Friday Fictioneers: Into the Void

I pledgeTime for the Friday Fictioneers with another prompt from our Fairy Blog Mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

This week in action again: the Friday Fictioneers Concrit Subgroup.

This week, work was hell. And then there’s the NaNoWriMo… I’m still writing, since the purpose of this event is to actually write it down, instead of only ever thinking about an idea. Is it any good? Not at the moment. Not sure I’ll ever post it. We’ll see.

If you want to give constructive criticism for my story below… I wonder if I cut out too much? I’m not sure it still works. I’m posting anyway, I polished it as much as I could. There we go, another Plog post…

jhc5
Image Β© J Hardy Carroll

Into the Void

Original Version (if this doesn’t work for you, or you’re part of the C- subgroup, please take a look at the edited version below.)

DailyMartianOnline, 2049-315-23-13-55

Bradbury brings two-hundred new settlers and scientists, and a brand-new, state-of-the-art, ship hospital. All personnel required to schedule examination.

P-Log Gianna Scavo
–2049-334-23-13-55

Filed my official complaint today. I’m a chemist, not a settler. They can implant their frozen embryos into whichever receptive womb they want, but not mine. I decide when I get pregnant.

–2049-358-20-15-05

Scheduled my first implantation for tomorrow, resistance is futile (ha-bloody-hah). Force-born children are rumoured to be offspring of the rich and famous. Can I love such a child?

DailyMartianOnline, 2049-359-08-11-23

Bradbury exploded, details follow.

(100 words)

If the dates are confusing, here’s a document that explains. I haven’t formatted exactly to ISO standards, but close. It goes: Year-day of year-hour-minute-second. It’s supposed to be a time stamp automatically set by logs, publications etc.

And here is the edited version:

Daily Martian Online, 2049-11-11-23-13-55

Space Carrier MPCV Bradbury brings two-hundred new settlers and scientists, and a brand-new, state-of-the-art, ship hospital. All personnel required to schedule examination.

Personal Log Gianna Scavo, 2049-11-30-23-13-55

Filed my official complaint today. I’m a chemist, not a settler. They can implant their frozen embryos into whichever receptive womb they want, but not mine. I decide when I get pregnant.

Personal Log Gianna Scavo, 2049-12-24-20-15-05

Scheduled my first implantation for tomorrow, resistance is futile (ha-bloody-hah). Force-born children are rumoured to be offspring of the rich and famous. Can I love such a child?

Daily Martian Online, 2049-12-25-08-11-23

Bradbury exploded, details follow.

(100 words)

“How can this be?” you ask. The edited version clearly has more words than the original. It’s because I confused myself, and am using different programs. I’m usually writing in Scrivener, which is very, very strict with the word count (or easy, depending on a flash fiction or NaNoWriMo perspective.) It counts numbers, doesn’t accept hyphens as connectors etc. Sometimes I write in Word, which counts numbers, but accepts hyphens as word connectors. Looking at the same text in WordPress, I found that this isn’t counting numbers. I had 88 words in WP, 92 in Word, and 117 in Scrivener. So, until someone points me to the ‘official’ method of word count, for consistency’s sake, I’ll be using the one in WP.


The title comes from Black Sabbath: Into the Void


1024px-Freezers_for_cryopreservation_at_IMSCFeatured image: Open cryopreservation container connected with a tank full of liquid nitrogen for automatic supply of liquid nitrogen. The container temperature is monitored by a computer-based program.
By Lab of Ralf Reski (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralf_Reski) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Advertisements

63 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Into the Void

  1. I’ve read it a few times. I’m not getting it, I suspect. I take it Bradbury is a planet, though for a while I did wonder whether it was a person. And the numbering on the ‘log entries’ is not giving me any clues either. Are they dates, times? I’ll pop back later – more coffee for my brain. It’s probably just me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sandra, for pointing it out. The numbers are Dates and time, dates being written in year and day numbers. I’ve not formatted them precisely as described in a document from NASA, but close. I’ll put a link up for reference. The Bradbury is a space ship. I’m not changing anything with that just yet, want to see if others have similar problems. Then I’ll start to tweak…

      Like

  2. After reading the whole thing I realised Bradbury was a ship and the date system was fine for me (but I’m a scientist working in IT, we mess about with date formats all the time!).

    Sounds like they tried to implant the wrong lady. I’m sure she’s never found a better use for her chemistry skills :-). Nice bit of sci-fi (with chilling implications).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear GAH,

    As a Sci Fi lover, I did get this. I like the way you brought the scientist’s emotions into your log.

    C-personally I think there’s a better choice for the name of the ship than Bradbury which automatically put me in mind of Ray Bradbury. Or another suggestion if that’s what you were aiming at…USS Bradbury. And then at the end Online Martian Chronicle. πŸ˜‰

    Actually I’d love have seen this story end with the line “can I love such a child.” which would bring the scientist’s emotional dilemma into focus.

    However, as I once heard in a live critique group and never forgot, “In the end it’s your decision, Darlin'”

    All that to say, I like where you went with this. Not sure how it fit the prompt…don’t really care. πŸ˜‰

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle, heh, what fun this C is! Thank you.
      I’m glad you got where I was going.
      I did use the Bradbury intentionally because Mars (Somewhere else I also have a moutain range called Carter range, the name Burroughs may show up here or there, too. I can barely refrain myself from naming a character Dejah Thoris πŸ˜‰ ) USS Bradbury is an excellent suggestion–will have to cut a word somewhere, can’t outmaneuver the word count with hyphens there.
      If I stop with the sentence about the child, it won’t fit the prompt. πŸ˜€ After the explosion: all dead: graveyard. Not being American etc., graveyard and dead people was my first association when I saw the picture, not Veterans day.

      Like

  4. C- I had to read it twice to distinguish between the Martian newspaper entry and the chemists diary entry…but I got it. The “scheduled my first implanation…” threw me off for a second because i thought it was the entry of another person or the chemist had a change of mind. Again, the second reading clearing that up.

    Don’t like the idea of allowing scientists access to my womb- women have enough politicians and religious heads meddling already…..

    I liked the story overall and think it works well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not being a scientist or particularly into Sci-FI, i had to read this a couple of times. But I really like it. C – It would have worked better for me if the log entries had just been dates (I only got that they were log entries by reading the comments) but that’s because I think I’m a bit thick – I appreciate that changing them detracts from the essence of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that I could format the dates with somewhat clearer dates, not the day of year. I just did that because I thought it might be more universal, but that doesn’t really make sense. It’s more important readers understand the dates, because they’re part of the story. I think I tried to stuff a bit too much information into this, normally these log entries would each need their own title. I’ll keep this in mind for next time I write a Plog post. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

      Like

  6. I like the political aspect of this Sci Fi. This force-born (great term!) programme reminds me of real and horrific state-enforced programmes such as enforced sterilsation or one-child policies. Control of our own bodies and fertility is a basic right.
    This needs close reading and is worth it as it packs a punch!

    (Spaceship Bradbury…and then the ‘ship’ in that sentence is redundant (so the word count is fine) just to put us on track? I find the idea of USS a bit too Star Trek.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve made a few more edits, since my word count was confusing me, and called it MPCV for Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle, which is what NASA calls its new craft Orion. In this case, instead of crew, you could read carrier. I’m glad that it worked for you. Thank you.

      Like

  7. Filed my official complaint today. I’m a chemist, not a settler. They can implant their frozen embryos into whichever receptive womb they want, but not mine. I decide when I get pregnant. – Beautiful diary entry.

    After reading this a couple of times and all the other comments this became quite clear. I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It was an entertaining read. As a molecular biologist (and a sucker for space opera; reading The Expanse series these days btw), I had no problems getting your story. Although the dates confused me partially. I am still learning to write, so have no C to come up with yet…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ I’ve posted an edited version together with the original, the dates really don’t have to be that confusing. It’s not something interstellar where you would need some universal time frame, after all.
      Many of us are learning to write, me included. Telling me what works for you is constructive. Readers who don’t write can give constructive criticism, too. So, go right ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved this sci-fi flash, great take on the prompt but appreciated the added picture. C. I like the USS Bradbury too, great name for a ship going to Mars. And while I’m a sci-fi novice I assumed them to be dates based on Star Trek logs. πŸ™‚
    I’m doing NaNo, almost there, but wow, right now it’s nothing more than trash – hopefully the rewrite will salvage what I thought was a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ I’ve made a few edits and posted an edited version, where I called it MPCV Bradbury. I didn’t want it to sound too Star Treckish (even though I put two Trekkie quotes in there, I don’t think people noticed). MPCV stands for Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle and is the name NASA gave its new spacecraft Orion, which may fly to Mars some day. In the story, the C could stand for carrier, too.
      I hear you on the NaNo. You’re not alone. I’ll look for you there.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The graveyard. Which means: dead people. Like: blowing up ship, people dead. I’m not American or British, I’m German. Veterans day isn’t something we have here as a holiday (being the bad guys of both wars), so it’s not my first association, nor is the date. I’ve posted an edited version which makes it clearer, hopefully. Blowing up Ray Bradbury, nononono. πŸ˜€ Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I got and enjoyed it! Should I be confused??πŸ˜€. I am very confused about a lot of other things, people and our world – Paris. I think I understand why we are killing each other. So I guess I’m not confused at all. I am just sad. Sorry!

    Lily

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think one way to avoid confusion with the Bradbury space ship is to name the place they’re at…somewhere. Maybe at the top of the log. We know they’re settlers, but where exactly? The info on the dates and time helped. It takes some getting used to! Great job working with very intricate details. You bit off a lot for a flash!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I got it. Although I wasn’ 100% positive about Gianna blowing up the ship, that’s what I assumed. It always amazes me at how much can be conveyed in just 100 words. I guess less realy can be more.
    Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terry. Tell that to my characters in the NaNoWriMo… they yap, and yap, and yap–and don’t go anywhere. πŸ˜€ But yes, these 100 word challenges are a great exercise to focus on what’s essential. I’m glad you liked.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret. Gianna and this Martian idea is part of my ‘backstory’ for what I’m currently trying (with great trouble) to put into words at the NaNoWriMo. Not sure if I ever can show that to anyone, maybe after years of editing… πŸ™‚

      Like

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m not American, so Veterans day is not my first thought when I see a picture of a graveyard in November. Ship blown up: many dead people. Graveyard: many dead people. That was my association. Thank you. πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. It worked although I too wasn’t sure how it fit the prompt until your explanation to Rochelle. Amazing how these photos can send us in all different directions. C – the only part that made me stumble and have to read numerous times was the order of the phrase ship hospital. To me it should either be ship’s hospital or hospital ship. It just jarred somehow the way it is now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It was, it was. If Nasa the international astronomical union (I think they are the people who decide on names) wasn’t set on giving space places all these boring names and just asked SciFi fans, we’d have many interesting places out there. And Pluto would be a planet…

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s