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Smashwords book reviews by sourcejedi

  • Fatal Boarding on May 10, 2011

    Reads very nicely so far. /indiscrete/indiscreet The dark gray, thin-shelled stateroom walls were not reassuring. They are tangled with conduit and cable track, the ceilings are low, and there is a perpetual drone that lingers within +the+ unibody construction. "equally mood conservative" "So I, Adrian Tarn, breaker of rules, romanticist-unreliable, found myself in a sterile stateroom alone, thinking about the unopened pint of bourbon I smuggled aboard, located only inches away in the second drawer on the left in the psychologist-recommended beige metal desk, imitation wood grained top, that houses the integrated PC that was staring back at me like a disinterested observer. A drink was out of the question. When you're on call, plummeting along well beyond the speed of light aboard the QE2 of space, you do not assume all will go as expected. So I leaned back and continued to wait for R.J. to show up for his usually absurd chess game." (First sentence. And whatever rhythm there is there, the short second sentence breaks it, and I think not in a good way). Chapter 2 turns everything into a monospace font (equal letter sizes, as in e.g. typewriter), for the rest of the book? "On this occasion only seven of us were -being- included." (Redundant word. And you're probably using that because "included" wasn't the best choice either). "It is a paradox trial of the inhuman mind appraising its creator." /paradoxical/. Or /paradox: a trial of/. "adhered to the computers preprogrammed point of view." /computer's/ (missing apostrophe). ‘rules’ I'm Whee! Can I ask what software you used here? The preferred character for an apostrophe is a curly single "close quote" character, e.g. /I’m/. If you can't do that, down-convert to all-straight quotes. (You can always keep your master copy in a partial state). It's fine when you don't notice it -- but if the text _ever_ gives someone reason to notice it, they'll be tripping over it the whole way through. Wait, you're also using the straight version of _double_ quotes ("). So I'm intrigued, but you should just make sure you're using straight quotes all the way through. Search and replace all is your friend. "back dropped by stars" -- sorry. "too loftily cast for disciplinary encounter" He always wears a formal light-blue uniform with a high collar+,+ and appears comfortable in it. "The overhead projector illuminated over the table and cast a rotating 3-D image" "attractive--and". em dash character please. '--' has no place outside of typewriters (and TXT files from Project Gutenberg). "get some zero-G". "how he wanted the ship and crew postured for the EVA" "added degree in computers". /second degree/? /computing/. or maybe /computer science/... "hews of green and gray" /hues/ "0-G". Easier to type; not easier to say or read, and inconsistent with the previous instance. "the dark side of the moon" -- seems a very earth-centric description, when our action is taking place in interstellar space. E.g. Heinlein uses "Luna". Seems only to make sense if other planets and moons are unsettled, and alien planets taboo? "But-,- one hundred and fifty people on board Electra were watching and listening." "A low handrail glowed soft-yellow fluorescence". Grammar; add "with". /fluorescent/ could work in some contexts. The chatter on the intercom had stopped. I looked up to find the other four team members hovering around the opening, staring down into the hole with me. +"+Electra, this is Tarn. We have access to a lower level. What are your instructions, Captain?" "Tarn to Electra, Understand, Captain. Ten minutes to return." "It was much smaller than the control room we had just seen, but no less arcane." Not quite (arcane). "graveyard of nightmares." (A place where nightmares _die_? Doesn't parse as a spooky place _in_ a nightmare -- "graveyard" is not consistent enough with the immediate context). "the room's pressure differential" -- wait, when did we go from vacuum to atmosphere? "I became aware of the rest of the team hanging behind me. Normally, they would have dispersed around the area to investigate." -- normally? This is the second room they've been in, and they haven't been doing anything else like this ever. You mean /They should have been dispersing/. "I rotated to face the exit. Just inside the low V-cut of the elevator door, Erin was holding to Nira's right arm. They were floating no more than a meter above the floor, as though they were ready to leave quickly." -- I don't get it. Should the "no" be removed? "concussion from the blast." In a vacuum, the presumption would be that there _wasn't_ a large concussion. "The concussion" seems a bit presumptious. Maybe something starting with "A", or "we were blasted"... "It flattened my suit against my chest. My ears popped and began to ring. The suit pumps wined as they struggled to compensate." hmm. "as though it were an open portal" "O2" "red O2 icon". An icon is a picture? "It couldn't be patched." -- why? "No one ever succumbs to suffocation from a cut suit. It's usually the boiling blood that gets you. You freeze on the outside while you explode on the inside. Very messy bodily eruptions mark the end of it. And when it is over the offending suit has suddenly become more of a bag than a piece of apparel." -- citation needed. My impression from a single solid article was that "2001" has it right. NASA seem to agree: . "We hurried from the hurtful realm of the alien spacecraft" "complementary suit maneuvering techniques". Makes no sense to me. "Inquisitions that come about as a result of a serious near-miss can be intimidating, intense affairs." Stick "The" in front, and maybe you'll get away with it. "finally let out the backlog of tension." "the hum from some hidden little motor came to life, and the spongy orange couch flattened itself out into a bed." I'm having difficulty believing that :). If you didn't mention "the hidden little motor", I might have passed it by. But you're not doing that with a single electric motor - in that case you might as well do it manually, by just pushing it in the right direction. /deliberant/deliberate/ "and a repulsive swallow of Dismal liquid" -- ? It's not the mouthwash; there's no need to swallow that. Other than getting drunk, and the next sentence mentions Bourbon :). "He was tapping the eraser of a mechanical pencil against a crossword puzzle taped to the back of an ultra-thin e-reader." Hum. For me, "e-reader" has very specific contemporary implications, and it's *not* a niche that has a long-term future. Something like "tablet" would be more conventional. Apple shows that you can get a *hell* of a lot of value out of that form-factor, while still offering full-screen usage to something like a reading application. "Don't interrupt me with email etc." isn't hard either. If you look at markets like modern mobile phones -- where *all* the budget phones sacrifice daylight usability, just so they can tick a "millions of colours" box that adds absolutely nothing -- it's difficult to see where this dedicated e-reader comes from. So... I can't really parse "an ultra-thin e-reader". Either it's "_his_ ultra-thin e-reader", which is familiar from past appearances. Or it's "an ultra-thin tablet device", which may or may not be an e-reader, but we can't tell from just looking at it. (The "Apple dedicated reader: no distractions" logo on the back is hidden by the crossword taped to it, remember?). [haha, just read the banter about the crossword. Note that I'm not saying there wouldn't be such thing as a dedicated 'e-reader'. There could be, and it could be entirely consistent with what you're doing with R.J. But using one is at the very least a distinct choice, out of a range of possibilities which the average person is not going to be able to distinguish at a glance]. Again - this is just me; I don't claim the word choice would affect others in the same way. "He eye'd me appraisively". I believe /appraisingly/ is the correct derivation. If it doesn't sound right, perhaps it's just the wrong word. Either way, it's definitely /eyed/: no apostrophe. "Oh yeah, the hand scanners did pick some things. They are still arguing whether it is corrupted data or an actual language. This is all privileged, by the way." -- lack of contractions is getting to me. Myself, I can't imagine him using "they are" in the same breath as all these informalities/conversationalities. /they're/, /it's/? /nueronic/neuronic/ /wave length/wavelength/ "What are you talking about, Adrian." -- no ? “It's alive!" -- _fuck_. Curly quotes again. You're using the same broken regex E-reads do, aren't you. I'm serious. If you have a file that's half straight quotation marks and half curly quotation marks, please do yourself a favor and just convert all the curly marks to straight ones. Well, actually you're not using the E-reads algo.; the variation looks much more random than that. "the 'where you were when' nemesis." /nemesis/cliche/. 'where you were when' is a "niggle" or annoyance. A nemesis is a deadly enemy. Yeah, it's an exaggeration, but the problem is it doesn't quite fit, so there's too much weight of probability on the "author has got this word confused" side -- so it doesn't read smoothly. "Hey, when below the umbra, what goes up must come down." Um. While this sounds awkward but awesome at first, I realized I didn't have an appropriate match on "umbra". So I looked it up, and I still don't. What do shadows have to do with escape velocity? "Hey, I'll buy into that theory real fast" -- I hit a page break just before this. It's not a good response :(. I had to page back to check I hadn't skipped one. "It must be a current-life requirement" -- what? /in tact/intact/ /back pack/backpack/ Prnca -- mispelling, or did I just not notice it the first time? /sawy/sway/ "You can see this lingering shadow of fear in the eyes of people who have sky-dived and should not have, or in the soldiers of war who have been forced into hand to hand combat when they where not expecting it." /were/ "No amount of therapy usually cures this condition." "eye'd" again "I smiled to myself, shook my head and headed for the mess hall. The Commissary ..." -- This division tripped my "scene break" detector; it wonders why there's not a blank line here. (It's fairly sensitive detector :). /ground breaking/ground-breaking/ /space bound/space-bound/ "ole', or should I say young" -- are you sure about that apostrophe? What's been ommited there? "Ms. Brandon, who is always anxious to validate Space Ops undeserved confidence in her" /Space Op's/ or /Space Ops'/ "The latest mapping we've done hadn't yet been imported into the analytical computer base" -- over-complex/confusing "optical storage mediums" /media/. "They're replacing the optical storage mediums with backups to get it back" -- repetition of "back". "You really think that went unnoticed." missing ? "We are responsible for the rescues." "It is -extremely- prudent to always be careful of what you say on the Command Network." Double emphasis in conflicting directions :). "No Gos" -- what's a Gos? 'Go' needs to be delimited in some way, e.g. NO GOs. /initiation test/initialization test/ An initiation test sounds more like a hazing routine. "That’s +on+ a need-to-know basis. You don’t need to know." "That is apparently working just find." /fine/ "coup de resistant" /Piece de resistance/ "The translations" "I still think its prostitutes, but that doesn't fit either" /think it should be/. Oo, and /it's/ "a room full of active electronics consoles" /electronic/ "Maybe we are far." (elipsis spacing) hand.”Okay -- missing space … -- unicode elipsis character. inconsistent: could cause inconsistent rendering. Recommend just removing (replacing with normal period characters); they have very little utility. /marshal arts/martial arts/ "ice capades as they slip and slid their way home to get them" /escapades/. /slide/ "I pushed along the walls to the elevator and tapped at the open key." "zero G" -- yet another different rendering :). /space sick/space-sick/ There's a suspicious lack of heading markup on the chapter headings. I should be seeing HTML tags on them (for arbitrary values of "2"). "A place he would not want to be found." missing ? /head mistress/headmistress/ "His iron-trademark stare was sagging." /trademark iron/ He laughed. "It's instant. The water won't boil in the mess hall percolators. I guess you could call them one-G coffee makers." "How'd you survive being underweight?" (presumably missing line break) "If this thing is an air born, we've all been exposed already, anyway." /an air born/airborne/ /summery/summary/ “Navigation” -- missing . “And what happens when you loose navigation?” /lose/ "frozen gas": no. You might try looking those two words up in a dictionary. /god dam/god-damn/ "It's not impervious" -- normally things are impervious with regard to something else, e.g. "impervious to sarcasm". “No Problem.” -- capitalisation. I’m thinking maybe we can get out through the cooling fluid waste dump” -- missing . "We stealthed the darken corridors as safely as possible". /darkened/. And "stealthed" is bogus usage. "A few minutes later Perk hit me with his light on and off" /signalled/. (I assume that's a double-l -- this is UK English, right?) "Would it crash in on us, or come gradually up like in a sinking ship." missing ? "special gas to breath" /breathe/. Hey, what is it with that word and indie writers ;). (c.f. "Turing Evolved"). "We stepped passed our new friends" /past/ …. -- see, this is why I warned you about the elipsis character. I'm pretty sure using it joined to a normal '.' is a bad idea. "Why hadn’t I though of these things beforehand." missing ? "Using our weak suit thrust" /thrusters/ "With endearing patience" /enduring/, haha. "We made sure the pose suit-liner temperature control tubing, and telemetry connectors were secure." "What if he was much more powerful that expected" /than/ “Let me hang your weapon back on you. I got the satchel. Let’s go.” Come on. We’ll try this way.” (spurious quote in the middle) /crew compliment/crew complement/ ‘We need to set up without alerting the nervous guy who keeps running back and forth. We don’t want them swarming down here just yet.” (opening quote is single instead of double quote) "Not wanting to miss anything, I quickly willed myself back to consciousness." Dictionary time again :). "upward" -- in what frame of reference? "An instant later came something totally unexpected, nothing at all. Suddenly black, empty space, as though it all had been an illusion. But, it only took a second to understand. They had been running with antimatter. With the destruction of their antimatter containment, the antimatter had been let lose to devour everything. Mutual annihilation. Neutralization of all matter in equal proportion." -- hmm. "Not just shot one, fire-fight!" "Video-Tube". Heh. I like to think this isn't considered redundant because "tube" has been retroactively understood in the sense of "a series of tubes". "critical expendables" /consumables/ "habitat transition" (habitat is a _living_ place -- you mean something more like "medium") "too much laser was saturating the receptors" /laser light/ "had been set up in the best possible ways" /way/ "In addition to our other firsts, we would essentially be ballistic" -- don't think so "On the day pf departure" /pf/of/ "10:00 hours". Wrong - military time drops the colon. /hanger/hangar/ "I woke up on the floor. Everyone was down. Others around me began to wake. I climbed to my feet and quickly surveyed the area. No one appeared to be injured." heh I gave up running the "after the deadline" contextual spellchecker; it didn't seem to pick up much. That said, it would point out the overuse of passive voice. "Eventually RJ" /R.J./ /Accommodations/Accommodation/