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Seven Days: Conclusion

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Joined: 25 Jul 2004
Posts: 4377

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Seven Days: Conclusion Reply with quote

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Seven Days: Conclusion
Posted by SeverianofUrth
10 December 2009, 10:01 pm
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Arthur Wellesley

Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 306
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... I'm trying to find a way to leave a comment as thoughtful as this story was, but I doubt I'll be able to.

This was really, trippy, Sev. Almost disorienting, but in a great way. Clearly it was meant to be: this was not only about dying but about fading away. I've always thought the most tragic thing in the world would be to die knowing there would be no one who would even care. Even more terrifying is the thought of dying knowing that humanity would die with you.

This was a relentlessly depressing piece, accomplishing a lot in a very small space. It was like a glimpse into a dying mind, complete with flashing memories and hopeless grief. And it was all expressed so well. I really do love your style: evocative yet concise, unpretentious yet almost poetical. It is unique and very effective, allowing the reader to feel precisely what you intend.

I really loved this bit, by the way:

Whiskey doesn't age in a sealed bottle, he thought. At least, not well. A taste from fifty years back, a peaceful time, when he was but an infant. The time of giants and heroes, the time where his parents were alive and there was no such thing as nightmares or death or horror or despair--

I know exactly what you meant by that feeling. It is very eloquently expressed, and very sad in context.

Great job, Sev, though I'll miss the mind-trips that Seven Days always offered. Tell me you have something else planned.

- Arthur
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. - Napoleon
Current Project: Vestal Flame. Current Word Count: 27,017
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IRC Channel Operator

Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 435
Location: UNSC Frigate September

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I really don't have much to say. This was excellent, Sev. Of what I've read of Seven Days, all of it has been excellent, and this wraps it up brilliantly. The last scene was downright tragic.

Great work, and congrats on finishing!
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Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 481
Location: Dumb posts & crap stories

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys! Four years for what, 30,000 words? Laughing Oh well, I'm just glad it's over. Glad you guys enjoyed it, thanks for the kind words, Arthur, kr.
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Joined: 29 Jul 2004
Posts: 1000
Location: Grand Rapids MI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A surprisingly consistent tone for a story written in short chapters over several years. It started pitch black and somehow managed to end that way as well. And with plenty of pitch black in between.

You see, when one goes blind, it's not just about losing sight--it's also about losing what makes you a part of humanity. That shared experience, of seeing, is lost, and in turn you join the small fraternity of the sightless. Your world loses all luster and gains in echoes and scents; sounds from distant places and smells from small things all permeate and envelop you.

Although I didn't quote your entire opening section, the following comments are meant for it as a whole. I have a folder full of plot ideas and/or possible story openings. This sounds enough like one of them that I think I'd have to change it up a bit if I ever posted it. Love this stuff. Taking a close look at the beginning and end of everything that is you, that makes you who you are. Probably one of the reasons so many philosophers end up depressed and suicidal. I think writing about such things in fiction gives you the ability to examine them at arms length and even give you a therapeutic—albeit delusional—feeling of control. I'm certain that's one of the reasons I write about death as much as I do. Nicely done.

Some were carried alive into the ships.
Their language, hemorrhaged into strange machines, then discarded like husks of corn.

Interesting. Not the sort of imagery the reader is expecting. For me, that made it much more effective.

This is a memory. Back on Earth, when I was nine and you were eleven--going into the Lochaber Caves. Artificial rock formations glinting with nanotech lights embedded into the stone. In the complete darkness of the echo chambers. Then the darkness suddenly split by the living lights, little globes of squid-eye halogen lamps. Pulsing jellyfish formations swimming along the dark man-made rivers.

I really liked this part. This memory feels real because it is just the sort of thing that you might remember years later. I went on a tour of the Mammoth caves years ago with my family, and I still remember the lights going out and "seeing" a nearly complete absence of light for the very first time.

Some people have boundless energy, passionate, like matches that refuse to go out: burn away they must, but till the end, they burn bright, and Jojola knew he wasn't anything like that, he'd flicker into nothing at the first breath of wind.

Nice. That makes this guy different from just about every other main character in fanfiction. Generally, even when they start out weak or with doubt, they become Han Solo or Luke Skywalker by the end. One thing I like about your fics is how you let your characters fail. You don't seem to worry about how accessible they are. I just watched the director's cut of Payback and some of the things that the studio was worried about (and consequently led to the director leaving the film and someone else writing and filming an entirely new third act) made me laugh. They complained that the main character wasn't nice enough, that he didn't get everything he was after and that—I kid you not—the dog who was killed fighting off a bad guy should have lived. I'm guessing those aren't the sort of things you worry about.

He finally tore the wrapping off and twisted off the cap. It came off with a satisfying pop.

Something was wrong.

He sniffed it. It smelled like rubbing alcohol.

He drank. It was a small sip. It burned his throat and he coughed in the dark, and he cried, because shit, he'd gotten robbed like the little fool he was.

And so it ended.
Screwing with the reader right up until the end. Brings a tear to my eye.

I've been a fan of this series. I'm sorry to see it end, but also glad to see it finished—if that makes any sense. HBOFF will never want for stories about heroic figures kicking tail and dispelling darkness, but few people are willing to go or even talk about the places you take us. Your varied and maddeningly random fics share a visceral edge that makes them fun to read.

Still waiting for something longer and more involved from you, whether it's Halo or not. Keep me posted. Seriously.

C.T. Clown
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