I noticed Caroline had given a positive review, so I made time to have a looksee even though I'm not in this contest and have no stake in the outcome.
I loved your opening. Thats was 90% fresh on my mental rotten tomatoes measure.
Once you got past the first few pages I thought there wasn't enough incident and escalation. I was feeling the need for a bit of action and a stronger sense the story was going somewhere, but you picked it up towards the end. Maybe you could trim the fat around the belly a bit to reveal the killer abs of structure.
The concept at the core reminded me of the movie 'Equilibrium' with it's state control of the populations mind by crude 50's style mass production drugging rather than the mass commodification of dissent and taxonomical nuclearisation of the one dimensional people of Western capitalism. I think it works as it gives a much clearer 'the man' to want to fight back against.
I didn't entirely buy the logic of the control as supressing dreams in the sense of the subconcious organisation of thought and 'dreams' as in aspirations seem to me to be very different things, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the piece.
I'm well aware that I've not verbalised my thoughts with sufficient cogency to give a real sense of my respoinse to the piece. As a piece of writing, sentence by sentence it is fantastic and you can flip a verb like a pancake and that's a joy. Page by page it could be leaner and tenser.
Overall - a very solid effort and a long way ahead of 90% of the one's I've read in the last two scifi contests.
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