fs04 is at death’s door

16 03 2010

You are now leaving the happiest place on Earth. Come again!

This brings fs04 to draft complete status. In the end, I think it came together just fine — it’s plenty long, has a lot of terrific character moments, and wraps everything up in a bow. Importantly, it also sets the stage for the grand finale in fs05, which I’ve had outlined for some time. Still, let’s see if I can actually take a break for a few days without feeling like I’m useless and need to get back to writing immediately.

Feedback welcome, hope you liked this chapter. Twitterlators follow.

  • 10:21 Terrific. Rain, rain, and more rain tomorrow. Between that and DST making me drive in the dark and jetlag, it’s gonna be hell of a Monday. #
  • 17:29 I am unashamedly a fan of quick respawn 32 player 2Fort. It’s just FUN, even if it’s impossible to win. Get in, hit the action,no dull bits. #
  • 10:42 Got a weird muscle spasm in my outward left upper arm area. That’s a highly specific locale to be twitching. #BoringButTMI #
  • 12:57 Luddites. Honestly. *exasperated sigh.* #
  • 16:44 This is so unbelievably awesome. Best game ideas are the simplest. I wonder what other twists on 80s games are lurking? bit.ly/aJkUGf #
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14 responses

16 03 2010
Anonymous

Oh my God, JesseXGilbert is the BEST PAIRING EVER. Jesse had about five crowning moments of pure awesome. I counted. I really love the ending to this chapter. It’s all so perfect. Unfortunately, I sense that we’re gearing up for a tragic ending. I hope not, but that’s what you always seem to do. You keep your readers guessing.
Nel and Una were really adorable at the end.
I honestly wonder what Emily will think when she learns that Jesse is capable of love (or what counts as love for Jesse). I bet her thoughts will be “WTF”.

16 03 2010
storytellersjk

Hmmm… I know you’ve said you have an ending planned out for the series as a whole but you’ll pardon me if I hope that is some ways out. I’ll be honest if you announced you just wanted to tell stories in this world for the next 20+ years ala Pratchett and Discworld… Well I wouldn’t mind. Of course I doubt you ever would as you always seem drawn to new ideas and different forms of expression. Still one may dream…
As for the chapter itself, lovely little ending. As I said previously, while the plot developments in this one where hardly as unique as some of your previous works, the characters shined through and more than carried the day. Its amazing in just how few chapters you’ve made me fall in love with Jesse and Gilbert. Well it would be amazing if you didn’t do that sort of thing all the time. :) And hey take as much time as you want/need. (Aren’t you glad to get my all important permission :) I for one am always willing to wait for your works.
Off topic for a sec, about Pacman Battle Royal… Yes, please. Amazing, especially considering how ubiquitous fan made Pacman derivatives are out in the internets, that nobody has thought of that before. That’s one arcade port that can’t make its way to my PS3 quick enough. It just looks like so much simple fun.

16 03 2010
shachihoko

I’m almost disappointed at how deeply the parallels to The Matrix ran – but it was still a good chapter over all. Nice to see Jesse developing internally, too.
I do wonder how far things will have a chance to progress, both in terms of the storyline – aren’t they about done visiting the West Coast domes by now? – and in terms of how long Gilbert will survive. Of course, even if you’re finishing Forsaken Shores, there are other Anachronauts: Second Age stories to follow up on – like whatever’s happening with Benny and the “Mister” and their deal-making …

16 03 2010
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

The overall ending is a ways away.
The plan right now is:
* The First Age (setting up)
* The Second Age (oneshots and world exploration)
* The Forsaken Shores (a local threat)
* ?????? ??? (a global threat)
* ????? ???? (a ????????????? threat)

16 03 2010
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

They’ve got one more dome to deal with (Anchorage) so, yeah, Forsaken Shores is almost done. I will say that the Mister is our ‘uberbad’ for this plot arc, so we’ll be wrapping him up, too. (SPOILER: He doesn’t destroy the world)

16 03 2010
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I didn’t really count on so many JxG moments in this one; I was assuming this was more of an UxN episode. When I started laying out scenes and decided the turning point where Happiness opened up to them would be when it accidentally sent Gilbert into a downward spiral, the rest sort of worked itself out, though. Jesse was the only one who saw what was in the outside world, so while Una is usually the speechmaker, she wasn’t armed with the facts.
As for “Jesse distracts Gilbert to wake him up” I came up with that like an hour before I sat down to write. I didn’t have any idea how to solve that dilemma before. Go figure.

16 03 2010
kamalloy

I am amused that Jesse is either a Battlestar Galactica fan or at least knows the terminology.

16 03 2010
jengagne

Oh just directly bash the Matrix’s putting style over sensibility, why don’tcha.
;) It’s true though. Why keep all those membrane-skinned pods outside when
the weather is so clearly rough?
"tunnelswould" — add space. I guess they really ARE cramped.
;)
"paralell" — should be "parallel". A way to remember,
the parallel lines (ll) are first.
enemy automaton — he’s an enemy? I’m still confused about whether Jeeves
is in his usual robot body or got upgraded somehow (see earlier comments).
Or… is there another robot here too, given your comment about preprogramming?
SO KONFRUZ
"unflappable loon" — Oh, Jesse. :D
"cerebal" — "cerebral"
"lifespand" — remove D
How do they know the floor is between floors? @_@
"lie a hospital bed" — the whole lie/lay/laid always trips me
up, but I thiiiink this one is "lay"
"bouqet" — "bouquet"
"Eject him from Happiness." — does Una know this is possible?
And that the term for it, as used by outsiders and as Happiness explained
to Gilbert but not to Una, is "eject"? How about just "let
us leave" here. She also mentions "connection to Happiness"
but she doesn’t know that this is technological; it could be a magical illusion.
"rudementary" — "rudimentary"
Same with Nel — "let us leave Happiness, and bring us to him"
— but Gilbert is right here as far as they can see. Would she already realize
he’s physically far away? The scene works, but I keep tripping over this.
Woo, love conquers all. :D
"I have a word to say to you." — she must know some choice ones!
How about "I am going to have a word with you."
"survivng" — "surviving"
"medicene" — "medicine"
"I could do little to stop that." — more like, she did everything
she could to stop that. He did say they put up strong resistance on extractions.
"Fufill" — "Fulfill". Also, nice speech, Jesse. I had
expected this scene to be interesting, but it’s exciting too because of Jesse’s
confrontational nature.
Speaking of which, you know, Jesse thought of herself as a meek little girl…
but she’s clearly come into her own and actually has a lot in common with
Emily. If it’s true what they say about people being naturally attracted to
the people they want to be like… that explains a lot about why Jesse was
friends with Emily. (And Emily, being the Popular In-Charge Kid, had her own
reasons.)
Bwah, now Jesse is the proud owner of a zillion gallons of endorphins??
Heheheh…
So as noted, Una and Nel were on the other side of Vancouver, physically.
But I think it’s OK to skip over how they all got together again, got the
Mermaid back, etc. Happiness is going to do whatever Jesse says now, apparently.
"sheathe" — "sheath" again. No E on the noun. Also,
too many "its" in this sentence, makes it sound like the sword or
sheath has many arms. @_@
"I’m being serious. This is my serious expression." … okay now
I’m picturing David Tennant as Gilbert!
Yay, good chapter. :D So they are going to ask Emily to lift the dome, then? (based on Una’s speech.) Looks like the towers are harmless now, aside from defending the people inside. And Jesse could use her authorization to “distribute” those fluid tanks into the ocean.

16 03 2010
jengagne

And he’s working with Lilith too! So exciting. DOOM all around!

17 03 2010
marthrin

You know, ironically enough, by giving up it’s primary mission, that AI could find a more fulfilling role as an *actual* theme park/virtual world for people who were either paralyzed, deathly injured, or permanently maimed.
A theme park of that sort could be a safe and fun world for kids who are bedridden with various problems.
That sort of life could be very fulfilling indeed.

17 03 2010
jengagne

We’ll never know, but I wonder what the original occupants of the tower were like on their home world. Whoever made it seems to have had at least some dim sense of ethics if this was their “humane” solution.
Probably they were either bred for it over countless generations and essentially domesticated. I find myself imagining that if humans are the dominant species there, it also might have been part of their penal system, or maybe they had volunteer visitors who would go there on a mental vacation (and then either decide to stay, or go home)… It’s a mystery!!
I’m probably reaching with the idea that people could freely come and go, but then again, we’ve also seen that she does let the people who don’t want to be there go. So, hey. If there were an accessible outside world for them to return to, they’d be able to.

17 03 2010
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

That’s one thing I like about this design — it’s totally ambiguous as to who built the thing, why it exists (other than generating the drug, I mean) or what the conditions of its Earth were like. I leave it all as an exercise to the reader. I like to think that’s not laziness *cough* but more pointing out that in a lot of cases, the Pandora Event left behind inexplicable things that will forever remain mysterious.

17 03 2010
jengagne

I’d say that’s one of the beautiful things about fiction in general. If it doesn’t HAVE to be explained for the story to hang together, you don’t have to. If you do need to provide some backstory, you can keep it minimal, or just enough to be believably intriguing.
Laziness would be if a super-simple logic trap could defeat Happiness. As it was, it took a lot of insisting for Happiness to admit the reality of the current situation — and she’d already spent 200 years pondering just that, no doubt, so it’s believable that she’d finally cave in when given the excuse of someone presented as an authority figure.

12 01 2011

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