Penname: jespah [Contact]
Real name: Janet
Member Since: 11 Jul 2011
Membership status: Administrator
Bio:

I'm a semi-talented Boston Terrier.


I've been writing since I was a kid, and got some formal writing education from Kitty Lindsay (my High School AP English teacher) and Poet George Starbuck (yes, that was his real name; I learned Creative Writing from him at Boston University) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Starbuck ).


I blog here! http://jespah.adastrafanfic.net/


Beta-reader: No
Gender: female
Twitter: tupublishing
Can we advertise your stories off-site (social media, blogs, etc)?: Yes
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Reviews by jespah
Summary:

An entry for the TrekBBS challenge in November 2008. The theme of the challenge was 'survival'.

This short focuses on a chapter of history from Caitlyn Ryan's past, a character who appears in my USS ACCIPITER series.

During the Cardassian / Federation wars a Federation crew are captured and endure a living hell in a secret Cardassian prison camp.


Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Expanded Universes
Characters: None
Genre: Drama, Horror
Warnings: Adult Situations, Violence
Series: Accipiter
Completed: Yes    Word count: 3008    Read Count: 1233
[Report This] Published: 28 Jan 2009 Updated: 28 Jan 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 30 Jan 2012 Title: Chapter 1: A Question of Survival

Whoa.

I was wondering how it would be resolved. A harsh story, extremely well told.

Flawed Like Me by Terilynn    Rated: K+    Liked  Reviews (7
Summary: Star Trek: Heritage
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Next Generation, Expanded Universes
Characters: Riker, Cassidy, Riker, William
Genre: Drama
Warnings: None
Series: Star Trek: Heritage
Completed: Yes    Word count: 1448    Read Count: 946
[Report This] Published: 28 Jan 2009 Updated: 28 Jan 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 28 May 2014 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 of 1

Terilynn, I want to tell you that I really loved this story. 

First off, the scene setting is very good, it comes across naturally and in very few words. You went into detail where you needed to and, when you didn't need to, you didn't. A lot of writers would have either over-explained or under-explained. You really hit a good balance here. Your vision was well communicated without robbing the reader of his or her imagination.

The message and the point also came across extremely well. You got across Cassidy's feelings of imperfection and perhaps unworthiness by having her identify with the ruined candy sculpture. It was also disturbing to see Will (I admit I have never liked the character) characterize Deanna as 'perfect'. For a child who feels imperfect, to be told that Mommy is perfect, and to utterly believe all of Daddy's pronouncements, opinions, and judgments, is a recipe for gutted self-esteem. And to know that Cassidy is already getting therapy only adds to the punch.

I have something similar (it is actually a chapter of a far longer book) where a character talks about how a terraformed world was deliberately populated only with beautiful birds. It is all peacocks and bluebirds and it is lovely, but the ecosystem is collapsing. And this is all happening because plain old bug-eating sparrows were not allowed on the planet. The character, who sees herself (and others see her this way as well) as plain, is emotionally affected by this. When the person she is telling this to tells her that she is identifying with the sparrows, she agrees. When they become lovers, this person calls her Sparrow, and the name is meaningful because it is a reminder that imperfection can, in its own way, be quite beautiful. 

Mary Sues have no such problems. But you have no Mary Sue here.

Very well done indeed.

Summary:

The Main Mirror Arc; from rebel to assassin to the end game, the Mirror version of Scott across the years. Pay attention to the dates, and you'll be fine.


Chapters: 15    Table of Contents
Categories: Mirror Universe
Characters: Scott, Montgomery (Mirror)
Genre: General
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence
Series: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Completed: Yes    Word count: 18896    Read Count: 20547
[Report This] Published: 29 Jan 2009 Updated: 14 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 31 May 2013 Title: Chapter 1: I. All Through the Night

Beautiful, gripping, and very real.

I want to review the other stories on the list but I will get back to this. 

A few comments -

You don't introduce the idea that it's the MU until quite a while has gone by, and that's great. It makes more sense to tease the reader along, and give them a chance to guess or at least form some opinions. Not every bit of action needs to be spoonfed to the reader; I think a lot of writers miss that.

Non-stereotypical children! Hallelujah! Very young children, inevitably, in fan fiction, seem to be either wunderkinds or lisping Cindy Brady types. These three are not. While they're not differentiated too well yet (understandable, as it's still early in the story), they feel like actual individuals instead of sketches painted with overly broad brushes, or limp attempts at humor.

Engineers are often a lot more like Scotty than they are like Trip Tucker, who I feel was always way too well-adjusted and so therefore not a true to life character. Engineers, generally (there are exceptions of course) tend to be visual and hands-on and very non-verbal. The idea of Scotty trying to do a version of Tech Support via communicator was amusing but also very telling and instantly relatable. Of all of the engineers I have ever known, or people attached to engineering in some fashion, they have all been exactly like that.

I will take this up again later, and I want to. This chapter is giving me the itch to read more. Excellent.



Author's Response: Thank you! Josh and Kayla don't get much of a part, sadly, in the greater arc. But some. Never and Always talks more about them, in the side arc. And yes, Scotty's so much better at doing than telling; that goes for Mirror or Canon. Thanks so much for the comment! I look forward to hearing what you think.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 2: II. The Art of War

I think that, for anyone with a shred of decency, that the MU is a place where you can easily lose your soul. It makes sense to me that a character could and would dull his or her senses with alcohol, to try to numb it away, and help to justify it (you've got McCoy, I've got Susan Cheshire).

Scotty, of course, did what he had to, and he did it well and without help. Being without bodyguards is all well and good (and you don't have to appease them or share glory with them or try not to piss them off - they have weapons, after all), but it does paint a big, fat target on your own back. Right now, Scotty can handle things and can take care of himself. But one illness, one injury, age, or a new family could change all of that. 

We don't see older people in the mirror. While that's a casting decision, I think it also makes sense in-universe. Who would survive that long? You've gotta be awfully wily, or competent (which McCoy is). But a slip up means that that won't matter, in the end.



Author's Response: At least in Starfleet, I'm pretty sure most people don't die of old age there, no. Thank you, very much.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 3: III. Merciless

Ah. Scott's already a rebel (at least, that's what I recall of Chapter 1), but here's something else.

This is the toolkit, or at least a part of it.

You write the Empire as being a harsh, totalitarian state, and I agree with that assessment 100%. The MU is Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and it's Rwanda in the '90s, and El Salvador and the Viet Cong and any others you want to conjure up.

So how do you fight it? It's too large to tackle on your own. You'd need ships, and the construction of ships is too difficult to hide from spies and the like. Instead, you fight from within.

This is concentration camp prisoners peeling potatoes for the guards more closely, and giving the thicker scraps to their starving comrades. This is the gulag, where people are burning logs in their grates just a little longer, to stay a little warmer for one more day. This is Rwandan refugees pouring across the border or sleep in holes and ditches while trying to get to the border. This is the Underground Railroad.



Author's Response: You nailed it in one, jespah. Scott was the rebel on the lam, as well as generations of others, out there. But David McCoy was the rebel on the inside, doing exactly that -- peeling the potatoes more closely. Carefully, quietly. Thank you! This was a horrible chapter to write.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 4: IV. By the Numbers

A kindness repaid - to David (and, a bit, to Leonard) - maybe. This might be a bad thing for Joanna all around. We shall see.



Author's Response: Aye, indeed. Thanks. <3

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 5: V. Grace

Suicide by Scotty!

And it helps - possibly - Len, or at least it might be a chance, for Len to have a bit of a soul.

How do you have a soul in the MU? How do you have morals? Can you?

A lot of people write the MU as all sex and violence, or they write everyone as the slapdash opposite of what they are in prime universe. Klingons are pussycats, Spock is ruthless, whatever. 

But I think what you see in the MU is that it's a far more complicated society than that. For this society to work, and for them to get anywhere at all, there has to be some small degree of cooperation. People have to work together, at least a little bit. Otherwise, everyone hits puberty and dies, pretty much, as petty jealousies make them slash each other and there is no justice and no mercy and no one cares. Or they live long enough to have children, but are too self-centered to care for them, and the infant mortality rate is staggeringly high.

In order to avoid those things (as a much smaller population would not have been able to get far enough past simple survival mode to be able to develop warp drive and other advanced technologies), the denizens have to, at least sometimes, work together.

Compassion in the MU is a rare gift. Foresight is another. Loyalty (not through intimidation) is a third. They need to be doled out sparingly, like controlled substances.

These little controlled substances in their tiny paper cups being handed out - by you, the writer - are very, very believable.



Author's Response: I could never buy the idea it was just some kind of opposite. I definitely took it as a study of nature v. nurture -- that there are good people, and bad people, and that when pressed like this it brings out different facets of their natures. But never a polar opposite parody. David is yet another gray area character in that mess; a good man, but was what he did right? Should he have ended that boy then? I don't know if there's any easy answer there. Thank you, this review was insightful and awesome.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 6: VI. Waiting

In Mirror, Mirror, there is the smallest, shortest shot of MU Scotty, and he's arguing, along with the others, in the Brig, on our side of the pond. That's it. Then again, only MU Kirk seems to get any lines when in our universe. And even then, it's just to comment that Spock's beard is gone.

So we have nothing on the MU Scotty, Uhura or McCoy, and nearly nothing on the MU Kirk. 

But now, intriguingly, tantalizingly, there is some sort of a report. Or, maybe, there are three reports (MU Kirk is dead so, unless he dictated something earlier, forget his observations). But the others? 

Is this - along with his father's acts - one of the driver's of Len's acts? Did Len see a better way? Or just something to poke fun at, or look down his nose at? MU Hoshi in ENT was very uncomfortable with her counterpart's fate; MU Archer was jealous of his. Scotty claims to not have an opinion, but can that truly be the case?



Author's Response: Time tells, with Scott. And McCoy, in a way. And everyone, honestly. He had a specific reason for speaking up the way he did in the brig, trying to be heard over all of that noise, and that gets mentioned too. I hope it's satisfying, when you get there.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 7: VII. Wraith

Lots of great, memorable touches in this chapter (and I'll have nightmares about the last couple of paragraphs - eek!). Quiet, slow, deliberate, a build up and then a very fast denouement, probably much like the victims had.

The information about Number One and Pike works well (a lot of people 'ship em; hell, the Talosians did, in canon) and very believably.



Author's Response: I love Number One in this universe. No Captain's woman -- the exec, here. And brave, a rebel. Pike never got over this loss. Thank you.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 8: VIII. Vanish

And Len goes rogue - for a good cause, but still!

I see this as a very viable way out of the Empire's madness, to go off the grid, as completely as possible, and go native, if necessary. They won't care so much about poor people in ragged clothes in shantytowns, or who live in caves. Even if those people have engineering schematics or medical textbooks in their heads.



Author's Response: It is. Scott sent him off for multiple reasons, and it was definitely effective. Thanks so much!

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 9: IX. Patterns

And so the device is found, and the agreement to install and perfect it, too. 

I've read theories on the Tantalus Field, whether it beams people away, or it vaporizes them, it hardly seems to matter. In actuality, a transporter that stops in the middle, and just leaves its victims in the pattern buffer, is probably good enough. They're either dead or, if they can have any consciousness at all, they sure wish they were.



Author's Response: I figured as much! That it's basically a compact transporter with some interesting intuitive tech, and never re-materializes the victim.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 10: X. Watchtowers

And so (I think) Spock wants to make the leap over the pond, and cross over.

Not so fast, and not so easy. But to leave it all behind - it's certainly attractive.



Author's Response: He definitely has his own plans, aye. Thank you.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 11: XI. Betrayals

This works beautifully well, the explanation as to who was chosen to go to Halka, and why. After all, for an MU captain, bringing a Communications Officer or a doctor wasn't logical. It would have made more sense for those two roles to have been filled by Security personnel - and possibly Scotty's role as well.

The dovetailing with canon is seamless here.



Author's Response: That's exactly what I was aiming to do -- thank you!

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 12: XII. One

I am thinking the J stands for Jenna (sorry, I've forgotten the kids' names).

I was wrong about Spock wanting to cross over - it's power that he wants. And Scotty's in the way. And, I am figuring, this is a barrier that the Vulcan will be incapable of crossing. 



Author's Response: Not quite. The code is very specific, and it does refer to someone, but not Jenna. Should you ever figure it out, I'd be trippy -- no one else here has on their own. Spock wants to bring about a new Empire, aye. He wants to end the bloodshed and wars. He has idealistic notions, no doubt. But... that was never the point. Thanks!

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 13: XIII. Echoes

I have become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds.

Scotty knows that he's not who he was, and all he can do is tell Jenna - if there is a Jenna - that she isn't tainted by what he has become.



Author's Response: Nailed it. He wanted to give her closure, on her seventeen-year-old lover; something to hold onto, that he died then, with her name, loving her. And what's left isn't him.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 14: XIV. Finality

It's one final act, not of kindness, maybe of nostalgia, to eject the antimatter and save the planet. Certainly little else is salvaged. 

For the Empire, well, it doesn't necessarily end it, but this no doubt cripples it. But Empires can survive even this, I believe. This kamikaze act have dealt a heavy blow but power will rush into the vacuum. Maybe the Romulans, or the Klingons. Or another species not yet known to the Empire, like the Borg.

Or maybe it'll be corruption within the ranks of the rebels themselves.



Author's Response: Deep Space Nine actually provides that answer; Spock manages to ascend to power, and bring about a new Republic, which then falls to the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. No easy answers here. Humanity becomes enslaved, then. And rebels rise again. Thank you.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 03 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 15: XV. The Future

And hope goes on; just a little bit, and something might come out of this after all. 

Marvelous, exciting, believable story - really page-turning and magnificent. 

Kudos in spades.



Author's Response: Aye. Thank you for reading it -- it remains a favorite of mine, and one of the times I managed to plot something intricate and pull it off with grace.

Maneater by Anna Amuse    Rated: K    Liked  Reviews (8
Summary: Some women change men like outfits. Some ships do the same.
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Original Series
Characters: Kirk, James T., Scott, Montgomery (Scotty)
Genre: General
Warnings: None
Series: Absolute Horizon
Completed: Yes    Word count: 2280    Read Count: 1281
[Report This] Published: 01 Feb 2009 Updated: 01 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 29 May 2014 Title: Chapter 1: Maneater

Oh, I loved this! It seems to be a rather realistic (albeit poetic) look at the time between the final regular season episode of Season 3 of TOS and the very beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. 

Of course Kirk and Scott would love. Of course they would feel odd. Of course they would wonder, and even mention Decker very, very briefly.

One of the hallmarks, I feel, of a great fan fiction story is the ability to see that scene and interlink it with canon. Can it be placed between two of the pages of the great virtual book?

This story certainly can. Well done!

Another Man's Treasure by Teddog    Rated: K+    Liked  Reviews (8
Summary:

(2238) - A young Scott raids a junkyard on an unknown planet.


Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Mirror Universe
Characters: Scott, Montgomery (Mirror)
Genre: Action/Adventure
Warnings: None
Series: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Completed: Yes    Word count: 1248    Read Count: 719
[Report This] Published: 02 Feb 2009 Updated: 02 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 08 Sep 2013 Title: Chapter 1: Another Man's Treasure.

I love this compact little story (I don't believe I've read anything of yours before; this was a lovely surprise!). Like any true engineer, Scotty is a tinkerer at heart. Like any true rebel, he's a scrounger, too. Well done!

One Minute by SLWalker    Rated: M    Liked  Reviews (15
Summary: Past Featured Story

(2245 - 2254) This is a very intense first-person POV story from the perspective of the free agent who acts as the go-between from Scott to the rebellion while he's stationed on Earth. Starting with the free agent's twisted one-sided obsession with a shadow, this story's very dark in the beginning, but it certainly isn't all dark and misery -- as time goes on, things change. This story is a heart-breaker. There's no easy way to sum it up, but if there's one thing you can call it, you can call it very human. Pay attention to my warnings, though, please.


Chapters: 3    Table of Contents
Categories: Mirror Universe
Characters: Scott, Montgomery (Mirror)
Genre: General, Slash
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence
Series: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Completed: Yes    Word count: 9974    Read Count: 3884
[Report This] Published: 03 Feb 2009 Updated: 03 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 01 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 1: Part I

Intriguing and incredibly immediate and believable.

I want to get to the rest of this story when I have the time, but did want to drop the first review to the first chapter. 

No names - very, very telling, no location, just ... experiences. Hard, painful, ugly, nasty experiences.

You can draw people into a world very quickly. This is a gift.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 12 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 2: Part II

So there is hope after all.

And exasperating Andy holds the key.

Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 12 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 3: Part III

The tragedy of a lot of the MU, I feel, is that there are people who can see that there just might be a better life. But they have no way to get to it, and they don't even really have a means of proving to themselve (or to anyone else, really) that it exists at all. Yet they go on believing it, hoping for it, and might even give their lives for this ideal, this idea, of something out there.

Exquisitely captured and utterly believable.

The Lost Kingdom by Mistral    Rated: K      Reviews (6
Summary:

Challenge winner at TREK BBS-a "ghost" story, if you will.


Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Expanded Universes
Characters: None
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: None
Series: Tales of the U.S.S. Seleya
Completed: Yes    Word count: 3609    Read Count: 968
[Report This] Published: 06 Feb 2009 Updated: 06 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 01 Jun 2013 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I like how you spun it out slowly - a real feat for such a short story!!

Let me see if I spotted all of the references - the pick and shovel guys are the seven dwarves; the bear referencing the 'bare necessities' is Ballou from Jungle Book. I think the snake and the tiger are also from that film. The chipmunks are either Chip and Dale or they're The Rescuers Down Under. Not sure. The twittering bluebirds, skunk and rabbit seem to be a part of Cinderella getting dressed, although they might be from Bambi. Or a mixture thereof. Plus of course Mickey Mouse.

Trippy, wacky and funny - well done!



Author's Response: Pretty much nailed all of them. Thanks for reading and reviewing! (Chip and Dale, BTW).

Summary: Past Featured StoryDispatches from the Romulan War is a unique, member-written fan fiction series based at TrekUnited.com. It picks up where Enterprise left off and tells the story of the Romulan War, one of the most significant and defining events in the Star Trek Universe, through the eyes of the reporters and news agencies that lived it.
Chapters: 46    Table of Contents
Categories: Enterprise
Characters: None
Genre: Other
Warnings: Violence
Series: None
Completed: No    Word count: 30124    Read Count: 69261
[Report This] Published: 09 Feb 2009 Updated: 25 Jul 2011
Reviewer: jespah Signed Liked
Date: 25 Jul 2011 Title: Chapter 46: 30 Years On, New Revelations Emerge About the Romulan War

Thank you for the great wrap up to an intriguing series.

First... by SLWalker    Rated: T    Liked  Reviews (4
Summary: Sometimes, you have to survive what happens to you in everyday life, too. McCoy, just prior to joining Starfleet.
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Original Series
Characters: McCoy, Leonard (Bones)
Genre: General
Warnings: None
Series: None
Completed: Yes    Word count: 591    Read Count: 773
[Report This] Published: 09 Feb 2009 Updated: 09 Feb 2009
Reviewer: jespah Signed
Date: 14 Nov 2013 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

A good move for our good doctor. It's almost like men joining the French Foreign Legion, to forget a woman. But it's not Jocelyn who he's trying to forget. It's Joanna.

Haunting and well done.