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Wake Up Dead

 
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hboff
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Joined: 25 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Wake Up Dead Reply with quote

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Wake Up Dead
Posted by Archangel_7 (x_archangel7_x@yahoo.com)
4 July 2008, 3:49 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Archangel_70704080349071.html
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Mark25
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
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Location: Single and seriously pissed

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was excellent; fluid, robust and even poetic by some degrees. You captured the scene well, conveyed meaning for an otherwise meaningless existence and generally left me with a sense of all that is wrong with warfare. The dreaded uncertainty, without any choice, without any hope or comfort.

In fact, I reckon if you changed the scene for something more real world and swapped the natural cycle of the seasons for the 'sands' of time, the resonance would remain the same.

One gripe, while I appreciated the full circle of the morale, a single line (one of the best lines in fact) was repeated too close to the change-over:

Quote:
As far as he knew his rifle was the only thing keeping him alive. The entirety of his existence was consumed in the moment, the only feeling being the kick of the butt against his shoulder, the only sound being the crack as he pulled the trigger.


Quote:
The only thought in his brain was to run, and keep on running. As far as he knew, his feet were the only thing keeping him alive. His entire existence was consumed in the moment, the only feeling being the feeling of his feet kicking against the wet snow, the only sound being that of his own erratic breathing.


I get the throb, the re-use, the 'turn around' if you like, but I felt in the first instance it was fantastic, in the second it felt cheap; even if the rest was ultimately sound. You could have let the readers know of your deliberate repetition. Maybe:

Quote:
Once more his entire existence was consumed in the moment,


Other than that, you did a grand job dude.
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Lord Beleth
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Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 46
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice job, and I like how you just didn't go over board with the battle scene. Loved the conclusion too, gives you a good sense what is going on in his head. And by the way, it reminded me of Band of Brothers in a way.

Great story, keep'em coming.
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"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all." -Isaac Asimov
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Azathoth
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Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 578
Location: South Africa. Fooken creatshas.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, excellent, a story with a nice calm peaceful Zen opening. It's always promising when the first sentence of a fic draws you in, not with action and excitement but with the beauty of language.

You wrote:
Corporal Willman had met this day with a grimace on his face.


You also wrote:
Private Ramirez had met this day with cold eyes and a look of terror forever stricken on his face.


I'm a sucker for the literary parallelism. In fact, these whole sections are most interesting in their parallels; repetition can be far more effective than originality in the right circumstances. We go on and on about how originality is a virtue in literature, but at the same time, it can also be crippling if overhashed.

All in all, most excellent. A chilling little piece on the unpleasantness of war.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was a great piece, Archangel. First, you set the scene beautifully. As a Canadian, I am fully aware of the beauty of a wintry landscape, and you captured its appeal perfectly.

Moving to the action, you depicted the fast, frenetic energy of war perfectly, the narrative seeming to speed along right with Corporal Willman. The noise, the movement, the heat - it all came together to paint a scene of confusion and terror which fit perfectly with the context.

The motif of repetition was suitable, I found, and worked well with this story. Afterall, the piece was clearly not about this particular engagement or even necessarily about the characters. Rather, this was an intimate examination of war and its effect on different people. There was no grand strategy described; this was simply a group of guys trying to survive, knowing whether they lived or died was based far more on luck than anything else. And that's a terrifying notion to the Western mind.

Great stuff, Archangel. Man, I don't envy Ford for having to make the choices this week.

- Arthur
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