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Prototype X: Conratulations on some excellent work Part I

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  • Prototype X: Conratulations on some excellent work Part I

    I was surprised by the front cover. I went to great lengths to avoid exposure to the cover and left it to my imagination. The artwork is great and I have to agree with Kirk’s description of it regarding pixelisation, which doesn’t detract from it at all. The content of the cover leaves me to wonder about it. Every time I look at it I’m thinking, WTF? What’s inside and how does it relate? The only thing I would suggest for future editions is to identify the volume and issue numbers. I find this cover suits the publication.

    The back cover is terrific too. I have always enjoyed that kind of color experimentation with photos. It’s the most psychedelic double-decker I’ve ever seen.

    The binding looks sturdy and I have no creases in the spine to date, though I have been handling the magazine gingerly. I do have a glob of glue at the bottom of the spine that isn’t presenting any problems of any kind, though I find myself desiring to pick it off.

    The first unnumbered page is all class with a DP customization on front and The Mustard Lid Press page on back. I was disappointed that he didn’t tell injury lawyers to fuck themselves.

    Page one, The Sheditorial, was an excellent piece of writing and I must say, identified this PX as avant garde, a synthesis of community, with humor and graciousness, a trademark of the publication’s douceur de vivre. On the other hand, Darren, the inky git, got the first color piccie in the magazine, and so deserves copious amounts of warts on his hindquarters to remind him that we are not all as handsome or winsome in our appearance. Looks a great deal like Stuart Copeland if you ask me.

    Content pages: absolute genius. Really flexing your muscles, eh, Darren? It’s not enough you’ve got a shed and good looks. Bound and determined to make us all look bad, eh? I bet you’ve got a rock with a sword stuck in it under a tarp in your shed too, eh? Git.

    The bios were stellar. Thanks very much for mine, I got a laugh. I very much enjoyed Lydia’s and I was moved by Lydia’s bio for Jerico. Matt Pearson forgot the sex() and really should have included that in a do/when loop avoiding all sex() opearations. Mordi, you’re going to catch a lot of flies if you continue to do that.

    “The Muscle Of The Soul� had me lost in the first couple of paragraphs. I hung in there. I do have one question. How did he drive himself along on that overhead track thing. Was that mind control? I’m thinking it was mind control. I loved that I couldn’t predict where we were going in that story Carter. You did a great job in describing the secret compound and I had a pretty cool visual going thanks to the illo at the beginning of the story.

    Page 11 has “Desert Boots� alongside those tower things. How abstract a pairing are those two pieces? They aren’t even a contrast. Neil, who are you describing? I think this page works because I think I understand what I’m reading, and I have no clue what I’m looking at. They don’t distract from one another.

    Lydia’s “A Short Conversation� is a clever flash fiction, which centers on two very nervous former lovers who consider the past while possibly connecting in the present. I noticed that the sections in bold seem to form a flash fiction of their own sans the back-story. I can’t help but think that the conversation in the parking lot doesn’t go much better. What do you say Etive? Do they get back together? Ahem, “scav� is short for scavenge: http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/s.htm. Dee’s got both characters looking very very apprehensive. What the hell happened to these two?

    LSN’s “Per Aspera Ad Astra� is Latin for “through rough ways to the stars� or “through suffering to renown� and in either case would seem to be a comical or ironic title of what actually takes place in the story. I feel it’s a character study in hyperbole with what might have slipped past others, some factual accuracy. Information workers will appreciate the bug being worked out of this program. That’s one freaky Hummer at the beginning of the story, and Dee’s tit-like latte lid suckles one “bad thread�.

    I liked “The Prodical Monad�. It is a cool bit that defies much of a description on my part. I’m glad it’s in there because it makes me think about being a part of something bigger than me. The opposite page bears a freaky skeleton and is a terrific counter point.

    I at first thought that “Death Of The Star Daughter� was a piece of fiction, until I got the photos at the end. Once I read the piece through, I was really shocked to understand that these guys were just getting kicked around in the sky as high as ten thousand feet! What a noise that must have been when they landed! Thanks for that dose of reality. Terrific pics too.

    “The Beatniks� flash fiction was cool, but I have to point out that the characters didn’t have beards. This pseudo documentary proudly incorporates Betty Boop eyes and Mickey Mouse hands. The only thing missing was George Bush’s crack pipe.

    The illustration on 28 is very interesting and reminds me of images I’ve seen in New Worlds.

    I couldn’t get into “Looking For A Name� and I suspect it’s because stream of conscious is difficult for me to enjoy. I can’t explain why, and I don’t feel compelled to criticize this piece.

    “A Whisper Of Stardews� uses words in a playful manner, though I don’t get any sort of message from it. It’s definitely a contrast to the afore mentioned “Looking For A Name�

    I got a laugh out of “Virtigo� and I very much like the retro robot image. Great work there, as the image of the robot emerging from the trip really provides the visual you almost get from the text.

    I enjoyed “Napoleon’s Civil Reforms� and was convinced that my earlier impression of him was incomplete. It was interesting to discover that the French kept slaves.

    It’s no surprise that the first story I read was Mike’s “Cascadia� and I was totally impressed with its density. The psychedelic trams were excellent and the Kirk and Duncan collaboration worked well. Look at those barkers, and Quelchie with his hands in the air. Who’s holding the leash?

    The page for “Ripples In Time…� is another job well done. You really pulled off the text changing color against the white of the snow and the blue of the sky. The content of the flash fiction is interesting and seems to be complimented by the image.

    Dr. Dorton and I spoke of his piece over the phone one day. He didn’t know it at the time, but I was feeling depressed and anxious. Anyway, what captured my attention in the piece was that he successfully creates a setting within the VA hospital that is very true to life. VA hospitals are very bleak places. I’ve spent plenty of time in them visiting and have come to learn that the inhabitants learn to be there, but not live there.

    I very much enjoyed “Deadsville� and the accompanying illo. I spent 10 years in Deadsville.

    ***Spoiler Alert***

    The countdown at the end of “Implant� was a great anxiety building device and I think it worked well. But I have to ask, were all the coma victims connected to the Hypernet at the time that the anti-virus was spread? The implication was that they were on the Hypernet, went into coma and were sent to hospital.

    ***End of Spoiler Alert***

    “Counting Chains� and the image next to it are an interesting match up.

    “The Flyer� was a great mind twist. When you see Dee’s WEJ, you’re so sure you know what’s up.

    Thusfar a ripping read. My rifle through the book has been making me salivate and there are so many pieces left to read. Can’t wait. If you find that you are offended by my opinion of your piece, please forgive me and remember it’s just one man’s opinion, and your opinion of your work and your appreciation of it seems to be the significant opinion.

    To Darren I say, bravo. Wonderful. Take a bow. Top shelf.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Wow!
    Er...thanks!
    You wouldn't fancy popping up to the NY Times, getting a literary review job, then writing all that again, would you? :P

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Prototype X: Conratulations on some excellent work Part

      Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
      “The Beatniks� flash fiction was cool, but I have to point out that the characters didn’t have beards.
      They must have fallen off in the post. Did you check the bottom of your envelope?

      Very through job you're doing there Berry. Keep it up... :)
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

      Comment


      • #4
        I awoke suddenly realizing I had a spoiler in my post. Apologies to those who had a story spoiled. I've fixed that now.
        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Prototype X: Conratulations on some excellent work Part

          Originally posted by Berry Sizemore

          ***Spoiler Alert***

          *deleted the text so you dont accidentally read it but you know what im talking about Berry*

          ***End of Spoiler Alert***


          I cant remember very well if I mentioned this but I think it may have been transferred via radiowave.

          EDIT : just checked and I didnt mention it in the story but I believe I intended the anti-virus to be spread by radiowave or something, not sure exactly how but probably their implant would act as a receiver (you can tell I planned this out well!).

          Thanks for spotting that one

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting feedback, Berry. Thanks!

            "Muscle" was one of the short stories from the first volume of the Invisible Tower Trilogy:

            Echolocation
            We Reign Secure
            The Sky-shaped Sarcophagus

            The first volume contains a couple short-shorts, a half-dozen stories, a long story, a short novella, and a long novella. The second two volumes are novels.

            P-X puts me into thinkng cap mode. 8)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
              or Carter or . . . because it would go to their heads, and we've got to live with these fellows in MM. I'm sure they don't need the praise, having well-developed senses of their own manifold excellences. :lol:
              LSN
              I thank you.

              My inner child thanks you.

              My inner Rod Steiger thanks you.

              He he he.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Prototype X: Conratulations on some excellent work Part

                Originally posted by Berry Sizemore

                Dr. Dorton and I spoke of his piece over the phone one day. He didn’t know it at the time, but I was feeling depressed and anxious. Anyway, what captured my attention in the piece was that he successfully creates a setting within the VA hospital that is very true to life. VA hospitals are very bleak places. I’ve spent plenty of time in them visiting and have come to learn that the inhabitants learn to be there, but not live there.
                I'm usually pretty intuitive about other people, but I missed the depressed part completely. I always think of you as so very positive that it failed to even cross my mind. You can send me to school, but you can't always make me think...

                Regardless, I'm betting that things are remarkably better now, given the exit from the belly of the beast :)

                As for VA hospitals--
                Bleak is, by far, the best word for them. I get very sad knowing that they are the last option, and often the last stop, for too many people. I wanted to capture a place that seemed a little hopeless and sickly sterile, and I remembered a VA hospital where I once volunteered while in college. Obviously, it left an impression.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I should add--

                  Reading about Jerico was a bit of a kick in the stomach, and then it made me smile. A lot. I miss him...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Carter Kaplan
                    I thank you.

                    My inner child thanks you.

                    My inner Rod Steiger thanks you.

                    He he he.
                    Somehow, I suspect it's the inner Rod Steiger in the ascendant.

                    LSN

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Even more to add (then I'll have to give a review worthy of Berry's efforts )

                      I told Kirk in private, but I shouldn't keep high praise between the two of us:

                      I loved the cover. It works in so many ways, and it captures the content between the covers very well. I had my copy on my desk at work, and I had people pick it up, at first just to look at the cover, and then to really look at the content. Some of these are people are completely oblivious to anything but their mobile phone ring tones, and they were interested. Some of these were highly educated professionals who have seen everything and aren't easily impressed. At each of these extremes and in between them, Kirk's work caught their eye, and the visual content of the inside knocked them out. Completely. Darren is a master at layout. I didn't even tell most of the people who became so interested in it that I had something in there. It didn't seem quite right. :oops: :)

                      More will follow...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I still had a copy, I'd be reluctant to keep it in my office, for fear it would be lifted by someone who noticed the cover.

                        LSN

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It certainly had something that made people pick it up. People really wanted to look at it, even those people who are usually so reserved they feel uncomfortable moving a chair closer to my desk.

                          Of course, it is now safely on my nightstand, where only my wife can steal it.
                          :)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, gents. The cover is a source of great pride.

                            I'll never forget reading Perdix's post in which he described "...a front cover for P1 involving the synthesised elements of a sabre-rotored Cierva C30 autogyro darting like a quicksilver dace through a pale azure background, combined with a winter dawn (photographic) image of the ruins of Ripley Priory..."

                            I had to first find out what a Cierva C30 was. :P

                            Of course, he never got his photo of the priory, so we went with a seventeenth century woodcut of said ruins, which worked quite well, I thought.
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doc
                              Darren is a master at layout. I didn't even tell most of the people who became so interested in it that I had something in there. It didn't seem quite right.
                              I have to say that with such disparate content an appealing synthesis has occured. I wasn't expecting it to mesh perfectly so I didn't have expectations for that. I was pleasantly suprised to see interludes appear between pieces where image gave us something visual to consider then something factual and then something experimental and then something more traditional. Everyone's pieces have gotten due exposure and find themselves somewhere in the riff that best fits. We have a lot to congratulate Darren on here and I can't wait to see the next fusion he lays down. I also await to see how each and every contributor stretches this time around. I think it's our mutual goal to make the sheditor's job as complex as possible.

                              I hope that those of you who feel experimental will be experimental in PX2. This is a real chance for us to break some ground in print. It's my personal aspiration to out do what was accomplished in New Worlds, even if I am perpetually equalling it or failing to miss the mark. Our collective synergy is one stroke toward the shore and I am glad to have my piece among your pieces.
                              The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                              Comment

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