Monday, February 15, 2010

Entry 11


Call me Ishmael. Yeah, I know, but in this case it's really my name.
Ishmael Horatio Wang. Unfortunately, my parents had an odd sense of
humor. Had they known what I'd wind up doing with my life, they might
have picked a different name—Richard Henry Dana, perhaps. Why they
picked Ishmael Horatio is a long and not terribly interesting story
that begins with: My mother was an Ancient Lit professor…and ends with
me being saddled with these non sequitur monikers.

That story ended eighteen stanyers before the two Neris Company
Security people showed up at my door with long faces and low voices.
Perhaps their expressions gave it away, or because they asked for me
and not my mom, but I knew their visit wasn't good. I couldn’t imagine
what I might have done to attract the attention of company security
and I didn’t think they’d come to drag me away. I'd never been a
troublemaker, not like some of the other kids at the University
enclave. They had come for me though—to tell me she was dead.


  1. Oh no ! This is not fair. You have hooked me on numerous occasions, Nate, and now you have done it again !

    *Totters off to read the Golden Age series again*

  2. I liked the first paragraph, but the shift in the second was a little off-setting. The voice is good, and the set-up is good, something just feels off rhythm

  3. I'll confess that despite being a podiobooks author, I haven't listened to Nate's stuff. To be fair, I haven't listened to any real science fiction on the site. But reading this, i can see why people like them so much. The voice is just amazing.

  4. My head feels a little fuzzy from having to fill in so many imagination details. For instance, how long is a Stanyer? A standard year? Sixty three months? Seven point three inches? And, in the latest case, wouldn't Ishmael have seen the dudes coming?

    I did like the bit about "not terribly interesting story." I found myself wondering, "Then why does the paragraph continue?" and then I was like, "Oh, punchline, cool." And, I grinned.

    I found myself wondering what I was missing. I do confess, though, that I would read on to figure it out (Well, I'll scuttle over to the Podcast and listen for the answer). So, I suppose I am hooked.

  5. I like the voice..but the two paragraphs seem a bit disconnected to me.

    I am curious as to how people know who the author is...I guess I'm just missing something :)

  6. "Call me Ishmael" strikes me as a bold way to open a story, and the voice is fun. There is the question of what happened to Mom and that is a good hook.

    MBee, I'm with you. These are supposed to be anonymous. How does everyone know who wrote this?

  7. I like this. And I'm curious about what happened to his mom. And I'm curious about why this story would be about someone who is so ordinary and never gets into trouble or anything.

    Hopefully, it's all good. Yep, I'm hooked.

  8. I love how the MC says "Why they
    picked Ishmael Horatio is a long and not terribly interesting story that begins with . . ." and then proceeds to tell the story.

    I, too, and not familiar with the terms "stanyers."

  9. I like "long faces and low voices." I like lots of things in this opening. The first line makes you go, "Hey! You can't do that!" and then of course we see you can. I got a little bogged in the first line of the second paragraph, but otherwise, entirely enjoyed the writing style.

  10. Now that Nate is no longer competing, I'll just clarify for those wondering.

    'Quarter Share' is the first book in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper and 'Share' series, which at the moment comprises five podiobook volumes and a companion in 'South Coast'. Some of us have read all of Nate's work obsessively and are eargerly awaiting his books in dead-tree version which will in print very soon. I for one will recognise Nate's work immediately. And it also happened to be Nate's twitter that got me onto Cornell's blog in the first place. So it's nice to see Nate here, too.

    For those interested in more by Nate (often called Nathan Lowell by others) you can find his work at podiobooks and on his website.


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