Date: 08 Mar 2014 13:46 Title: Chapter 1
Great story! We must think along the same lines. I find it interesting that you use the clan name "S'chn T'gai", as I do in my stories. Did we read the same book? (Can't begin to remember which.) Also, it's refreshing to see that life in Spock's era is not as perfect and rosy as many think. An upcoming story in my series finds Spock in a Starfleet prison on Luna, and life there is far from rosy. And last of all, I also have Amanda's marriage (temporarily) on the rocks when Sarek disowns Spock over the criminal charge that sent him to prison.
Did you get a good grade for this story? I give you an "A". I was so glad Spock got that job so he can eat regularly and help his mother!
You know, I don't remember where I learned Spock's clan name! Now I want to go hunting through my books...or maybe I just went to MemoryAlpha? We had a good discussion about whether life can possibly be that good in the 23rd century, but whether or not it's supposed to be, the idea of a young, suffering Spock really spoke to me. I didn't actually turn this in, though--it was just an exercise for class. Still, it helped me get inside the mind of a hungry young boy, so I think it served its purpose. Thank you for your thoughtful review!
Date: 17 May 2013 15:24 Title: Chapter 1
"The door opened a crack, spilling a sharp line of yellow light across the pavement. The shrill voices of the children got louder, except for the voice of one skinny boy who stood stiffly in the shadows, hands clasped behind his back."
^When I read that, that's when I said aloud, "This is gonna be good." And good it was. The descriptive powers at work here were precise ... you gave us enough to set the scene and then you let Spock do the rest.
And your Spock was spot on. The inner monologue and characterization were perfect for this story. The way he observed everything around him and compared it to what he was told by his father, his training, the way his mother reacted to things ... I came away very impressed.
The backstory that you sprinkled throughout the piece about what went down between Sarek and Amanda rang so true to me. It's easy to see her leaving Sarek if certain things didn't work out. Spock's shame about failing to be all Vulcan is something that we all experience in our own way.
The social commentary about the numbers of homeless children, the way things are even in the 23rd century, was true to the spirit of TOS. I didn't find it hard to believe at all that such things could happen ... after all, Kirk and the people on Tarsus IV suffered from starvation and lack of supplies ... they suffered Govenor Kodas. The 23rd century is a much better time than ours, but still has problems. Nothing is perfect where humans are concerned and that's no truer than in Trek.
Trekfan, thank you so much for these comments. It's so great to get reviews from another writer, someone who knows exactly the kind of feedback that's meaningful! I'm glad that young Spock felt true to you; that means a lot to me, because I kind of fell in love with him like Maria did. We had an interesting discussion on the forums about whether this kind of poverty exists in the 23rd century, but I'm afraid that we'll never entirely get rid of it, even when the world becomes more enlightened than we are now. I really appreciate this review; thank you so much for taking the time and effort!
Date: 09 Dec 2012 10:45 Title: Chapter 1
I love this piece - but you already knew that. I'm a little surprised at the controversy it's stirred up, however, for I thought people would react strongly to it, but for quite different reasons.
What some reviewers, and people on the forums, seem to have forgotten is that this piece is an AU - not canon. We know Spock grew to adulthood on Vulcan and his parents stayed married until his mother's death many years in the future.
Of course then, this is not GR's vision of the future. Perhaps it is a slightly nastier, grittier version. Not quite the mirror universe and not quite the canon one, but falling somewhere in between the two.
I'd really hoped the focus would be on the subject matter - that it would get readers thinking and talking about the plight of the homeless and destitute not only in our country but all over the world; that it might inspire not just words, but action among some of them.
This is a beautifully written piece, made all the more poignant and heart-wrenching by the subject matter, and by the window we get into Spock's thoughts - how he blames himself and yet still doesn't want to do anything that could tarnish his honor or bring shame to his family.
Really, really well done. As I said before, I hope your professor has even a slight understanding of the main character, for that is part of what makes this story so moving. Bravo, madam!
Thank you so much, LBD. And I agree--this isn't GR's vision of the future. He had higher hopes for the future and wrote it that way. And I was also surprised by the discussion that ensued, but it's been very interesting and courteous, with some good insights from everyone, so I'm pleased that it occured. Thank you for seeing in Spock what I saw--I'm so relieved I represented him well. There's nothing more heartwrenching to me than a child who's suffering but trying to pretend he's not, and that's how I saw young Spock. Thank you for reading and reviewing--your comments mean the world to me!
Date: 08 Dec 2012 11:15 Title: Chapter 1
And I know that they give the impression that all the bad stuff is gone by the 23rd century, but it won't be. It can't be. There will always be people on the bottom who suffer, and many of them will be children, as they are now. If Earth thinks it has eliminated it, then those on the bottom will suffere even more, because those who can help will refuse to see it.
Do you have a point, there will always be a few (even in well-healed Federation worlds like Earth) who will slip through the cracks. But surely there would be helplines, or shelters or places to go for such people: like a mother and her children escaping from an abusive father, and all those kind of situations. I'm surprised the restaurant owners didn't contact the cities council and say 'hey, we have a bunch of homeless kids here who come to the back exit of my restaurant looking for food, I know there names and could you please make sure their families are all right?'
You know something like that, this is how I imagine humans of the 23rd century would respond if they saw one of their own in a troubled or desperate situation. That's what I mean by a social-security utopia; not only does the government ensure your basic essentials are met, other people and your neighbours are either quick to help or will contact the authorities if you are unable to do so. Unlike today where most people simply shrug their shoulders and say 'not my problem'.
All those places and services exist now, and there are still homeless kids. And many, many kids would rather beg in an alley than come to the attention of social services. In these families' minds, social workers are the enemy. Unfortunately, in many cases, coming to the attention of a government agency means separation from parents or other consequences that kids don't want. In addition, there will always be the same causes that exist now--mental illness, addiction, or the simple inability to qualify for services. I know lots of families who are struggling desperately, on the brink of homelessness, but who make too much money "on paper" to qualify for any help. I expect that Amanda and Spock fall into that category--after all, they're the Vulcan ambassador's family.
This is such an interesting conversation--I think I'm going to move it to the forums. Will you join in over there? I think your points are incredibly important.
Date: 08 Dec 2012 10:28 Title: Chapter 1
Wonderfully well done - very evocative of what I'm sure will still be an issue in the future. I truly think the series often talk a good game, but the reality is, there will always be those who have, and those who do not.
That's what I think, too. And I think the series reflected that reality in its own way--look at The Cloud Minders, for example. That planet was a member of the Federation, but it basically held one class in privelege and the other in slavery. Any time we congratulate ourselve on our advanced state, we need to look closer and see who's been left behind. It's almost always the children. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I didn't expect to start a discussion, but both you and the other reviewer commented on the social-issue aspect of the story. Maybe I'll take it to the forums and see what others think! Thank you again!
Date: 08 Dec 2012 06:28 Title: Chapter 1
This story caught my eye from its title and summary, and though I'm rather unfamiliar with TOS, I do like the Vulcan race and it's rather impressive how Spock, who is only what? 8? Is so disciplined despite adversity.
The only problem with the story is surprisingly Spock's situation and that of some of his more unfortunate peers (who were waiting outside the restaurant). I had thought Earth had got its act together and eliminated poverty, hunger and want (or that's what it seemed like in TNG, DS9 and VOY). You would think 23rd century Earth would be a social security utopia but the way you write it, it seems Spock and his mother have been in this desperate situation for some months now...
Anyway aside from some continuity issues, this was a good story and you totally nailed the young Spock.
Thank you so much...I am so glad that Spock's character came across well. And I know that they give the impression that all the bad stuff is gone by the 23rd century, but it won't be. It can't be. There will always be people on the bottom who suffer, and many of them will be children, as they are now. If Earth thinks it has eliminated it, then those on the bottom will suffere even more, because those who can help will refuse to see it. This is a good discussion--thank you so much for reading and reviewing!