Date: 30 Jun 2013 23:59 Title: Part I: Balancing Equations - Chapter 2
The banter between these two is just a joy to read. Absolutely adorable.
I love Corry's mom.
Also, the depth you put into the descriptive bits makes South Bristol and the Corrigans' home feel like additional characters in the story.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 12:29 Title: Part I: Balancing Equations - Chapter 1
"We're gonna be the greatest engineers ever to work for Starfleet. Might as well have fun while we still can."
"Engineering is fun," Scotty answered, tossing a longing glance at the halfway torn-down phase inverter sitting on his workbench.
Love this. And this is why Scotty is still an engineer, many, many years from now.
Author's Response: Indeed it is. It's a catchall for that one: It's fun, it's career, it's survival, it's everything.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 10:33 Title: Prologue: True North
Finally giving this a proper chapter-by-chapter review after falling in love with it in '09 and reading it start to finish in an evening.
So, my impressions of this prologue ...
Corry is, of course, instantly likeable. And I like that he uses his charm for good here, breaking up a scuffle before it begins and reaching out to "the curve killer." I also love his infatuation with Maggie, and his hilarious and oh-so-true "theory."
I hate referencing my own stuff in a review, but I can't help but draw some comparisons here -- I imagine that if JQ had been better raised, he might be more like Corry. And the reactions of the older cadets to Scotty's presence in their ranks is ... familiar to me, as well.
Scotty's guarded here, as always, but he does give Corry a chance, which of course sets the stage for this whole epic tale. Already I am giddy with the anticipation of rereading this, especially having grown to know the characters better over the past few years. Onward!
Author's Response: I think it must have been his squadmates in Basic who softened him up with the social interaction, as well as giving him his lifelong nick. He never got close to them, but he was fond of them, and they of him, and someday I will go back and add a few more tales to that saga. And you know, I think you're right about JQ. Even with the upbringing, he and Cor share a lot of common traits; John is more solemn, but he's good at taking a joke, he's kind of a player, and he's so deeply loyal.
And hey, reference away. I love parallels and characterization discussion.
Date: 30 Jul 2012 17:41 Title: Part I: Balancing Equations - Chapter 3
More excellence. I like how you don't describe the loft where they're building the ship until halfway through the scene; it's dramatic because the reader doesn't realize until then how large and majestic the space is. It feels like a scene in a movie where you start with close-ups of the actors and then cut to a wide shot.
Looking forward to meeting Scotty's family!
Date: 13 Jul 2012 11:30 Title: Part I: Balancing Equations - Chapter 2
Excellent as always. I especially like the way that Scotty's infatuation with Rachel parallels the later nature of his love life (the brief and presumably ultimately unsuccessful infatuations with Carolyn Palamas and Mira Romaine). Like other reviewers, I also feel I must point out the unusual and refreshing inclusion of the grace before dinner.
Author's Response: Hee! I'm so glad you caught that! Scotty is no genius at romance, clearly; he falls hard, fast and into a state of total stupidity for awhile, almost invariably gets utterly rejected and it's little wonder the man's essentially a lifelong bachelor. Thanks so much for the comment!
Date: 12 Jul 2012 15:25 Title: Part I: Balancing Equations - Chapter 1
Beautifully written, with excellent characterizations and an engaging portrayal of male friendship. Having read the reviews for the whole story before the story itself, I also know that in this chapter you're foreshadowing much later developments with the discussion of the dangers of sailing -- something that gives the story even more depth. I also picked up on the reference to the "Relics" novelization (Scotty's hang-gliding) -- I always appreciate little continuity references like that. The prologue and this chapter are a very strong start to the story. Looking forward to continuing!
Author's Response: Thank you! Took me seven years to write this. XD I actually don't follow any non-canon continuity except Kobayashi Maru and Vulcan's Glory (I thought those really fit), but I did like that one bit of insight in Relics, so I kept it. I think you're the first person who actually caught it, though! I really hope you enjoy the story, should you continue it.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:54 Title: Part V: Across the Line - Chapter 4
About the court-martialing of cadets...it's kind of interesting to think forward from this incident to the bit with Wesley Crusher and the Kolvoord Starburst. That was an equally reckless stunt, and I wonder if the fallout from that one, in your canon, was kind of determined by this precedent?
GREAT story, and great ending with Barrett. It really seems to me he must have helped keep them from getting discharged entirely.
Author's Response: I never considered whether or not it would impact the much later courtmartial in TNG, but it could well have. XD Black eye though it is for Starfleet. And thank you!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:48 Title: Part V: Across the Line - Chapter 2
That was a powerful scene with Harrison there. And I also think you pointed out something interesting, inadvertently perhaps, with your narrative: words like the one Corry used have to be used very, VERY judiciously to have the right impact, and indeed, it did here.
And goodness, has Scotty just been eloquent here: "Don't pull me out o' the dark, just to go there yourself."
Author's Response: In his own, plain-spoken way, aye. Thank you!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:44 Title: Part IV: Zero Moment - Chapter 6
BTW...I know not everyone will be a fan of the text that went with that vid. But it was the only one I could get hold of on YouTube that was not a live rendition where you can barely hear anything.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:41 Title: Part IV: Zero Moment - Chapter 6
"It was irony at its best. Men could love the ocean, but never trust it.
The Atlantic had claimed many lives over the history of humanity. Then, over the past century or so, there had been none. Rescue operations had gotten too efficient, boats had become much more seaworthy, people had become a little wiser and they finally thought they had somehow made everything foolproof."
All I can manage to do is respond to this with a song that I think says it all. I hope sometime you'll get speakers, because the description of the sky, the lyrics...it all fits this section wonderfully.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:37 Title: Part IV: Zero Moment - Chapter 5
That was an unbelievably powerful segment right there.
I am also reminded of something you wrote on my behalf during the Round Robin, something I am very honored to re-read now. I remember the scene where you have Gul Berat trying to save Seren's first ship--it feels very similar, except for the fact that Berat was not able to make it in time. Thank God Scotty was physically capable of a better outcome--I suspect many, many people would've been done in by what he attempted.
Author's Response: Probably, yeah. It was real, immediate danger. And he couldn't send someone else to do it. Thank you, very much!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:28 Title: Part IV: Zero Moment - Chapter 3
That red sun--that reminds me of the sun you get before an impending hurricane, in this part of the world. Not good, not good...
Author's Response: Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. ::nodnods:: Not subtle, for those who know the phrase, but still! Thanks!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:22 Title: Part IV: Zero Moment - Chapter 1
Hmm, how that sea chantey (sp?) got on the Vulcan library tapes--that seems like a story of its own! ;-)
Oh, no. That reporter just transformed into Shepherd Smith in my head. The succinct line "He was the shit" decided it. (Because Shep THINKS he's the shit, though he makes an idiot of himself every day.)
Oh...and just by the name of the Barely Afloat, I get the idea that even though my grade wouldn't have been so good, being on that team, that it would've been a much more fun, much less stressful experience on that team. Self-deprecating humor tends to point to good, relaxed people. ;-)
(Funny story...I worked with a partner in woodshop once on building a model rocket. We named it the Saturn V--my partner informing me that the real Saturn V had exploded. Which, ironically, ours did after it got about 1 story in the air!)
Author's Response: Actually, 'You Give Love a Bad Name' is totally Bon Jovi. And I have no clue how it got into the Vulcan library tapes either, but I do imagine it's its own story of utter madness and humor. ::giggles:: Somehow. As for the Barely Afloat, it was both a good joke and likewise a nod to my family's first tiny little runabout boat (and our only one), which we nearly sank out on the lake our first time out. Hence, we named it the Barely Afloat.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 21:11 Title: Part III: Righting Arm - Chapter 5
OH MY GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE CORRY SAID HE HAD BEANS FOR LUNCH!!!!!! O_O
And it got even worse from there!
I just about fell out of my chair!!!!
I must say, though, you don't seem to like Security division very much, do ya? ;-) I ask because a certain Makis Spirodopoulos is being quite loud right now, saying, "Hey, we're more than knuckle-dragging lugs!" (And he adds a big, loud :-P just for you. ;-) ) Of course, I don't think he'd like the sassing, either...but the incompetence Security seems to be showing here? Oooooooh, he'd be wanting to clean house BAD so that none of what's about to come could ever have transpired...
I STILL don't get how the cannonball didn't break Corry's foot, though...
Author's Response: Again, wearing combat boots, plus not actually having it dropped from any height, equals 'OWWWWWW!' and probably a bruise, but no broken bones. LOL! I think fine of security, but I don't think that the older is probably a shining example. Or that it was really that big a deal to them, meriting major investigations. ::laughs:: I don't doubt that if it was something more serious than a bunch of engineering cadets and a noise complaint, they would have put more effort into it.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 20:58 Title: Part III: Righting Arm - Chapter 3
Heh...I'm getting a kick out of Scotty thinking about the lack of common sense in security officers when he himself just showed what could be classed as a bit of a lack of common sense... ;-)
(Reminds me of that moment when he thought Berat was working himself into the ground while he'd done just as badly to himself. Not exactly a man for self-analysis, that's for sure! ;-) )
And that Harrison...maybe it's just my "Cardassian" instincts at play, but I don't trust someone who can switch their loyalties that quickly...
As for Maggie? What a jerk. That doesn't even begin to cover it.
Author's Response: LOL! Yes, absolutely, it is a running theme that Scotty is not good at measuring himself. Especially when it comes to being hard on himself mercilessly, and more forgiving or others, but in this case it does swing the other way. Then again, he lives, so I suppose he might have a point. LOL! Unlike many redshirts.
As for the others, we'll see. ::grins::
Date: 11 Nov 2009 20:51 Title: Part III: Righting Arm - Chapter 2
Oh, that Barrett, always ten steps ahead of everybody! Though he'd better quit saying stuff because he's speaking it into being... ;-) (Come to think of it, I actually don't think Berat acts quite that mysterious. Hell, Berat might even kindly suggest that Barrett dial it back a notch in that regard... ;-) )
"Y'all"? I'm curious, just where are they getting their wood from? I'm almost thinking Southeastern US--all I can picture is the constant stream of trucks carrying pine wood down I-85 back in Alabama! :-) If so, very neat detail, and one that I'm not sure even most Americans who haven't lived in the South are aware of!
(Oh, and I do like seeing the start of the "Ye're a bastard" refrain that was SO great in the lighter stories! ;-) )
Author's Response: Yes, it was actually meant to be from the US South. XD So, I'm glad someone caught that. And thank you, it was good to get back to writing them as at least patching things up.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 20:01 Title: Part III: Righting Arm - Chapter 1
You know...I know you've said before that Scotty doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome, but there are certain responses here and in the previous few chapters that still remind me of a much, MUCH less comical version of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory (a character that almost certainly is somewhere on the autistic spectrum). I'm not exactly sure what it is that's giving me that impression, but it's there.
Of course, I can also see that a great deal of anger is driving it, too.
It's really and truly remarkable, when you think about it, that Corry was able to come around considering what happened, that BOTH of them did not decide at this point that the cost was too great and that it should be ended.
I even have to be honest about myself...I do not know that I have that sort of willingness to withstand that sort of mutual abuse, except perhaps in very, very VERY special cases. That's what we have here, definitely. But I have to say, if I were in this situation, I definitely cannot answer with a certain "yes" that I would have ever patched up that friendship.
Author's Response: Well, a big part of it that it wasn't really abuse. On Scotty's part, he is what he is -- he can't communicate the way Cor wanted him to, and his biggest fault was that he didn't know how to listen. I can't make myself blame him; I know where he came from, all too well, and just how hard it was for him to even begin this friendship, let alone try to repair it the only way he knows how (with his hands, with that schooner) He wasn't absent, exactly. He was just trying to fix things, and wasn't communicating that well.
Corry wasn't really wrong, either, though his own response to thing was not measured -- it was young, and raw, and a little stupid. He didn't handle himself any better, but he is what he is as well. And part of deciding not to give up was part of both of them learning how to communicate some better than they had, meeting somewhere in the middle.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 19:46 Title: Part II: The Lady Grey - Chapter 6
Wow. I remember this scene and it STILL hurts. I feel for Scotty--but he definitely stepped in it here, and that sucks. :-(
Author's Response: Yeah, pretty much. They were both not-all-right, and that does happen.
Date: 11 Nov 2009 19:39 Title: Part II: The Lady Grey - Chapter 5
You know, I've actually managed to forget what happens next...or at least, what the timing of it is. And I'm really pulling for Scotty here, hoping that he'll be able to realize that maybe it's time to really, truly talk instead of letting this continue to eat at him all alone.
On a side note--OK...I have GOT to stop picturing Professor Barrett with grey skin, Cal Ripken-blue eyes, and hooked ridges to go around them! ;-)
But ya know, that brings up an interesting, random thought. I do like the fact that you have not everybody attending Starfleet Academy in San Francisco (like I said a long time ago, very bad logistics there), but I do find myself wondering something. Maybe it's just the fact that I know the 24th-century shows better, but I would've thought there'd be at least a few foreign exchange students, or a professor or two from a different part of the galaxy, to give the students a little experience in dealing with peoples whose cultures and histories are worlds apart.
(Mind you, I am NOT for the PC environment of the 24th century. I just found it a really cool, beneficial, and even fun experience for me in college to work with people from other countries and cultures, and I think that's a very good one for kids to have. Very mixed-culture areas are extremely stimulating for me to live in.)
Author's Response: I actually was gonna try to slip in more multiculturalism, but given how character-driven this story actually is, I didn't want my secondary cast to get out of control. In the original draft, I had a ton of secondaries and it really bogged the story down. I figure that in the first two years (or, in Scotty's case, probably additional classes in his third and fourth given that he tested out of the first two), there would be cultural classes required and that. Even though 23rd century Starfleet is still mostly human. But, again, I had to cut a lot of stuff to keep my pacing okay.
It is a lot of fun, and in the yet-way-unfinished Churchill era there are more non-humans about. But here, I just kept things as close to the ground and as pared down as I could, and it still came to almost 100,000 words. ::laughs:: Thanks!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 19:01 Title: Part II: The Lady Grey - Chapter 4
I just realized how ironic that Scotty gets his nickname of Wolf from someone who doesn't seem to mean it all that kindly--and yet he adopts it and makes it his own. That actually seems very fitting, with what I now know about Scotty.
And I also just went back and read the passage in the RR where you mention that Barrett and Berat would likely get along well--and there's a comment in this chapter that clinches it. You say that when Barrett's around, substantive conversation of some sort is almost always expected. That's *definitely* Berat. They're both engineers, but they have that "N"-theoretical thing going on all the time, and I suspect they both have that same need to engage people, and deeply. I can now see where, just like Barrett (damn, I can't type the correct name--only the accent and last syllable sound different!) gave Scotty that puzzler about the nature of the wind, that to him felt like some kind of Zen koan, where what Berat said about the difference between having something in your memory and ACTIVELY remembering it when you need it would've felt the same way to him.
It is SO neat now to see how these past experiences inform the reactions you portray in Scotty in the Round Robin environment!! :-)
Author's Response: It was fun extrapolating what the twenty-nine year old Scott would be like, versus the one who's eight years younger here. I haven't filled in some things yet, so there was some thought that had to go into it, re: the Churchill and that. But I figured that Barrett's moral would have stuck with him because it wasn't, ultimately, what he thought it must be about and Barrett didn't explain it, but allowed him to come to the conclusion. Just put the bait out there and then waited to see if it would be taken, chewed and eventually understood.
Yes, I do think the Commander and your Gul woulda gotten along well. XD
Date: 11 Nov 2009 18:50 Title: Part II: The Lady Grey - Chapter 3
You know, now that I read the description of that fight after seeing that video of "Trouble With Tribbles" and the bar brawl there, I can really see how you come to the conclusion that he truly could pull off something where O'Sullivan would never see it coming.
And Barrett...I am loving him all the more. This guy is SMART.
Author's Response: Scotty's definitely never someone to underestimate. He's surprisingly non-confrontational, but when put to it, he can fight quite well. Thank you!
Date: 11 Nov 2009 18:38 Title: Part II: The Lady Grey - Chapter 1
Random cultural question. You mention that the essay can be handed in on tape and that the formatting should be exact--what kind of tape do you imagine this being? Is this audio tape? Or has technology somehow slipped back to magnetic tape? (If it IS audio tape, I'm curious, what's going on with literacy in the Federation??)
I see what you mean now, when you pointed it out in the Round Robin, that Berat and Barrett were likely to get along! Barrett DOES read to me now kinda like an older (and human) version of Berat...I can easily see him talking to his students the same way: mysterious, perhaps, to get their minds going, but ultimately caring.
And of course very sad to see what's happened to Corry's dad. :-(
Author's Response: I meant the data tapes they used in TOS. LOL! Which people complain about, but chances are, they're extremely large storage devices in small packages. But mostly it was a nod back to TOS, where they had the data tapes. It's not an audio tape. And yes, I do think Berat and Barrett would get along quite well. XD