aeromancer

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About aeromancer

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  1. I can't decide whether this is a stroke of absolute brilliance or basically the inverse. Though, as a point in your favor, like a true man of culture, you seem to have elected to only use ones from the original 151. This brings me much joy.
  2. Thoughts As I Go: pg. 2 – My opinion of Q rises a notch. Always nice to see a man with integrity. Pg. 5 – Standard dialogue interchange between a PI and an underpaid/overworked cop. I like things like this, it’s why I read these kinds of novels. Pg. 6 – I assume the Pokemon reference (Squirtle) is accidental. Pg. 8 – M seems to think she’s messing with the guy, but this is really just closer to her throwing a tantrum. Pg. 10 – I’m starting to like K. Pg. 12 – Title drop-ish. Had to look up carborundum though. Inorganic chemistry isn’t my forte. Pg. 14 – And now we have a D&D reference, in ‘lay on hands’. Pg. 16 – I’m unfamiliar with D, but I didn’t finish the last Q&M novel so I assume he’s a character from there. Comments: There’s nothing really standout in this submission, but nothing’s wrong either. It’s just a good piece of furthering the plot with Q’s signature charm worked in. There’s nothing really unsolved right now, I caught up on the previous submissions so the only mystery is what exactly Q’s ex-FIL has planned, but there’s not enough to go on to start guessing. The M interrogation scene is arguably the only weak point, as my thoughts point out, it read to me like M was just throwing a tantrum and thought M was in control.
  3. Title really says it all, but this is an hour of Brandon talking to to Shad Brooks who hosts a YouTube channel called Shadiversity which discusses medieval and fantasy weapons. In general, Shadiversity is a great place for writing tips on swords and the like, but this is a great hour-long interview. The topic is on the intersection of realism and fantasy in wordbuilding, but it takes a while for that to come up between the various discussions of cutting wedding cakes with swords and Last Jedi discussions.
  4. Thoughts As I Go: pg. 1: So it’s a cyberpunk in space. I’ve never actually seen that setting mashup before. pg. 1 – I also have no idea what going on right now. The jargon is going to my head, and all I’ve got is the protagonist is trying to sneak in so he can post feed onto it? Pg. 3 – He’s upgrading his competitor’s system? I really have no grasp of the plot right now, but it’s entertaining to be sure. Pg. 6 – A zero G fight with what appears to be two news corporations itching to spin doctor things their way. Well, this will be entertaining. I like this concept. Fighting while keeping in mind how it’s going to be edited. Pg. 8 – Poison darts? Dirty. Nano cell invasion? Well, that’s just standard operating procedures, nothing to see here, move along. Pg. 16 – Not even sure what happened. Summary: I’m not really a cyberpunk fan, my wheelhouse tends towards the hard stuff in sci-fi, but setting it in space made it a bit easier. That said, there’s a bit too much exposition of some of the concepts and far too much jargon. Context explanations works best for cyberpunk setting, and (the first page especially) you’re also rapid firing terms that aren’t explained at all. I get that you just wanted to replace words that people do know, like ‘Wi-Fi’ with the cyberpunk variant, which, sure add flavor, but when you do it to every doohickey that gets used, that’s too much flavor and is drowning out the rest. A good trick is to use slang words. Take ‘Wi-Fi’ – it’s slang for ‘Wireless Fidelity’. So for some of your terms, consider having characters use a cyberpunk-ish slang term instead. I kind of grasped the plot at the end – the MC is an agent for a megacorp who’s trying to make another megacorp look bad, and it turns out the first megacorp is a lot tougher and scarier than the MC knew about. If I know my cyberpunk stereotypes (which I don’t, by the way), he’s going to go rogue to track down what’s happening and they’ll be a blanket conspiracy connecting the two megacorps that he’ll grudgingly work with D to stop. I do like the asteroid aesthetic though, even though I never asked for this.
  5. Hello. You’ve probably not met me, judging that you’re new and I’ve been away for a bit. Anyway, I’m aeromancer, I like sci-fi. Nice to meet you. Now, for your story, there are a few interesting parts. Firstly, the story wasn’t all that interesting, but seeing how late I am, there’s other people who commented on it. So I’m just going to talk sci-fi. The sci fi part was good in conception, flawed in execution. Let me break down some of the major problems. Spaceships: Laser sails, aka solar sails are really awesome. Problem is, you’ve got them doing a few things they can’t actually do. Like reconfiguring to slow down. You specify laser, which are photons. You can do a bit more with ionic plasma, but not moving backwards. Also, you can’t return on the same laser you use to get to places. Doesn’t work. Current plans for photon sail probes are merely for sending back data, they’re lost causes. And firing lasers from your own ship at the sail won’t help any more than trying to power a sailboat with a turbine strapped on it. Oh, also you don’t have time gaps in communication, don’t take into account time dilation, and you have FTL ships which are being unused for some reason. Aliens: In a short like this one, aliens are basically eye candy. (Minus the sun, of course.) That’s fine as far as I’m concerned, but I want the good stuff. Describing aliens as five-limbed isn’t enough, are they trigonal biplanar, prehensile tail, what? Having a sun as an alien is sufficiently foreign that you get a pass, though I seem to recall Saga of the Seven Suns doing something similar, take a look if you’re interested. Energy Requirements: The sail needs to be the size of a country (not a small one, mind you), the laser station is going to exerting so much force that if it’s one a planet, it’s on is going to have the atmosphere plasmafied, if it’s on an asteroid the asteroid will knock Kepler from its Keplerian orbit and sent it spirally out of the system, and if it’s free floating … actually, that’s be fine but the laser will be clearing the system as well just in the opposite direction. Also, as much energy as that is, a sun has more. A rough calculation indicates something like 100,000,000,000 times more energy per second. If anything, it wouldn’t be tired but exhausted from trying to hold back. That said, the premise is great for a sci-fi short. Stranded crew need to interact with a sun to get back home and have to deal with some inter-crew tensions. Story needs to be wound a bit tighter together, and the sci fi needs a bit of touch up, but I’d love to read this if you submitted it again.
  6. Unfortunately, I can only comment about the tarot cards, because the rest of this submission is a bit above my rating. So I will. A lot. Thoughts As I Go: Pg.4 – The atmosphere here is great. Maybe it’s also because I love storms, but I very much enjoyed your description about it. Pg. 5 – Three card reading isn’t so common, but it’s done. The rest is just a talk about Tarot Cards. Tarot Cards- These are fun, especially since they fit nicely into Jungian archetypes. They supposedly have a basis in kabbalah and Egyptian mysticism (somehow? Those cultures didn’t get along) but they don’t really, having been invented in the 1800s, and used mostly for card games. That said, they form a great backbone to a lot of magic systems, hierarchies, or character profiles (cough Persona). The Fool! It’s my favorite tarot – also, it’s not the card of spontaneity or faith (Wheel of Fortune and Priestess respectively, I believe). It is the card of new beginnings and is usually only drawn by people who have important things to do. A good starting card, but typically it’s only drawn by atypical people. So, good fit? The Chariot – It does signify challenges, but also signifies very difficult decisions. This is also a fairly standard card for a protagonist to draw, as they have to be protagonists. It’s kind of a pity this wasn’t drawn inverted – that would have been interesting. The Star – this is one of the one I don’t know a lot about. I do know it associates with hope, but not much more than that. Tarot cards are nice to work with because of the motifs they represent, but I couldn’t help but feel you were a little too specific. A lot of scenarios where I see them used (again, cough Persona) is when it exists in a vague sense, such as the cards are drawn, but P would only give vague answer or what they could mean, rather what they do. Fortune telling, especially in novels, is kind of synonymous with foreshadowing, so I feel it should be kept towards the vague side.
  7. Not like that, sorry. I wasn't specific. His head does, but his mind (soul, conscious, call it what you like) is an independent entity from his physical body, and is unaffected by his power. But, yes, if he moves too fast he can crack his neck. Or burn himself on air from friction. Snap his ankle from a misstep. There's a scary amount of things that can happen. Also, I don't know the strain on human limbs, but at some point he'll swing so fast the force will just pull his arm clean from it's socket. Fun stuff like that.
  8. MC is powerful, but he does have limitations, the main one being Newton's Third Law and his power only works for fifty feet at maximum (the latter one isn't said explicitly, but it's in my notes). Also, as noted, if VJ knew about his powers, he could've used a razor cloud to kill him. The impression I'm getting is to start off the novel a lot lighter of a conflict, maybe skip the 'boss battle' interaction and just have the initial fight against the mob. I'm also on the fence about just having Gray's power be clear from the get-go, especially since he's got quite a few weaknesses to outline ahead of time. Two for two for further read. I also like how everyone seems to like the idea of a florist/sniper. And yes, things need to be clearer. I normally don't like description which compose of 'X meets Y', but MI meets SHIELD plus realistic science is now an exception to these rules. And makes me want to write it. Suppressors are banned in Massachusetts, and I'd like E to have a legal armory, not an illegal one. So that's a no go either. There is always a bigger fish. And Gray is planned to be one of the lesser powerful characters. Hopefully, I'll get good character interactions and personalities. And as to the tension point - well, that's why we have Sanderson's First Law. His time control power is supposed to be relatively minor. There are three main limitations. The first is that his mind doesn't catch up to his body, so he has to figure out all the movements he wants to do before he does them. So, if he's pinned down by gunfire, he can't use superspeed to go out, aim, and shoot, just go out and shoot. The second is Newton's Third Law, or he can't just hit things at superspeed without killing himself in the process. He uses the collapsible sword, partially because the collapsible structure lets it absorb impacts better. The third is that he can move more than fifty feet (possibly less, I'll see what I can get away with). Why? I'm not sure. But he can't. Sanderson's Second Law. Yeah, I have limitations, they just didn't get expressed yet. I'd do it in a short story, but since this was a novel, I planned on doing it later, possibly having him explain to someone why he wasn't overpowered. Also, it's funny you mentioned YoYo - I don't watch Agents of SHIELD, but I had one of my friends point this out to me when I was explaining the concepts. He's Russian in the sense that he's from Russia, doesn't work for them. He's actually Georgian, but he speaks Russian thanks to the communist takeover. I thought it'd be an interesting background. I addressed the power issues earlier by Mandamon, they exist but they weren't written well in this segment. As for guns - they're mostly worthless, I suppose, but ceramic rounds would've killed VJ, and a sniper shot to the neck would have killed Gray if he didn't know where it was from. The point here was just for the character's introduction, the actual plot is a fight between three or four factions for the relic mentioned in the title. Overall, I got a lot of feedback on how the characters need limitations, which is only to be expected from a forum on the 17th Shard. I also got a lot of book recommendations, so thanks for those too. Most people seemed positive about this towards a novel, so I'll start working on this as my next project.
  9. This is a break from what I've normally submitted, which has either been short stories or parts of novels. The Oberth Effect is an urban fantasy that I've sketched a rough outline for, mostly because I've always wanted a superhero story with actual physics involved and urban fantasy seems like a good place to do a non superhero version of it. To that end, I wrote a prologue to the sketched out novel, to get a feel for the characters and world. I'm not looking for normal critique here, because everything is rough. A lot of things are currently loose right now, like the city it's set it (Chicago and New York have both banned the types of guns I'd like characters to use, so they're out). I'm more looking for how the concepts, powers, and (importantly) limitations feel, and whether or not you'd want to read on in a book which starts out like this.
  10. Thoughts As I Go: Just as a disclaimer – I haven’t read SoD, but I have read the Dramatis Personae Pg. 4 – Is S talking to himself deliberately, or out of habit? Notes: Well, my thought section was a bit sparse, mostly because a lot of what is being discussed between characters are things which happened within the last book. While I can’t really comment on that, I can only say that if I did know what everyone was referencing, I might have found it repetitive, but honestly I can’t say for sure. I’m curious as to what the chime was, as the characters just seem to treat it like an alarm clock and wait for it to shut off, but I’d expect otherwise from characters using a sound-based magic system. That aside, it’s a good note to start on, I feel like I have a good idea about what’s going through the character’s mind and what direction the plot is going to go. If I was looking this over, I'd probably read it. (One of my bad habits is starting book series mid-series.) Seconded. Star Wars is name, job, race, planet of origin, such as Luke Skywalker (human Jedi Master from Tatooine). I did appreciate it because, as mentioned earlier I haven't read SoD, but I'd agree with kais's points about them being too long.
  11. I might have a submission this week, but its a weird one. I got an idea for an urban fantasy that got stuck in my head, so I sketched a quick outline and wrote a prologue chapter to get a feel for the characters. It's unpolished, mostly because I'm not sure it's worth the time to flesh out the story proper so I can polish it up. I'd want to submit it, only to see whether or not there'd be an interest among the rest of you for a novel of that type. Also, I'm kind of way behind of critiquing, so I'd feel bad about that to. Any thoughts?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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
  15. 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.