1000 Word Book Reviews: Roses Are Red

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Carrie Green wrote the collection of stories “Roses are Red.” It is a mix of different genres that range from horror to sci-fi to more literary fiction. This is a review of the 2nd short story, “A Lucky Human,” which was a sci-fi story. The basic premise of the story is what happens after humans can start physically connecting with humans in a sort-of symbiosis.

Does the first 1000 words show it as edited?

The entire story appeared edited, grammar-wise. The first 1000 words was technically “A Long Distance Relationship” (the horror story) which also looked edited as well.

Do I care about the characters after the first 1000 words?

In “A Lucky Human” I didn’t really care about the main character early in the story because there really wasn’t anything positive that stood out to me, however, there wasn’t anything for me to dislike about him. I did enjoy the character arc of the main character through the story and there is some growth shown.

Do I like the world building?

It was pretty good sci-fi world building for a short story. She set up the rules of the science fiction tech early in the story to be used later on so it didn’t feel like the end came out of left field. I would have liked to know a little more detail the science behind the computer-human connection.

Overall Assessment: Would I continue reading past the 1000 words?

This is an assessment of the entire story, so I read well past 1000 words. Would I want to read about what happens after the short story?  I would have to say yes. I think she might have something there based on where the story ended and can see a half dozen ways she could continue the story.

Overall Story Rating:  4/5 Happy Go-Lucky Red Pandas.

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One thing I would have liked seeing: 

I would have preferred more description of the ship and surroundings as they boarded. I would have liked to know exactly what the environment was to get a sense of place. Maybe a little background on Earth and the situation with humanity would have added some depth and color to the story.

Q&A with Carrie Green

How long did the first draft take to write?  

My short stories tend to be produced in one seating, but I always let them rest before editing, when the real nitty-gritty work of being a writer begins.  I edit endlessly, consistently, so that my first drafts never see the light of day.

Did you change the ending in the middle of writing?

No, if an ending changes, it’s during the editing process, not while writing…

Did you submit traditionally?
Before the advent of Amazon and self-publishing, I did submit traditionally.  Now, I’m a firm believer in what Joe Konrath has to share about the realities of the publishing industry (via his blog) and how authors are much better off, financially, in pursuing self-publishing.
Where do you want to go with the series?
This collection of short stories is part of a series named ‘New Blood.’ and it exists primarily to promote my writing until the publication of my novel, Walk A Lonely Street.
Favorite author who has influenced your writing?
There are plenty of authors who have influenced me, but the earliest was Mark Twain.  His books were my bedtime stories, read out loud by my father, when I was too young to read.  What you are exposed to, first, forever shapes how you judge what comes after.  All other authors had to live up to Mark Twain for me.
You can follow her @CarrieGreenBook &  http://www.carriegreenbooks.com

Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 17)

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When I opened my eyes, I found myself reclining on a bed in what appeared to be a hospital recovery room. An IV line was hooked up and running to my left wrist, a painful stinging like the world’s worse paper cut where the tubing entered my skin and was taped down. “Hey, what happened? What’s going on?”

I was dressed in that classic patient attire, the open in the back hospital blue gown and nothing else. I could feel the scratchy texture of well starched sheets beneath me. I was bare-bottomed. A sheet and a loosely woven white blanket was all that protected my modesty.

The scarred face doctor popped his head between the curtains that hung from a track on the ceiling, creating a diaphanous wall. “Excellent. You’re awake now. I have some questions for you.”

“Did you operate on me?” I was trying not to sound panicked, but I accidently gestured with the arm that had the IV and the sharp pain caused by that motion caused my voice to rise into a whine like a kicked dog. Losing Lila, the elevator explosion escape, the kidnapping by Mr. Mercedes and his subsequent brutal death—it was all snowballing into something that I wasn’t sure I could handle.

“No. As it turns out, removal of the bio-nanites is not possible, right now. “

“What do you mean?”

“Tell me, when did Lila find out that you had inoperable brain cancer? That’s what we want to know. Imagine our surprise when the MRI revealed that the bio-nanites are doing their job, attacking the cancerous cells in your brain. Unfortunately, they cannot be removed until their job is complete without killing you. That is their programming.”

The doctor smiled, his scars stretching. “Your girlfriend, at considerable risk to herself, managed to make you one of the few lucky participants in an extremely limited clinical trial. This trial is top secret and by invitation only. The dose that you took was meant for the wife of a United States senator. There were only three doses produced at the cost of approximately six million dollars, each. You, literally, are the six million dollar man.”

“I never told her about the cancer,” I denied. I had never wanted a pity party. “There was no point. There was nothing that could be done. I was just trying to live life to the fullest, total John Green, ‘Fault In of Our Stars,’ thing, except we came to Switzerland rather than Amsterdam.”

As I mulled over his words, one early morning during our vacation flashed back at me, something that hadn’t quite make sense. Lila’s almost desperate insistence that we’d have a long life together, a statement that I side-stepped, at the time, saying that I’d love her forever. “Are you telling me that these nanobots can cure my cancer?”

“That’s what these bio-nanites do; they are like miniature heat-seeking missiles that target cancerous cells. Within a month, you will be completely cancer-free without primitive chemotherapy or barbaric surgery, which is the only option for cancer treatment, today. Your hair will not fall out. You won’t even be aware that the bio-nanites are working. The side-effects are virtually non-existent, generally, just a stuffy nose and itchy eyes, as if you’re suffering allergies.” He sounded proud to me and it was quite an accomplishment, if he was telling the truth. Millions of lives could be saved and untold suffering averted.

“The only problem is that the senator will still want your dose for his terminal wife. Lila was hired to be the courier and she never delivered it. Cancer won’t kill you, now, but the senator’s retrieval team probably will…”