Date: 11 Dec 2020 13:11 Title: Chapter Fifteen - Loose Ends
Really nice ending sequence. I particularly liked the closing sequences with Owens & Son and Xylion and Leva. But I think the sequence with Culsten, Nora and Winera wins a Trek award for feeling very much like something from an episode of STNG, as does the final shot of Michael Owens watching a starship for a few moments, then watching it depart.
As I understand it, this was the pilot for SEA? Well done!
Author's Response: Really glad you enjoyed this story and the end which is quite clearly heavily inspired by good ol' TNG. I have no illusions that Star Eagle is very much written in that vein. And you're absolutely correct, this was the first major outing for Owens, Eagle and company. The first of a series of novels and shorter stories many of which you have of course already read. Sadly, I've been too lazy over the years to bring the full catalogue over onto Ad Astra as the stories were first published/posted over at the TrekBBS. You may have already found that pretty much everything is available at StarEagleAdventures.com where you can also download the stories as ebooks.
Date: 10 Dec 2020 14:00 Title: Chapter Fourteen - Back in the Future
Michael Owens needs a DeLorean...
Another great action sequence with the scrum around the machine and an astoundingly inconvenient time for Leva to have an epiphany.
And nothing like a last-minute transporter sequence to pull our heroes out of the line of fire. I'm a little sorry Owens didn't manage to bring Frobisher in - both to face justice and to know exactly what happened to him. Never count a mad scientist dead until you've done the autopsy... And even then you can't be too sure.
Very fun story - Thanks!! rbs
Author's Response: A bit of Deus Ex Machina there in the end. Another theme you may have noticed in Star Eagle which seems to have started in this story is people falling off cliffs. That seems to be happening a lot. I think it's because I have a fascination with vertical space, something we didn't get to see much in televised Trek because it's difficult to do well on a limited budget.
Date: 08 Dec 2020 14:38 Title: Chapter Thirteen - Second Chances
Very interesting alt-Amaya here - Owens is now clearly in another timeline.
Looks like the Garden of Forking Paths is a major player throughout the Eagle adventures.
Nice fraternal reconciliation - makes sense that Matt would figure out the timeline bit given enough clues.
Really gripping action sequences and a catastrophic implosion - good old inside-out Yellow Submarine vacuum monster sequence.
Author's Response: I think something that you are seeing here, and why it is really great that you are getting the chance to explore the early Star Eagle stuff, is that Quantum Divergence picks up a lot of themes, characters and plot lines from this story. I don't want to say we're coming full circle since that implies that Star Eagle is coming to an end which I hope is not the case, but I'm certainly playing homage to my own early work.
Date: 04 Dec 2020 15:46 Title: Chapter Twelve - Infraction
Of course there would be a textbook referred to as "Archer" - nice touch and a fair moment of lecture. It's always fun to write Trek speeches (something I have been accused of overindulging in.) Interesting side effect - you always pay for mucking about in time.
I like the monsterous description of SB1 - tracks with what we see in the movies. Humanity is capable of producing ginormous structures in space...
Quite liking this Gene Eddison character. I'm sure you gave him a good send off. I'm wondering who the masked man was in Admiral Carter's office but I suspect it rhymes with Ron Smowins.
Leva continues to be a really fun character. Good hero work.
Author's Response: Yeah, you're on the right track with the hidden participant in that meeting. What was really fun about this story is the fact that we get to see some of Michael Owens history using the time travel plot to help establish the character moving forward. Glad you enjoyed Leva here too.
Date: 03 Dec 2020 14:10 Title: Chapter Eleven - Last Breath
Reunification is the flavor of the day... Excellent classic Trek scene between Edison and Leva.
An interesting visit to what more or less amounts to Olympus/Asgard - an interesting bit of world building. One of the unique joys of writing in the Trek universe is getting to create these places and cultures.
Nothing like a death-bed sequence to unite romantic rivals. Very interesting character passing away in this story.
Author's Response: Olympus is probably a great analogy for it, I probably hadn't consciously thought of it. I know Edison doesn't get a whole lot to do in this story which might be one of the contributing factors for his eventual demise and replacement.
Date: 02 Dec 2020 13:23 Title: Chapter Ten - Time Flux
Some excellent word-painting on the opening scene, particularly the description of Maya and the detail of how she is sitting. And now we get to the title scene (run opening credits).
Time travel stories are exceptionally difficult to write for rather obvious reasons. This one appears to be well underway with good reference to the impossibility of the Temporal Prime Directive (for reasons related to the impossibility of the Prime Directive only amplified.) Simply carrying the memory of the future into the past - even if every action could be mimicked changes the past. Just as the mere act of observation impacts the culture being observed.
Another Xylion and Jon Owens and Amaya Donners will meet this Michael Owens and Demara Deen. But to the Xylion, Owens and Donners they left behind, Michael and Demara have vanished forever.
Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words. This story is now about 15 years older or more, so I went back and re-read some of this myself based on your comments. And you're right, time travel is hard and I probably cheated a little bit here with the established rules. Although you can probably argue that there are no real rules when it comes to time travel. Except, of course, never ever meet your younger self. Back to the Future did teach us that at least.
Date: 25 Nov 2020 13:51 Title: Chapter Nine - Face-to-Face
The disarming scene with Deen and Creegan was some superb writing. That's some serious Trek - with a citrus twist of Star Wars on the side.
Good storytelling with Leva and Nakar as well. I'm intrigued by Leva's smile as Nakar appearas to make good his escape.
Also enjoying Owens making it up as he goes along - which is how much of life works. Something pretty much any commanding officer has to be ready to do at a moment's notice. And a classic cliffhanger with Frobischer, Owens and Deen beaming off to some undisclosed location off planet...
Author's Response: Deen is a bit of a controversial character. And I admit she has some Mary Sue-ish qualities to her. She also goes through quite a bit of change over the course of the series. Here she still fairly innocent, although quite happy to turn on the charms on poor Creegan.
Date: 24 Nov 2020 19:23 Title: Chapter Eight - Cornered
Superb reveal on Nakar - that was a fun scene. With enough clues to hint at it in retrospect without giving it away - Well done! And a good cliff-hanger (and probably ending) for the conflict between Leva and Xylion.
I'm also quite enjoying Owens and his crowd trying to do the "we're really not Star Fleet" thing when their training stamps it all over them. Covert operatives require special training. Nora might pull it off because she's the real article. And now Deen is on the hot seat.
A really fun pickle.
Author's Response: Oh yeah, no doubt about it, Eagle's crew is not training in this kind of thing. That's them pretty much winging it with mixed results. Glad the Nakar reveal worked as well. Evil Vulcan not quite so Vulcan.
Date: 23 Nov 2020 19:08 Title: Chapter Seven - Quest for Revenge
Really nice comedy with Lif and his desultry attempts at the spy business. That's a lot of fun.
And while Owens' decision to take a runabout is no doubt dangerous it is almost certainly a necessity given the danger presented by the Frobisher device - which is probably no coincidence with his father's presence.
Favorite moment: "Holy Mother of King Nartok!" Great standard comedy with a temporarily hidden half-romulan. Another classic Star Wars line: "I still think it's a bad idea."
Eteron sounds like a fun place... looking foward to it!
Author's Response: What's that saying? Drama is easy, comedy is hard. Glad to see some of the lighter tones of this story worked for you.
Date: 19 Nov 2020 13:51 Title: Chapter Six - Ghost of the Past
I never even considered carpeting (or the majority of decor) when envisioning STH - nice detail. In Owens and Donners' case, burying the axe might be more appropriate... So, Owens becomes Ahab. This will be fun.
I am often amused by the anachronistic concept that there is something psychologically unstable about serial polyamory (or, for that matter, concurrent polyamory - although fraught with far more complexity.) I will be very interested to see how this develops with Leva and K'tera.
And a scary vulcan! I really like scary vulcans. They make the best antagonists.
Author's Response: I'm not a big fan of over describing the environments. I tend to zone out a little bit when writers go on and on about explaining how everything looks. Part of reading, in my opinion, is to allow the reader to fill in blanks using their imagination. And I've definitely got my own scary Vulcan in this story. Although probably not quite on the level of Hunter-scary.
Date: 18 Nov 2020 13:45 Title: Chapter Five - Hidden Agenda
Best line: “Ensign, when a superior officer suggests you take a break, just take a break..." Something the various series could have put to good use.
And Leva gets to dally with the vulcan with the blonde highlights - very untraditional...
There as a lot of character development of Leva in this episode - a very interesting character.
Of course Winera and Owens are right - when admirals and diplomats are walking on eggshells around a secret agenda, the ship is always at risk.
It does seem that Owens is a little overreactive to his dad.
Author's Response: Overreactive? Maybe. But there is just a lot of baggage with these two men, I suppose. A lot of hurt, anger and suspicion, from the fact that both of them blame each other for the fate of Michael's brother, to the fact that Michael fears that his entire career has been orchestrated by his father. Which as it turns out is at least partially true.
Date: 17 Nov 2020 16:49 Title: Chapter Four - Broken Ties
I appreciate the theme of replicated food not being the same as actual food - it's an important plot point that I play to in STH.
Nice character exposition and backstory on Leva. And a very interesting surprise betrothal... Secret Agent Lif...
I like the relationship between Eddison and Owens - good reparte. And the fact that while Owens is running away from his family issues, he is actually doing things he should be doing, keeping abreast of the crew and other detailed information leaders can often neglect. It's that kind of detailed knowledge that allows a resourceful leader to know what resources are available.
And Xylion should understand the concept of windows of opportunity. It's as critical in relationships as in spaceflight. But logic does not turn inward as easily as it turns outward.
Author's Response: This is very much a Owens and Leva story, although clearly the likes of Culsten and Wenera also feature prominently. Edison was a decent character but sometimes he feels just little bit to obviously based on Will Riker. One of the reasons he eventually had to go and was replaced with somebody far more layered in Tazla Star.
Date: 13 Nov 2020 12:16 Title: Chapter Three - In the Family
These are big honking chapters, which makes a thorough review rather challenging. I particularly enjoyed the physical description of Katanga as well as his cameo in general. He was far too good a character to leave stranded in some planetary post. Lif is also coming into interesting focus - and yes, it was unwise to confide in him considering that he is the nexus of a vast rumor mill...
Interesting technomedicalbabble for the official reason for the visit to Farga (I'm tempted to say Fargo).
It seems Owens' daddy issues pretty much dominate his existence, which is quite a miserable way to live. In the grand tradition of Star Fleet, he appears to have raced into the command chair to get away from other things only to find they followed him there. Or, as Irons said of Dolphin (STH 5.6) "His personal life is a disaster, which makes him a classic candidate for a career in Star Fleet..."
Author's Response: Yeah, sorry about the long chapters. This story was written long before it came to Ad Astra and where I was still figuring out how to structure things. Glad you enjoyed Katanga's cameo in this story. I cannot recall if I had plans back then to elevate him to a regular or if that was just a natural development.
Date: 12 Nov 2020 14:35 Title: Chapter Two - Today's Merits
A good overview and introoduction to the Eagle's crew along with physical descriptions that help draw the characters into focus and bits of interaction.
Also an interesting tradition.
Owens' daddy issues are an interesting character device and may both spur him as a captain and at the same time give him confidence issues that could be dangerous under various circumstances. Fun to see this interaction.
Author's Response: With Eagle I early on made the call that I didn't want to do the whole starting from day one thing, where we see the crew assemble and leave space dock for the first time. A little bit like Hunter, i guess, which you started off right in the middle of the action. So instead, this crew already knows each other fairly well after having worked and lived together for a year. Still the reader doesn't know them yet so introductions are in order. You'll find not all characters get their moment in the spotlight in this tale, since the plot didn't necessarily allow for that. As you can likely tell, Michael's relationship with his father is a bit of an ongoing theme in Star Eagle which reaches its zenith in Quantum Divergence.
Date: 10 Nov 2020 13:57 Title: Chapter One - Yesterday's Mistakes
Where the hell is the "Loved" option on the Opinion box?
This hit so many different points for an opening - gorgeous cinematic scenery, great character development on the Owens brothers, Deen and Donners, and a classic mad scientist romp worthy of any 1950's monochrome scifi thriller.
Of course the reader knows right away that the experiment is doomed, Frobisher is short several screws and Matt Owens is a total red-shirt minus the uniform - but that does nothing to dimenish the enjoyment of the chapter.
Just straight up kudos on this one.
Author's Response: Thank you for the exceedingly kind words here. I'm very excited for you going back and reading the one that started it all. This is going to be a bit of blast from the past for me. Also, a lot of the things that are happening in Quantum Divergence are harking back to this story as I thought it be fun to revisit a number of themes that kicked off the Star Eagle saga. My writing motivation has waned a bit over the last few months, and so this is great motivation for me to return to the keyboard. Hope the rest of the story keeps you as entertained as the beginning.
Date: 27 Oct 2014 03:48 Title: Chapter Fifteen - Loose Ends
First of all, I read the ebook version, but I thought I'd leave a review here. This story was great, with very well realised characters and a very interesting plot. The subplots also enabled some of the crew to have more depth, most notably the half Romulan tactical officer.
The captain, Owens, was very well done, with a nice backstory, connecting him personally with the main thread of the story. Cleverly though, the main thread is buried at the start, making the reader believe (or rather me) that it wasn't going to really play a part in the story, only for it to re-emerge.
There was a lot of mystery in this story, and ti all came together in a very satisfying way.
Author's Response: I'm really glad you had a chance to read this story and decided to provide some feedback as well. That's greatly appreciated. It's good to hear that you enjoyed Tempus Fugit. This was by no means an easy or straight-forward novel to plot, so I'm glad to hear that you found the end result satisfying.