I can see the SBT in mymind, you've painted not just a machine (while some readers could argue that almost nothing is told about the tank itself) but the combination of history, the blending of men, machine, and a moment in history. I like the Dynastic references to Earth, hiccups in interstellar travel, and the way the SBT just feels. I am brought to think of the brutal pragmaticism of the Warhammer 40k land raiders and Leeman Russ tanks and their mass produced pre-fabricated modular layout (Book says you can built them from advanced armor composites, plain iron, or even out of pressboard and wood) as well as the ubiquitous overlooked and otherwise ignored valiant fighting tanks from Battletech like the humble Scorpion light tank or the Vedette.
Well done sir. I like the tone and the pace you set. Go to Comment
As long as this is, I want more. The perspective of the goddess was sometimes distracting, but at other times, sublime. I found both characters of Gorn and Kiijan interesting, and while the pace was slow, I think that is what made it dwarven. Well done. Go to Comment
This exactly the kind of feed back you hope to get, when you post something on the Citadel you hope to get 5 readers in five years, maybe….so I am really honored and excited to have three people read this, and thanks for taking the time to suggest improvements.
The main focus of this story was to be an information dump about dwarves society without just listing facts, but by placing those facts in the context of personal interactions. It is esoteric piece of work, but I enjoyed writing. I also found that writing a story like this went much faster than writing "fact" posts.
The precocious Kiijanavyre character may have been out of my depth as a writer. I needed and wanted a character that was both a child and an adult, that possessed great talents and an intuitive intelligence, but at the same time lacked a great deal of self knowledge and certainty. The type of character/person that can be playful one minute and sophisticated the next because they lack a pretense or sense of self-awareness that would require them to maintain a persona. This is meant to be indirect contrast with the dwarves who very much keep a persona, and are very much worried about presentation. As she interacts with Gorn at the beach she becomes a little self-conscious, starts to pick her words, and eventually in a larger sense no longer pursues her sincere wants but takes a path of duty. I thought it would be banal to make these contrasts any more stark than I did, but I can certainly go in say these things. Yet I would love to know if you saw those things in the story, because what I wanted to put in the story is irrelevant until I put it in the story. I will try to go through say these things more explicitly.
I could make her older if that makes more palatable, I pretty much pulled 15 out of a hat, cause that is likely an adult in a stone age society. If make her 19, will she still seem as vulnerable, will her uncertainty regarding a course of action be understandable? The language thing is cultural, and I only meant her to speak two language fluently, clearly defining the events as they happen in different languages has always been a problem with this setting.
I will add a few lines to the first section to really emphasize her wunderkin status. That also might make the goddess's preoccupation with her specifically more understandable. But I do feel that wunderkin characters are basically annoying and I was trying to strike a balance. The characterization of Kiijanavyre may also be stunted by the lack other interactions with other characters. We can't know if she is a typical 15 year old girls if she never talks to any other humans, we also don't get much a sense for her in her element. Tell me what you think about the addition of scene, in the forest in which
1) she either talks with the druid some about what is coming and what she can expect
2) In beginning when she show the dwarves around, her lecturing Gorn might make a nice arc.
3) Her talking with the Mitirangu priest who gave her bread.
Okay the chronology, I like starting and ending with Kiijanavyre getting in the boat. But you nailed the other jumps directly, I wanted to keep the beach from being an information dump. But I also want to distinguish Gorn on the road from Gorn at the beach, the contrast in behaviors was deliberate, but maybe I am trying to do too much. I wrote this in a linear fashion and then cut it up when posting. So there are not even designed transitions between the scenes. Go to Comment
Update: reworked the chronology some, the beach events are now in order. I also added more details regarding Kiijanavyre's inner dialog and another Kiijanavyre conversation in order to try address some of Dossta's comments. Go to Comment
First let me lead off my saying that there is a LOT of really solid information in this piece. The society that you describe is well-ordered, consistent, flavorful and vibrant. I love the distinction between the different classes of dwarf -- clan- (noble, warrior or mountain), guild- and free-dwarves all have their own quirks and customs. The little things you used to draw those lines, like the beard dying or the ability to carry weapons, really tied the whole thing together. In whole, the culture is beautifully realized.
Some of my favorite parts: everything about eating; the inclusion of rocks in dwarven food to wear down their teeth, the fact that dwarves only need to eat once a day and that they prefer to take their meals alone. The beard dying (both natural and false colors). I was also fascinated with Droven's Compulsion -- that one detail was enough to fill an entire submission on its own!
You obviously spent a lot of time on this piece, and I really respect it. However, there are still some rough patches which keep its full potential from being realized. If you want this to stand as a story and not a purely informative work, they may need to be addressed.
The two biggest issues I had were the ordering of events and Kiijanavyre's character. You skip around in the timeline a LOT, and it got very confusing even with the headers. I would either rework it so that it stays chronological, and have some of the questions be asked on the wagon rather than on the beach to avoid the huge info-dump at the end -OR- I would find some way of better marking those passages. The beach scenes aren't really flashbacks (more like "future"backs? what the hell do you call them?), but there's a reason why flashbacks and scenes that break up the main timeline are used sparingly in literature. They are just too damn jarring most of the time.
Second, Kiijanavyre. A 15-year-old girl who can speak 3 languages and some dwarven on the side, can debate philosophy and has the confidence and poise to negotiate safe passage out of an ambush with a culture that she is only passingly familiar with. You keep trying to emphasize her girlish or naive nature, but then make her speak like a university graduate in her conversations with Gorn on the beach. Gorn has similar problems (in that he didn't speak much on the journey and was supposed to be pretty stingy with his words, but then waxes philosophical and disgorges whole paragraphs of dialogue at once), but he's not quite as bad. I don't care if she speaks formally or not, just make it consistent from the beginning of the story and try to explain it a little with her background. Perhaps she was so sheltered by her parents and her goddess that she never interacted with other children, and thus has a highly formal way of speaking?
Anyway, I'll shut up now before this gets too long. Thank you for writing this; I really enjoyed it. Go to Comment
Kind of difficult to read, which I assume was on purpose. The idea, or at least what I think of the idea, is a sound one and decently realistic to be morbid and a tad scary.
A few plot hooks and a short list of what the banks use your information for would be great. I realize putting those in are outside the transmission part of the sub but put it in for us knowledge freaks. Otherwise I like it. Go to Comment
It's an interesting article. I would like it to be a little more clarified so I have a better understanding of what I'm looking at, rather than draw my own conclusions and risk misunderstanding you. I like the realism of the thing, though; I'm not convinced this bank doesn't already exist. Go to Comment
Interesting. So you're poking fun at those Nigerian Bank emails we all get? I'll have you know, that no less than a "prince" from Lagos, has offered me $16,000,000 euros if I simply first "lend him" $500 for bank transfer fees. You see, he is a political prisoner, and.... Go to Comment