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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jbezar
Review Requests: ON
6 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I doubt my reviews are useful: I'm not methodical and don't use a template, I'm blind to technical issues, and I'm subjective when it comes to characters and plot.
I'm good at...
I believe the best reviews come from your target audience, so if you write science or paranoid fiction, I will gladly give your story a try.
Favorite Genres
Sci-fi, Technology, Psychology, Drama, Detective
Least Favorite Genres
Fanfiction
I will not review...
Poetry
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by J.B. Ezar
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi, Linn Browning ,

I saw your call for brainstorming partners on an FSFS writing forum and decided to read some of your works before mustering the courage to reply. I like hard logic in science fiction, and I was happy to find it in yours.

I’m a little sceptical about writing on command, but this was a fantastic read for something coming from a prompt. I would have loved to see more plot here, but you managed to pack a lot into 803 words already. Was there a limit? I wonder what can you do if there were no constraints.

Your skills in worldbuilding are impressive. While I had to wonder whose milk it was in that omelette, or what kind of interspecies intimacy form they engaged in that night, your science made perfect sense. I liked how egg-laying carnivorous mammals almost sounded improbable to Noah, and I chuckled reading that description of aviamorphs.

Overall, it was a funny and well-written vignette, with clever dialogues and nice pacing. Well done.

Cheers,
J.B.
2
2
Review of Volleyball Game  
Review by J.B. Ezar
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I clicked on “Read and Review” today with a firm determination to read and review. I’ve made many attempts to do so this week, but nothing moved me enough to go beyond the first paragraph. Then I found this.

With my eyes unfocused, I noticed a couple dozen 'Christopher's, usually not a good sign. I stumbled on two 'blazing's and a pair of 'desperately's so close to each other, I sighed. Then, fortunately, the editor that had been tearing apart my novel for the last two months got distracted, and I could dive into the story.

And what a story it is!
Two worlds, separated by a chasm. A bridge that connects them is never used, protected by an impenetrable barrier of mentality. Spiteful, angry men, despising everything beautiful, refuse to even try to cross over, engaging in pointless labour, tripping over each other, choosing to suffer as if there were no alternatives. A beautiful allegory, even for those who aren’t religious. This story, despite being shown from the point of view of someone who is damned, is full of hope: salvation is obtainable, failure is not finite, love is acceptant.
Beautiful, beautiful story.
3
3
Review by J.B. Ezar
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

I love your style, snappy short sentences, nothing unnecessary, every word is there for a reason. Your dialogues are hilarious. "Pretend I can’t read", "What, from a leg bank or something?", "He’s not charging by the hour, is he?" (I'd rather stop quoting, or I end up retyping every line). If I had to be picky, I'd suggest changing the dialogue tag here: “He didn’t have a spare one,” Joe complained. Another place I stumbled on was ...he said tapping the offending leg - well, it was actually being very helpful, but you get the point.. I know this is not what this is, but this feels like the first and only time we hear the narrator's voice.

I like your pace, how we slowly discover the world Joe lives in and its staggering absurdity: its laws and jargon, and the selective technological advancement coupled with same old bureaucracy. The world seems wast thanks to those little details like the Navy man's signature cursing. I love the concepts you've coined here: six-part body paradigm, autonomic retirement rules, all those smart prosthetics. I love the jolly attitude your character maintains throughout the story, the only way anyone can survive in a world like this. And then comes the part I love the most about this piece: how random pieces of rather unfortunate coincidences form a perfect (happy, in this case) ending. Brilliant.
4
4
Review of Different  
Review by J.B. Ezar
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Chris24 ,

I’ve read this story before but haven’t reviewed it at the time. I don’t know what stopped me. It’s possible I was overwhelmed by the complexity of WdC being new to it, or perhaps the story was too YA for my liking. But I saw your name again on an FSFS forum, recognized “Different”, and gave it another shot.

Overall, it’s an interesting take on the robots taking over the world theme. I like your pacing, the way we slowly discover what makes your main character different. I like how your narrator is slightly detached when presenting the facts. Her reactions are universal, her wish to belong is easily recognizable. All robot stories are essentially an attempt to understand human nature. She tries to connect with humankind, but it’s the connection to her roots—another robot—that inspires her to find the ultimate solution. And in this solution, she reveals to be very human—immature and self-centred.

There’s an aspect of this story that bothers me. I see how this is an allusion to early attempts at inclusion, but why would an android attend school? To find friends? To experience what it’s like to be human? To understand emotions? Certainly not for academic achievements. She says, her father made her “for something more”, so how putting her into an inefficient routine of attending classes where teachers could never reach her level is helping? I recognize that without her being bullied at school, the story wouldn’t be the same. But something—a tingle of a backstory maybe, more hints of her father’s plan could smooth out these concerns.

You have a very impressive portfolio, and I will definitely take a look at another of your items.

Cheers,
J.B.

5
5
Review of Accelerate  
Review by J.B. Ezar
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Oh boy, this is the kind of story I love.

The central concept is established quite soon, the title hinting on it quite heavily. It opens a lot of space for exploration, fueling all the what-ifs I like so much in science fiction. It’s full of small details that give credibility, like slow television screens rendering pictures, or sluggish money counting machines. But there are also aspects of the portrayed effects of relativity that seem questionable. Would there be accelerated healing? His whole body has entered a new mode of speed, meaning all processes in his body appear normal to him, but not to the outside observers. Realistically, the first noticeable clue could be something that is already high-speed in the outside world, like a change in a familiar high-pitch sound, or perhaps his own reactions, like catching a falling object. There’s no way his heart rate or other physical functions stayed the same. His attempt to move slowly could have fooled people at first, but could he convincingly slow his speech? Before he accelerates to the point the whole world freezes, people should still be able to see his blurred shape (like we see the blur of hummingbird wings), so it’s quite improbable that Dr Megana didn’t see him take the bottle. And there’s this whole question of interacting with inanimate objects. If he picks a coin and gives it his own acceleration, it cannot just freeze when he lets go of it.

While I’d love all these details to be more scientifically accurate, this story is essentially not about physics. It’s about a man who goes from a guinea pig, through pickpocketer and a bank robber, to almost a hero. Only by withdrawing from the world he is able to forgive it. Only in his final moments, he can accept the meaning of his name.

It goes beyond that. This story is about all of us, about the journey we take, the one of searching for meaning, for a purpose, for someone to understand us. It’s a story about ageing. It doesn’t matter if the world accelerates around us or freezes; slowly, we all slip out-of-sync. And the written word is what makes our life meaningful.
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