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THE SERPENT'S TONGUE: terminal
Date: 2017/12/27 16:05 By: rockefeller Status: Visitor  
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Posts: 210
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So here's a cap about the UN who, despite considerable threats and bullying, votes overwhelmingly, as in 128 - 9 w/ 35 abstentions, against the United States' declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Or maybe that's something else Rocks read. But the UN is definitely a character. E.g., "...the UN is backing us so everything should be settled before anyone starts shooting." E.g., "He had to believe he was doing good, all the operatives in the United Nations had to believe the world worked better this way."

But mainly it's about binoculars that, with some sort of satellite assistance, can see over the horizon. A lot of opening exposition is dedicated to this technology. It's also about a guy who misses his wife, and narrowly avoids all-out war with Russia and China... There are definitely cell phones. E.g., "The phone played a tune as the screen came alive. With her thumb, Ella tapped through some icons until her thumb hovered over a Chinese and Cyrillic character interface. A red flag with a golden dragon holding a plough..." (there should probably be a colon instead of a period between those last two sentences). E.g., "The phone vibrated and gave off a soft musical tone."

Okay, okay. Rocks hasn't got a clue. He began reading it one evening a couple weeks back, and got lost. Then he tried again, first thing in the morning, during the hour or so his brain semi-sort-of-functions, and realized that he hadn't forgotten what it was all about, but rather had never figured it out in the first place, just spotted typos:

the high definition done fly overs
drone?

If Ella hadn't have asked for his help
cut

I see they have a field or turbines
of?

But overall it reads clean, written with competence and care. Some decent near-future world building, both from technological and political standpoints. Probably if Rocks had vetted it on the front lines here, as in down and dirty on The Floor, where all the real action takes place, he'd have sent it up, too, if only in the hopes of someone else making sense of it. But, sadly, he cannot but now rely on his own stupidity and attendant waxing disinterest (it sometimes seems) in all things "literary," and say, Nyet.

Bully Bud? Please feel free to override. You too, Monkey man. If either of you can crack the ice here, Rocks'll understand.
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Re:THE SERPENT'S TONGUE
Date: 2018/01/08 18:28 By: bulldust Status: Admin  
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Posts: 104
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The Bull is not one to slack, even during holidays and special occasion. However, this has been a season of madness. A change of pastures, livestock issues and a small bout of mad cow disease derailed my good intentions. But I’m back, and I apologized for my absence.

The cap, “The Serpent’s Tongue”, is a near future tale of subterfuge in an environmentally changed world. The main characters, Mosman and Ella, set out to negotiate for resources in a world where the UN has degrees all people have the right to the basic necessities of life, but the governments make this impossible to put into practice. They intend to trade with Russia to obtain food and medical resources. Mosman reflects about how has not gotten over the loss of his Russian wife.

Technically, this cap was good. There were a few missing commas and a few minor typos:

"The UN is on side, right?"

The grammatical errors were minimal and not even close to being a deal breaker.

The plot was okay. There wasn’t a lot of suspense building, but not every cap needs that. For what this is, however, I think there may need to be a little more build up. The other thing I found was it felt a bit too heavy in exposition. There was too much explaining the world and not enough showing it. I know this can be hard to do in a short story, but you can feel the weight of the exposition here.

I wasn’t sure if I loved or hated that Uri had saved Mosman’s wife. On one hand, it makes a happy ending. On the other, it feels contrived and setup. Sure we know that:

"He'd lost his wife to cancer. He'd sent her to the domes in Antarctica for treatment, a secret deal of his own."

and

"Uri had tried to help his wife."

But how that turns into Mosman’s wife still being alive in Russia is a little hard to follow.

Overall this cap is okay. I found nothing objectionable or wrong with it. Is it Monkey worthy? Not so sure. So, unfortunately, I have to go with a no vote.
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