My first "real" attempt at writing up a full SCP. Many thanks to uses of the chat and forums as well as reddit users DankidyDan2521 and HoneyBadger154 for helping me fine tune this.
Date: 26 Aug 2016 16:49
Number of posts: 25
RSS: New posts
This one has potential, but I don't think it's ready quite yet. Some of the prose in the Description is confusing, which should be cleared up. In particular, since the message is always "X IS NORMAL," that should be mentioned.
There were a few items I had issue with:
- Temperature should be in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. Kelvin would also be acceptable, but not required.
- Why "STARVATION" translates to low air pressure is not clear.
- The action report doesn't really tell us anything new. It could also be formatted more in line with some other articles, with more spaces between speakers.
The "█████████ IS NORMAL" test is amusing, but the redaction could be handled better. I like the first section: "the coating of ████████████ that formed on the walls of the test chamber" is an example of good redaction. We know what's happening, but are left trying to fill in the specifics. However, "all D-Class underwent ██████ of a Type-██ class" is less good, because we aren't given a hint as to what the problem was, or why, or why the Voynich Manuscript matters. In the first case, we learn enough to let our imaginations run wild. In the second case, we are simply left bewildered.
Finally, the repeating of some tests under these conditions with more D-class isn't really what we would do anymore. Once we know if/how it's fatal, we aren't going to sacrifice other people to it in the name of reproducibility.
All in all, the idea is solid, and the results are interesting, but there are still too many loose ends and a clearer understanding of what's going on would serve this piece much better.
Thanks for the feedback! I've taken a look at the "XXXXXX IS NORMAL" test and tried my best to clear up the redaction a bit. I also have looked over the prose in my description but, likely because I wrote it, i'm having issues seeing where the problems lie. Is there any chance you could point those out to me?
I agree with much the above. Switch to Celsius for certain. Also:
A project to use more invasive forms of sampling is currently awaiting approval.
A think a better word than project would be proposal.
Lastly, I say drop the recovery log. It doesn't tell us anything that you haven't already told us, and thus is just a bunch of MTF swearing at each other. The whole thing is unnecessary.
I really like this one, but it needs to be touched up. I'll hold my +1 for now.
OP thermometer isn't really doing much for me as a concept. But the bigger problem is the execution. The test log is an exercise in reinforcing a point that we're already aware of, over and over again. The over redaction and throwaway Voynich Manuscript reference made the last test especially silly, and it felt like an exercise in random spookiness for no real reason.
The recovery log doesn't make any sense to me. "MTF squad gets killed doing stuff" has been done dozens of times and is exceedingly predictable. But the way that the team is profoundly dumb about the nature of their work and the fact that they consist of Tough Military Guy caricatures (the repeated "lol hippies" stuff felt off) took this part from boring to actively bad.
There's also little details that are kind of off, but I'm on a phone and I can't line by line this. The two that stick out in my head are the tone breaking "meeting of minds at an environmental conference" and the bit about 200% specific humidity; I'm not a scientist, but I suspect humidity doesn't work like that.
Specific humidity is the ratio of water vapor to dry air, so a 200% specific humidity is possible (under laboratory conditions).
Admittedly, the more standard description of the condition is in grams of water per kilograms of air, so… it's not a great measure, but it is still something that can be represented by a percent.
Because it's daft.
That said, there could be scope for chills (NPI) if you had three test subjects and two step outside the room and number three sees them as they really are (burning to death), then realises he's burning to death too, he just doesn't feel it. That would be quite an "Oh bugger, I'm screwed" moment.
Anyway, ditch the recovery log. You know it makes sense.
Also neutral voting. Agree with previous critiques, but for me there's a larger-scope issue that I think would keep me from upvoting even if the rest were to be addressed: it never takes that one more step into the twilight zone. What I mean is that it never quite crosses from "thing that does something weird" into "thing which has ramifications I'll be thinking about all day" or "thing with a twist which legitimately surprised me and/or changed how I looked at it"
Hey, thanks for the feedback! I struggled with the same writing it, but eventually decided that what it was would be weird enough.
Did you have something in mind? I'm more than open to suggestions.
It's not really more weird I'm suggesting. What it's missing is more along the lines of a hook or a twist: something to tie it all together, and or punctuate the story. (It's the most frustrating part of writing if you ask me- I've got a couple drafts lounging around looking for their version of the same thing.) Just thinking out loud here, but maybe something with the "[X] is normal" phrase… maybe something isn't normal?
Due to feedback I have entirely removed the recovery log, made the redacted section a bit more clear, done a bit of general article clean up and fixed phrasing in a few places.