9 20 14 EMCSA Update

WITHIN: Graded primarily on heat and narrative
WITHOUT: Graded primarily on narrative
Possible spoilers below …

WITHIN
Nine to Hive (mc ff mf fd ft ma gr sf bd) (2 new chapters)  by Half Shim
–4/5 (pretty good, not perfect but enjoyable)–

The starting dream sequence was a touch over the top, but still more than interesting, it being within her mind. I find myself having mixed feelings about the choice of imagery in the prolonged dream sequence (medieval inspired), though, making this feel almost unnecessarily operatic. I’m not much for pomp and circumstance, making this not quite as suspenseful for me as was the intent. I think I’m more partial to something more personal: alone in a room with a banging at the door. However, the imagery in this conclusion does fit well metaphorically with the overall story’s events. There revelation of imagination climax did make up for the tainted suspense. No heat at all in the main conclusion; we’re teasingly forced to wait until Ending A! The concept of alternate endings her is downright brilliant, especially in how we’re led to it. We’ll have a chance to choose what we like the most, while ALL are possible, as was suggested all along. I for one enjoyed the choices made in A. She obviously has more will than most, while she was the preverbal square peg. So why not just take it all? A chaotic character isn’t one to take orders. Just look at Queen of Blades Sarah Kerrigan! Anyway, that “final” TF described in A is wonderful! This is likely to be the ending closest to Cowed’s ending, but more matured with greater depth. I’ll review Ending B in for the next set of reviews.
(Chap ReReadability: moderate / chap: conclusion, alt ending A)

Universe 8 (mc mf ff md sf) (new)  by InLeaves
–3/5 (decent, not perfect)–

Overall polished, but there were some typos and other minor glitches. Of course, this is a bit predictable, with or without the synopsis. I’ve watched and read a lot of sci-fi! Oddly, minus a couple significant exceptions, I tend to avoid biotech in my writing. Lest I start sounding snobbish, my major sci-fi inspirers (Lovecraft, Doctor Who, Star Trek) have suggested the pure mind is capable of more than the average computer! Anyway, not bad overall. May not have been as surreal as I was hoping, though. Not quite enough umph for me to follow, though.
(ReReadability: low / follow: no)

WITHOUT
Ten Years (mc mf md gr) (new)  by OpenlyJas
–2/5 (so-so, maybe a good story to others but didn’t mesmerize me–

Enslaved whores? Definitely not what I normally reach for! The writing was generally polished, albeit structured on the overly slow side with longer than average paragraphs. Interesting, but didn’t keep my attention all that well. Not much here of interest for me.
(ReReadability: Low / Follow: no)

Random Comments
Given a bit of patience at times, it is nice to see the completion of a story.

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