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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 28 Dec 2021 09:44 Title: Part 2 - Family of Strangers: 2

The title for this segment is particularly apt and it really draws the entire series into focus. Always great to have one of those crystalizing moments. Love him or loathe him, Michael is going to have to come to grips with the fact that Frobisher is functionally a part of his family. Not blood, but definitely entangled by fate.

For his own sake, alt-Matt should probably stay away from his alien family - but he's probably doomed anyway... The whole inevitability of losing Matt gives the overarching story the feeling of a Greek tragedy in space.

I haven't forgotten that there is a universe-hopping hero alt-Fro running about out there somewhere, but I doubt this is him. Looking forward to his emergence into the story...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Maybe I should have called this series Quantum Odyssey instead. Too much on the nose, perhaps. Michael and Frobisher is an interesting combination though, right? Thanks for the kind words, and yes, keep those eyed peeled.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Dec 2021 02:08 Title: Part 2 - Family of Strangers: 1

Could this be why dear old dad was sniffing around alternate timelines? To nab an alt-Matt? Yeah - I sincerely doubt this is going to end well...

There seems to be a recurring theme of what's lost is lost - and trying to accept that. Which is what sci-fi is for - to expand on such themes. It's harder to accept loss when what's been lost keeps showing up and taunting you.

Away missions are perilous enough when you're in your own universe - much moreso in some other universe that's hours away from getting snuffed out. So far it's Michael 0, Weird Clicky Aliens at least 2. Doesn't bode well for alt-Matt...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Glad you're keeping score. And you're right, there is definitely a trend here.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 13 Dec 2021 10:55 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 10

You really accomplished a lot in this chapter - lots of character development, a little action, some humor, a bit of philosophy, strategy - and nothing that cheapened any of the characters (in ways the WB would have done in an instant.)

I particularly liked the atmospherics - really gave a sense of place.

A very satisfying, cinematic and well rounded scene.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Thanks, glad you enjoyed that chapter. It's fun to write scenes where you can really see characters play off each other and really highlight their strengths and attitudes.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 06 Dec 2021 21:20 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 9

Sweet character design on Hutch. Gives a bit of a Star Wars feel in the midst of the Trek universe (or a rather un-Trek universe...) 

Which does seem a bit of a grim place. But not entirely hopeless - or Hutchport wouldn't be there. 

Interesting to see what Star has up her sleeve to entice or strongarm the reluctant Hutch...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: I think he may have been partly inspired be Neelix and of course the original Hutchinson, the ill-fated commander of Arkaria Base back in the Die Hard-inspired TNG episode. Although Star Wars is probably a good read for this universe as well.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 28 Nov 2021 18:41 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 8

I particularly like the tension between DeMara and Michael. It brings to mind a scene at the end of the Farscape "Crackers Don't Matter" episode - after John had (under the influence of the light bringer) badly mistreated Chiana they wanted to find a way back to their friendship, but there was no way back. 

Even though it was a different Michael, DeMara's seen what is definitely posible - what Michael could become. 

Interesting that Michael could be a conduit for this thing. Lots of interesting threads left hanging... I'm wondering if they found another of Frobisher's cannons on Arkaria...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: I have to admit I've never gotten into Farscape but that's certainly the theme I was going for. We'll have to see if/how DeMara will get over this experience. Hopefully it'll go better for them than on Farscape.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 13 Nov 2021 19:38 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 7

Well, it took a couple of infinities of people dying, but it seems Garla is growing a little...  I'm enjoying the character development throughout this story, especially for the characters you wouldn't expect to have a character arc. 

Now where does she think she's off to?

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Probably trying to clear her head. Not sure how successful that will be considering her limited options. Like everyone else onboard, she's stuck in a universe not her own. Glad you continue to enjoy the character and her plot line.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 06 Nov 2021 19:09 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 6

Michael seems to be thinking very clearly - like he's dispelled some sort of fog he's been traveling through for some time. Star would have to be heartened at this - even while not liking the ramifications of what he's saying. 

It's a really good growth moment for this character - kind of like he's growing into that fourth pip. Really liked this chapter. It's a dialogue heavy chapter and that might be part of why. It's one think to read what people think - but it's so much more powerful to read them putting their thoughts into words.

Dialogue heavy chapters are dangerous to pull off - writers are tempted to put their own words into their characters' mouths instead of letting them speak for themselves. This dialogue felt really natural and in character for each character.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Thanks for the nice words. I think recent events have forced Michael to reevaluate some of his decisions and his priorities. We'll see if and how that translates to what is to come. I like the point about character growth. Owens has been a captain for a good while now, but I think the most noticeable growth here is in his relationship with his first officer whom he now seems to trust unconditionally, something that didn't seem possible not too long ago.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 31 Oct 2021 09:43 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 5

At some point Michael's going to start to appreciate having the old man along for one last ride. Come on - what can facilitate parent-child reconciliation better than having a universe or two come crashing down around your ears?

Quite enjoying the Garla and Lif character arcs. 

Good choice for Michael to play his suspicions about Bensu close to the chest.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: We shall see if Michael will come to see this as a blessing or a curse. Glad you're enjoying the Garla/Culsten plot line. There's definitely more to come on that front.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Oct 2021 20:34 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 4

Quite liking Owens starting the repairs with the plaque. It seems in all the "we're gonna die" bustle that Owens, Sr. and Bensu have kind of been left to their own devices.

Not optimal...

Looking forward to the next installment! Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Probably not the most practical place to start, but I guess it sends a message. And no worries, those two are certainly not forgotten. I guess you gotta survive first to worry about all the other stuff going down.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Oct 2021 12:06 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 3

Still not back in Kansas yet. However, considering what happened to all the alt-Kansases they've been visiting, maybe they don't want to get home until they figure out how to put a stop to whetever uber-sociopath they're dealing with.

Of course they have to survive the krellonions and the Dominion first. But then, these alt-gym'hadar might only be interested in welcoming them with tea and crumpets. You never know - different universe - maybe friendly gym'hadar? That would be a scream...

Yeah - not likely - they're probably better off taking their chances with Amagosa.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Yeah, get the hell out of Dodge for now, and then try figure who is who and what is what.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Oct 2021 12:02 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 2

Ah, the mysterious Bensu... So is this the world-taker or is it some other Bensu? 

If the former, he has made a dramatic step up in ambition - from world-taker to universe-taker (apparently skipping galaxy-taker along the way.) Kind of surprising he hasn't irritated the Q Continuum or some other seriously powerful group who might think he's stepping on their toes.

Then again, Q might merely be amused. Amatuer... 

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Q's got his feet up, eating popcorn and having a jolly good time watching all this, I wager.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 02 Oct 2021 23:47 Title: Part 1 - The Hard Hello: 1

He has seen the enemy... Pretty rude awakening (or ensleepening, I guess) for Bensu, finding out he's the monster in the middle of it all. Of course I don't recall if we've spent enough time inside the head of our Bensu to know whether he is an active participant or stunned spectator. 

Now comes the real writing challenge - how to address motive. The easiest (and often best) course is simply to not address it - just no one knows why Bensu is doing it - quite possibly not even Bensu. 

Far more challenging to expose a believable motive without the curse of villainous monologuing (the curse of every superhero movie - my favorite being in The Incredibles. Alas, a temptation that both Julian and Tung Mei succumbed to.)

I'm really looking forward to seeing how you reveal or obfuscate the madness in the worldtaker's method - that's going to be a fun bit of writing.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Thanks for the review. As will probably become pretty obvious in the next chapter, this vision was actual Michael's. No doubt this will put him into a really difficult position. And I agree that villains are among the hardest characters to write. After all, a good villain never sees themselves as the villain of their own story, and yet, somewhere they will have to had to have crossed some sort of line that makes them the antagonist of story and to the main characters. My Star Eagle villains have not always been as layered as I would have liked, but that's an issue that has plagued writers for generation. Look no further than Trek or the MCU.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2021 19:44 Title: Prologue: Set the World on Fire - 3

The concept of "sleeves" gives you the opportunity to tell a long story in a few relatively short chapters as the same characters can observe global change over time. 

So is Bensu now become the "universe taker?" Or has he become more benign over time? Very interesting character twist - exactly the opposite of what I was expecting - nice!

Too bad about missing out on the opportunity for a side story about gender fluidity - perhaps a short story focusing on this in the future? Considering it would be entirely marketable to paying outlets...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Agree. There is at least one sci-fi novel that has sleeves as a central concept. It was made into a halfway decent Netflix series, Altered Carbon. This story will go into a slightly different direction. Thanks for the comments.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Sep 2021 09:32 Title: Prologue: Set the World on Fire - 2

I'm really hoping we get to see some of the ramifications in this culture for a transexual transformation - since it can evidently be acomplished to a much greater degree than humanly possible. Even if it's only a quick beat in a much larger story - the opportunity provided to look at that from another perspective is enormous.

So her old friend evidently had a purpose in sleeving... It looks like he has devoted everything to this project. 

This side/background story is a tremendous cautionary for our current culture. We know this universe will soon enough snuff our species out, but to turn away from space travel seems to me like giving up without a fight.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: I agree, it's a fascinating concept and gives whole new meaning to the term gender fluidity. I have to be honest, I'm not sure what the ramifications of such a society would be in the long run, and no doubt one could fill an entire book on that. Sadly, not this one. The dilemma of not earnestly pursuing a space program was based on a quote, I forgot by whom, about the fate of mankind resting on our ability to be able to populate other worlds.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 12 Sep 2021 17:46 Title: Prologue: Set the World on Fire - 1

This story sounds quite familiar - if I recall correctly, it's Bensu's people... Perhaps Bensu himself? Or perhaps an alt-Bensu?

Intriguing way to start off - especially told from an external POV.

It sounds like this strange tale is about to get much stranger...

Looking forward to it. Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Thanks for the review and sticking with this ongoing saga. Like with Book II, this one starts with a little bit of a curveball that provides some more background on what is happening in the main narrative.

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