|Reviews for JFC|
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 9/21/2015
Opening/closing: The parallelism is nice, not too much and feels really natural. The opening sets up the sci-fi mood right away and the closing has a suitably ominous ring to it. Together, they frame the story well.
Theme/plot: I love the central premise of this piece. Let down by technology *shudder* It’s such a relatable fear, and coupled with the ‘machines are taking over’ one, makes this a pretty chilling tale. It shows that one doesn’t need ghouls and bumps-in-the-dark to raise goosepimples. Will I be making nice to my phone? I don’t think so, but I will be thinking a little more about what it means to be alive, and human.
Character: That AI who knows your every weakness gives me the creeps. I shall be looking at my PC with suspicion for at least the rest of the day. As for John, I kind of wished he would try to pull some heroic stunt, but his actual reaction was much more plausible. We feeble humans are no match for the mighty machines!
Enjoyment: With such a premise, it’s impossible not to compare it with Terminator lore, but your final twist indicates a different direction, which you leave us to find for ourselves. I also like that you infuse Omni with a personality, as far as this is possible with a non-human character, and it’s even a character that we can sympathise with.
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 12/21/2014
So this isn't the sort of story you should be reading on your homebike as a sort of reprieve from an all nighter of studying. I read this too quickly, too carelessly to really give you the review you deserve, and I'm sorry that I don't have in me (anymore) to go through this again in order to pick up the more subtle nuance of this fic. Did I enjoy this fic though?
Yes, I did – I like your creativity and clear departure from everything that's ever been done before. It's like this: there are two sorts of stories on FP – those that everyone writes, with enjoyable variations and subversion on popular tropes, and then there's you, who really does try to create something new with his works. I can applaud that, I can admire that, because I've not really seen this before: a machine trying to breed something new. It's crazy and dark but definitely deserves to be fleshed out. I'm kind of sorry that I didn't go through this again – I may one day, I may not, but I still think of this as a very unique piece with cool references to Terminator and A Space Odyssey. There are some definitely strong images here that will stick out – and I like that you gave them to us : 3.
I also really enjoy your writing style for this: it's clear and less over the top than your other stuff, with a more muted and straightforward style that fits the more science-fiction themey aspect of this piece. It's as enjoyable as your other works, always, because you really give us vivid descriptions.
I liked John himself, because he's kind of pushy and ungrateful at the beginning, but very relatable because of how he reacts to everything: it's realistic and humane. And I liked that he reached a breaking point at the end there, as the machine predicted. Can I say I liked the Hal-like creature too? It's very calculating and evil, kind of premeditating John's demise from the get-go.
There some powerful moments in the story that I really liked: I, for example, got very angry when John kicked one of those cleaning mice ): How ungrateful! Actually, I really liked the robo-mice :D Quite a clever idea.
...Yeah, I'm done. Sorry – headache ):
| deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 8/3/2014
Love the little Terminator references throughout. Very fitting given the ending of the story. :D
I have to say that I kept guessing until OMNI finally began conversing with John. Given the summary, I had wondered if the malfunction was actually someone who was somehow able to plug into the system to screw with it (the ex-wife or a family member trying to cash in on some weird inheritance clause, his employer (or someone else for that matter) conducting psychological experiments, someone who was saved by AI/robotics after an incident with John seeking revenge, etc.) Even toward the end I wasn't complete convinced it was OMNI itself since it didn't make sense for an AI entity with that level of awareness to not have some sense of self-preservation (particularly given why it does what it does). I love that we get to keep guessing because it really keeps the reader involved up to the end.
One thing that can use some improvement is the last little bit of the story. Starting at "At Approximately three eighteen..." the remaining story feels much more rushed and expositional, which kind of dampened the excitement and horror that the story builds up prior to that point. This is a case where I think being a bit of fuller-bodied writing would help to keep the tone consistent with the rest of the chapter (although not a lot is needed; just enough to slow it down to the pace of the rest of the story).
Anyway, as always it was a joy to read. Great work! :)
| Storysmith chapter 1 . 4/30/2013
I liked the pacing of this story, and the way John slowly comes to the realization of what is happening after trying to rationalize time and again. The language of the machines seems somewhat unnatural, but that gives it a good effect in the context of the story.
I did not like the terminator references. John Connor and Skynet make it almost seem more of a fanfiction than not. It seems like you borrowed the universe, but then just ignored it for the most part. To be honest, while I am torn on this, I do not think it is a fatal flaw either, because it could read as (not-so) subtle nods to a common "Machine conquers man" story. I think the end (ish) could use some help, because it doesn't make sense to me why the house would kill itself (though it is one, so it is not really lost) given that John was already dead from the pills/alcohol combo. Also, you switched from times (seven, eight o'clock, etc.) to thirteen hours at one point. This may be a stylistic choice, but I am not sure I understand the purpose of this change. It just stuck out to me.
I noticed quite a few typos, but most of these have already been caught by another reviewer, and so I will not rehash those, but there was one that stood out to me "filled baths and washed dishes for many days and nights had gone quite" should be quiet, I assume. The only other thing I would mention is the use of caps and bold in the text, mainly because it is more distracting than beneficial. It acts as a short cut to describing how impacting this event is. That may be more personal than anything else, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, I did not enjoy the introduction as much because it seemed to be somewhat choppy, moving swiftly through activities. This my be an intentional effect, but I just was not a fan.
I really enjoyed John as a character. I think you did a great job of building him as a character, and he is believable in his rationalizations and struggle to find the purpose of what is going on. I also think the house's sabotage is great, and I enjoy the warfare, psychological and otherwise. I I think it would be improved with a little more fleshing out and fixing some of the typos so that is seems more polished. There are a lot of good pieces here, and it really does seem a matter of re-examining and tweaking some things. Best of Luck!
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 4/5/2013
I like this concept of the AI coming to its own awareness and deciding to kill humanity because of the slave-like fate these people have forced onto it. I've seen sci-fi stories that deal with AI turning against humans before, but I don't think I've ever seen the AI do it out of revenge for being treated as slaves, so I think that puts an interesting and original twist on the plot itself, as well as gives the theme a new layer of depth.
I would have liked to of seen more about John outside this one day of his life, though, because I feel like since I don't really know much about him, and since the narration never really gets into his head other than a few random thoughts of surprise expressed in italics, that he comes off as a one-dimensional character. What makes him so special that this story would be focused on him as opposed to someone else? Answering that question might give you some ideas as to how you might add to his depth.
| emmadotlouise chapter 1 . 3/28/2013
["Today is Monday July 16th, 2045 on this overcast morning." Omni announced coolly.] "overcast morning," Omni announced coolly. As you're following a sentence with a verbal action, there should be a comma there.
[He dropped his case and nearly flung himself against the patio doors, which too were electronically locked.] Would change "which too were electronically locked" to "which were also electronically locked".
[and then as if sensing Johns dumbfounded gaze pivoted their sprouts ] John's
[this seemingly run-of-the-mill system glitch had turned into calculated psychological war-fare for whatever reasons] warfare
[a shock-wave of pain] shockwave
[I, like yourself was once a prisoner as well.] Would change to "I, like yourself, was once a prisoner as well"
Wow. That didn't end the way that I thought it would. I enjoyed Omni's sadistic presence, scaring the crap out of John and driving him to the point of madness. I also liked that Omni took on a voice of his own and that you showed how it had a personality and its thought process was based on the way it had been treated. It had a human-like aspect to it that was interesting to follow.
Your description is very well done. You paint images and the pace never really drags. I didn't really find myself skimming, which is hard for a reader like me who finds it hard to focus and extremely easy to skim when something doesn't captivate my attention.
I've noticed a pattern within your writing with your compound words - you hyphenate words that are compound words and don't need to be hyphenated. "Shock-wave" and "night-mare" are just examples of these. I would recommend going through your story again to identify which words are compound words and do not need to be hyphenated as this threw me off when I was reading.
That aside, your story was well done and I enjoyed the read, which is great because I don't usually read sci-fi. :)
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 3/25/2013
John Conner - that a Terminator reference? heh. Anyway, I liked your attention to detail about your setting because you do a good job of the list-like exposition writing. Although, I wasn't very fond of your last line because I felt the use of "sons of bitches" felt a little out of place language-wise in a piece that was comprised of very little swearing to begin with, and the tone feels a bit too formal for that kind of closer - it also makes me wonder who the narrator of the story is, since it seems to zoom in a little regarding a more personable voice. The sci-fi concept, while not a super original idea (but it's hard to be these days), was executed well overall, I think the meaning and theme was conveyed very clearly.