Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Would you read on? hosted by Diana L. Flegal

Welcome to our weekly column: Would You Read On? 

Please let us know if you are willing to read on by leaving a thoughtful comment for this contributing author. At the close of this first page you will find a reveal of last weeks nonfiction contributor.

The following page is in the Sci Fi genre.

Kita wasn’t supposed to come home—ever.
Molly rushed through the crowded transportation station, ignoring the sensation of gooseflesh rippling across her arms. Kita, her sister, left seven years ago on an Abraham Project—a missionary pilgrimage six-hundred light years away. It was a life-time commitment…supposedly. The telecom said Kita would need help getting home. But why?
“Molly Jacobsen, report to gabardine info mation kiosk.” The announcement aired across the mass com system, so every person in the transportation station heard it in their personal com link. Molly reached up behind her ear and pressed her own com link. The message repeated in her hearing only. Her stomach already felt tight, now it was cramping.
Gabardine information kiosk? She looked around for something—anything that had any resemblance to what gabardine might be. The communication-translation software missed the mark for the word, “information.”Perhaps it missed translating the color and called it gabardine. Was that green? Grey? Brownish-green? Who knows? It made no sense.
Molly half ran, half walked through the T. Station. Fear drove her on. She calculated Kita had been on the planet ten months, maybe eleven, before the decision was made to send her back home. Why? What went wrong? You’ve always been the stronger person, braver too. Still, it was a three-year suspended hibernation trip—how could anybody survive two suspensions in seven years? It just does NOT make sense!The selection process was so thorough. Kita was one of the top candidates. Why would they send her back?
Anger boiled in Molly’s gut. This pilgrimage made her mad from the get go. She knew her sister would go the minute she started talking about it. It was so like her.
Molly believed in helping the underdog, the helpless innocents, the oppressed.That’s why she became a law enforcer. But to trek across the universe for people who needed help with fertility and at the expense of her own family, no way! Not to mention forever leaving her twin—

Would you read on?

Last weeks courageous author was Jenny Smith. Her newest book is titled; Seriously God? I'm Doing Everything I Know to do and It's NOT Working.  You can connect with Jenny at the following links. Website: Facebook: keepinginstride Twitter: keepinginstride


Sharon A. Lavy said...

It has been awhile since I have read sci-fi. But this story has elements that I like in a story and I want to know why Kita was sent home and why she needs help.

Yes I would read on.

Davalyn Spencer said...

I would read on.

Linda Glaz said...

Oh, gracious, yes, I'd read on. She had me on the opening line, then so much info in the opening without being an info dump. Very well written and what the heck does Kita have to come home for?

Timothy Fish said...

I feel like the author is throwing everything at me at once. There's the transportation station, the missionary pilgrimage six-hundred light year away, the gabardine information kiosk, the personal com link, suspended hibernation, the law enforcer, and the fertility missionary. My worry would be that the author is too hung upon the technology and the story will suffer. We don't need to know about every piece of technology on the first page.

Lisa Fowler said...

I love, love, love the first line. I would read on for sure.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'd keep reading, but I was a little disoriented at first. I thought Kita was going to be the POV character. I also thought there was too much backstory in the second paragraph--telling readers things we didn't need to know yet. In addition, those lines didn't match Molly's voice. They didn't seem consistent with something the character would be telling herself.

One last thing. Italicized internal monologue is distracting to me. I mean, if this is in Molly's POV, then presumably all the internal thoughts are hers so why are certain ones singled out and put in italics?

Apart from those issues, I thought the story problem was interesting. Molly's not knowing why her sister (twin?) was coming home made me want to read more to find out. And now the mysterious message that she can't figure out where to go to pick up. The fact that she seems a little peeved that Kita went on the missionary trip in the first place adds conflict.

I think this story has promise.


Anonymous said...

I’m a fan of some sci-fi, especially the kind that takes the everyday situations I’m used to and twists them a little. I was very interested in her opening line and most of the next paragraph. I was immediately drawn to the idea of the Abraham Project/long journey picture with cross-galaxy missions work! But, I had a hard time visualizing the rest. That pulled me away from the story. But, yes, I think I would read on, to see if I could understand the technology being used and to find out a little more about these interesting sisters.

Amy Young said...

I would

sally apokedak said...

I liked it a lot, but the first two paragraphs threw me.

What if you did something like this:

Molly rushed through the crowded transportation station, gooseflesh rippling across her arms. Kita, her sister, wasn't supposed to ever come home. So what had gone wrong?

Kita had left seven years earlier on an Abraham Project—a missionary pilgrimage--six-hundred light years away. It had been a life-time commitment, supposedly. But Molly's morning telecom message said Kita needed help getting home.

I suggest those changes for the following reasons:

1) we know right away that Molly is the POV character.
2) if she's ignoring the goose-flesh then why would she, the narrator, be telling us about it--she's obviously aware of it, not ignoring it.
3) added back in the line to tell the reader that kita wasn't supposed to come home, since I took that line away from the beginning of the story
4) changed "ago" to "ealier" because we aren't reading in present tense so it wasn't seven years ago to us, it was seven years earlier than the time Molly was in when the story took place.
5) added "had" to "Kita had left" and "it had been a lifetime commitment" and added "Molly's morning telecom message" to differentiate between the backstory info and the present day info.

Take or leave my suggestions. I simply think that when you start in a strange world, the more clearly you write, the easier you make it for your reader to stay with you.

I would definitely read on to find out why Kita is coming home and I love the hint of conflict between the twins and their ideas about how to serve God and others.