Feedback wanted – revisiting the Prelude of Floating to the Ground


For my readers of Floating to the Ground, I know that some of the government information is a bit dry, and I want to only include what is necessary. I also want to add information about Marcia and/or Norman in the Prelude so that you as a reader have a reason to care about what happens to them. So, what kind of information do you think is missing about Marcia in the Prelude so that this section draws you in more? I want your opinion. Please and thank you. 🙂

If you’ve never read Floating to the Ground, it’s a sci-fi romance (short story) between Marcia Newquest and Norman Pierce on a floating city called Ethereal.

Here’s the Prelude again:


I’m stuck here in this city in the sky – it’s my inescapable prison.  I am here, and he’s deploying to land in three days. There’s nothing I can do about it, and it sucks. This place is called Ethereal; it’s really quite beautiful, even garden-like. Everything here considered flora was planted because this city is really a livable, hovering craft of sorts, enough to fairly comfortably hold about one-and-a-half million people. The city itself is open air; it kind of reminds me of a giant convertible. There are vines growing on trees, and the trees are everywhere, even inside some of our buildings. It feels tropical, but not excessively hot. A lot of people wish they lived here, but it’s not our choice where we get to live. When or if we ever move is up to officials in The Tower.  The way The Tower system works is this: each city is connected to a metropolis, and each metropolis has a local government housed in its largest building called The Tower.  The floating cities are not a part of any state, but instead are functions of the larger government called The Confederation. Any land states are also assigned to a Confederation. Each country has its own Confederation that answers to Earth’s government, The Dominion. We’re all used to this system because it’s all we’ve ever known, but sometimes life gives us a curveball—and when we want to leave, we can’t.

Norman Pierce and I met four years ago in high school; we were just seventeen—it feels so long ago. Norman came to school as a new student on a Friday in April. Kind of weird, huh?  He came from a place called Nevada, which is on the land, nowhere near here. The Tower in his Confederation did what’s called Reassignment, and because his family’s names were on the list, they were forced to move. There doesn’t have to be a specific reason for being chosen for Reassignment, and Reassignment doesn’t have any regularity. The motto of Reassignment is “For the greater good.”

Reassignment feels like punishment when you enjoy your life, but it can also bring an unexpected joy when your new life brings you people you come to love. That’s what happened with us. Our love was kept a secret from us, by us, until The Assignment was delivered about a month ago.

~Marcia Newquest


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