Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Part 11, Chapter 8 - More Shiny Yellow Metal

They find more gold.

That's really about it. Dunneldeen finds a second pocket of gold while drilling on Day 86, and by Day 88 the stuff they find brings their grand total of useless yellow rock to 1,953 pounds. Not quite a ton, but hopefully enough.

The project was on its way!

They began to oil their assault rifles.

The parson prayed long and earnestly for their success. There were no parallels for odds such as these.

No mention of so much as a "thank you" to God for finding the second pocket of gold. Ingrates.

All in all this chapter's just over a page long, and it brings the "we don't have gold" subplot to a disappointing, sudden end. Makes you wonder why Hubbard even bothered. I'm no writer... well, I'm not a professional writer, but aren't subplots supposed to have a purpose beyond delaying the main story? I mean, what did Jonnie learn from all of this? How did he grow as a character? What did we learn about him?

Nothing. He was worried that they wouldn't have enough gold to satisfy Terl, but they abruptly and miraculously found enough. So much for that. There wasn't even any tension over if they'd succeed or not because frankly Jonnie's either used his super specialness or experienced strokes of dumb luck to overcome every other obstacle in this insipid story, so there was never any doubt the gold shortage would inconvenience him much.

There might have been some excitement if the humans couldn't find any gold at all, and they had to come up with some way to either delay Terl or fool him, like maybe by melting it down and coating some boulders with the gold. Then there'd be a race against time until he figured it out. Or maybe they wouldn't be able to stick to the timetable and be forced to launch their rebellion early, thus throwing their plans into disarray and forcing them to... oh, wait... we haven't even been told what the plan is, so it can be all exciting and interesting as it unfolds before us. Which means that it'll succeed. There goes any future tension. We'll just get to watch how they succeed.

Next chapter, an explosion. That's kinda exciting, isn't it?

Back to Chapter Seven

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