Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Secret Agent #27

TITLE: The Last Deferred
GENRE: Science Fiction

The Ioi waited, silent, poised. Almost time, came the murmur that rippled through their ranks across the world in the time it takes a thought to spark from one synapse to another. It had been over two millennia since they had last acted, and the design they had woven was threadbare, indeed. When the machines started to churn and the skies blackened with soot, the Ioi began to trace the patterns of life backwards and forwards through time, searching for the right one.

They felt his birth late in the century and they waited, waited for him to ripen. And it was a long time, waiting. Not so long by the way that the Ioi measure time, but rather by the way that humans do.

The tiny being that imagined itself a god came shortly after his birth. What hubris to think that you controlled destiny, when you are but it's lowest tool? They felt the little god's meddling like steel wool upon their skin. They watched though, as it intersected with his life, and had to laugh. In order to have lived as long as the Ioi had among humanity, a sense of humor was imperative. Human beings really were quite ridiculous.


  1. Hooked. I love sci-fi and there isn’t enough good stuff written lately.

    I would break the second sentence in the first paragraph into two complete thoughts but really don’t see a lot to change.

    I wanted to turn the page. Desperately wanted to turn the page.
    Good job!

  2. This was mysterious and a bit confusing, but mostly in a good way. I was intrigued. There were parts where you lost me (tracing the patterns of life backwards and forwards through time?) but all in all it was fine, until you introduced the god. This was too much, I thought, to put into this opening. I was having enough trouble following, and then the god thing just made me confused. Not having any idea where you're going next, I don't know how to help, but I did think you should shorten/summarize the god thing rather than going full into it.


  3. Definitely interesting, a precursor that hooks me. While I'm not sure about the omnipresent viewpoint. Almost seems a bit of an excuse for a narrator, but if it's just used in spots to highlight certain action or to move pieces on the board, that might work.

    Just be careful not to turn it into an "If he only knew THIS:" device.

    I would definitely read on, quickly and voraciously.

  4. Interesting premise, but for me, it was too abstract for me to connect to either the Ioi or the "right one."

    They felt his birth late in the century -- Which century? I think if you told us this, it would help ground the reader and establish the setting.

    The tiny being that imagined itself a god came shortly after his birth. -- I found this confusing on the first read. I thought at first the tiny god was the same as the "right one." Names would help keep these characters distinct.

    it's lowest tool--No apostrophe needed in "its."

    I like that the Ioi have a sense of humor -- and need it to deal with humans.

  5. I'm not completely hooked- I like it, but I got tripped up by some over zealous lines (the second one for example- read it out loud). There's something solid here it looks like, I just would want it to pull me in more and confuse me less ;). (And yes, I am a long time SF reader :))

  6. I’m a great fan of science fiction, and found your excerpt both intriguing and beautifully written. I thought the last paragraph was too vague, however. I think I understand what’s happening there, but it isn’t completely clear. Also, two minor points about the last paragraph: 1.) "it’s" should be spelled "its" in the second sentence of that paragraph, and 2.) saying that "Human beings really were quite ridiculous." sounds cliché and breaks the intriguing mood of the story. Good luck with this! I think your story has great potential.

  7. This feels like a prologue to me, and if I was reading it as a prologue, I'd be okay with it. The first parg seems a bit overdone, but I could live with it because prologues often have that quality about them.

    If it's an actual first chapter I pobably wouldn't read further. It's too vague. I don't know where or when I am and I don't meet an MC. I don't know if it will be the 'right one' or the god who came after him.

    Overall though, you created a nice tone, an interesting premise, and it's written well.

  8. SF is not my cup of tea, but I think this definitely well written. The only thing I'm wondering is who is the focal point of the story.

  9. I would definitely read more of this. I normally hate beginnings that don't start with the main character doing something plot-related but this has me intrigued.

    It's a little overwritten in places but that wouldn't stop me from turning to the next page.

  10. I think in some places it's overwritten, but I love the somewhat Biblical tone of the gods' view of the world and humanity. I love the first line. The first line of the last paragraph confused me a bit. Typo on it's. Loved the last two lines. I'd read on.

  11. I agree on the second sentence. A little too convoluted.

    I'm not a sci-fi fan (or a prologue fan), so this did not hook me. I'd rather have clear-cut information shown to me, and I felt like this was too much writing with no clear direction.

    However, the writing does have a feeling and voice to it, so good job on that.

  12. I liked this, including the second sentence.

    The "you" in the third paragraph threw me though. Not sure who/what "you" is.

    I'd read on.

  13. Interesting start and definitely has potential. Not quite hooked but almost. I'm assuming this is a prologue so I'd probably read the beginning of the first chapter to see how the story starts.

    For me, the last sentence of the second paragraph "Not so long..." took me out of the story. The construction of it didn't work for me and seemed to undercut the sentences before it. Maybe the concept that the Ioi's time is different from ours can wait till later?

    You started to lose me in the last paragraph especially the first sentence. While I got that the "tiny being" was different from the "after his birth" person (who seemed to be who the Ioi were waiting for), the focus is on the "tiny being" when I thought the Ioi were most interested in the "his birth" person. This is hard to explain because I don't have any tag (doesn't have to be a name per se) to label these two. As I think what is bothering me, I guess I feel so disconnected and not sure if i'm intrigued enough to read on to learn more about the world (though as I said above i'd probably read the first page or so of the first chapter before deciding. If this is the first chapter I'd probably stop.)

    If this is a prologue, maybe ask yourself if it is truly necessary and if this is really where you want your reader to start.

    I think this has a ton of potential. Best of luck and thank you for sharing!

  14. This isn't my cup of tea, so I wasn't really intrigued or interested-not the writing, just the genre. I liked that the Ioi need a sense of humour to deal with humans.

    The writing is good. I think I'd make this a prologue, and then start into the MC story with Chapter 1.

  15. This is hard to judge because it reads more like a prologue. (Is that what it is?)

    I'm actually one of those people who usually skips the prologue and starts in with chapter 1 and then goes back to the prologue later.

    It's also too abstract to form a connection with either "The Ioi" (a group of people/tribe?) or the right one.

    I was also confused. At one point I thought they were waiting for a birth and then I realized the birth had already happened.

    Definitely change the 2nd person POV - it's distracting.

    I'm not exactly hooked but I would keep reading (or skip to chapter 1 and read on). But I would need a main character asap.