Reviews for Temporal Decay
Scott Pilgrim chapter 1 . 3/24/2015
I have to say this was excellent. You captured the meeting of two old friends well. It reminded me of Forest Gump. The guy who is great for the girls goes off somewhere and regrets it, but when he comes back the girl is used up.

Keep writing and stay classy.
Longe chapter 1 . 7/13/2014
The Roadhouse- Bar

Nice opening. The Sci-Fi aspects of the first few sentences really draw the reader into the world of your fic! It's always interesting to see others' thoughts about what the future may be like and you did a good job of introducing it.

Seeing Maria from Ed's point of view showed us how he feels about her, even after all these years. It was really nice to be able to understand his emotions.

This is a great read so far! Good job!
Mistval chapter 1 . 5/11/2014
This is really good ;)

The author seems to know their way around every subject they hit upon: solar system bodies, the psychology of memory, piano... All of that came across as genuine and not contrived at all. Prose is flowing and the purposeful fragmentation of the story gives it a sort of dream-like feeling.

My favorite part was the piano scene, because of how detailed and real it seemed. You would really surprise me if you said you don't play piano. The act of "Eddy played the piano" turned into an entire scene that really seemed to say a lot about him and the way he was feeling, just by the way he was playing and focusing on the music. A masterful example of show-don't-tell.

Here are a couple of things that maybe could be improved:

When "Maria quipped", what she says isn't really a quip.

"I wonder if there are pianos at the academy..." At first I wasn't sure who said this, but given the context it looks like Maria said it. I think the problem is that italics are often used for internal dialog, that's how I tend to interpret italicized text by default at least. I don't know if this is really a problem, but something to be aware of at least, because it confused at least one reader momentarily ;)

I really enjoyed this. Favorite
deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 4/25/2014
I want to start with this because the setting really hooked me in. I thought you used non-environmental cues very nicely to create the story's world, making it futuristic but not alien. Reading it, I kept imagining a western-scifi theme akin to Firefly, which added an edge of fun to the story.

One thing I noticed right away is that the writing in this is much lighter than what I'm used to from CW, and for a short story it works very nicely. It's straight forward and doesn't get too heavy with detail or action, which really helped the overall atmosphere of it. About the only nitpicky thing would be that there were a couple spots where the writing could be a little more active (as an example "when they locked eyes, suddenly he was seventeen again," could have been written "and when they locked eyes he was seventeen again." for a little more oomph), but beyond that it was all around enjoyable writing.

The italicization of the piano scene was kind of confusing. On the first read-through, I wasn't sure if the story was being told in a non-linear fashion or if it was some sort of dream. Given that the flashback to when Edward is 17 isn't italicized, I would have to say that the piano scene also should not have been italicized (except maybe the letter) for the sake of consistency. This would help keep the story flowing nicely without distraction.

Alrighty, so putting aside the technical criticisms, I really enjoyed the story. There's something very captivating about bittersweet stories, but it's so easy to stumble into melodrama, which you avoided quite nicely. The development and ultimate failure of Eddy and Maria's relationship felt very natural, which is compounded by the lingering love for one another. I've never really been able to connect with the associated lyrics at the start of each CW chapter, but in this story I was almost tempted to put on "Don't Forget Me" by Way Out West.

Another realistically portrayed aspect in the story is how their lives turned out. Eddy gave me the impression he didn't have a set goal, professionally, and was merely going along with what seemed like the most logical route. With the relative lack of motivation, it makes sense that he would wind up in a jack-of-all-trades sort of position like a mercenary. On the other hand, Maria really demonstrates how external forces can derail even the most determined people. In the end I find I'm sad for Eddy and Maria for different reasons. Eddy, because he's missed out on the love of his life, and Maria, because her dream will go unrealized.

Very touching story, Jitter. I'm glad you shared it, and I hope there will be more shorts in the future! :)
cybersheep chapter 1 . 4/12/2014
Rule 10!

Ooh, challenge piece. I saw the prompt, so I’m eager as heck to see what you’ve done with it :) OKAY I HAVE READ IT NOW.

First off, I love how you’ve used to prompts – the ghosts around the piano. Your ghosts are memories, I suppose, of this relationship, but they’re just as haunting clearly to Eddy. The flashback scene was so sweet and lovely. Um I loved the touch of that high note being sort of a leap of faith, and that eyelid kiss *squee*. I always think that living with regrets is one of the saddest things possible, and this relationship that kind of never happened obviously tortures Eddy. It was so sad to find out that Maria never got to be a dancer, and that she’s had to turn to prostitution now. So many ouchie could-have-beens. Oh my widdle heart.

Also, um, I’m going to gloriously step into a region I know nothing about, but your setting here I think was absolutely lovely. All the little details like the most depressing subway car in the history of the world, and the massive inflation that’s clearly going on. It’s like we even have a sense of *politics* already here. DUDE I AM SO JEALOUS. Also um, and I think the worst part of this story (prepare yourself) is that it is a one shot, and I really really want to see more of this place *cackles*.

‘whatever is real is not forever’ – so pretty. And sad. Oh the weepies…

Haha the fun thing (fun?) is that even the money Eddy selflessly gives her in the end probably won’t even buy her that much, will it, cos of all the inflation? Like his niceness has only really paid for um six sexytime sessions that she won’t have to have. Hopefully his kindness will at least make her feel warm and cuddly.

Also all the BEST PEOPLE have skulls. JUST SAYING. Also the memories getting pushed out also reminded me of Sherlock. I think I am Sherlocked. OH Laaaaa.

But this was gorgy. Would you ever think of continuing, or doing another story in this universe? Cos I would totally read its little face off. And Niel and Carl both sound so fun, it hurts that we don’t meet them *puppy dog eyes*.

Good luck in the challenge :D
tstul006 chapter 1 . 4/9/2014
Oh my gosh that was great. And the crazy part is I know you didn't have long to write it.

Okay so I'm gonna do the depth outline but probably still be within ef for RG.

Setting: So you made the future seem normal if that makes sense. It makes sense that it would take so long to travel between planets and I totally want to go to 'New Vegas.' It was a believable future which you don't see much of in Sci-fi. Also I loved the fact that the college for science was located in the 'belt' I think you called it. What better place to put a Science school real. Simple and brilliant.

Characters: So Eddy went to college and now he's a bounty hunter? I wonder what happened to make him decide to do that? Oh wait I reread he's a pilot. How awesome is that. He's such a good person and I'm glad that he gave that money to Maria I kinda wish he'd taken her with him. :( They are lovers destined to be apart it seems.

Plot twist: I so didn't see her being a prostitute coming. Wow. Her story was so sad. I bet she would have made a wonderful ballerina.

Now I'll dote on you some more. I really love your writing style. You just draw me in no matter what you're writing about it seems. Way to go.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 4/8/2014
Gotta say - I totally thought I was being original taking this from a sci-fi angle, but with two other people who looked at it that way - I guess I wasn't! Hahaha. Sci-fi is great though, so I ain't complaining, the more the merrier! :)

One sort of big technical thing I'm not liking, and a small one (before I get to content). I don't think you need the italics. You could definitely get rid of them because it obviously implies it's a memory by the first sentence, plus, your piece is about the fluidity of memory and how it's difficult to grasp - so I actually found the verbatim memory a little ironic given your theme about how it's difficult to pin down memories. Why don't you just work it into the narrative to fit your theme better? Use words like "He remembered it like [this], but that might not have been true" - and speak to that idea that you open up with about memories fading away (like an eddy, hey!).

The other thing I wasn't a fan of (small scale) was the aside in parentheses about the letter that originally took him away from Maria - why not just integrate that into the narrative a little better a few sentences down when he actually mentions the letter. You could just say something like, "He glanced at it but already knew what it asked of him by heart: [letter contents]" - the aside just interrupted flow for me.

Otherwise! I'm not sure what makes this story essential theme-wise for being a sci-fi and taking place in the future, but I don't mind that very much. The outrageous amounts of money were certainly entertaining (and would've been comical to me in another context a la Vonnegut, but you're going for a way more serious tone here so I didn't think you were doing that for comedic value). The only tie in I can really see with the prompt is the piano bit, so I'm glad that was included and everything! Maybe also this idea of memories haunting us like ghosts? That works too. I think my favorite little lines were characterizing Eddy with his book and maps and telescopes, I like that you opened with that image and then also gave it to us towards the end. Even though I find the theme of this a little contradictory with the memory flashback, I still thought you did a great job with your pacing and I got a good feel for Eddy and Maria.

Oh, one other small thing! Not sure that the characters of the crew really need to be named in the opening though, could we just call them "pilot" or "attendant" or something? It made me think they were going to be important and crop up again, but then they never did. Eh, not a big deal though that didn't necessarily detract from my reading or anything or my understanding - just an idea. Overall, best luck in the WCC - you have a strong piece! :)
Domus Vocis chapter 1 . 4/8/2014
I like the way you've set up the story, and even how the story sounds a bit futuristic. I find Edward interesting and want to know what happens to him. My only complaint is the way you transition between flashbacks. It's not bad, but it's a bit confusing. I'd recommend trying something different about it, but that's a nitpick.
alltheeagles chapter 1 . 4/7/2014
The way you repeat the opening lines in the ending gives a sense of unity to the story. The first time reading it, I got a sense of unrequited love or love lost, but the second time, after going through those reminiscences, the feeling is poignancy with a touch of sardonic humour. It's great how you manage to evoke this range of emotion in a short piece like this. I also like the little clues as to what Eddy might do for a living - the bounty, the ship flying, the Engineering background, damaged ships. It suggests why he can't be with her as well - elegantly subtle! FInally, a crit-ish remark: aren't light years units of distance rather than time? Whereas 'lag' is a term related to time. So I'm not sure if the two go together in 'fifteen light-minute lag'. But then I'm no Science Major, so please ignore my ignorance as necessary. Also, it seems slightly out of sync that the setting is so futuristic (it's clearly indicated that it's the 31st century) and yet they still use checks and dollars. I suppose that means the US took over the world at some point in time :p I'd say that the sci-fi element of the story wasn't fully exploited, and may not even be necessary, since the basic plot could unfold just as well in a contemporary setting, or well, in a historical setting for that matter. I mean, I'm starting to think about things like Isn't medical science advanced enough in the future to fix things like scars? Grow her new legs? Fix his eyes so he doesn't need glasses? But oh... I've wandered into nitpicking territory and run away too far from the basic clean simplicity of the story, which is what stands out most about this piece.
IAmButAWindow chapter 1 . 4/7/2014
O_O Everyone's favorite...*sob* crying Window here for another *sniff* review.

I'm glad for this writing challenge. The stuff that people have been writing for it are beautiful. Seriously. This is amazing. A physicist turned bounty hunter? That's what I was getting. A woman in a hopeless situation, doing whatever she needed to to pay the bills. It was heartbreaking. It hurt. That's how you know it's good. :)

The inflation thing was awesome. The way you introduced it in the beginning (I'm a poker man :D) was just awesome. The dancing. The broken leg. I can relate. I used to play a lot of soccer before my knee snapped in half. Now I can't run nearly half as fast as I used to. I can really feel Maria's pain.

This little story did so much in a few words what so many authors can't do in a whole book. It really hit the heart of human emotion, of watching life run away from you, and looking back to see if it was all worth it. Thank you for writing this piece. It makes me want to go give my loved ones a hug. I think I shall. :)
ButAWindow
Persevera chapter 1 . 4/6/2014
First thing I loved was the vintage Roomba races. Of course there was already information that placed this in the future, but it was funny that something would serve a completely different purpose in another time.
The next thing I loved was that her hair used to remind Eddy of Einstein. That's one person woos still relevant in an age of interplanetary travel. It's just a cute idea that a dork, as she called him, would think of the eccentric scientist when looking at his girlfriend.
A bittersweet ending that's the same in any era.
Ventracere chapter 1 . 4/6/2014
This was a little heartbreaking. For all that Edward wants, he's haunted by what he can't have. Their awkwardness is what I do enjoy though. Edward has a thing. A pretty intense thing for Maria and it is a pity that she didn't notice - or it just didn't work out. One thing I found particularly endearing was how when Edward tried to kiss her, he ended up pressing a kiss to her eyelid instead. Talk about awkward timing. But it's the little things that make me really enjoy the piece.

It's so difficult for him to say goodbye, and at the same time, it's like he says a few of the wrong things at the same time. When he decided not to play the piano for her, I kind of wanted to take him by the shoulders and shake him a little. However, it makes sense, he wouldn't remember after not playing that piece for so long. Maria though, grated a little at me for a little while. She seemed a little dense, but once I got toward the end, I felt for her. She is trying to make ends meet, and she isn't as obtuse as I felt she was in the beginning. Well, she wasn't that unfeeling to begin with, but the way she was depicted made her out to be a little cursory towards Edward, but I think, the strongest actions at the end spoke thousands. She cares and Edward, Edward, Edward. The ship hasn't flown for him. The $50 million dollar endorsement - that just seals it for him.

Fantastic job as always!
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 4/6/2014
So hey there :D!

I thought I'd drop a review, because I need to use this account for *something* (it's prettily empty now XDDD).

So I guess what I really love about this piece is how subdued it is: the writing is beautifully descriptive where it *counts*, but it never lays on the angst or introspection too thick, which I think really helps to create this whimsical, gently sad and poignant atmosphere. I think, writing this any other style wouldn’t have worked, and would have – I believe – ruined the effectiveness of it entirely. I’ve always been a keen believer and saying less than is needed, and allowing the reader to read between the lines :3

But yes, this piece is just beautifully written: you have this precise writing style that I think is very neat and concise, but still fully embedded with *emotion*: it’s, as I already said, never over the top, but just enough to really let the reader slip into Ed’s mind (you know my feelings about Ed, so I’ll try to keep it brief: he’s an adorable dork here, with just the right amount of ‘nerdiness’ (I don’t really like that word), but also the appropriate amount of vulnerability to make him more than just your run-off-the-mill scientist/bounty hunter. I love how this piece so gently and wistfully depicts his crushed dreams – it is hinted at, yes. And how it ends on this sombre note that this memory of Maria is forever ruined now ): ).

I love a lot of lines here, especially the line about memories and how they eventually fade away. I said already how it reminds me of a landscape (because of the words you use), and I’ll say it again: it’s incredibly visual and makes me really see what you worded there (a landscape, maybe with something imprinted on it and those imprints slowly fading away, decaying due to natural forces). I also love your description of the subway, because you manage to say enough about its decrepit state without going over the top (like I would have done :D Dirty places, oh yes :D :D). I also already said how I liked that it implied Maria was poor?

I loved, loved the Maria and Ed interactions, because they’re so tender and sad. The scene where they meet is full of implications of sweet memories and things they can no longer have. That flashback scene – it’s so sad and wistful in tone that I did nearly tear up D: (and I just loved how you wrote, that focus on his inability to play, his trying not to break down, the way they joined hands and then that parting D: It just showed how much you manage to say without too many words…).

Fkfkffj I just like the writing. I mean I always love your writing, but this piece is beautiful: understated and gorgeous :3