Reviews for Möbius
Krystal Watters chapter 1 . 12/20/2012
I'm not sure what to think of it. My biggest problem is that it doesn't have a "plot" in the war a story should.

Interesting tone, though I didn't get the metaphors.
Complex Variable chapter 1 . 10/24/2012
[Do you know where you are? This is infinity, you child – an indefinable point on the timeline of forever. And you are here too.] - - - "infinity, you child" sounds really weird in my ears. Why not "Do you know where you are, child? This is infinity – an indefinable point on the timeline of forever. And you are here too." ?

Style: I like your writing style; your inner poet comes out in your prose quite often. This is both a good thing, and a bad thing. Good, because it makes your prose utterly delicious; bad, because it sounds/reads like the surreal, nonsensical (but very, very beautiful) rants of a paranoid schizophrenic. It took me about halfway through the story before I realized that the "you" being referred to was "me," the reader. This would make for a great poem, I think, but it is too... abstract for a prose "story". There are no characters, there is no distinction between dialogue and narration—and it's complicated all the more so by the second-person "narrative" of this story.

Plot: Maybe it's just me being me, but I am highly uncomfortable with things that I do not understand. Normally, I just keep working at trying to understand the mysterious thing until I make a satisfying breakthrough, but, the sparseness/shortness (non-existence?) of this story's "plot" is highly perturbing—perturbing in a good way, but perturbing, all the same. This feels more like a prose poem than a story; it's "plot" is not actually any event or sequence of events, but an emotion or a mood.

Enjoyment: I mean this in the nicest way possible, but... WTF? XD This is a lovingly written piece of prose—it's very beautifully written—but it makes about as much sense to me as the Continuum Hypothesis does to the layperson. Also—in case there's any connection between the "whiteness" you talk about and the "whiteness" of the computer screen, I read on FP using white text and a black background. XD I am certain would be able to enjoy this piece beyond my attraction to your writing style if I actually understood what you were saying—even just FEELING like I understand what you were saying would help a great deal. Also also, if you don't know what the Continuum Hypothesis is, go look it up. Considering that your piece seems to be about infinity—or something—it's actually somewhat relevant. Being a math person, your references to math-y things—infinity, Mobiüs, etc.—things that I am very used to thinking about—were the parts of the story that I tried, and failed, to grab onto, simply because the literary approach you took was at odds with my mathematical understanding. I don't know if any of this is relevant/helpful, but it's what's coming onto the page at the moment. Consider it as much of a "response" to this work as it is a "review" of it.
ChaiBrad chapter 1 . 8/31/2012
Diction: The word choice you used really brought a lot of depth to the story despite it being short. The only issue I had with this section was the use of "terminal velocity". It had me, as a reader, stumble a little on an otherwise flowing sentence because it means to fall down at a certain speed that conflicts with your "fall upward". But I do get what you were trying to convey in choosing it.

Plot: You stayed very true to the plot and made everything you wrote entirely devoted to executing it. The plot is one that has been written on many times but your take on it was very refreshing and unique. It can be a hard task for many and I appreciate, just like how musicians make playing their instrument look easy, how you make sticking to the plot look easy when it most likely could have taken years of practice to be good at it.

Technique: The story is made with a poetic look and feel to it that only enhances your story and brings a subtle insight to your purpose in writing it. With the risk of sounding pre-sumptuous I can tell that it was the only way to appropriately convey your thoughts on the plot in a way that's familiar to your personality.

Enjoyment: I really enjoyed reading your piece. It had me thinking on the fact that when people die, they die alone. It also brings forth the fact that the living know nothing about being dead until they actually are and we can only speculate what it's like if it's like anything at all. I like the deepness of the story especially when it's so short.
Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 8/24/2012
Hello, here is my review for winning WCC – sorry, I’m like a year late.

TONE: I both liked and disliked the narrational tone your piece. On the one hand it read like a “voice over” which I like for uniqueness and style. However, getting into the style while reading it the first time was somewhat confusing, but mainly because I had to get used to it, and the VOICE was all there was, there was very little outside influence in the reading. I really like how you continually used the use of “left” it made me think of ways not often traveled, left being a direction, as opposed to right, which is “right” you know.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS: I loved the way you broke up your stanza’s here. I love the poem/prose hybrid that you’ve captured here, because I think the voice isn’t entirely poem, or entirely prose, but a very happy medium. I also liked the usage of short verses long verse in your form, it complemented the mood of the piece and created a since of movement, and because so much of the work is about the action of looking, I thought that the way it was portrayed here was particularly strong.

WORD PLAY: Again, I like how you utilized left, rather than right. I liked the commanding tone of the voice. How the narrator was constantly telling them to look. It makes me think that the person doing the looking is either oblivious or perhaps shell-shocked from the experience of death/destruction/rebirth that they’re experiencing. It made me think of the other narrator as a father time figure which I really gravitated toward. All very unique choices. I really liked phrases like: “the unkind murderer of the conscious.” Really lovely image here. I like the pairing of unkind murderer and the idea of the death of “conscious” even though it appears that they are still within some form of alertness and knowing.

ENJOYMENT: Overall I enjoyed the piece. It’s a creative idea to toy with and a very compelling creation of your part. As I said above though I did have to get used to the style, and read through it a few times before I really understood everything that was going on. But as a reader I like not having everything spelled out for me, and figuring out the tone of the piece on my own.

CONCLUSION: Loved the ending verse. I really closed the piece on a strong note and tied the rest of the peice together.

Keep up the good work, and again congratulations on your win.

Much love,
Juliet.
Natalie Field chapter 1 . 7/22/2011
Is this really prose?

It is, I guess. But it's almost poetry. Its got rhythm.

Somehow, this has got good "images" or something. And it's thought provoking as well. I don't know if it's the best thing you've ever written because I haven't read everything you've written (I mean, tell you the truth, I can't /understand/ some of it. o.o)Like you'll throw in a reference to something or you'll write a certain type of poem, but it just goes over my head. Still, at the end I generally get the sense of, "Something in there just sounds good".

Well, this one makes sense to me and it does sound good. XD

I can't critique this because honestly I'm not as experienced as

a) the people reviewing this and

b) you

So. I'll wait. Until I'm more experienced.

Good job, keep writing. I hope college is being nice to you.

Natalie
dx713 chapter 1 . 7/10/2011
I'm not sure what to make with this piece of yours.

I like the rhythm. The shortening sentences.

I also like the interruption, the fourth wall breaking in "Yes. You. Look left." (there, I just looked left, away from my laptop screen and toward my in-laws altar)

The reflection you raised between infinity and death, conscience and the unknowable outside of it, also strongly resonates in my mind.

But I've not been able to enter inside your piece. I've not been touched, if that was the fist thing I read from you, it wouldn't be something that made me want to read more of your stories. What bugs me is that I don't know why. I don't have constructive criticism to offer. Maybe it lacks some character I can get attached to? Or maybe it's my fault, maybe I'm too lazy today, you piece isn't an easy-enough read for my current state? I don't know. I'll just wait for your next piece.
Stephanie M. Moore chapter 1 . 7/3/2011
Patrick, I'll be the first to admit I haven't read everything you've written.

But of what I have read, this is my absolute favorite.

First of all, your language is beautiful. Your word choice is perfect throughout, and your phrasing is just spot-on. The way you break it up/structure it is interesting, too. It's prose... but it's a sort of poetic prose almost.

The voice here is excellent, too. I like the way you use "child" as a form of address. I think it really creates an interesting feel to the whole thing, and helps emphasize the fact that your reader doesn't have any idea what's going on until the end.

"Yes. You. Look left."

This was really nice, and I thought the repetition was very effective.

Not only did you do a good job with the writing, though. It's a very interesting philosophical picture of death. You really do a great job of painting it in the reader's mind, too.

I see why this won. Really great work here!
ShatteredUniverse.old chapter 1 . 6/3/2011
[POETRYDEPTH for April WCC (LATE)]

-Off Topic-

Disclaimer: I probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about. The writer should feel free to ignore this whole review as seen fit. ;-)

-/Off Topic-

-Descriptions/images: I thought the imagery complemented this piece well and was deftly handled. Some of it was expected in a poem about the Infinite and Unknown, but some of it was truly innovative, in my opinion. I was particularly struck by the "rhythmless mantra of forever – the unkind murderer of the conscious." line, especially since one wouldn't normally associate the words 'rhythmless' and 'mantra'. The dissonance this creates sticks out.

-Enjoyment: I would have to say that I really enjoyed this poem. I think, more than anything, it has to do with the subjects covered (see next section), though the execution itself was also excellent. I do think (this is coming from a prose writer, mind you) that I would have enjoyed it even more if it had been longer. Of course, it may be because I envy the poet's ability to 'write tight', i.e. convey a wide range of emotions, imagery, etc. in a short composition.

-Subject: What can I say? I love these kind of metaphysical subjects in general, so I was already predisposed to liking this poem when I first saw it. What made me continue liking it while and after reading it, however, was the straightforward yet somehow elusive way the writer managed to convey it. It made the poem easy to understand on the surface without sacrificing the quality of the puzzle once one dug deeper.

-Tone: The tone of this poem immediately made me think of Q from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (who happens to be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time). I have to admit that the 'strightlaced' yet definite metaphysical tone of this poem is-how should I put this?-right up my alley. The tone definitely contributed to my enjoyment of the piece.

-Overall: Wonderful. I have no significant criticisms for this.

A Note: The one bone I have to pick with the writer on this piece is the use of the term "terminal velocity"; it's a term that's not used to convey motion away from/out of a gravity well. Beyond the universal speed limit, that of light (180,000 miles per second), the term 'terminal velocity' wouldn't be appropriate in the context used. I realize the writer was just exercising artistic license with the usage, but it threw this physics buff out of the reading for a moment.

Respectfully,

ShatteredUniverse
too.much.of.water chapter 1 . 6/1/2011
Holy . . .

My god I think I just died from the beauty of your writing. It was oddly nihilistic and yet somehow nonsensical like someone had dripped the words with mirrors.

And while I'm not sure how the above sentence makes any kind of sense, it's how this sort of poetic kind of thing made me feel which is lovely and amazing.
Souffle Girl chapter 1 . 5/25/2011
This is gorgeous. Is that a weird thing to say? Your writing is just lovely, and I adore the second person tense. It really drags the reader in.

The last line is just...well, woah, is pretty much the only way to describe it. It's shocking, unexpected, and wraps the whole thing up very well.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/19/2011
Patrick, I think this is the best thing I've read from you so far. Honestly, I really liked it. Since I'm not a math person or a science person I had to look up the title and I'm guessing this was written about the Mobius strip, and not the inversion equation. The strip makes sense-I like how you obviously incorporated that into the idea of infinity and lasting forever, and then the idea of starting where you began, which has it's own little allegory in literature, but I won't get into it (it involves swallows and Beowulf)-of this idea where you come from darkness, experience life, and return to that darkness.

If I've never recommended this to you before, I do now: You really should read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Most of the novel centers around the idea of an infinite black space that really reminded me of this poetry prose-but sort of in the opposite fashion since the infinite space here is white. It gives it more of a blinding effect in terms of thinking about death and invoking the idea of the "white light" and the "tunnel". I just really like what you've done with it.

The actual phrasing you use, and the short chopped flavor of the sentences are excellent, I really liked the rhythm they created, especially the "Yes. You. Look left." lines, that repetitive phrase picked this up and completed it on a whole-again, very clever.

I also liked the use of "child" in the beginning and the end. At first I was skeptical, but by the end you had me sold on that speaker voice. Also, there were some great word choices here, like "impermeable" and the part "falling up at terminal velocity". This poem was very you-a balance between what I've always perceived as poetic prowess and then the scientific edge. You've mixed your passions here well and I think that's why it works so well together. I'd love to see more poetry where you incorporate more perceived colder subjects, like formulas, scientific equations and whatever else scientifically-minded people do, XD.

But definitely, thanks for the read. Great pacing and great tone-I really heard a voice come from this one :)
Nesasio chapter 1 . 5/15/2011
This is my much delayed review of your April WCC :)

I like how the narrator was rather hostile toward the reader. It really grabbed my attention when it said 'you child' and the repetition of 'Yes. You.' Rather like it doesn't matter who the reader is, there're no exceptions: death will come.

Overall, I thought this was really cool. Very much a mind-trip, hah, but an eerie one. The last line was my favorite. The finality of it is spot-on for the content.

Nice job, sorry it took so long to review, and good luck in the WCC!
Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 4/9/2011
Liked the use of the whole "look left" quip here. Also, the short, choppy sentences kept my eyes glued to the screen. This was a quick yet profound piece. For some funny reason, I felt that the narrator was talking to me.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
xClutteredxChaosx chapter 1 . 4/8/2011
This was amazing and very harrowing. I liked how the narration was almost directed at the reader. They way you described 'death' was very original and like I said, scary! I loved the ending, 'it's death child' was very unexpected as I had imagined the white place to be some sort of dream, those three words were almost shocking. When you used the separate lines...

(Look left for a lifetime.

And for another.

And for another.

Look left, and look alone, for uncountable lifetimes. And then do it again.)

...it was very effective as it was like a continuous reminder of how the empty white space carried on infinitely.

Your thoughts – in their infinite loop – become your only embrace, and motion becomes nothing but a silver, wispy dream.

I loved the imagery there and throughout. You described the emptiness perfectly. I liked the narration, it was very blunt and called out to the reader on a personal level ;)

My only criticism is that it was very short! Although this added to the mystery of what would happen next, will you continue writing this?

Overall, great job! I loved it!
C-Mack15 chapter 1 . 4/7/2011
The final line certainly delivers a sudden 'Ka-pow!' very few stories manage to make. But all in all, this short narrative was very new and fresh in terms of what's present here at Fictionpress. I liked how you addressed us, the readers, while reading this. I couldn't help but do as I was told once or twice, if just to immerse myself in your words. Very well written. Easy to read, and a swift, delightful read. Well done!
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