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Old February 21st, 2012 (02:42 AM).
Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
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Ooh, cyberpunk! Anything that ends in -punk is good enough for me: cyberpunk, steampunk, biopunk, superpunk... Mm. Anyway, the point is that I now have to review this, so let's get started.

Overall this is pretty good, and very cyberpunk. It's got all the right themes and motifs - and that's a bonus in my book. I like my cyberpunk raw and undiluted. You've got an intriguing set-up here, which hooks the reader nicely - although I would say that it perhaps happens a little too quickly; it might be more effective if Tashima's faith in CYPHER was called into question more slowly. I'd have thought that his reaction to discovering it was involved in questionable practices would be slightly more dramatic, but future chapters might reveal more about his beliefs that'd prove me wrong.

The main problem I have with this story is that it quite often gets bogged down in an awkward amount of detail.

Quote:
Reaching a hand out from under his robe, the man placed its palm on the glass, feeling its cool surface through artificial nerves in the surface layer of the fake hand.
Don't compress all the details into one sentence; you end up putting a modifier on every single word that'll support one, as in the last clause of this sentence. It's OK to take the description more slowly; if it's going to be this detailed, I'd prefer it - it's easier to read.

Quote:
In the center of the city, amid the tall spires that represented in many ways the pinnacle of human development, stood one tower greater than all the others. Rising miles in the air and piercing into the clouds, this central tower was easily recognizable if not for its sheer height alone. Encircling its base was a geodesic dome, triangular plates fitting into hexagons that meshed together with exact precision to form the surface of the dome. Beneath the dome was a city unto itself, housing buildings that were dwarfed by the towers outside yet themselves seemed magnificent as they couched, isolated, around the base of the great tower. Terraces further lined the inside of the geodesic dome, their surfaces filled with sprawling, vertically-stacked cities all their own.
The same thing happens here. It's a bit overwritten, and it's got too much detail in it. For example, the bit about the geodesic dome? I'm fairly sure that at least half that sentence is unnecessary. Writing too much about one point is just as bad as writing too little. From later sections, I'm given to believe that this story's been written like a series of camera shots in a movie - and that's fine (good even) but don't get stuck on unnecessary detail. It slows everything down, and if it's neither essential for world-building or for telling the story (two things that should be considered separately, though they intertwine) then you should seriously think about whether you actually need it. At the very least, you could spread it out a bit more, so we don't get large chunks of raw information.

That's my main gripe, but I have to say that it wasn't bad enough to stop me reading - not by a long shot - so it wasn't that much of a problem. Now I'll address a few grammatical and other relatively minor issues.

Quote:
The shuttle was cleaved in two from the explosion that had set off the fires, that had compromised the tunnel's vacuum and allowed the shuttle to burn at all.
In accordance with the rules of 'that' and 'which', you should either remove the comma after 'fires' or change the word 'that' to 'which'. I'd advise the former; it'll read better.

Quote:
with a grim look across his haggard face.
Either a grim look was spreading across his haggard face, or a grim look was on his haggard face. You're mixing the two constructions here, and it doesn't read well at all.

Quote:
The sky seemed to sympathize, having turned into its mixture of reddish-brown and crimson, of rust and blood.
This seems a bit clumsy to me. How about rewording the beginning bit so that it reads something like:

Quote:
As if in sympathy, the sky had turned a mixture of reddish-brown and crimson, of rust and blood.
I'm not trying to erode your style or anything - I mean, I like it - but that sentence could've been better phrased.

Quote:
he crossed one leg over the other, they as equally unnatural as his arms were.
This isn't grammatically correct. 'Equally' doesn't fit in this sentence; it makes no sense wherever you put it. You also ought to replace the 'they' with 'each'; whether you get rid of the 'were' at the end is up to you, but personally I think it makes the sentence sound awkward.

Quote:
that its creator’s had hoped
'Creators', not 'creator's'. The creators don't possess anything in this sentence, so there's no need for a possessive apostrophe.

Quote:
No one came to great them
You mean 'greet', I think.

Quote:
pulling a single fingerless glove out of a pocket and sliding it over his prosthetic left hand, masking just about any sign that he wasn't entirely organic.
If he's trying to disguise the fact that he's partly artificial, it's not working. Think about it: if you lived in this world, wouldn't you assume that someone wearing only one glove was disguising a prosthetic hand? If Tashima wore two gloves, however, it'd effectively disguise it: no one would know if it was just a fashion choice or an attempt to hide mechanical parts. Of course, there remains the option that covering your implants and enhancements is just good manners in this world, in which case everything I've just said is entirely irrelevant.

On another note, I'm really not sure about the whole 'preface the story with an article that explains everything' idea. I'd be more keen to learn about things as we go along through the story, to gain the feeling of learning about a new world and therefore be much more capable of enjoying and believing the world you're building, rather than have it forced on me at the start in one lump. It's not as satisfactory to read, and it's not the most effective writing technique.

Wow. I just looked back up, and I seem to have written a lot of criticism, which is making me feel quite bad now. I'd like to assure you that despite all I've said, I do genuinely think this is a good story. It's engaging, interesting and best of all, it's different. I haven't come across a cyberpunk Pokémon fanfiction before, and I'm pretty excited to see where you take it. (The only thing I've ever seen that was even remotely similar was my supremely weird and never-posted story about a biopunk Pokémon dystopia.) I hope you continue to write and improve, and I look forward to future chapters.

F.A.B.
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