Jul 23 2010

Bayamo’s Review Forum

Published by at 2:03 pm under Review Forums

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Bayamo’s Review Forum”

  1. Bayamoon 09 Aug 2010 at 2:29 pm

    We need help on two fronts here. 1) General criticism of the novel. (the story) 2) Help with the structure. Maybe I am using the wrong word here, so let me explain. I was born and raised in the States, and grew up speaking both English and Spanish at home. About 4 years back I moved permanently to Brazil (I have worked here though for about 10). I speak Portuguese and understand Brazilian culture very well, “excellent for a Gringo” my friends here say. Anyways, this story is written in Portuguese. The publisher asked the author to submit an English translation to be released first. It is a SLOW and TEDIOUS process. Sometimes phrases and expressions don’t translate very well. Fortunately I am working closely with the author. There are parts that I look at it think it looks great, it reads fine, flows with no problems. Then there are others that look, well, like what it is, it reads like a translation and doesn’t flow naturally. I want to rework these parts. So if you guys could let us know “hey, this doesn’t sound right”, we’d appreciate it. The author is going to follow this thread as well. He can understand English rather well, but his posts will probably be run through Google translator, so cut him some slack. He will post as “M. Duke”.

    This is the plot: An alien race is out to conquer the universe. They all but wipe out another alien race, which sets of to Earth asking for help. Their arrival on Earth in what is known as the “Area 51” incident. One alien survives the crash and explains what has happened. They provide “alien DNA” and this is used with human women who carry to term and deliver the “superhero hybrids”. This project involves the US government and the Vatican. They are raised in a special facility, apart from contact with the outside world. The story deals with how they react when they step outside the facility and into the “real world”, the attack from the aliens, and a rogue agent who has “beef” with the project.

  2. Bayamoon 09 Aug 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Here is the opening:

    East Jerusalem, Israel, 11:35 A.M.. January 12, 2008. Field excavations.

    Another end of the morning in a land battered by the fiercest of the executioners: Time. Today’s weather was different from the usual. The air was not dry and no tsunami dust storms raised by sharp gusts of wind, covering everything they could find. A perfect day made for searching. Thousands of hands dueled each other for anything that would rise to the Sun
    Excavations were being led by Dr. Samuel Osher, from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and supervised by the representative of the shadowy Grandi Donatori (Grand Financier), the young priest Antonio Grassi, all with the blessing of Rome. The search increasingly disfigured the east face of the Holy City. Osher could not contain his excitement, like a child on Christmas Eve. Barely 48, he commanded a giant ant colony under open skies with no less that a thousand workers, who worked for a few handfuls of Roman Euros in that hell. Grassi was there to ensure that silence could indeed be bought for such a little sum. That’s what should have been. anyways.
    “How much are those whom you represent willing to pay, Father Grassi? – Osher asked, standing on top of a platform, his scalp protected by a straw hat, while contemplating the horizon teeming workers.
    – They will invest the GDP of the entire planet, if necessary. – Grassi was emphatic and lifted the brim of his hat, considerably more expensive than Osher’s. – And how far you would be willing to honor the original agreement? – he asked.
    – I am considerably older than your twenty-something years, young man. A man like me is satisfied with a mere museum of some thirty-million euros. I’m not very …
    – Ambitious? – Grassi retorted curtly. – Secrets as the ones we seek today have no room for ideologies that, my friend, we know very well they do not apply to archaeologists as yourself.
    Osher smiled, nodded and said:
    – We find treasures that I have not even imagined possible under this sacred ground. They alone would fill a museum …
    – We do not care about what has been found in recent months here, unlike your future museum, just what … – Grassi directed a look bright as the sun towards one of the excavations below and to his left, which revealed the surface of what appeared to be a shining chest. – … just emerged. God is really good in His time, do you think Doctor Osher?
    – I always thought that the University would pay me to find Him under the sky that should protect us, Father! – Looking the other way, Osher has not noticed the discovery.
    – Look at this! He has sent us a brand new Ark of the Covenant. There – he pointed to a euphoric digger who turned to both to scream in Hebrew something like “Come here! Look at this!”
    – Is it what you expected, then? – Osher voice was euphoric. He got no response because Grassi took his physical advantage of age to skip the high bank where one could view the whole archaeological site.
    Osher followed him as best he could, even with the help of two workers who brought him down. When he got to where Grassi had already flicked dust from the lid of the graphite casket 50x35x35cm deep- he was surprised by Hebrew very well pronounced by the young Italian: “Bring to my tent immediately! Do not open it, for the punishment of God will reap your claims to Heaven. ”
    The workers walked away shaking their head no. A deeply religious people, refusing to do a task for a foreigner – fulling the secret goal of Grassi.
    – If you spoke my main language, why did you insist on English? – Osher asked in this language, but without response. – besides, you should know that these workers are God-fearing. I’m sorry, Father Grassi, but you have just lost transportation of the urn by yourself.
    – I am a strong man, Doctor! Fear is for wimps.
    The young Grassi lifted the rest of the urn from the sandy soil, and immediately took it to his chest. It was there that he wanted to put his heart if he had one. He continued:
    – Besides, I knew we’d be the only ones to carry the urn. I thought Archaeology doubted everything before carbon-14 to play its part, even living humans. – He joked.
    – In archeology, Father, we doubt only what the eyes still do not see. The rest is up to politicians in Rome. Incidentally, you know what a student wrote on a test in which I asked for the definition of religion and politics?
    – No idea. – Grassi arched his eyebrows, and rocked his head to the side showing a disconcerting irony.
    – Well, for him – continued Osher – who is much younger than you, politics is the religion of those who can do more.
    – What about religion? – Grassi seemed to relax a bit. He was curious.
    – It is the policy of those that can do even more!
    – Touché, my friend! Now let’s take it and tell the workers that they found it- they were planted behind the priest, as if awaiting a prize – they are to continue to work normally. After all, your future museum needs it.
    – They know that Archaeology never stops, Father. – Osher smiled.
    – Great! Neither does Rome.
    Grassi was amused to see the sedentary man asking, then struggling to hold by one of the two handles the discrete urn, without reliefs, after saying softly but firmly to one the workers that they were not to stop digging. The chief distanced himself and rejoined the other workers. Shouting, they continued the work without ever suspecting that their main objective had been achieved, and what ever else might emerge from the sands would not have as much relevance.

  3. Bayamoon 09 Aug 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Osher and Grassi transported the find under the merciless sun to their jeep. Getting to it, they carefully placed the urn in the back – covering it with a thick green tarp – and Grassi asked Osher to dismiss the driver, who in his seat, had managed to take a nap with a magazine resting over his eyes. The young priest was taking the driver’s seat, literally.

    In the mind of Antonio Enrico Grassi, the few minutes that took to the army surplus tent were enough to travel to Rome the night before. On his head adorned with a circular cut black hair, the ever grateful remembrance of a man, a true father, a suitable substitute of the old Sebastiano Grassi whose life found its end under the tomb of a truck: Don Fabrizio Grassi was more than an uncle, he was a spiritual leader. “The Holy Father is above you, uncle, that’s how things work in the Empire” Antonio recalled. And Don Fabrizio replied:
    – “For the Holy Father, Antonio, there would have been no better choice than you in this sacred mission. If all goes as desired, you will be the first to be canonized in our family, not be I. Although I hope to be already dead so as not to see you go so gloriously. “
    – “You mean …”
    – “I mean that another pristine chapter is being written in the basements of faith, my dear.”
    – “But, Uncle, how can I be considered a saint if I do not aim to be holy martyr? To be honest, I do not see how this could happen. ”
    – “Let history be written by those who hold the pen, Antonio. It was so since the beginning, and so shall it be to those who will come after you. ”

    To the young priest who left the dust back in Israel, the reason was a renegade daughter of the Church. “It was always like that.” As in any totalitarian government, those below the leaders eat of the crumbs of the banquet. “Even though inedible …”

    The cleverness of the young man was a nice springboard from Rome to here, and he drove speaking about Osher’s future museum. Anything for for the urn to be forgotten momentarily.

    ***

    The military jeep parked in front of the beige tent. Osher and Grassi exited it while cursing the scorching sun. They both looked to the sides, making sure they were alone at the entrance to their makeshift office. It was a moment long awaited by Osher and mainly by Grassi. But there was red tape …
    – Before we continue, Dr. Osher, I need to call someone, if you do not mind. Please wait for me inside the tent. I will be brief.
    – No problem, Father. – Osher obliged the friendly request forgetting the article in the back of the vehicle. Still, it was something that did not concern him, because what mattered was already deposited into his personal account in Switzerland. Samuel Osher entered into the secure tent. But he shouldn’t have.
    The jeep’s roaring engine muffled a blast from within the tent. The body of an old archaeologist collapsed, without seeing the ribbon cut on his dream. A sinister figure exited in the opposite direction of the Grassi’s jeep. “Gut durchgebraten!”.

    Antonio Grassi’s satellite phone was directed to a number known only by himself. The tone sounded three long times before a husky bass voice on the other side celebrated:
    – Is it done?
    – Your eminence know’s me. – full of pride in himself.
    – Loyal like your father, my dear. Are you returning with the gift?
    – Do I need to repeat myself? Even the grains of sand in the dessert have ears.
    – No… Of course not! We are waiting for dinner time. Remember, gifts are not opened before their time.
    – I’m not a kid anymore. I have the virtue of patience.
    – You are a saint, Antonio! I´ll see you soon. May God keep you. Alive, of course!
    – Of course… my uncle.

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