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Chaos Theory by Rick Novy

 
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darkerma
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Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Chaos Theory by Rick Novy Reply with quote

What did you think of this story?
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precinctomega



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost stopped reading after the first two paragraphs, but I'm glad I persevered. The opening is stilted and self-consciously trying to get as much backstory out of the way as possible in one, long breath. I would have preferred the story without this - let the backstory unfold as it becomes important. And - if it isn't important - don't bother telling us.

I did, however, persevere and I liked the flow of the plot once the author found his rhythm. Rather than Groundhog Day, I saw this more as a revisitation to Faust - the spellcaster gets everything he wants, but finds it snatched away and unattainable thanks to his own greed and curiosity.

That said, the character's "wants" are rather disappointingly mundane - love and money. Might it have been more interesting to see him indulge his darker side? Had he always wanted to kill someone or explore hard drugs or engage a prostitute?

This might have led to a truer path of self-discovery that makes the attainment of True Love in the denouement a more climactic end.

There's also what I think is a mistake. In the final iteration, Vera says "I was wrong about you", when she hasn't met the hero in this iteration before he intervenes with the biker (and isn't a "biker" a rathe cliched villain?). Of course, it's possible that it's not a mistake. Perhaps we're dealing with an extended hallucination or Vera is a mystical figure somehow disconnected from the flow of time that the hero is experiencing. But, if so, we need more clues to that effect.

R.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beginning is slow, admitted.

I should point out that the sequence went thus:

1) First meeting with Vera used the loopback engine

2) Second meeting with Very did NOT use the loopback engine, therefore, all subsequent meetings are Vera's second encounter with David.

Regarding the mundane motivations, David still has the loopback engine in the garage. He could have some fun in a future story.

- R. Novy
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Saul2200



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also glad I kept reading past the slow beginning. Wonderful story. I'm not at all disappointed that he didn't indulge in his darker side, although I'd expect to see stories of a darker nature in Darker Matter.
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darkerma
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Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Darker... Reply with quote

Saul2200 wrote:
I'm also glad I kept reading past the slow beginning. Wonderful story. I'm not at all disappointed that he didn't indulge in his darker side, although I'd expect to see stories of a darker nature in Darker Matter.


Thanks for the comment. It's an interesting point. I think Chaos Theory is almost certainly the least dark story DM has published so far. I was conscious of that when I chose it, but I enjoyed it so much I couldn't resist. It's also worth pointing out that the name "Darker Matter" is not intended to indicate that the magazine only publishes dark stories - it's just a bias.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Ben
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