kais

05/20/19 - kais - Queen, Chapter 5, (4621 words) (L)

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Skipping chapter 4 because I already put that one through. Brief chapter summaries are below. This is chapter five and returns to N’s POV. In this chapter I’m wondering if tension is decent and how the pacing is. Are you still interested even knowing that E is fine? Is the allure of more equatorial mischief enough? This is the kind of scene where the heavy ’rust hole planet’ worldbuilding of chapters one and two should come into play (in terms of dissonance) so it’d be nice to know if I stuck the landing.

 
Ch 1: E waxes on about dead wife and finds a M with stuff that belonged to said dead wife out in the desert
Ch 2: E tangles with M. M shoots E
Ch3: N finds out her sister is missing and goes to look for her
Ch4: E wakes up near the equator and finds out T had a spaceship
Ch5: N and V find a body, and a strange equatorial lab.
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Doing this from my phone in line at Disney World, so apologies for spelling mistakes and such!

 

Sorry, don't have good page numbers since I'm on my phone.

To answer your questions, yes, the first two chapters helped the dissonance of this one and finding the camp.

Much more interested in getting back to E to see what she's learned. I'm starting to form theories about what's going on, so I'd say yes, the landing is stuck!

A few blocking-type comments, but overall this has increased my interest in the book.

 

Notes while reading

Pg 2 "Still they flew on, a progressive feeling of not right growing"

-- yeah, temperature not varying within a degree is pretty strange.

 

"Scientists should be swarming ice to get cores"

-- swarming the ice? Otherwise ir sounds like a weird euphemism.

 

imaging -> imagining

 

“I feel very weird out here,”

-- no comment on the beetles?

 

"And I was talking about M.”

--No, he was talking about the weather changing?

 

"I have a wonderful sense of humor.”

-- lol

 

"He pointed to the lower left side of the outline,"

--Was that the scan results?

 

"Two of her fingernails tore off"

--ow. Also, what was she doing that required that much effort? Or was it from the cold?

 

"Download her TOPA and I’ll get back in the ship and you can save my life. How about that?”

-- ok, this is really funny and I don't want you to lose it, but also wouldn't the suit know she was on the verge of dying?

 

“Your person isn’t E, and your person is also dead,”

-- this is a much higher level of AI than we saw with e. Is this changing in the previous chapters, or is there some other explanation?

 

“Stop calling her that,”

-- why is she upset about this? Isn't that E's married name?

 

“It’ll be our jobs"

--Isn't the colony starving for people? Why are they so concerned over jobs? Where would they possibly go if they were fired?

 

"You have a hypothesis? Cause I’m forming a few.”

-- yes, this is increasingly very suspicious. The colony shouldn't even be functioning with this level of incompetence.

 

"now were watching the flyer,"

-- wait, I thought they didn't have enough fuel to get there and back. Maybe needs more confirmation that yes, they're going to investigate.

 

"Before her was her memory"

-- don't understand this.

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Will get to this soon.

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STANDARD DISCLAIMER: For demographic information, keep in mind that I am a white male nearing his thirties, married, with two young children, and come from a background of being LDS, conservative, and with a long history of chronic depression, so these things may color what I say during review. I try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible.

Sorry for the late reply. Between having four submissions each week to get through, my own drafts, and a slew of other activities (including work), I'm really behind on critiques. Keep in mind that I haven't read the other's critiques for the sake of brevity and getting through these submissions.

Let's get started.

Chapter header: It reads with more impact if you say "In September there were only six billion people left on Earth. In October, there were four.

That said, I didn't have a lot of things that were really criticisms. It's a good, solid chapter, and the building you did in the first couple of chapters--combined with the revelation in Chapter 4 of the ship reveal, pays off here pretty well. You dialed back on the crassness of N, which I think in retrospect is a good thing. She has a lot of her own character now to differentiate from Em. I especially liked the memories of Em from their childhood and how influential it seems to have been on N--it really paints a picture of a younger sister who always looked up to her elder.

One thing I did note, however, was the shifting of Dr. S to V. That was a little confusing, because she referred to him exclusively as Dr. S up until she used V in dialogue, then afterward it became exclusively V. Is this meant to show that she considers him more of a friend and less an acquaintance?

The tension of the chapter was decent, though I think some more immediacy with regards to her literally freezing could stand to be in the text. I think Dr. S could try harder to get her back in, which could prompt a more antagonistic confrontation, and the conv. with TO after the discovery of the suit fell a little flat on the tension. I feel like overall, Dr. S is kind of a pushover, and I think you could ramp up the tension by making him oppose her more overtly, before giving in, and you could also use that tension between Dr. S and N to then highlight the TO reveal of another envirosuit a few kilometers away, kind of breaking into the argument and settling it. That said, the anticipation, the wondering, the memory of her sister, all of those things added beautifully to the tension as it is.

I'm curious now about Em, however, because from the chapter it seems like there are ships actively taking off and landing in this verdant zone, which seems to contradict the need for Em to fix the ship as proposed by A at the end of chapter 4. If these are supposed to be exclusively crashed ships, then there shouldn't be one exiting the atmosphere. And if this zone is regularly receiving freight from N.E., why are the M trying to leave in a repaired one? Why not just stow away? I love the potential ramifications of ships actively supplying the verdant belt and having the settlement on the red side being a kind of 'purgatory' state, but it opens up some plot holes--such as why the M would even need to raid the settlement in the first place, if they're regularly supplied.

All in all, it's a good chapter that expands on the building done previously, advances the plot meaningfully, and asks more questions than it answers. Good job.

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I read this once, but I think I need to look at it again before I actually can give you detailed feedback.

I will say that the chapter was fascinating, but character was the last thing I was paying attention to. I was most engaged in the world building, in trying to figure out what was going on with the temperature and climate. I'll come back with  a more detailed critique after I give this another read. 

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New stuff. Whoopee. Ah, interesting, we're still with N. Honestly thought we'd go back to Em. I'm down with this (I believe that's what the hip cats say these days).

(page 1)

- The epigraphs are so powerful. I feel like I want to have a War of the Worlds-style collection of them, preferably with Orson Welles reading it to me: can you arrange that for me, please? Anytime before WorldCon is fine :P 

- Great description of the journey. Suggest dropping the word 'first'. Don't see the point of in Line 1 of Para 3.

- Drop 'inside the flyer'. Where else would the warning sound?

- "minutes into their flight" - One word in this case, surely?

- Low temperature would 'bottom out' rather than topping, surely? Also, 'topping' implies that they reached the bottom and temperature actually turned around and got a bit warmer (i.e. the graph peaked).

- "though for a human body not moving was questionable" - Don't understand.

(page 2)

- Comma between 'soundless' and 'wasteland', please.

- After what they've come through, I'm a bit sceptical about the temperature not changing AT ALL, BY A SINGLE DEGREE for 30 minutes. Don't believe that. I'm an engineer, Jim, not an environmental scientist/meteorologist, but still... I don't think that's remotely likely outside of a controlled environment.

- Loving all the chat about temperature and habitability. That's proper SF that is. I've done somewhere in the range of -25 to -30 in Canada, so I totally believe that -40 is doable, just a question of for how long and what she's wearing.

- "Scientists should be swarming ice" - Word missing, methinks.

(page 3)

- "museum" - Lol, great line. Love N's voice. It's such a strong second POV that I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about going back to Em's.

- Not sure I understand the conundrum if Em is dead. Is Plan B not just the failure brand of Plan A, i.e. turn around and go home with Em's body in the cargo bay (presumably with N squished up against it)?

- Confused. If there's been no precipitation in weeks, Em should be on the surface, should she not? Don't understand.

(page 4)

- "Academics could be vindictive as storm" - ROFL, LMAO. I sense that author voice is bleeding into the narrative here :lol::lol::lol::lol: 

- I don't follow the 'stagnant ripples' thing. Kind of complicated wording.

(page 5)

- "getting a paper out of this" - LOL, I totally believe this. I really want Dr.S to get his paper.

- Yeah, hang on. Back in the dome N was in panic stations. Now that they've got here, the tone is kind of jokey almost, and the urgency seems to have gone. This does not seem consistent with the every-second-counts mindset of the last chapter.

- It's not a factoid, surely? I thought factoids were untrue?

- "that doesn’t meant" - Typo.

(page 6)

- "hard-to-clean corners" - lol.

- Repetition of 'felt' - awkward.

- "shellaced the remains, stuff the body" - shellacked (I think) and stuffed.

(page 7)

- "blast of air shot from the underside" - Hmm, really? I this is a blast of the thrusters, which pushes are into the snow, I think it's better to talk about the blast of the thrusters.

- "watched it disappear into the horizon" - that's a long, long way away, surely. Seems unlikely given the length of time it wold take to reach the horizon, surely.

(page 8)

- "human-shaped circle" - hyphen.

- "probably should have thought about the lasers" - there were multiple in the flyer, she can still get one.

- "Chop chop, before" - I would hyphenate this, or put a comma between the chops. Something.

- "of a scientists" - typo.

(page 9)

- "clicked some kind of override command" - Wait, what? How can his suit override hers? Confused.

- "Two of her fingernails tore off but she couldn’t feel her fingers enough to care" - Yurk.

(page 10)

- "Well, what the" - I propose a comma.

(page 11)

- This chapter is fairly bustling along. Lots of good, propulsive conflict with the environment.

- "Though it wasn’t E’s fault..." - this sentiment confuses me; the double negative, I think. I do like the punchline though.

(page 12)

- "worldlessly" - typo.

- "debating in which of those she might have lost"

(page 13)

- "did not need more mystery or surprises" - One or the other, I think. This smacks of not being able to decide which word to use.

- "and exhaled loudly" - Split infinitive. Do the titles to Starktrek no even bother you? :lol: 

(page 14)

- It's kind of weird that, suddenly, Dr.S is being referred to as V. I con't see a reason for this switch in nomenclature. I guess I could accept it if there was a clear flag like 'She looked at Dr.S; it had been two hours, but they'd been through hell and he was risking everything on her urge to pursue E, Suddenly she saw him as something different, as a friend, as V.S., a man in a woman's world.' Okay, I got a bit carried away there, but you see my point?

- Oh, did we just skip the journey? Hmm. To me they are journeying beyond their limits of being retrieved. That's a really tense thing, but it happens offscreen. I think it deserves a coupe of lines to convey what that feels like, potentially travelling beyond the limits of rescue, betting your life on a hunch(?).

- "staring gape-mouthed" - 'gaped' sounds wrong to me.

(page 15)

- Okay, they are looking out of the window, but we get no description of what they are seeing, only the weather.

- The description here confuses me, and this stuff about overlaying memory. I would like a clear description of what's in front of my POV (them). I know it comes after, but the first bit... I'm not sure what's happening.

- "She remembered that obnoxious, shrill sound" - Right, that's it. N has no soul. That's the sound of summer right there: love that sound, right up there with conch shells. But as there are very few conch shells in the West of Scotland, all I had was grass. Instant music. (Oh, and stick, to hits things, but drumming doesn't count. Drummers...:P)

- "progressively greener grass" - So, the sun is red, yes? Under red light, green looks kind of brown, from what I remember. I'm just not sure this stuff would look green to the human eye.

- "Creeks. Streams, maybe" - See, to me, this is just not clear. Is she imagining these or is she seeing them in front of her? It becomes clear that they are there, but the introduction of the idea is not clear.

(page 16)

- "high-end cinderblock" - Where does the cement come from? The cement is what makes the blocks grey, and is the main component for bringing the materials.

- I've got theories going through my head. (1) N.E. set up two rival colonies on this world to see which one fared better. I.e. they are in an experiment; (2) Similar to one, but the M set up the other colony on their own initiative then N.E. began to support them unbeknown from the Pres; (3) it's some kind of quiet coup and the M are going to take over Q with the support of N.E., apparently. This is good, it's just the description, the reveal, that is not working for me.

(page 17)

- "flicked his left temple" - Hey!! There's no need for that! :angry: After all he's done for N. I do like the idea at the end though. Going for a walk.

Overall 

Very good. Lot's a good stuff and a good idea, I just want the mechanics to be better. I'm very engaged with N as a character, and her situation, to the point that I'm feeling she's the main character, that she has a conflict that I'm more interested in. She has a companion who I relate to better than any character in the story (he's male; his technical; he's a geek (of beetles); he does what the strong female character asks/tells him).

I guess I have this underlying concern about how the two POVs come together, assuming they do, and about how the overall arc works. Was I invested enough in the world from E's chapters before it changes? I'm not sure if I was. Are the two POVs complementary? I'm not sure if they are, or is it my underlying investment in the world overall (in the sense of the setting) that is hampering my buy in. Not sure. it is involving though, especially N's POV.

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Like the other said suddenly referring to Dr S as V is jarring and confusing since it took me a minute to remember they were the same person.

The pacing for the chapter was really good. I always felt I was moving forward, toward something. And then when I got answers, the questions those answer revealed kept the momentum without bogging it down. The suspense leading up to the landing is done well, mixing in world building and flashbacks of V and E that worked really well as character building moments. The mystery that is built after they land is interesting. I didn't join till recently so I'm definitely missing some things when it comes to the M and other aspects of Q but I never felt lost. 

I'm interested in the characters and 

I had some small things to point out like how would E be buried if there was no precipitation, but Rob and the others beat me to them all and pointed out more that I didn't catch. I do, however, want to make a special note on the redundancy in the chapter. There were a few times, especially early, where I felt I was being told the same thing multiple times, or times when you were using ten words when six would've sufficed. I think you could lose about 15-20% from your word count and the prose would be stronger for it.

Sorry about the late reply. Saturdays and Sundays are my best days to read.

 

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On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

no comment on the beetles?

Whoops! Dropped dialogue. Will fix.

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

Was that the scan results?

Will clarify.

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

but also wouldn't the suit know she was on the verge of dying?

Yes. Good point.

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

Is this changing in the previous chapters,

Yup. Sorry, should have mentioned.

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

why is she upset about this? Isn't that E's married name?

Argh, was trying to show that N doesn't like formality. Bungled it.

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

Where would they possibly go if they were fired?

OOOOOHHH just wait

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

yes, they're going to investigate.

Check

On 5/27/2019 at 7:17 PM, Mandamon said:

don't understand this.

fixing. Thank you so much for the feedback while on vacation!

 

On 5/29/2019 at 11:15 AM, Alderant said:

You dialed back on the crassness of N, which I think in retrospect is a good thing

Yes, I'm debating crassness level on her. I need her and E's voices to be similar due to being sisters, but still somewhat distinct, but I think I want E to be more crass. That'll be something I settle on in the next draft, I think.

On 5/29/2019 at 11:15 AM, Alderant said:

Is this meant to show that she considers him more of a friend and less an acquaintance?

Yes, and I didn't do it well. I've gone back and fixed it, hopefully, so it's a more conscious thing.

On 5/29/2019 at 11:15 AM, Alderant said:

I think some more immediacy with regards to her literally freezing could stand to be in the text.

Good call!

On 5/29/2019 at 11:15 AM, Alderant said:

I feel like overall, Dr. S is kind of a pushover, and I think you could ramp up the tension by making him oppose her more overtly,

I think I want to build to this in a later chapter, although I'm mulling. It's a fair point. He's a big pushover ATM.

On 5/29/2019 at 11:15 AM, Alderant said:

All in all, it's a good chapter that expands on the building done previously, advances the plot meaningfully, and asks more questions than it answers.

Wooooo! Glad it's on the right track. Thanks!!

 

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

Honestly thought we'd go back to Em

We did, but I'd already subbed that chapter so it got skipped. The chapters may go every other one now. 

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

though for a human body not moving was questionable

Check. Will clarify

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

so I totally believe that -40 is doable, just a question of for how long and what she's wearing.

It's a nightmare temperature, I can tell you that, but yes, in the right gear...

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

If there's been no precipitation in weeks, Em should be on the surface, should she not? Don't understand.

Well yes she SHOULD. But she isn't, which is  meant to be strange

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

This does not seem consistent with the every-second-counts mindset of the last chapter.

ah, okay, will look at this

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

Wait, what? How can his suit override hers? Confused.

Emergency override. I'll make it more obvious

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

suddenly, Dr.S is being referred to as V.

Double check. Per above, I've tried to fix this

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

Okay, they are looking out of the window, but we get no description of what they are seeing, only the weather.

- The description here confuses me, and this stuff about overlaying memory. I would like a clear description of what's in front of my POV (them). I know it comes after, but the first bit... I'm not sure what's happening.

Check. Have edited

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

Right, that's it. N has no soul.

LOL!

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

I'm just not sure this stuff would look green to the human eye.

This is my fault. I forgot while writing this that they'd be on the unlit side of the planet, so no sun should be coming through at all. Have edited

On 5/31/2019 at 1:37 AM, Robinski said:

that she has a conflict that I'm more interested in.

Oh good! This was part of the plan, with two MCs, both of whom appeal to different demographics!

Thank you for the very detailed feedback, as always!

 

On 6/1/2019 at 6:39 PM, hawkedup said:

or times when you were using ten words when six would've sufficed. I think you could lose about 15-20% from your word count and the prose would be stronger for it.

I could, but it would be at the expense of voice, which I am trying to be very specific with in this book. Still, I appreciate you pointing it out. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, kais said:

I could, but it would be at the expense of voice, which I am trying to be very specific with in this book.

Okay. I'm in for the ride. Though I'm having a hard time wrapping me head around how tighter prose would affect voice?

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12 hours ago, hawkedup said:

Though I'm having a hard time wrapping me head around how tighter prose would affect voice?

Voice is a fascinating thing in writing. Books don't necessarily have to have it, but when they do it often makes the reading experience richer. Voice... is sort of like relaxing the framework of the writing in many ways to inject the patterns of your main characters. Authors tend to have overarching voice, too, which makes say, an Anne McCaffery book easily distinguished from a Seanan McGuire book.

In this book, there are two parts of voice at play. The first is the one I cannot readily control, which is my own authorial voice. I'm a scientist and we often invert around sentences to take pressure off the subject (passive) to focus on the result or action. You'll see that bleed through into my writing, giving it a flavor of a science paper in some places (and that's good or bad or irritating, depending upon your preference. I like to read books by other scientists because they invert, too, and I like that voice. Some people don't).

The second part is that this book is filled with scientists so their speech, internal thoughts, etc., are all going to be shaped by how scientists think and talk. E in particular, and N to some extent, are a bit juvenile and use some modern syntax and such, which helped place the time period they came from (as now, or close to now). Doing these things adds voice to the book, as well as giving the reader more information than they realize they are getting.

Example:

The ship flew towards the tree. <-- clean, sharp, to the point

There was a tree in the way of the flyer. <-- common science inversion

Why was that stupid tree in the flightpath? <-- character voice

They flew at Sally's maple tree like they didn't care at all she'd spent the past fourteen years getting it to grow. <-- informative with character voice

 

So now let's take a look at an example from the chapter. 

It’d be easy to get distracted out here in the bizarre climactic failure they were flying through, and the urge to call the director and flash data in her face would have been impossible to ignore

Could be readily shortened to: The weather distracted N. She wanted to call the director and smugly report the data.

The short rewrite, though, looses the flavor of N. We lose critical information, too: how she feels about the weather (bizarre and a failure--something is wrong and she knows it), her feelings on authority (flashing data in your admin's face does not go over well in academia), and N's priorities (sister before everything else, including reporting the climate to the director). In the long version N also recognizes her own failings (if she had TOPA on, she wouldn't be able to resist the rub to her boss) and we see another facet of her determination to find E.

Obviously every sentence can't be like this unless you are supremely good at writing, which I am not. A great example is Gideon the Ninthwhich is like 100% voice and absolutely mind blowing. 

Voice is something agents and editors ding on a lot. If you don't have sufficient voice in your work it's next to impossible to get picked up (unless you're writing in some of the sci fi areas that don't tend to have voice, like military). Voice is something I've been trying to really cultivate recently, and I'm playing around with some aspects in this book (and failing with some of it too, obviously). My last book used introspection quite a bit for voice and I'm trying to get away from that and into sentence integrated voice, but it's a learning curve and a professional writer I am not. 

Voice also tends to be something poorly understood and hard to describe (see above and my nine paragraphs), so if I really failed at this explanation, my apologies.

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22 minutes ago, kais said:

Voice is a fascinating thing in writing. Books don't necessarily have to have it, but when they do it often makes the reading experience richer. Voice... is sort of like relaxing the framework of the writing in many ways to inject the patterns of your main characters. Authors tend to have overarching voice, too, which makes say, an Anne McCaffery book easily distinguished from a Seanan McGuire book.

In this book, there are two parts of voice at play. The first is the one I cannot readily control, which is my own authorial voice. I'm a scientist and we often invert around sentences to take pressure off the subject (passive) to focus on the result or action. You'll see that bleed through into my writing, giving it a flavor of a science paper in some places (and that's good or bad or irritating, depending upon your preference. I like to read books by other scientists because they invert, too, and I like that voice. Some people don't).

The second part is that this book is filled with scientists so their speech, internal thoughts, etc., are all going to be shaped by how scientists think and talk. E in particular, and N to some extent, are a bit juvenile and use some modern syntax and such, which helped place the time period they came from (as now, or close to now). Doing these things adds voice to the book, as well as giving the reader more information than they realize they are getting.

Example:

The ship flew towards the tree. <-- clean, sharp, to the point

There was a tree in the way of the flyer. <-- common science inversion

Why was that stupid tree in the flightpath? <-- character voice

They flew at Sally's maple tree like they didn't care at all she'd spent the past fourteen years getting it to grow. <-- informative with character voice

 

So now let's take a look at an example from the chapter. 

It’d be easy to get distracted out here in the bizarre climactic failure they were flying through, and the urge to call the director and flash data in her face would have been impossible to ignore

Could be readily shortened to: The weather distracted N. She wanted to call the director and smugly report the data.

The short rewrite, though, looses the flavor of N. We lose critical information, too: how she feels about the weather (bizarre and a failure--something is wrong and she knows it), her feelings on authority (flashing data in your admin's face does not go over well in academia), and N's priorities (sister before everything else, including reporting the climate to the director). In the long version N also recognizes her own failings (if she had TOPA on, she wouldn't be able to resist the rub to her boss) and we see another facet of her determination to find E.

Obviously every sentence can't be like this unless you are supremely good at writing, which I am not. A great example is Gideon the Ninthwhich is like 100% voice and absolutely mind blowing. 

Voice is something agents and editors ding on a lot. If you don't have sufficient voice in your work it's next to impossible to get picked up (unless you're writing in some of the sci fi areas that don't tend to have voice, like military). Voice is something I've been trying to really cultivate recently, and I'm playing around with some aspects in this book (and failing with some of it too, obviously). My last book used introspection quite a bit for voice and I'm trying to get away from that and into sentence integrated voice, but it's a learning curve and a professional writer I am not. 

Voice also tends to be something poorly understood and hard to describe (see above and my nine paragraphs), so if I really failed at this explanation, my apologies.

Another example (for epic fantasy fans) is looking at Robert Jordan versus Brandon Sanderson. Robert Jordan writes almost exclusively in voice, where Brandon does not. Brandon has great characters, but his narrative voice generally overpowers character voice, whereas Robert Jordan's voicing dominates the narration to the point that you're truly in the characters' heads. Granted, Brandon's narrative voicing is spot-on, and not utilizing character voicing as much doesn't mean that he doesn't do characterization justice--it just means that when you read a Brandon book, the narration is a little more detached--which is one of the reasons why when Brandon finished The Wheel of Time, he had to work really hard to incorporate his own style into RJ's work, and not just adopt RJ's own writing style.

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I read it a second time, while I was more alert.

Here are my answers to your questions:

On 5/27/2019 at 10:12 AM, kais said:

I’m wondering if tension is decent and how the pacing is

Pacing is good! There would be more tension if I didn't know E was alive, BUT knowing E is alive while N and Dr. S are out searching for her on the snowside does create a different kind of tension, and that is more than enough to keep me reading. I want to know when they'll figure out that they are going after a red herring. The unexpected weather was another thing that kept the tension up. 

On 5/27/2019 at 10:12 AM, kais said:

Is the allure of more equatorial mischief enough? This is the kind of scene where the heavy ’rust hole planet’ worldbuilding of chapters one and two should come into play (in terms of dissonance) so it’d be nice to know if I stuck the landing.

 

I'd say you did stick the landing. 

Overall, I was very invested in the world building and wanting to know what N and Dr. S were actually going to find. I want to know who the body belongs to and what is up with this lab, so I will definitely read on. 

You did have a good amount of humor in this section. I enjoyed the academic jokes. 

There was one place I was thrown because N randomly started using Dr. S's first name then went back to calling him Dr. 

Looking forward to the next submission! 

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