Date: 17 May 2013 14:23 Title: Dining on Ashes
Well, this was a great Klingon story. I love that you used John Schuck's Klingon here as he played such a key role in a number of TOS movies. Schuck's thoughts and actions are befitting a Klingon, despite his assertation that he is not a warrior. He may not fight battles in space or on a planet, but in a chamber with other men he goes to war using his words.
His niece is another character here who spoke to me. She is quiet, somewhat reserved, but most assuredly is an honorable warrior. Her words to her uncle were genuine and sweet. It made Schuck feel "foolish" as he so stated and it was a feeling I think he enjoyed.
His death was sad but quite appropriate. He had seen his niece take her rightful place as leader of the Empire and he had served his role. Though he didn't die a traditional warrior's death, he will no doubt he held in high regard in the afterlife.
A very well written Klingon piece. I enjoyed the description of the after effects of Praxis, something that is glossed over in TNG. It's something that I feel should have been addressed more directly in one of the Trek series but never was.
Author's Response: Thank you most kindly. I tend to like writing Klingon's though I'm steering away from Martok now unlike before. Kamarag will return. That was a first review since my opening chapter on Omega Sector in 2008 :)
Date: 08 Apr 2013 17:37 Title: Dining on Ashes
A Miranda Fave / Lil black dog Read and Review Challenge Response (challenge #3)
Actually, I'm kinda mad here for I had sworn I had reviewed this ages ago. So it is fruitful that the reading challenge has cropped up to allow me to ammend that mistake. Especially as I can only say favourable things about this piece.
Though brief it gives quite a fantastic little window Klingon culture and government all the more appealing for being grounded in Klingon nature but stripped of the mindless posturing and overly caricature 'Viking' like behaviour often seen in canon in latter years or all too often in literature. You get to the kernal of the Klingon nature and culture without losing the brutality of the Klingons but show them as thinkers and politicians too. Otherwise, how might the Empire ever have continued if it did ot have a proper government of sorts. You ground it all and make it plausible and in character.
The details and direction you take too are subtle but whilst taking from the series and possibly inspired by others yet make it your own as you weave the story of Karamang fully realising the man and the career. You have a canny way of fusing canon details into a broader picture adding depth and a sense of substance from the brief snatches we get of such a character and setting and taking them further with your development. A really solid world creation and character piece.
You also have a grand way of painting the scene with the image of the remnant of Praxis hanging over Quonos and deadening the sky with red and ash. And the final moment, I can picture like a marble tableux or indeed as the lights go down on a Shakepearean play (quite a fitting little nod towards Klingons and canon there too). Wonderful.
Author's Response: you do me a disservice with your praise MF. It seemed best to encapsulate this in a small story. Some folk don't like long entries for the challenge. I always like writing Klingons, something that I share with Ronald D. Moore. I think there's something Shakesperean about the whole thing like Nick Meyer and I'm glad you pictured that tableaux at the end as I tried to. I wish I could claim some greatness in fusing canon and broader details. It stands to reason he has his own background and indeed I'm working on a grand opus for Kamarag. my thanks indeed MF.
Date: 22 Jan 2013 15:34 Title: Dining on Ashes
I really like this, Mac - but you already knew that. ;-)
This is a great window into how Klingons transfer power - peaceful (as in there are no battles to the death) yet still very much in keeping with their culture. I especially like the bit about how the candidates are pushed forward by their backers for consideration, and how the decision is arrived at rather quickly. Candidates don't have months to campaign, the council is given the facts and after careful (albeit short) deliberation, the wheels of government roll smoothly on.
But couched within the political theme is the beautiful and touching story of an unconventional family and the pride an old man feels at helping his protege reach the pinnacle of power in the Klingon Empire.
I found the ending to be bittersweet and profoundly sad. I've said before I think Kamarag is becoming your signature character. You have a distinct knack for taking two-dimensional characters and adding to their backstory, their persona, so that they become people we identify with and care about.
I hope we see a lot more of Kamarag's history in the future.
Author's Response: my many thanks as always. Klingons have been a favourite of mine since I was a kid and gradually along the way I've become fascinated by their backstory, as a race. I'm not sure if the pushing of the candidates is part of it (as I say, the only two times you see it on screen in TNG and DS9 both times are exceptional circumstances, one Chancellor killed in a fight and the other's succession organised by a human) but I took it from our own politics in the House of Commons. I imagine in Klingon politics there is no prolonged campaigning. Action This Day, as Churchill said. I like to think this Kamarag helped Valdyr not for his own glory but some sentimental old pride in the Empire. Not a warrior's pride but a Klingon's pride. I think Kamarag will return, one day.