Date: 23 Mar 2009 00:04 Title: Entire Story
I'm a little hesitant to jump in with a review of your work, not having read more. I want to be fair as well as accurate. But your prodiguous creative output makes that a challenge. I've decided to simply choose what looks like a good place to start, and offer more reviews as I make my way up the mountain. I hope my occasional 'dispatches from the front' are of some help to you, even if I change my mind from time to time. From what I've read so far, it will be an enjoyable climb.
I've read some of your Q stories before, and this story, like all the others I've read, exhibit a seemingly effortless narrative style. Likewise for dialog. Smooth, free-flowing and natural, the words seem to behave as if they have always been tethered that way; meant for each other. I'm not sure if you have heard this a hundred times or not, but you have a very special gift.
Now for a teeny concrit. I was interrupted frequently here at home today, and I sometimes had difficulty re-establishing whether it was T'Pol or Skon talking when returning to the story. I think a healthy assortment of "he asked" and "she replied" to the dialog would have helped. You might also find them helpful in hinting at the speaker's state of mind. I use a website, "synonyms for said": http://careo.elearning.ubc.ca/wiki?SynonymsForSaid It is now part of my standard browser tabset.
Your mastery of Q's voice and mannerisms is so good it sometimes masks your other accomplishments, such as establishing T'Pol's voice in this story. Take this paragraph, for example:
"Trip would have told her to do what she wanted. Archer would have told her to follow her heart. She would have pointed out that Vulcans, lacking emotions, have no heart in the sense he meant. She would, of course, have been lying."
Only an careful observer of ENT would have realized that T'Pol was having difficulty suppressing her emotions throughout nearly the entire series, at least since the first season episode Fusion. (When she heard the saxaphonist playing jazz music) Dropping the hint as you did was perfect - a gem that only some may pick up - but something that captures T'Pol better than any photo could. It was dope!
The final line of that paragraph is so intriguing I would have positioned it closer to the end. Perhaps the only sentence that should follow it is:
"Sundown is in seven hours. If we wish to marry today we will need to move quickly."
You may have had higher objectives in mind, but this approach would have sustained the suspense right through to the end. It would left the reader facing a cliff, but I get the feeling you're not afraid of cliffs either :-)
Until my next dispatch...