Saturday, 14 June 2014
Isaac Asimov's I, Robot: to obey by Mickey Zucker Reichert
June 27, 2036
Brilliant summer sunshine struck glimmers from the window rims and ledges of Manhattan Hasbro Hospital and lit up the bobbing signs of the usual horde of protestors.
If we linger on this sentence for several minutes and reread it several times like they do on that kid's show the Wiggles, we are able to ascertain that this line is not very good, and rather annoying. The natural instinct is to get as far away from it as possible. Some will read on; some will close the book. Beginning with weather is a fail, transitioning to a hospital setting does not redeem the weather report, or justify it. Ending with the word protestors with an 'o' is the only thing this line has going for it, as protesters suggests conflict.
Naturally, what follows is some back story, for context purposes, stunting the forward narrative before it has a chance to spring to life. This means that in order to understand the beginning of a story you need to understand the pre-beginning of the story. This means there is confusion as to what is the beginning and there shouldn't be. If a writer begins and then needs to back up, he or she is not beginning in the right way/place.
On my quest to find the first thing said, I notice that several paragraphs begin with "Susan". That's right it's all about Susan.
First thing said:
"As you all know why you're here and how this works, I don't see any need for preamble."
At least the character knows how to tell a story.
This will sell because of the title and Asimov connection, which is a marketing trend we are starting to see a lot more often. Dead author resurrected by living writer equals sell books.