The Amazing Adventures
of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey
on the Interlude
- Colin Roald
You ask for
comments, so I'll give you what I can. You are clearly a better writer than me,
though, so you may do better to listen to someone who really knows what they're
talking about. And I'm writing these reactions down pretty quickly, so I'm sure
they're going to sound more harsh and critical than I mean them. Please forgive me.
The principal problem I find is the
occasional overlong expository lump. Among the offenders: 'wispy tendrils' (Ch.
13), the way rings work (Ch. 14), the gods of the 'Ysenmouth' (Ch.
18), and the history
of the 'Kryll' (Ch. 19). I think you also explain Sara's neutron-star composition at
least a couple times more often than necessary [ * -
see 'Note' below].
'Gundolf's' instructions are a particular
problem. They're obviously necessary to the story, but getting them all at the beginning
is a problem. My best idea is that they should be sliced up and dropped later into
the story as flashbacks.
'Langwillow Treefriend' is
jarringly un-Tolkienesque [ * ].
IMHO, the Wizard of Haughz set-up is a
little too contrived and goes on a few paragraphs too long [
'Soloman' is brilliantly (and appropriately)
persuasive right up until the 'Nazghoul' arrive, but then the speeches get heavy-handed.
'Soloman's' spin of why Sara was sent to Midgarde is very good, but his
explanation of her powers and origin is rather purple and unnecessary [
* ]. I
appreciate the symmetry of letting all nine 'Nazghoul' speak, but the result goes on rather
longer than necessary. I'd also worry that some of the services they suggest she
could perform sound an awful lot like the ways an undeserving society would rely on
their Gift rather than doing the work themselves.
The tortures of 'Froudo', 'Samm' and
suitably grisly. Shudder.
To my mind, the best part of the
confrontation with 'Soraun' is Sara's uncertainty, and particularly the uncertainty about which
of her conflicting impulses is the one being manipulated by Him.
In Ch. 19, the paragraph that ends,
"the consequent submission of one like Sara to the utter usurpation of her powers in
such cause," is perhaps over-convoluted and difficult to follow, particularly for
such a key point [ * ].
I think you underestimate the effects of
the instantaneous matter/antimatter annihilation of a billion tons. A typical
nuclear explosion converts no more than a few grams, I think, so this would be a
trillion to a quadrillion times larger, possibly enough to shatter the planet
outright. The energy is approximately equivalent to what you'd get from a 10 km/s
impact of a 1000-km diameter planetoid. ('Dinosaur killers' are in the 10-100 km
class if I recall correctly.)
You do an excellent job of the
difficult task of presenting the encounter of two very different universes while giving
each the respect and integrity it's due.
The theme of impossible choices and
pyrrhic victories is very well done.
Lots of nifty ideas, too. I liked your
treatment of 'Muriah'.
— Colin Roald
A day without fusion is like a day without sunshine. (unknown)
* [Note from Toomey: If you're
wondering what Colin is talking about, it's because much of what he refers to has
been changed. He was right — damned good bit of constructive criticism! Thanks, Colin.]
© Patrick Hill, 2000