• I enjoyed this very much. You have managed to get in more than one antagonist, each with a different point of view. A very clever piece. As someone who trained for my job in a virtually all-male environment, I can relate to this. Thanks for a thoughtful and excellent read.

  • Thank you, Seyi, for your lovely comments. Best regards, Maria x

  • Thank you, Bogdana for your kind comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

  • Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment on this piece. And thank you for spotting a major flaw. Looking at it again, the commander should have been there when Andy returned, so that the question of whether he had taken off his suit in the alien ship would have been brought up at the start. It would have made more sense. I am determined…[Read more]

  • Hi Cobus,
    Wow! I really enjoyed this. You are either interested in pirates or you have done your research. I found it a great story that kept me gripped all the way through. Loved the black humour as well. It was an interesting take on the prompt. Thank you for an entertaining read.

  • Hi Cobus,
    Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your kind comments. After much experimenting, I have decided that science fiction is my genre. It the one I feel most comfortable with when writing stories. I take your point about Andy’s musings being hijacked by the author:-) My excuse is that I was rushing it and put the first thing…[Read more]

  • Thank you, Michael,
    Glad you enjoyed it. The tweaks will be worked on, but not at present. I need to work out where this story is going.

  • Hi Amrita,
    Gosh, that was a roller coaster ride of a story. And I never saw the ending coming. The story was beautifully descriptive and had an air of realism about it. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for a great read.

  • Hi Amrita,
    Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your lovely comments. I wanted these aliens to not want to be our friends or to invade us. We are of no interest to them. They just want their friend back. Where will it lead I wonder?😎It does make the plot more interesting.

  • Hi Jane,
    You didn’t offend at all. You just confirmed what I already knew and I was very grateful for that. It does prove that I don’t think that every word I write is wonderful😅. I do find when writing that getting the basic idea is normally easy. It’s finding the right words and phrases to express that idea that gets a bit tricksy. And to a…[Read more]

  • Hi Michael,
    It is so impressive to see that you are continuing Jenvik’s story. I enjoyed this part. You do have a way of setting a scene. I could see it in my mind’s eye. Jenvik appears to have further developed her magical skills. And there’s just enough plot to make me want to read on. Thanks for a great read.

  • Hi Bogdana,
    What an imaginative ghost story. I loved it. And I can see how your writing is developing. A really good eerie read. Thank you for sharing.

  • Hi Seyi,
    You have a style all of your own. I’m sitting here with a great grin on my face. Your black humour is amazing. I have mentioned the cultural style you have adopted for your tales before but once more I am struck by it. But I think that the subjects you write about are timeless and cross-cultural and make for a truly fascinating read. A…[Read more]

  • Hi Marilyn,
    This I found a gripping story and, funnily enough, totally believable. We all believe that we know the people we are close too. The reality is that we don’t know their secret thoughts and what they don’t want to share. Sometimes we just don’t look at what is right in front of us. In the story, you infer her need for privacy very…[Read more]

  • Hi Barbara,
    What an interesting story. I did like the twist at the end where we find that the wife is an alien. Then the enormity of what they were trying to do hits the reader. One of the things that I found intriguing is that it was all in the present tense. I’ve tried that myself and can’t get to sound right or I end up with a mixture of…[Read more]

  • Hi Jane,
    I loved these orange oddities. I did wonder whether their arrival had caused the tornado and the offer to rebuild was their idea of compensation. Whatever, they were a clever idea. I did think that there was more tell than show in the story. One area that you might think about reviewing is where she falls trying to climb over a fallen…[Read more]

  • Hi Jane,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment so fully on this story. Yes, it needs work. Unfortunately, life got in the way a bit and it ended up being a bit rushed. I had intended to spend some time developing the tale and only briefly edited it this morning. I have a health problem and so does our dog:-) so there hasn’t been a lot of time…[Read more]

  • First Contact by Maria Kinnersley

    #

    It was only when he had entered the alien ship that he realised the enormity of what he had done. The shouting from the receiver in his helmet had stopped the moment he had […]

    • Hi Maria,
      This is a good continuation of your story. But you are right, it does need quite a bit of work. I have a few suggestions below, please ignore if you do not agree.
      My other suggestion is that there are quite a few commas needed as well. I did not have time to edit all of those. But I would suggest you read it again out loud and see where you think you need a pause. There is some great bones in this story:) So I hope you continue with it.

      The shouting from the receiver in his helmet had stopped the moment he had stepped aboard the craft, but his ears still rang from the volume.
      I would remove the two had’s in this sentence…. The shouting from the receiver in his helmet stopped the moment he stepped aboard the craft…

      They continued to walk through this vast ship, walking through corridors and across monitoring stations at a speed that he was not able to pause and study the equipment or creatures operating them. – this sentence doesn’t read quite right, maybe something like this – They continued across the vast ship, moving through corridors and monitoring stations at such a speed, that he was unable to study any of the equipment or the creatures.

      With that, they turned back and the way they had come leaving Andy hovering uncertainly outside the door. – remove the and

      It was sat on a chair which looked more like a throne and although it was sitting down, – It sat on a chair, which looked…

      With a gesture of its flippered forearm, it indicated that he seat himself on a chair beside a magnificent desk there. – doesnt read quite right perhaps – With a gesture of its flippered forearm, it indicated that he should sit on the chair beside the magnificent desk.

      “Could one of your leaders harmed my friend?” – have harmed my friend

      Once more he was in the role of messenger, he thought. – I would remove he thought, it is implied already.

      No, they wanted their friend back. – maybe No, they just wanted their friend back. Or No, all they wanted was their friend back.

      Then he stepped into the station itself to what appeared to be a wall of faces. – this sentence doesn’t read quite right

      A door leading to the corridor gasped open and Commander Rank strode in. – gasped doesn’t really sound right – maybe scraped open or slid open

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Jane,
        Thank you for taking the time to comment so fully on this story. Yes, it needs work. Unfortunately, life got in the way a bit and it ended up being a bit rushed. I had intended to spend some time developing the tale and only briefly edited it this morning. I have a health problem and so does our dog:-) so there hasn’t been a lot of time recently to concentrate on my writing. It’s amazing how time slips away from you.
        I’m glad you can see that there are some good ideas there. I already knew there were grammar issues. Thanks for pointing these out. I will come back to your comments when I return to the story.

        • Hi Maria, awesome job in getting your story in. I hope I didn’t offend you at all. I do like the story, as I have enjoyed all your space stories. It is an area you are very good at. Please take care of yourself and your dog. Hugs

          • Hi Jane,
            You didn’t offend at all. You just confirmed what I already knew and I was very grateful for that. It does prove that I don’t think that every word I write is wonderful😅. I do find when writing that getting the basic idea is normally easy. It’s finding the right words and phrases to express that idea that gets a bit tricksy. And to a certain extent, I rely on you to be honest in your comments. It’s the only way to learn what the reader is getting from the story.
            My dog is improving with antibiotics. She is sixteen and a half and is prone to infections, poor love. I’m to have a colonoscopy in a week or two’s time to check a certain area of my body to check I have nothing sinister happening. I think I probably have IBS but we shall see. Thanks for your hugs. Hugs back xx

    • Hi Maria,
      The plot thickens! I like where this is going. Also, the fact that you have steered clear off the usual tropes that are often seen in sci-fi stories. An impending invasion, benevolent aliens wishing to do the human race good etc. They want to know about their friend. That’s refreshing. I think Andy is coming across as the ‘reluctant hero’ and he is the character who stays with the reader till the end. The Commander is obviously obnoxious. I am waiting to know what hidden agenda will be revealed. Great story! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Amrita,
        Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your lovely comments. I wanted these aliens to not want to be our friends or to invade us. We are of no interest to them. They just want their friend back. Where will it lead I wonder?😎It does make the plot more interesting.

    • Hi Maria. I’m definitely going to have to read a few of your other stories as well—I’m always eager for more of a sci-fi fix. Jane did a good job of highlighting some line-edit level issues, but I thought the story overall was good: easy to follow, solid structure, nice symmetry with him being a messenger again on the way back. Also, some of your descriptions were vivid, like the “clink of metal clips and the rustle of the suit.” If I had to highlight a minor gripe, it would be this: Andy’s musings on how leaders are elected, are very on the nose. I’m not arguing the validity of the point, but it’s stated very strongly and reads more like the author budding in than Andy’s thoughts. Besides, he gives a solid answer in the following line. But again, it’s a minor gripe. Thank you for sharing, Maria. And take care.

      • Hi Cobus,
        Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your kind comments. After much experimenting, I have decided that science fiction is my genre. It the one I feel most comfortable with when writing stories. I take your point about Andy’s musings being hijacked by the author:-) My excuse is that I was rushing it and put the first thing down that came into my head. Reading it through, it does jar a bit. I will be doing some editing at some point, but I also need to organise my thoughts. I hadn’t intended to write another ‘series’ in this group. I have quite a few ideas about how it could develop. I’m fortunate that Jane has indicated the grammar areas to look at. I’m thinking of expanding the story as there are other things I would have liked to include. Thanks again😊

    • The other comments cover any minor tweaks.

      I love the fact that the aliens just want their buddy back!

      I am guessing that the commander knows a lot more than we’ve been told so far about the alien’s situation – probably being probed in Area 51 as we speak.

      Thanks for sharing this enjoyable story.

      • Thank you, Michael,
        Glad you enjoyed it. The tweaks will be worked on, but not at present. I need to work out where this story is going.

    • Hi Maria
      I liked the unexpected turn of events – the aliens are looking for their friend and the message was meant for him. This makes me think it’s a lot more complicated than the standard first contact story. I agree, there are some edits that would improve the style, but that can definitely be done at a later stage. The only thing that puzzled me slightly was that although the need for decontamination and isolation was stressed, the first thing the crew did was to remove Andy’s space suit. But I was intrigued by the silent treatment that he got. It suggests that they’re worried about more than physical contamination. I’m looking forward to what the next episode brings!

      • Hi Barbara,
        Thanks for taking the time to comment on this piece. And thank you for spotting a major flaw. Looking at it again, the commander should have been there when Andy returned, so that the question of whether he had taken off his suit in the alien ship would have been brought up at the start. It would have made more sense. I am determined that the next response to the prompt will not be a last moment thing. and that I do a proper edit. It is one of my weaknesses:-( Glad that you liked it though.

        • I wouldn’t see it as a weakness, Maria. There’s something valuable in letting it all pour out – you can always edit and fill holes later!

    • Hello Maria,
      I love the continuation of the story.
      The twist and then the cliffhanger made me more and more interested in the next chapter.
      You language and pace are very good. 🙂

    • Hey Maria, you really getting into a groove here. The feel and flow of this piece are great and the storyline is well chosen, it has pretty great possibilities. I like the dialogue, limited as it is, and had to laugh at Rank again (well-chosen name 😀. ) Can’t wait for the other shoe to drop, and well done with this. Best regards, Seyi

  • Hi Nina,
    I enjoyed this. You definitely fulfilled the object of the exercise. I could understand the character and her sadness. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you, Nina. That’s encouraging.

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Maria Kinnersley

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@marialynch

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