First in a series of four (episodic) tales about Project Manager 'mister glass', Qi Shao, and Omicron-Rho task force members.
Date: 02 Mar 2016 18:44
Number of posts: 11
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I like the fact that the OP/Oneiroverse is starting to come together a bit - the dream logic is still there, but there are characters now, and some basic rules are evident.
There were a few things here that I took multiple reads to work out - who the non-quotation mark voice belonged to, and why Ham knew about the Foundation. And I think the writing was a little rough at the start (just some mildly jarring things like using the names in the first two pieces of speech, ending sentences with prepositions, lots of adverbs and phrases like "content confusion") but it came together more as the story went on.
A minor point - I suggest listing this ahead of Black Lotus on the contest page, as it appears to occur chronologically before that story.
I ultimately enjoyed this and the picture I've taken away from it, and there are some cool ideas in it, but I spent a large part of the time reading it not knowing what the hell was going on. It wasn't clear to me who was putting drugs into who, or which dream avatars mapped onto people, or who was waking up, or what exactly was going on with the p zombies?
If you were going for a hectic, cinematographic fast-cut kind of storytelling intermixed with dream-logic technical interventions… I mean… it had that effect, but didn't provide enough exposition to keep me aware and invested before the next jump.
As with Black Lotus… I think dream logic makes a lot of sense and it made #Xiupania the individual article I like the most out of all MTF-ones so far. But while not in a dream world, it feels unfitting to still have the writing so complicated. It also weakens the impact that dream logic can have. Since the MTF apparently has a hard time after waking up, things can be weird during that phase of course.
Just as an example (which you can totally blame on me for not reading with enough care, of course) when the team enters the dream together, there is no mention of them starting the process in the real world, or what it looks like when they do it. So people just appear in the dream, with different names and looks, and the oneiroi popping up in the middle of it.
I might address the other points later but the method they use to enter a person's subconscious is intentionally left vague as a stylistic choice. I don't really have any plans on changing that, because I think not knowing is more interesting than any method I could come up with.
I initially thought the beginning was a dream, because while that scene might have made sense in 1816, in 2016 having an unconscious person as a sort of side-show display wouldn't go over so well. It was incredibly confusing to understand what was going on even in the non-dream parts. I don't mind the dream-parts being somewhat incoherent — it goes with the territory — but that just makes it all the more important that the waking parts be clear.