STORY: "Palmyra"

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c_nordlander
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STORY: "Palmyra"

Post by c_nordlander » Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:40 pm

Another short story of mine. Again, cerebrally horrible stuff. (You might enjoy it if you liked "Summanus".) A trainee curator at a museum of antiquity carves a random sequence of signs on an empty monument, but a professor of languages sees something else...

EDIT: If you want to read this story, PM me and I'll mail it to you.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon May 29, 2006 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re:STORY: "Palmyra"

Post by Hellfish » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:37 pm

[Some spoiler warnings!]
*Note to self: Must remember to review even if not requested.. ::)*
First, the sweet stuff, like the mood. When I had to pause for lunch I found myself rushing back just to see what happens next, a very nice quality. I also found Jacob a very sympathetic character.
And, alas, the bitter drops. There were one part where I didn't quite follow the story in general, specifically the significance (sp?) of the funerary bust being from Palmyra. Also, a minor language nitpick: "The stone was hard, but satisfying when chips fell away, like cutting in butter." doesn't quite sit right with me. If it was hard, it wouldn't exactly be like cutting in butter. The first two parts would suffice, IMHO. And ehr.. lets see.
*Looks desperately for spelling and grammatical errors, but in vain. ;)*
Ah, well I guess that is it.

On the whole, an enjoyable reading experience that raises interesting questions. *Takes note to read "Summanus"*
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Re:STORY: "Palmyra"

Post by c_nordlander » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:06 pm

Thank you very much! *is happy* And you've got a point about the line you commented on. I'll probably change it.

The reason the origin of the bust is stressed so much, as I probably should have made clearer, is that the late Roman Empire and Palmyra are so well-documented and (comparatively, in an archaeological perspective) recent. In other words, it makes no sense for an inscription in an unknown, primordial language to turn up there.

That, and I got this idea when seeing a Palmyrene funerary bust in the local museum. Interesting stuff...

Oh, and you can take for granted that if something is posted on this site, it's because the writer wants opinions. Otherwise, what's the point? :)
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re:STORY: "Palmyra"

Post by Meteorite » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:05 am

I said I'd review, and dammit, I'm going to! Thar be minor spoilers ahead cap'n!



+ Great start so far, I can just picture the room and the bust as I read. :)

* Oh, and it's easel, not eisel.

+ I liked the fact you mentioned the differences between Nolan's inscription and the actual inscriptions of the other languages, not important at all to the plot, but it adds realism to the story.

! Heh, I probably had the same silly expression as Nolan when Lemuel started going on about ink-pads and squeezes. Wasn't until he actually performed the squeeze that I realised what he meant. ;)

+ I was actually quite relieved when Nolan straight out told Lemuel the fact that it was him that wrote the inscription. I guess I've been jarred too much by so many sitcoms and such where people try to confess and still get misunderstood. :)

* I don't know this word: japonnaiseries. Microsoft Word doesn't know it, (like that means anything), and I can't find anything close to it on Dictionary.com.

* Minor nitpick: Left an 'e' off the end of therefore. :)

There are layers of our world which we do not understand

* MW suggests adding a comma in between, or world that instead. I'm inclined to agree with the latter.

+ Ooh, nicely done with the fact it's hard to replicate random symbols (and such) on purpose.

This was the signs from the Palmyrene frieze

* MW suggests sign, but having knowledge of the context, I suggest These were the signs instead. :)

*Again, an unknown word: capuchons. However, looking at Dictionary.com, I think it's possible you meant capuchins. But the definition says "A hooded cloak worn by women", and you have men wearing these, so I'm a little confused. But what the hell, it's a dream, anything's possible! ;D

* Wee! A simple misspelling! address instead of adress.

A heap of sharply shadowed oddments, that he had taken for possessions of someone moving house,

* Oh, I bet you're loving Microsoft Word for picking up on these with its squiggly red and green lines. ;) Anyway, the "That/Which" argument again; I think oddments, which would suit this sentence best.

! The stone translations... This is the time to be creeped out now... *shudder*



And that's the end. Yikes... Although it doesn't look it with all the spelling/grammar I (or rather, MW) picked up on, I loved this. It didn't drag once, and kept the pace very nicely. Both Nolan and Lemuel were both very believable characters, and the ending... If we didn't get all the story factors (such as Lemuel's dream, Nolan's thoughts, etc) I could have taken this as being a true story, that's how good this was. :)

It wasn't as nerve-gripping as Summanus, but I don't fault the story for that, it couldn't have been without changing the setting and numerous other factors, and that would've ruin the story.

On the whole, I give this eight s*slap* 8/10

Excellent work Chris!
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<gkscotty|drawing> you seem to have TVTRopes :P


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Re:STORY: "Palmyra"

Post by c_nordlander » Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:51 am

Thank you very much, Alex! I'm sorry about the misspellings and grammar errors. Goes to show I'm not a native speaker, I guess (and some are based on cultural misunderstandings... in Swedish, the word corresponding to "capuchon" means simply "hood". I'll change that.) "Japonnaiseries" is a real, a bit old-fashioned word though (I hope I spelled it right) meaning a design modelled on Japanese art.

As for address/adress: "adress" is the Swedish spelling, and my word processor changes automatically to that when it thinks I've made a typo. I usually catch that, but evidently I didn't this time.

Again, thanks a lot for the nitpicking, and I'm glad you like it.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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