3/22/2021 - Kais - Pruitcu - Chapter 7 (L) - 3298 words

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Nothing really to comment on with this. Hoping the emotional arc works and the plot seems to be moving forward at a reasonable clip.


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So, my feedback is going to be limited here, because I’m not familiar with these characters or this setting! There were just a couple of things I picked out.

p1 ‘She clicked her tongue, trying to sound sympathetic’ - I’m not sure what a sympathetic tongue click sounds like. She seems like she has some difficulty communicating, though, so maybe that’s the point. 

p3 ‘in bold, san serif font’ - are these space opera people using the same fonts that we use? Or is this a ‘translation’ (as in, they use different words for everything, but this font is roughly the equivalent of san serif for us)?

p10 ‘We have about a minute of oxygen left’ - when I read that, my brain immediately went ‘but didn’t they just explain why they’re not worried about suffocating?’ I know the situation is deteriorating rapidly, but it might flow better if you make it clear that the backup systems rely on cel. when it comes up on page 7. 

I like the dialogue throughout - I felt there was a lot of character in it, even if I don’t know these three. I got a sense of generally competent people who are wayyyyy out of their wheelhouse. 

I also like S’s despair and desperation throughout. 


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This is a solid "getting to the plot" chapter. Some good emotion from S in dealing with how to work with others. I was a bit confused with some of the cellulose terms and why they matter to how the anomaly worked, as well as how S and E differ in abilities. I'm also not convinced the terrans would have completely passed out so soon at the end.

But overall, good! Looking forward to when everyone starts arriving at the same place.


Notes while reading:

pg 2: "tore a new fissure in her chest"
--why? Does she have to use her talent to open files?

pg 2: "because the atmosphere is unstable"
--Can higher dons survive in different atmospheres?

pg 3: "She’d missed finding her people by days"
--yes, so why is she laughing in joy at this fact?
--or wait, then she's talking about crying. Did she not remember that P exploded at first? Seems an odd run of emotion.

pg 4: "We need to disengage the FTL and get repairs"
--I thought the whole point was that they couldn't disengage the FTL?

pg 5: "the one that got abandoned"
--there was another one? Maybe WRS.

pg 5/6: not completely sure I'm following Y's theory here.
--I thought Ard was a ball of tree, not that it produced trees? So asking why it needs all those trees is like asking why a human needs all that body.
--Ard pulled cellulose to it from...the trees on it? Somewhere else?
--The trees are semi-sentient, but then N says sentient cellulose. Is this a different source, or is he saying the trees are fully sentient?

pg 7: "she typed"
--typed on what, if all the lights are out and screens dimmed?

pg 7: "There’s a process to this"
--lol. Meta Y.

pg 9: "as she stared at the crystalline strands"
--in the ship? In the anomaly?

pg 10: "see the crystalline cellulose" "long chains...monomers...polymers"
--Not clear on different types of cellulose, or why it matters.

pg 12: "thump of bodies on the floor"
--The oxygen is waning, not gone, and people can survive a few seconds without breathing too. I don't think they would collapse that quickly.


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I agree with @Mandamon on this. There were a lot of confusing terms/ideas and I didn’t follow a lot of the technical things or Y’s theory and I desperately wanted to. I like the characters’ dynamic and it feels like things are coming together and moving along in plot but my lack of understanding the cellulose, the anomaly, and other things pulled me out a bit. 

As I go:

Pg 2

-idk what flares are

Pg 3

-oh flares are Sal’s people?

-i went back to reread everything now knowing flares are people(living beings) like Sal

Pg 4

-“All the important info is restricted” I like that he says this but we get a bit more in the epigraph. niiice

-I also like that they’re talking up At and E. It'll make their appearance/reveal all the better.

Pg 5

-“We have three unusual planets… and the one whose name i’ve already forgotten” Ha! Same… was there always three?

-idk where Y is going with this

Pg 7

“So good, we can” I think there should be a comma after “so” because it looks like “so good” like “it’s so good!” but i think there should be a pause after "so" or just take out the “so”  idk lol maybe its fine the way it is

Pg 10-12

-“A minute of oxygen left” what! That escalated quickly. 

-Idk what Sal was trying to do. I also dont know if she was what made them move faster into the anomaly or not. I’m a bit unclear on the things happening near the end and i don't know about sal's powers but im willing to wait to find out more. I do like the tension on the last few pages! I’m curious to know where they end up.


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When were we introduced to the concept of what flares are?  I had remembered vaguely what the term meant, and am pretty sure that if I was reading straight through, it would have been clearer, but I did do a double-take on it the first time the term shows up here. 

I really enjoy Sal- and Y-  in general, so I really enjoyed this chapter. 
I didn’t get too caught up on technical terms, but I think the “getting pulled through a door” image that Sal- mentions at some point had developed in my head pretty early on, when they started talking about the cellulose not being broken down entirely. That combined with the knowledge from previous chapters of there being passages between planes put those two things together pretty clearly in my head (I’m assuming that’s what our anomaly is). I imagine it would have been far more confusing if I didn’t have that image in my head to attach the vaguer ideas to. 

Looking forward to seeing where things go! 


Pg 2: 
“…tore a new fissure in her chest.” So the computer is falling apart (losing cellulose).  She’s looking for more information about what’s going on with Pru? And each piece of information she’s finding is painful? Is that right?  With the ship literally deteriorating, the wording in this line makes it hard to tell if she’s experiencing emotional pain regarding what she’s finding or a physical pain from some connection she has with the computer itself and its deterioration. 

“…read it out loud.” To whom?  I assume to Nick, but I didn’t get that he was interacting with them at the moment. His paraphrasing comments are helpful, since it makes the information easier to absorb, but I think it would be helpful to clarify that he’s summarizing the record for Nick.

Pg 3: 
I like the emotion-shift here, but think there needs to be a more obvious to make the point of realization clearer.  Some physical pause or shift or something between “There were Ris- flares on Pru.” And “But Pru had exploded.”   I’d normally expect the single line “But Pru-…” to be enough to do that on its own if it’s a short, single sentence on its own line, but it doesn’t stand out quite as much when the lines around it are also single sentence lines, so I think it might need something more to make the reader feel how jarring the shift is for Sal. 

Pg 4:
“…captains had to hold it together…” The “WE SHOULD NOT BE CONCERNED” contrasting with her curled up in a grieving/overwhelmed ball seems like a combination of things that have already moved past “holding it together.”   Here and into the next page, the sort of false hope that she seems to be trying to portray hits funny.  What exactly is her intention of communicating the hopeful message that she doesn’t really believe when her body language is so clearly sending another message? She’s obviously not hiding anything, considering Y’s line about watching her meld with a chair.   Does she think her hopeful message is convincing?

Pg 5: 
“Are planets mammals? Fish? Rocks?”   Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral. Go. 

Also, I enjoyed Y’s mental wandering here. I think seeing him work through processing it makes the details easier to follow and calls out the important things. Or at least gives a sense of "We need to know this much at this point" which for me, at least, makes it easier to just go along with the fact that I don't have all of the details 100% in line yet.

Pg 6:
“The biometal…went cold”  Is this an instantaneous thing?  There’s no residual heat in the materials?  I don’t know enough about what exactly the biometals do or how they work, but that sudden of a change seems iffy from a heat-transfer perspective.  Where is all of the heat dissipating to instantly? 

Pg 7:
“…she typed…” on what? 

Pg 9:
“She didn’t need her stomach and intestines ripped apart…” ouchy…

Pg 10-12:
“a minute of oxygen left”  How long has it been since things shut down.  Has the oxygen been actively sucked out somewhere else?  I wouldn’t think the cockpit would become unbreathable so quickly, even if there isn’t new air being pumped in.   

I found this useful-looking post on the matter, but have not done any looking-into whatsoever on its accuracy.  It at least seems far closer to my general perception of air usage and dispersion, though.  Unless there’s something actively pumping in bad air, or the oxygen is actively leaking out, I don’t see things falling apart quite so quickly. https://kimberlymoynahan.com/2012/04/friday-fiction-facts-trapped-in-an-airtight-room/



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Everything here was pretty engaging, and I especially appreciated getting some more background on what's going on and Y's theory of what the planet A is doing. Honestly if there's any way to get to this explanation sooner in the novel I'd welcome it, since it makes a lot of stuff from earlier chapters make more sense to me. Especially what A does to other planets. 

One thing I noticed, though, is that while a lot happens in this chapter, there's not much of the characters doing it. It feels like they flounder for 10 pages and then S makes one important decision at the end. I really liked what they were talking about but it was hard for me to have full buy-in when they're not translating it to direct action. Assessing the situation is good, but I'd like to see them do something more than talking, even if it's just dodging around space debris while getting pulled in (just an example).

As I go:

pg 2: What is S trying to find in these documents? Something about where they're going and how to help themselves? I can't quite see the connection if that's the case. 

pg 3: Ah okay so P was being pulled by them. Did S suspect this was the case, or did she know and make Y read through all the stuff before for some other reason?

-good emotion at the bottom of the page

pg 5: Oh is that why the ship is being pulled in, then? Interesting

pg 7-9: This is all fine on its own but the characters seem pretty powerless right now so I don't have full buy-in since I don't know if their decisions here actually matter. 

pg 11: So S is using cellulose magic to take control of the thrusters and push them through a portal, basically? Took me a while to figure out what was going on. 



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I like this story a lot. I only wish I had a better background of who S is, who any of these characters are really, and why they would get themselves in such a ridiculous predicament. I mean, I do understand, and it's comedic enough to work, but there are a lot of terms that confuse me. I think a glossary would help haha. But still, even without knowing what's really going on, having only read the first couple chapters of this book, I'm not that confused. The chapter stand on its own two feet. The humor and character dynamics are strong enough to carry it forward. Not to mention the excitement and impending potential doom. I'm assuming we'll find Pruitcu on the other side of this wormhole thingy, which is an exciting prospect for sure. Great work, I can't see any flaws to point out, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Cheers.

As I read:
I haven't been keeping up-to-date with this story as I feel like I needed to know more about the previous stories you've written to grasp the magnitude of the plot unfolding. That being said, I find that I can enjoy this chapter for its good humor, character dynamics, and excitement levels.

pg 2: I love how Y is reading out the report. Feels very natural and unique to their character.

I kept reading, trying to find something I could point out, but honestly, this story is too good for me to critique. It reminds me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in a way. It has similar humor and hand-waving, and it all works.


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Nice work leading the reader to the answer! Admittedly I got pretty lost in the tech/and explanations but dispite that just a little bit after you led me to "why don't they fly toward it then?" S does just that. That is some fine word craft, well done :-)

I got a little bogged down in the "what is a planet" and cellulose explanations. It might be one of those things that is familiar shorthand for someone whose read the previous works but is hard to follow as a newby. 

"Kkk" I'm not sure what to picture when S is making this noise or how she does it without a voice. 

"...if the anomaly wasn't specific, without bodies." I thought it would just pull the cellulose from their bodies, does she mean if it wants any biological matter? Or just they will die? A bit confused here.

Again, nice work!

Thanks for sharing


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Like the others, I was very engaged throughout the whole chapter.  I didn't quite understand all the cellulose stuff, but I wasn't trying to hard to. Knowing exactly what it all meant wasn't critical to my engagement. 

What was getting a little frustrating was S seeming so powerless, and S comparing herself to E. I started to loose engagement near the end and just give up on the characters. Before they got pulled in, I as already assuming there was no hope of them escaping it, and that decreased tension. If S had been able to make more of an attempt at doing something, if you had left me with a little more hope, then there would've been more tension. 

The one point at which I was confused in a bad way was S took cellulose  from the one laser cannon at the end. Did that accomplish anything? Was it supposed to? Was it just supposed to be one feeble effort that was too little too late? I didn't quite understand what was going on there and I wanted to.

And that's it. You left me with quite a cliff hanger now that you're going to be gone for a few weeks.



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Slowly Catching Up on Critiques:

Pg 3, "She’d missed finding her people by days." My heart hurts.

Pg 4, "We can access just enough to be dangerous." I am assuming you mean that the knowledge is dangerous, not S and Co.



4554 Unread messages. During Diwali ! | by Dhruv Desai | Medium

Pg 5, " I think it needs those trees to reproduce." Makes seeds? Like a coconut it unleashes into the ocean of space?

Pg 6, "But that would break at least seventeen laws of ph-" Like Ard ever cared. 

Pg 9, "intestines ripped apart by migrating cellulose." I know they are going to survive because book but I am stressed none the less.

Pg 9, " it had to come out, right?" As a new baby planet, right?

Pg 12, " swallow them in darkness." Ugh, I hate cliffhangers!!!

Tense chapter. I kept waiting, waiting, waiting for S to just snap have a breakthrough and...nope! Not yet! Like, I should have logically known she wasn't that far enough character development wise, that it was too early, but I kinda forgot while reading. I just wanted to know what was happening. 

I had to reread the exposition about the cellulose a couple of times, but that's pretty typical of me trying to follow heavy worldbuilding logic in any book. The important part for me was that I came out the other side understanding.


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Finally feeling well enough after surgery to get to this! Thanks everyone! I've cleaned up the cellulose explanations, eased the passing out scene, and fixed some nit picky thing. It sounds like this chapter generally stood on its own so not too much to do. Looking forward to start subbing again.


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