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The Wish by Gee Whillickers


blue

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(I looked back a few pages and didn't see a topic thread, so I'm starting one.)

I wanted something to read, and I'm still at loose ends. Aside from a few short stories at Codey's World, it's been months since I last read anything fiction. (BTW, those short stories were by Gee Whillickers, Grant Bentley, and Colin Kelly, plus a reread of one of Codey's poems.)

So I clicked on Gee Whillickers' story, The Wish, because the title and author sounded good, and started reading. I was hooked right away. Imaginative story idea and a character I could sure identify with and a good plot, here we go.

Add to that, that I'm missing people in my life, so this hits close to home for my feelings. Also add to it, the main character has problems I could relate to from my own teens. That includes having a crush on a likely straight friend, and wishing mightily that he would be interested. Two friends, actually; not at the same time.

Going good so far, very quickly up through to the end of chapter 9, and Gee drops a very nice plot complication into the mix, very much heightening the story appeal and drama.

I'm going to read the rest tonight before trying to sleep again.

I think possibly I needed this story right about now. Enjoying it a lot so far, and I hope I'll like the rest as much. I'll comment more this weekend after I've finished.

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I got up to about chapter 11 or 12 last night, took a break, then saw a post which took precedence. About to eat and read the rest of the story. The magnified new plot complication is a great touch and has me intrigued how Craig, the protagonist, is going to get through this. -- Yes, I was reminded of a few other videos and books, but this story is original, it puts its own spin on it.

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I finished reading The Wish late last night. Great story, and it kept me interested the whole way. There was one weak spot in the last three chapters, in the trouble one character had and in how they got back after a major scene, but it didn't spoil the story for me. I've seen TV and films that had bigger plot holes, for sure.

Chapter 16 has the unvisited links showing in blue on a black background, very hard for me to see. Other chapters used a yellow color for the unvisited links, which was much easier to see.

There was a good mix of humor in there and several fine science and science fictional ideas. I liked the connections through to coming out and to Craig's own dilemma, along with why he had such self-esteem issues. Yet he was the one taking action.

The light-hearted approach and teasing going on and comic relief sometimes, with the boys being affectionate and feeling awkward, I thought was well done. -- Although I think I heard my teenage self back in there muttering something about, how come his buddies weren't that willing to lend a hand that often. Possibly, it's because my teenage self was a great deal like how we first see Craig, at least in some ways. I wasn't ticked off or mourning or the new kid, though.

One other point got me, and I'm not too sure I understand. Joel winds up in the world after the Disappearance too. I think I missed what put him there, his wish or dilemma.

Let's see, on the science, back in 8th grade, 13 and 14, I think I would've gotten about the same level as Craig or Andrew. I don't remember if I'd run across the Schroedinger's Cat example yet. I had by my junior or senior year of high school. The idea of alternate universes, I did know from science fiction. I don't think I knew about the double slit experiment with light. We'd seen how light could be refracted into a spectrum, though. I had some idea what a photon was, but beyond it being a unit or particle of light, I don't think I knew more. Not sure if we'd learned light behaved as both a particle and a wave yet. I would've been able to say why FTL/warp/hyperspace jump was fiction and not doable by relativity, but wouldn't have known the real science. (In college, I would've been able to get anything in Calc III, but I was terrible at physics. No, that force doesn't go there, and no, there's not a force there at all, Ben.) Wormholes, though, I knew in 8th grade. But string theory, I didn't hear about until college.

Very few classics on my shelf as a teen, but you would've found an entire bookshelf of science fiction books, and a sketchpad of some kind and something to draw with, always. Yes, you would've found me in junior high reading Heinlein, Norton, Foster, and the Hobbit, at least, along with plenty others and Star Trek novels.

I would've also been trying to figure out my feelings in 8th grade, in general, but especially for one best friend, including trying to work around whether he might be interested in, ah, comparative biology, let's say. :)

I could've tried to shoot a gun, probably would've missed. Most survival skills, I wouldn't have known. I wasn't mechanically inclined either. Probably a good thing I didn't get stranded in some parallel universe. Getting stranded with a nice boy, though, not a problem, heheh. ...Except it probably would've taken more than half the novel before I got daring enough for any field anthropology, maybe even if he asked me first... Or maybe sooner. I remember being quite intrigued by a few scenes in favorite books, where somehow the main character, a boy my age at the time or thereabouts, found himself somehow lacking in apparel. Funny how that could happen....

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Thanks for you comments, blue. There was actually a thread for the story from when it was being posted originally, but it may be down a few pages now. That's fine though, it was nice to see it being talked about again.

I'm not sure why your links were turning up different colors. It wasn't anything to do with the story itself, they were all linked identically, so I suspect it's your browser. As for how Joel ends up in the world, he was in the original field along with Craig. When the original experiment happened Craig was outside on the highway, in range of the field, and Joel was out on a boat in the lake while fishing with his dad. Same thing, inside the field. So he was therefore "linked" to that universe as well, and Craig's wish for company brought him there. Anytime anybody moves universes, including when Craig and Joel get pulled back home the first time, there was a preceding, "I wish...." somewhere shortly prior to that. Look for it.

Thanks again for the comments. I'm really glad this story has and continues to be enjoyed by so many.

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I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your extrapolation of string theory and it's place to meld quantum physics with relativity. Wonderfully done and very imaginative.

I'm not sure how many people would have understood it, but your explanations worked for me (an anal engineer).

Richard

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The bit with the link colors has to do with how the web pages were created and styled, as individual pages rather than a single stylesheet for the whole story. It's just Chapter 16 that missed the coding there. :)

Oh good, I did get how Joel got there initially. I'd thought that, in order to be transferred, he'd had his own wish going too, and I'd taken that that was part of his talk with Jamie. Hmm, and since it's now been a few days since reading the story (and my memory is Swiss cheese still) if I remember correctly, his friend was the one who didn't quite believe the alternate universe story, or was somehow not around. (That is separate from Craig's friend Tim, from before the move.)

I have a general, popular science and science fictional familiarity with the science behind the story, but I know one of the items behind it, one of the last links, I wasn't familiar with, so I'll need to read the links. I think that was the idea behind re-meshing, blending, merging two...nearly congruent alternate universes, I suppose you'd say.

Very interesting ideas behind the story, and how the boys manage it all, I thought was well done and good fun.

As an aside, it was pointed out to me a few years back that, back when I was a college guy with my nose stuck in English, French, Calculus, and Computer Science books, and hunched over a hot computer terminal, quite likely there were several of the other computer geeks around me, also wishing for male company. Heh, silly me, I pretty much thought anyone was straight and so, didn't ask. I also didn't get myself to darken the door of the new "Gay Student Association." To be fair, though, this was back when you were really rich or really nerdy if you had a modem and were on any of the BBS systems of the time, what few there were. Internet? World wide web? Way too early. I did miss a guest lecture on something called "hypertext," because I forgot it that week and had other studying (I thought) to do.

Some of us take a while to figure these things out. Or more accurately, to deal with them, even though we do know, deep down.

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I'm not sure how many people would have understood it, but your explanations worked for me (an anal engineer).

Richard

I know I went to college long before a youngster like you was admitted, and fields broadened as time passed, but I was sorely restricted as far as curriculum went. I only had a few engineering fields to choose from. Yours wasn't in the catalog.

C

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I believe he meant engineering analysis. Or something similar. Unless he meant sanitation engineering. ;)

What about hydraulic engineering? Comparative biology? .... Any more teasing, and I'd probably have to moderate myself.

I went to school primarily with engineers, so after three semesters of calculus, I could halfway understand what they were saying when they'd test each other with some civil engineering problem.

I sure wish I hadn't erased a couple of short stories I'd written back then. Tame stuff, too. -- I've wondered a couple of times if I could recreate those. :shrugs:

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What I remember most about the engineering faculty where I went to school was that they were inevitably, by far, the biggest partiers of the entire school.

Really? Man oh man, Canada must be different, or perhaps just college is different than when I went. I was in college for far too many years, and never, ever heard of faculty partying with students. Occasionally there'd be a function where the two groups mingled, but it could never be called a party.

Our engineering faculty tended toward the old fart persuasion. I woudn't have wanted to party with them!

C

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Really? Man oh man, Canada must be different, or perhaps just college is different than when I went. I was in college for far too many years, and never, ever heard of faculty partying with students. Occasionally there'd be a function where the two groups mingled, but it could never be called a party.

Our engineering faculty tended toward the old fart persuasion. I woudn't have wanted to party with them!

C

One of those regional language use issues rears its ugly head. "Engineering Faculty" meaning "Those students who are enrolled in the engineering faculty (meaning 'department')." So, the students taking engineering were the hardest partiers.

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