Glad I get to review this one as my first one! Was a great read and, while over my head in a few parts, really sucked me along and held my interest the entire way through. Hopefully some of my observations will help you as you continue to perfect the story:)
Great introduction. It really captured my attention with the first scene alluding to what happens later.
Very good job setting the stage and developing the characters.
Page 22: I got confused here. Was the chalkboard literally filled with the entire Bible? Or is this a metaphor for just a lot of writing? And I'm also slightly confused by what the written "voice" of math and science is.
You might think about describing the character's laugh, instead of phonetically spelling it out.
Page 26: How does he drift a donut while in a one wheeled chair? Wouldn't you need at least two?
I found myself a bit confused as to what exactly the Unraveler was. Is the entire facility considered the Unraveler? Or is only the circular (cylinder?) chamber in the center considered the Unraveler?
Also, if it is fully enclosed, how does it have no roof? And also, how does the protagonist "slunk" into it? Through one of its opened windows or a door? And what does slunk mean?
Page 32: how did he whisk himself up stairs while riding a one wheeled wheelchair? It gives the impression that he got out and walked/ran up the stairs.
Page 33: Dr. Towers got me excited when he said that, if lucky, the protagonist would come back to that place when he was done. Sadly, this doesn't happen. Was this line intentional to try and throw us off from the ending? Would be interesting if by going back in time, it somehow brought him back to the present time, or possibly even "slingshotted" him into the future. You may have alluded to something like this happening at the end of the story in the sense that time starts again, but this time the protagonist is God.
As the protagonist goes backward in time, it seems to be a bit uneven. Entire cities and pyramids dematerializing in seconds, yet he watches ships sail backward (cities and pyramids taking years to develop, yet ships taking hours to sail). Also, how did he see the first astronomers unless they stood in the same place for years at a time?
I guess I'm asking what is his rate of speed while traveling back in time? 100 years a second? 1,000 years a second? Whatever the rate of speed, keep it consistent.
Page 37: the end of this page lost me. He was living through his imagination? Watching his dreams and becoming a child?
The reason I chose the headline as Dr. Towers' Apple is that the ending seems to represent more of Adam and Eve and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Whereas the Tower of Babel represented humanity wanting to be NEAR to God, Adam and Eve ate the apple to be LIKE god. The ending of the story places the protagonist as like God, or possibly as God himself. Though it may have been your intention that the characters wanted to be near God (to observe him), but ended up becoming God.
I'll be honest and mention again (probably my selfishness acting up), but I would have liked to see the story shoot back through time again, instead of ending at the "beginning" and leaving it up to the reader to imagine how things turn out.
Overall, a very good story that will keep me thinking for a long time.
Review of: Dr. Towers' Babel (rev)
reviewed by kaibjorn on 03/29/2011