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Reviewer: jespah Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 23 Sep 2011 14:24 Title: The Spark in Yartek's Eye

Oh! Oh! Oh!

They're like the Curies and kind of HG Wells and wife (if she had been as into writing as he was)! How fab!

And it makes a boatload of sense. You start to think about how things might go, and you work on trying to make them reasonable and convincing (you're a writer; you know what I'm talking about) and then, lo and behold, they ARE reasonable and it actually might be the germ of an invention. And then someone with mechanical or similar knowledge either reads about what you have written, or they go through a similar thought process, and, all of a sudden, you've got an invention!

I also like the time period that elapsed. I think it's very convincing and real, as we had a similar one here during the twentieth century, where you go from people traveling in horses and possibly a few electric streetcars to, eventually, the space shuttle. If Mars was as habitable as Yarte’krinek, then we would, likely, be working on going there and not just sending a few probes. Also, I suspect your Hebetians don't have Challenger and Columbia accidents like we did, which set our programs back for a while and took away a lot of the funding and enthusiasm for manned space travel.

Outstanding - I don't give out a lot of 10s but here you go.

Author's Response:

Thank you so much for reading! :)

Since I am not the best scientific mind, what really helped me with that was the fact that I know what's going to happen scientifically on Earth, but they didn't know certain things that we can find in textbooks for children. ;-)

I'm not sure what Tehir's level of scientific knowledge was, but I get the feeling that he and Miti are no slouches.  Not professional scientists, but they have a pretty good idea of the world around them as was known at that time.

I'm thinking this story started around the Hebitian equivalent of the 1880s or 1890s.  It's interesting that you mention the shuttle accidents, and other accidents we had...but I would point out that we were far less deterred by the accident leading to the death of Virgil Grissom because we were fixed on a goal, which was defeating the Soviets.  While it's not due to international hostilities, I get the feeling that even though the Hebitians did have accidents, the promise of a habitable world kept them pursuing the goal aggressively.  They may have even felt it would dishonor the dead to give up.  So I think that overall, the presence of an inhabited world influenced their attitudes even towards accidents.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Sep 2011 13:45 Title: The Spark in Yartek's Eye

This is a great, worldbuilding story. A lurk into Cardassia's past, so deep into that past that Cardassians didn't call themselves Cardassians, yet.

A lot of different--and difficult--matters are discussed in this story. We see prejudice related to gender: Tehir must pretend he is a woman, because as a man he is believed not to be imaginative enough to wrote stories. Obviously, this is a wrong assumption, since that's exactly what he does. Then we have the terrible situation of the Hăzăkda, who are being exterminated in the name of some twisted science with blessing or not-less-twisted minds. And complete inaction of probably most respected person on Habitia--Ăstraya. I guess her word and her protest would mean a lot, but she doesn't offer anything in defence of the slaughtered race.

Hebitia is in trouble, but there's hope for them. It would appear that discovering another habitable planet in their system helped to change something. At least we see that Tehir doesn't have to hide behind his female pseudonym and his name is known to public.

After all tragic and sad things we learnt about Tehir's Hebitia, we have a chance to see one of the greatest achievements of the Hebitians: their colonisation of the planet. It's just the beginning and a lot of work is ahead of them, but it's a great step for their society. I can only hope that discovering how great the universe is--they had known it before, but had they really understood and experienced it?--would help them overcome their racial and gender prejudice and see that they have more in common and not that much divides them.

Author's Response:

Thanks again for reading. :-)

Bad science and bad religion are an ugly combination, aren't they?  And you're so right that it's both in the mix.

I can guarantee you that a clear, official combination from Ăstraya would bring the slaughter to a halt.  It might not stop the discrimination, but I am sure it would stop the killings.

Indeed there was some progress.  I suspect that progress came while Tehir and Miti were still alive, but I'm sure their old fears remained a motivator and they probably did not want their identities revealed until both of them passed away.  They probably could've done it sooner, though, and been hailed as cultural heroes.

About that racial prejudice...there's a big question: will they overcome their prejudices, or only think they have and just push their sense of "other" a little further outward?

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