Structure by Peter Shepherd

The Structure, an alternate reality, is close to collapse. This is the story of those who try to save it.

Michael was once one of the ‘Three’, the creators of the Structure, an alternate reality carved out of the Chaos, first as a leisure park, then later as home to increasing numbers of digital migrants.

But for over five years he has been a recluse, refusing to return to his own creation, avoiding all contact with both the company that he helped found as well as his former colleagues and friends.

Now the Structure is beginning to fail, the cause unclear. Michael suspects an overload and is persuaded to return, but from the start things begin to go wrong and he finds himself trapped in an alternate reality he may have helped create but can now only despise. In his search for the truth he finds himself transported to realities and worlds stranger than he could ever have dreamed, only to learn that he himself has been living a fiction.

Structure is the story of multiple realities and how their histories are interwoven and partially glimpsed in myth and legend. It blends high concept science fiction with elements of modern fantasy and strong characterisation.

Cover image: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted March 15, 2010
  • Last updated March 15, 2010
Structure
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  • makeshift-lobotomy's avatar
    makeshift-lobotomy wrote 1 year, 7 months ago
    There is a sense of fantasy in this that take me to similar works of science fiction. The stream of consciousness written carefully in the 3rd person reminds me of Ender's Game. You have a steady flow in your narration that I can appreciate, as it keeps the story from getting too convoluted. One thing I would suggest-and this would particularly help with the beginning-is that you would give a bit more detail to the surroundings. Though we live in ...
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  • Retired user
    Kate006 [Retired] wrote 3 years, 1 month ago
    An excellent synopsis for a fully imagined future in the tradition of Philip K. Dick, Marge Piercy and Alfred Bester. The core of this brave new world, or in this instance, worlds, has obviously been constructed with great attention to detail and the half-familiar terms for everyday objects in Michael’s time suggest development from seeds sown in our own. With intriguing threads drawing together and the unease surrounding what has become of Michael’s fellow architects, or what, perhaps, they have ...
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  • PCreturned's avatar
    PCreturned wrote 3 years, 10 months ago
    Hi Peter, I thought your book sounded interesting and unusual, so here I am to have a good read and leave a comment. :) I'll comment as I read since I find that the easiest way to keep track. Please don't be offended by any suggestions. After all, they will just be my thoughts. You can always ignore me if you think I'm wrong or stupid. ;) Chapter 1: Intriguing start. It's almost like a creation myth for the modern ...
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  • eurodan49's avatar
    eurodan49 wrote 3 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Peter. While SF is not exactly my cup of tea, your pitch drew me in. I did enjoy your writing style and wordsmithing, also the tension, present through out the chapters I read. The internal dialogue, as your MC’s thoughts, help endear the character with the reader. The dialogue has a realistic ring to it. One suggestion. You have the MC thinking, you relay that to the reader and then come back and redo it as dialogue using the ...
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  • Retired user
    Chameleon8408 [Retired] wrote 4 years ago
    I really liked the imagery that you had first of all, reminding me of aeonflux and the matrix all rolled into one. I thought that it was fantastic story telling.(I only read chapter one so far) I will say that there were a few spots in the beginning that I had to go back and reread to make sure I understood what was happening. I think you had one or two typos but I wasn't sure if they were, i ...
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  • Roman N Marek's avatar
    Roman N Marek wrote 4 years, 1 month ago

    Thanks for uploading the latest 6 chapters. I really enjoyed reading them. The story continues to be interesting and the mysteries continue to pile up and pull one along. I shall wait patiently for the rest ... !

  • Bec C Simmonds's avatar
    Bec C Simmonds wrote 4 years, 1 month ago
    Hi Peter, This certainly kept me on my toes. I felt a little out of my depth and had to read the first half of the first chapter twice. That's not to say it isn't brilliant. My thoughts are; the spacing added simplicity to the world that you created- good for me, I like the pace and felt a sense of emergency from the start, I woild have liked you to paint more of a picture at the beginning. I ...
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  • Retired user
    rhine [Retired] wrote 4 years, 1 month ago

    the pitch is fantastic, but the prose was so repetitive and disjointed I never finished the first chapter. sorry.

  • Roman N Marek's avatar
    Roman N Marek wrote 4 years, 1 month ago
    This is the best SF story I have read on here so far. I couldn’t work out what the hell was going on – even after 6 chapters (!) ... which is good for this kind of story where you’re dropped into a future with its novelty and unfamiliar jargon. Bit by bit the reader has to piece it all together as the author drip-feeds just the right amount of information. The mystery of it all keeps one reading. One ...
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  • smcint04's avatar
    smcint04 wrote 4 years, 2 months ago

    Smooth read - not my normal cup of tea but the writing is overall very good. I do wish you could cut back on the use of the adjectives though - it reads a touch forced.

  • curiousturtle's avatar
    curiousturtle wrote 4 years, 2 months ago
    Peter, I started reading your Opus and I thought I would give you my cent and a half before the Rah takes it a way...lol The premise of a virtual reality that gets out of control is a relevant one. Obviously, the frame that comes to mind is the Matrix and Spielberg's AI I assume that since you posted an incomplete manuscript you are interested in a critique of the style rather than climbing the ranks So let me oblige: ...
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  • GuardsMann81's avatar
    GuardsMann81 wrote 4 years, 4 months ago
    Peter, From what I read, this is quite a story. It is difficult to create an entire world, let alone many of them, yet you have done so well. You give us just enough information to carry us on, enlightening us on the world as we progress. During a few instances, I felt like a bit more information about the world might be helpful, but was unnecessary. Great job! I made a few comments about simple typos and such. Good ...
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  • GuardsMann81's avatar
    GuardsMann81 wrote 4 years, 4 months ago
    Peter, From what I read, this is quite a story. It is difficult to create an entire world, let alone many of them, yet you have done so well. You give us just enough information to carry us on, enlightening us on the world as we progress. During a few instances, I felt like a bit more information about the world might be helpful, but was unnecessary. Great job! I made a few comments about simple typos and such. Good ...
    Read more
  • Retired user
    yasmin esack [Retired] wrote 4 years, 10 months ago

    Dear Peter
    Your book inspires and threads a fine path. It is stimulating and provocative in content. Your style of writing is unique and offers up a treat. It was indeed a pleasure to read it.
    Backed
    The Lord of the Dawn. Beyond 2012.

  • lionel25's avatar
    lionel25 wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Peter, I read that first chapter and agree--you can write. Good job overall. I can't nitpick anything really. Just one or two things I'd phrase differently. For instance, where you write: Possibilities flooded through his mind, I'd write: Possibilities flooded his mind.

    Happy to back your work.

    Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

  • klouholmes's avatar
    klouholmes wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Peter, This has difficult concepts but the way it’s written kept bringing me back to the main idea of the Structure and I liked it when Michael admired the coils on the ceiling. The story really starts moving when the strange people run into him and he’s dealing with things going wrong. It has a surreal feeling and an interesting perspective on Reality! Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

  • Cherry G.'s avatar
    Cherry G. wrote 4 years, 12 months ago
    You've created a new world here and it feels solid and complex, totally believable. The first chapter is full of tension as Michael waits for Gabi and wonders what he should do. There are hints that something is breaking down, that there are unexpected faults in the system. I was reminded of the short story by E. M. Forster, "The Machine Stops." You develop the mystery in the first couple of chapters...what has happened to Lucy and the research station, ...
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  • Owen Quinn's avatar
    Owen Quinn wrote 4 years, 12 months ago

    Good pitch taht draws you into a very original idea. A strange world with good imagery, structure and dialogue. It's almost as if God took a holiday. recommended.

  • Retired user
    Esrevinu [Retired] wrote 5 years ago

    Your pitch is polished and it pulled me in. Your writing is soothing, I found myself entrench in the sentences and floating from paragraph to paragraph. It is massive and contains your world, your Alice in Wonderland-Wizard of Oz. You have created your own history, culture, and rules. This is storytelling at it best.
    Best of luck my friend
    Scott
    The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

  • Pia 's avatar
    Pia wrote 5 years ago

    Peter,

    Structure - the title and the pitch ... he himself a living fiction ... drew me to explore the story.
    Michael's thought process works well, eerie and intriguing, catching the reader's curiosity as to what is going on. And the writing flows. In addition I find the concepts compelling.

    Backed with pleasure. Pia (Course of Mirrors)