I've read the draft and its revisions many times, and this by far is the best iteration. I still feel strongly though that the density of the scientific language in this article detracts from the narrative. I like the addition of the chem teacher interview and i thought that defunding STEM was a very clever way to deal with the issue. I still feel that the object is very difficult to visualize and the story behind it very unclear. The best parts of this are the interviews. I feel like if you gave them more weight and pulled back on the chemistry this could be really successful.
Date: 27 Sep 2016 01:17
Number of posts: 12
RSS: New posts
Holy smokes, you didn't spare us any details, huh?
I like the basic idea of some material/entity that's trying to reconfigure chemistry so e- shells are full at seven rather than eight. I like that you've clearly thought a lot about how this would work and play out, which has helped you to write a convincing and plausible article. I like the tone, which is absolutely spot on.
However - there's no getting away from this - you wrote way too much! A lot of the time, you're just repeating the numerology again and again with minor twists, and it's not helping to make the article more entertaining. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty impressed intellectually by the sheer amount of detail and terminology, but it also makes it a slight chore to get through.
Paring and boiling it down to its fundamentals would have made this a much nicer read. You could have done all of the following and reduced the convincingness by maybe 10% but improved the entertainment value massively: You could have gotten rid of at least one of the sub-designated objects; you could have been a little more economical about where and when to use the scientific terminology; you could have been less exhaustive about precisely how these objects interact with all these different substances; you could have been less exhaustive in describing the physical properties of these objects; I think you could have got rid of the discovery log.
Also, when this article takes a turn for the psychological, that was… surprising, to me. It feels like a big departure from the rock-hard science you built up so effectively in the first half. It's much less convincing than the physics and chemistry. It's like you forced it in because you felt it had to be more viscerally spooky, but I think it would have been a fine article without the mind-altering element. Having said that, the D-class log has nice dialogue - a good 1 sd above in quality compared to most of the stuff we see here - and the ending with the guy holding up eight fingers and saying "fuck you, how about eight" was darkly hilarious. Really liked that line. But again, the whole log could have been shorter, and I don't think the chemistry teacher suicides are bringing much to the table - it's just repeating the same kind of point.
To conclude: you've got a great knack for coming up with interesting ideas and fleshing them out with good, hard sci-fi, which is a wonderful skill to have on this site - just don't let it run wild! And be a little harder on yourself about cutting your writing down. (Says the guy who's constantly posting extremely bloviating comments like this one.)
edit: correcting autocorrect
I could get rid of a couple "clever" details about -1 and -2 without affecting the story. Also, I agree -2 doesn't really do anything. It's just there as the inverse of -3, it makes sense it would exist. But I'm not sure there's enough here to tell people why, and I don't want to add a clear explanation of it.
So, I may do either of those things at some point, and maybe get CirclesAndSquares to like it too :p
Thanks for your feedback!
The beginning is dense as all hell, but provide sufficiently weird buildup until the last parts. It's a bit disjointed still, jumping from hard chemistry to containment log to related AOE psychological phenomena. That said, it's well written enough for me to enjoy, so props for that. Updoat.
You know that "atomic number that ends in 8" and "atomic number that ends in 7" are base-dependent, yeah? Whether something's a multiple of 8 isn't base-dependent, but whether its last digit is 8, is. That screws up whatever logic you're implying here.
There is a back story to why that matters, but without revealing everything I'll just say the logic is screwed up on purpose.
Well, that activity would be of great interest. Because clearly it's not about electron shells - that's just a symptom of the underlying problem.
I very much approve of the scientific rigor, though. I had no trouble with following it, even though the numerology vs. chemistry issue does make a glaring hole. But in case you're wondering, yes, that glaring hole is deliberate, the real reason this is an SCP, and why we shouldn't mix science with pseudoscience.
I read this in chat, and loved it, and I read it here and loved it.
I have to disagree with ButtFranklin here, I think the density of the scientific information served to highlight how the mind-screw of the SCP itself contradicted the clinical nature of the containment. I also think that the verbosity serves to highlight just how strange, and varied the effects of this skip are.
I already discussed about how the costs would be astronomical containing this, but that's certainly not enough to detract from an upvote. The Foundation does significantly more ridiculous things.
I have to admit you didn't really hook me until the psychological effects. That it inspires both love and hatred in equal measure is really quirky, and I enjoyed watching that in effect in the incident log. Up until that, I was just sort of marveling at the dense science bomb that is the containment procedures and description, and the fact that this thing cares about 8s. I think if you dropped the suicide bit at the end, you wouldn't lose any effect, but neither would I necessarily urge you to. Just a thought. +1
No vote. I normally like when an article gets technical and uses good, accurate, scientific language but this was too much for me. That being said I can't in good in good conscience downvote it because I know it's largely my own personal preference, and isn't a negative reflection on the quality of the article.