed by the Constitution. And this country used to be a lot scarier of a place. (Most of the statures this decision helped have been since changed locally by the states, thankfully. This decision can be overturned with a 9-0 vote, of course.) This part is true. There's a difference between doing illegal things and getting caught doing illegal things. This is because I hate time travel. If I did, it either be an H.G. Wells time machine clone or an even worse word salad than the opening conversation. Glad for that. Thank you for the feedback, despite some of the issues I have with it. I might just do a cut to page 6, as you recommend. And, if you had read more time travel, I'm not even sure you would have enjoyed it more. This is kind of satire to them.
  10. Noted. A lot of overwriting was done in the beginning. (silent groan) And that's another mistake. I think I was intending to refer to the collection of various data points caused by the time travel, but that's not specified. J is supposed to be chivalrous, so yes, he would consider killing a woman worse. As for X, I'm not sure I'd call him a chauvinist, but he is the type of person to ignore details like the fact that Delta-S has women working in it. Simply because he doesn't have a reason to care. So, here X does care about gender specification because he has a reason to care. J is a bit slow on the uptake. Yay!
  11. I have no idea how to include the iteration loops within the basic plot. I suppose if I expanded the plot I might be able to, but I started the story with just the final twist in mind, so once that got done, I have no idea where to go. That said, it was supposed to evoke kind of an unfinished feel, as it's just a series of three loops within a potential infinite cycle, but I left it too unfinished. This is useful, thanks. Just a few notes on your notes. 1) I could have started the time travel aspect straight away, but I didn't want to drop the characterization of the main character, which is what the beginning was for. There might be too much chaff, though. 2) I, um, like technobabble. A lot. Too much, apparently. I suppose I could take away most parts of it, but I'm definitely keeping a reference to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. That said, there were actually a few jokes and foreshadows in some of the techo-babbling. Also, for the most part I have a searing hatred towards time travel. It rarely, if ever makes sense, and the twist came from a thought line of myself taking the Grandfather Paradox to it's illogical extreme. Seeing this now, it probably shouldn't have taken me 10 pages to do that. A literal psychopath, in fact. X is completely amoral and only interested in his personal desires. It was either that or an over-the-top 'for the science' nut. Ha, so funny thing - K is only familiar with iterations 2 and 3. I suppose I could have a Watcher-type character observe it, and open with the same character, though. There's a thought. The 'two down, two to go' is a reference to K's grandparents. Whereas X was content with only killing his maternal grandmother, K wanted to kill all 4 of her grandparents. If that wasn't the case, K would have no reason to target X. That's good. As I mentioned above, I'm not a fan of time travel in general and 'Back to the Future' makes no sense with it's 'disappearing photograph'. X mentions the Great Depression to tie down the timeline, but honestly dates don't matter, it was just how it came out my head. And, yes, time is blurred. The focus is travel between times, not the times themselves. The 'finishing both sides of the family' is a reference to K's grandparents. Whereas X was content with only killing his maternal grandmother, K wanted to kill all 4 of her grandparents. If that wasn't the case, K would have no reason to target X. 1) Yes, yes, yes. More importantly, said grandchild kills him. 2) Sorry. Can you be more clear on what you feel like you're missing? It might be a plot hole, or something I just forgot to address. Most of them are obscure, two are made up (Azkaban Loops and Harlan's Fork, the latter is a reference to End of Eternity). And looking back, I see I attributed Euclid's Fifth Postulate [Parallel lines can't cross] to Archimedes. (Oops.) Please don't feel bad. The narrator would probably scorn you for not knowing, but the narrator is a psychopath. Please don't take anything he says / thinks seriously. Time travel was glossed because I kind of hate the stuff and I had no interest in concocting even more gobbledygook than I already was. (It was that or the Time Machine from Wells.) Hopefully that's the case, because the only edits I'm really planning are to the beginning and just stripping clean all the technobabble. I wanted this to be around 2500 words - and it ended up being 4000. Happy to help. If you ever find the need for mind-occupying paradoxes, I have more where this came from. In iteration 2, K is J's girlfriend (although this is never explicitly mentioned). It iteration 1, no (K doesn't exist.) Although, come to think of it, if X wasn't the originator of the ouroboros loop that his family line seems to be stuck in, (that is, his iteration 1 is not iteration 1 at all, it's iteration n and we have no cause to think that X created the loop) then maybe Dr. C is involved in this loop. (Which would explain a lot...) I didn't plan that, but that's actually a fantastic idea. Thanks!
  12. I was inspired to write this after reading an old Clarke short story collection I picked up in a used bookstore. This contains an unhealthy amount of obscure science references as well as needless amounts of technobabble. And absolutely no computer programs. I'm looking for feedback on everything if you please, but specifically 1) how well you understood what was going on and what happened and 2) reaction after reading it. If you've finished and have a few questions, I've helpfully include an iteration sheet to help answer a few of them. Do not look at it until after you've read the short. Seriously, it'll ruin everything. You've been warned.
  13. I got inspired to do a sci fi short. It might be ready by Monday, so can I have a slot in the event there's a spare?
  14. I seem to remember reading a novelized version of it as well, so I double checked and it does in fact exist. In fact, I'd recommend the novel over the comics because comic continuity is ... weird, to put it mildly. (As an example, Thor does not appear in Civil War, because Ragnarok is happening at the time, but a clone of him named Ragnarok created by Tony Stark does. What.) The novel does a good job of providing explanation and background when necessary and skipping the fifty-some-odd tie-ins to every comic in the Marvel printing run at the time. I've thrown a brief blurb in the spoiler if you don't have time.
  15. Thoughts As I Go: Pg. 2 – Marvel Civil War is literally the first thing which popped into my mind upon reading this. (Not the movie, the comic arc. The original comic arc.) Pg. 8 – The government doing something fast, so far, has suspended my belief the most. Pg. 12 – I’m not sure if I feel more sympathetic for M or the police here. The reason? Lycanthropy typically also entails loss of control, which means a real and immediate threat to anyone around them while they’re a lycanthrope. But lycanthropy is controllable then these regulations are more fear mongering than anything else. Pg. 15 – Humans are also pack animals. Underrated. Pg. 15 – So, M isn’t actually a lycanthrope, just someone with anger issues. But M also mentions that she has drugs to deal with the problem that she can’t afford – shouldn’t she also have a prescription for said drugs to show the cops? Overall: Have you read Marvel Civil War? Because this is similar to it in a lot of ways, but different in others. I’d recommend reading the first part, and only the first part, because once you get past that there’s absolutely no moral gray, but I digress. The essence of the story is nice, and the method is nothing if not creative, but there wasn’t a lot of information for me to take in at the beginning, so I didn’t get a good feel for the story until halfway through. The ending was a good wrap up for the story’s arc, but since I have no idea what kind of lycanthropes you’re using, I can’t really cheer or boo the protagonists. Now for the nitpicks. (Skip ‘em if you want, they’re just nitpicks.) DNA testing – so, if we assume that lycanthropy is a component of a subject’s DNA, then that means said DNA does something to turn the subject into a lycanthrope, probably by producing a violently reactive molecule that is triggered by high levels of a very specific light range (specifically one produced by the moon). I’d guess the molecule does things like accelerated hair growth and possibly permanently spiking adrenaline, while having passive effects, such as producing extra keratin, or something of that nature. So that means (a) they can artificially induce lycanthropic transformation with the right lights, and (b) a skin sample would be better, which they would then check for the agent. The legal aspect is also odd, normally you can’t arrest people without evidence, and if the evidence was eyewitness testimony on someone’s part (E, I think?) then they’d have him for perjury. Oh, also @Ookla the ingenious - typically we don't use full names, just the first letter or so when referring to characters, because some of us are published authors, some of us are attempting to be published, and we kind of like the anonymity. (I mean, it's not like the characters in this submission have weird names, but there are times, so we just roll with it as a blanket rule.)