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HOBSON'S CHOICE
Date: 2018/06/08 02:23 By: rockefeller Status: Admin  
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Posts: 209
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On the plus side, this piece is cute. And simple. Rocks ripped through it without skipping bits, or feeling like he missed much. But on the minus side, it reads like it was written in half an hour while watching the telly and doing sudokus, albeit by a writer familiar with his craft.

It wasn't clunkiness of voice or an abundance of nits that made Rocko scratch scratch his spittoon-shaped head and wonder how it got all the way to wherever this is. Actually, he spotted nothing that warranted digging up the red pencil he buried in Rimbaud's litter box. Given it's set in the good ol' Amarikin South, the narrator's slight UK accent distracted a little. Like over here, we all calls them flashlights, not torches; torches we use for something else. But this, again, is just a minor quibble.

It's about a man who has a gambling problem. He's deep in the hole to a loanshark who has no compunction about beating a ten-foot gator on a golf course with his putter just for being nearby when his stocks tanked. His wife has left him with their child, and he's on his way to LA to escape the alligator's fate and start a new life.

Fortunately for him (and for the VC who'd lost interest in that particular story and genre) an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands nearby. That's right, intelligent beings, advanced sentients, who've conquered the whole pesky bigness of space and slowness of light problem, park their starship down by a local river where some of them go swimming. Not much attention is paid. Sure a few military and scientific sorts gather about the craft, and the odd local fisherman spots the odd alien splashing, and eventually fluttering, about. But it's not like someone's seen a startling likeness of The Blessed Virgin on an Egg McMuffin.

Also happily, our MC is a skilled taxidermist, and some rich bloke is willing to settle his debt with the loanshark if he'll just mount one of the aliens as a trophy after he (the rich guy) has shot it. Unfortunately for the rich guy and the loanshark, however, the aliens, who are telepathic and speak perfect English (with hardly any UK accent), get wind of all of this and contact our hero with another offer he cannot refuse.

Rocks won't spoil the ending. No need. Well... except to say that the MC's gambling problem, his tragic flaw, the fatal weakness that's ruined his life, is in no way resolved, addressed, or even remembered.

Okay, maybe RocksTheCradle has been a little harsh here, a tad captious. Some will find this cap amusing. The VC's CV is longer than the story itself, and pretty impressive. So maybe he just had a lazy half hour, or needed a giggle. It's just that RocksInSpace loves science fiction. It's the genre that bust his literary cherry, and he hates seeing it used thoughtlessly. No.
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Re:HOBSON'S CHOICE
Date: 2018/06/08 14:47 By: bulldust Status: Admin  
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Posts: 98
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Okay, so yeah. The Bull has caught up on most of his projects, but still battles with space-time. Why is it that no matter how much crap gets tossed out, there is still too much crap in the house? Chuck out a pair of old tore-up shoes, two more pairs appear in its place. The more the Bullmeister cleans, the more there is left to do. The Bulldude needs another shed or a bigger barn. Maybe a pocket dimension would work.

Eh, none of this matters unless there is a significant increase in the Bull’s net worth. And since there has been no lottery winning yet, the point is moot. Maybe gambling on the stock market, hmmm…

And about gambling…

Hobson’s choice sounds like it should be a deep, thought-provoking tale delving into the inner workings of the human psyche. Instead, it is a plucky tale about a taxidermist in hot water for his gambling addiction. He is fleeing Louisiana to LA in order to escape a debt to a loan-shark. He is intercepted by a third party with a counter offer. Meanwhile, there are alien visitors. A little bit of mayhem ensues.

The concept of this cap is something the Bull completely can get behind. The sheer serendipity alone should have maxed out the zany-meter. But it seems like it dropped the ball. Although the taxidermy is mentioned early in the cap, it is not given the significance it needed. If Ross was being tapped for his taxidermy skills, I think they should have been highlighted a little more in the setup.

The loss of his family is also glossed over. Ross has more feelings about performing taxidermy on an alien than he does about his family leaving him. Just because this is a light cap, doesn’t mean the Ross would not have feelings about losing his family. A line or two about that would have given this cap more life.

The twist was okay. Justice was served. Ross got the trauma of his life. The right people died.

I have to agree with Rock’s. This cap is not quite ready. t feels thrown together without polish. So I have to agree it is a no.
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