Re: Rewrite of my space opera (355 words)
Aboard the starcraft carrier Advent
[If you're not going to start every chapter with a place setting drop this completely... If you are something like "Carrier Advent" would work better... I like the name btw, especially if you are being portentious with it...]
Commander Gabriel Young walked around the small ship, touching the cold metal of the landing struts. Inky-black and windowless, it looked more like a drone than a vessel meant to be piloted by men. Its long, arrowhead-shaped body was very aerodynamic, obviously built with atmospheric flight in mind. "It's beautiful."
"First of its kind," Fleet Commander Arnold Smith said proudly. "The SR-78. One deck; maximum crew of five. It's got four pulse detonation engines with a maximum air speed of Mach 8. It's also equipped with the latest stealth technology."
Gabriel nodded with approval. "It's a short-ranged scout ship."
The old man grinned. "Not quite." He let his words hang in the air for a moment. "It's actually capable of opening slipstreams."
"This tiny thing?" Even the smallest vessels equipped with FTL drives were huge in comparison. It took an enormous amount of energy to create an aperture into slipstream.
[The above two paragraphs could be condensed into one and loose the info-dumping quite easily... i.e. "It's the smallest ship in the fleet with engines powerful enough to open slipstreams" to end the first para and then just cut the second...] [Also - 'Slipstreams' doesn't work linguistically (ctwg pointed that out), so just change that to FTL travel which you also mention within this scene]
"Yeah. Listen, Gabe," Smith's tone turned abruptly serious. "I wouldn't normally ask you to do this, but this is from way above me."
[The above dialogue only really works if Gabriel and Smith are good friends, and its not stated anywhere before this that they are...]
Gabriel's stomach started twisting. "Sir?"
"Two months ago we received intelligence that a colony on Cyprus has been building unregistered ships, so we sent drones in to investigate. They never returned." He suddenly avoided Gabriel's eyes. "I need you to take this ship and scout the planet. Purely a recon mission. If they are building ships, we need to know about it as soon as possible."
Damn, Gabriel thought. Building unregistered ships was a capital offense, especially if they were capable of interstellar travel. If the intelligence turned out to be true, Earth would send in dozens of battleships and bombard the planet. Nothing would be left alive.
[Put that information in dialogue but make it more ambiguous, i.e. just have Smith note that it's a capitol offence in his previous dialogue, and don't mention the stuff about planetary bombardment here... I'm assuming that Gabriel ins't too happy about that happening so have him deliberate about it later... It just seems a little too much here...]
"The plan is to drop out of slipstream in the nearest system, and then you and your crew will travel the rest of the way. It'll take the better part of a day to get there, but it should allow you to get in unnoticed," Smith said confidently.
Gabriel nodded. "When will I be launching?
"We'll be dropping out of slipstream in an hour. Be ready."[/QUOTE]
The idea behind this is an interesting one (a centralised, presumably human, empire, controlling their colonies by leaving them there and banning them from having their own ships) and it shows a lot of promise...
As for info-dumps, they aren't technically info-dumps if someone SAYS it out loud for a relevant reason... It also leads to you being much more concise with the language (because the average contents of an info-dump, written as is, don't sound like realistic dialogue, and making it so that it does cuts a hell of a lot of it)...
EDIT - Calling a restive colony Cyprus might have political conotations that you aren't aiming for... The country Cyprus is split into a Turkish side and a Cypriot side with the British military operating what is basically a 'de-militarised zone' between the two... Unless this is something you are planning to include on your own colony I would suggest changing the name