Wednesday, December 4, 2013


"Worldbuilding," written by Alex Shvartsman, really disappointed me.  From the first rocky sentence to the last I couldn't help but wonder why Daily Science Fiction bought it.  The idea wasn't horrible, I'll concede, but the wording could have been many shades better.

There are two characters in this story: Bob and Peter.  The characterization wasn't done too bad.  They're meant to be hilariously misrepresented stereotypes, which I can handle.  However, the characters came off more as annoying than funny.  I didn't care about the conflict because I didn't care about Bob.  Part of it is his name.  No offense to anyone named Bob, it's just not an excellent character name.  Oh, and according to the second paragraph he can vocalize words by nodding.  How did that slip through editing?  Am I missing something there?

The only plot in "Worldbuilding" is the unraveling of a very predictable conversation.  It was about a four out of ten on my inner "coolometer."  I was very close to abandoning this story midway and doing my criticism on something else.  There's a twist at the end, sure to be appreciated by some; I was not overly amused.

Up until the penultimate paragraph, the setting was almost irrelevant.  The twist gave it a massive boost, albeit not one large enough to make up for everything.

My advice this week is the same as it was last week: only read this story to analyze the writer's mistakes.

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