Date: 06 Jul 2014 18:32 Title: Chapter 3
Wow. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh? Lots of parallels here to the present day experience of Muslims in the Western world. Talia is a fascinating and relatable character, as is your Jem'Hadar security officer. I really like the dynamics you're setting up here.
Date: 06 Jul 2014 18:25 Title: Chapter 2
Well, the councilor is a scheming asshole. No surprise there, but I like the way you write him. I'm wondering if Marta is somehow Data's child? But he died in the movies, so ... I'm intrigued to find out what the connection is. The crew is likable so far and I actually like that someone called Starfleet out on its nepotism. I've no doubt Marta is a fine officer, but the fleet is notorious for its family ties.
And that last line ... what does Haman want? Intriguing ...
Date: 06 Jul 2014 18:12 Title: Chapter 1
WOW! I mean, of course this was going to be terrific, it's you writing it, but you have outdone yourself. This was instantly immersive, richly described and the future you've created here is both believable and fascinating. And I should have known a simple intergalactic mission wouldn't be enough for you -- no, you'll start with saboteurs and terrorists (who just might have a point -- I've made my own comparisons between the Federation and the Borg before).
I. Love. This.
Date: 15 Jun 2014 10:49 Title: Chapter 3
Who would have ever thought a Vulcan would have to stand in front of a Jem'Hadar and convince him of her loyalties to the Federation? It's a topsy-turvy world these guys are living in now. Of course the irony is also extremely awesome.
Talia is going to have a tough time ahead of herself even though she has done nothing wrong really. That makes her immediately likable. And as for the mistrusting security chief? Even he comes to realize that they are not so different after all.
You have a real gift to create characters with complicated and intriguing back stories and dilemmas. It'll be fun to see them try to overcome them, successfully or otherwise.
Date: 29 May 2014 12:21 Title: Chapter 2
Okay, first of all, holographic bridge sounds super cool but also incredibly dangerous. How often have we seen holo decks go haywire? What if they are in a middle of a conflict and they lose power to the grid? Let's hope those Starfleet engineers knew what they were doing. I guess only time will tell.
I already like your characters and their interactions on the bridge seemed very natural. Especially Soong and and her XO seem to have excellent chemistry. That helps. Also kudos on making both the captain and her first officer female. Overly gender balanced senior staffs are getting a bit tedious, in my opinion.
And the captain has just the right amount of baggage and self doubt, not to mention racial handicap you would wish for the heroine of a story. Plenty of room for drama and development.
And Haman is going to make an excellent adversary especially since he sees himself as a good guy having to be bad at times. A man with a mission who is determined to let nothing stand in his way, especially not Captain Soong.
Really looking forward to more.
Author's Response: Thanks! Yeah, the holographic bridge was kind of a too-cool-not-to-use idea that probably has some flaws in the reality of it! :) The hologrid is much more stable and has lots and lots of backups to it because of this, but yeah it could go horribly wrong. However there are definite fallback positions, including analogue systems on the holobridge and an entirely physical bridge elsewhere that is constantly manned once the ship has been launched. Glad you like the characters, you will see that the female contingent will be extremely large in this story: in fact it is one of the first stories I have written with an almost entirely female cast of main characters. A few more of those to come. And yeah, creation of lots of potential drama in these characters, especially with Soong who we will see has a very complicated past! Thanks for the comment!
Date: 28 May 2014 00:20 Title: Chapter 1
OMG! You promised something different. This chapter is living up to that promise. It seems the politics of the future are about to get a whole lot more complex. I like that the threat is an internal philisophical one to the Federation. (Well at this juncture we assume the Liberator is an internal threat). However, it is also alarming that the spirit of the Federation does seem to be one of an almost suppressed, mindwashed people, living in a mode of normalacy and conformity if these views are to be believed. Perhaps, looking at the canon of Trek and the subsequent iterations of the franchise we do see a little more generic conformity within Starfleet. It would not be hard to imagine this coming even more so in the future, especially as an attempt to keep the peace and status quo.
What I find very intriguing is of course the Liberator and whatever the heck the deal is with the Vulcans. I mean: Let her think me a Romulan, he told himself. She will not fear me as much. WHAT? Like what is going on? What did the Vulcans do to get so much vile opinions about them? Colour me fascinated.
Author's Response: Thanks! So glad you liked this, this definitely sets up some of the internal conflicts that will be key to Federation, though they will not necessarily be central to the storyline that will be followed by this first book. It seems "logical" - :) - to think that if the Federation was to grow so large there would be some of that stagnation, BUT it is also important to realise that most of what we see here is coloured by the beliefs of the characters we're following. Are they wrong? No. Are they right? Not entirely. As to what the heck is going on with the Vulcans - the third chapter will answer some of those questions.
Date: 27 May 2014 15:13 Title: Chapter 1
So a lot has changed in 300 years. Some of which may be less surprising, like the Bajorans, Ferengi and Vorta part of the Federation or a rotating Federation capital. But what happened to the Vulcans, the very founding members of the Federation? Feared and treated with suspicion? Is it because they have become as critical of the Federation's expansion and assimilation as the Liberator has or is it something more?
His motive for his planned acts of terrorism (which I assume are going to be ultimately unsuccessful) are very interesting indeed. I wonder if there is some truth to them or if it is merely a matter of perception. The fact that they are coming from a Vulcan who is willing to kill and destroy for his believes gives them a certain amount of legitimacy. Could it be possible the Federation has become so large and bureaucratic that it is more interested in conforming to a single ideal than it is in celebrating uniqueness? Not a far fetched notion but regardless, it does not seem to justify terrorism. The Liberator's observations may be true but the manner in which to achieve his goals are all wrong. A very dangerous combination.
Author's Response: The truth behind what is going on with the Vulcans will be revealed and teased out over the course of the next few chapters - their issues and problems will be central to what is about to happen to Pioneer. But yes, mostly, it has to do with the same things that the Liberator is talking about here. I'm glad that the changes don't seem too much of a departure from where we can see the Federation going at the end of the current cannon. I really wanted that to work. The rotating Federation capital seemed logical, but is also inspired by the EU over here which, while not having a rotating capital does have a rotating presidency (each country gets a turn one after the other). Glad that the Liberator's motives are interesting - whether they are true or perception is up to the reader to the decide based on what you will see. I will say that he has some ulterior motives not necessarily made clear here which, when revealed, may change the reader's perceptions somewhat. These, though, are quite a ways down the road. I think you have a good point, though, when you ask the question about the bureaucratic Federation: there is a certain stagnancy that will become clear going forward. Thanks so much for the well thought out comment, as usual! Glad you're along for the ride so far.
Date: 26 May 2014 16:42 Title: Prologue
Wonderful start, Sarine. Much as I loved the idea presented in the ficlet challenge (still do), I'm a TOS girl through and through, so loved the premise that all of what is to come got its start on Kirk's Enterprise.
You have a great feel for these characters and their interactions with one another. I love the notion that Spock is hypersensitive about the 'brain incident,' and the person responsible for remedying it.
I also love the nods to TOS canon, but as a TOS girl I can't help but point out it's 'Rojan,' not 'Rogan,' and the 'Kelvans,' not 'Kelwans.'
Very neat premise that Starfleet would consider the Enterprise crew experts on the barrier, given that they've tangled with it twice already, and have one more journey to contend with in the upcoming event with the Medusans that you allude to.
Season three of TOS left a lot to be desired, but placed in the capable hands of skilled fan ficcers like yourself, gems can be located, plucked out and built upon to make wondrous tales. Kudos to you for finding the venue to do so.
Author's Response: Aw man I am so embarassed. I did so much research on this stuff, have lots of notes, all of them including Rojan and Kelvan written the right way and threw all of it away in a single paragraph! Grrr me! Thanks for spotting those, I have rectified the mistakes. Glad you enjoyed this despite the self-inflicted eggs on the face, I really wanted to make sure to place this little scene in its context and also to get Kirk, Spock and McCoy to set the Pioneer off on its maiden cruise (from a distance anyway). I'm glad I didn't disappoint. Hope you'll stick around for the rest, even if it isn't TOS centric - I hope you'll find that I have stuck to its spirit, at least. Thanks again for the comment!
Date: 26 May 2014 00:46 Title: Prologue
This sets up your story quite nicely and with the help of a few Starfleet legends no less. The little bit of fan service sprinkled in here and there is also quite appreciated. Even though I have to admit I'm not enough of an TOS expert that I'd be able to place this exact moment.
Fast forward 300 years and let's see James Kirk's predictions having come to pass.
Great beginning. Quite interested to see what awaits us in the Andormeda galaxy.
Author's Response: Always great to get a review from you CeJay! Glad you enjoyed this, definitely wanted to make use of the TOS brethren to set the new generation on their way, from a distance anyway. As you may see from LBD's comments, I'm not as much of a TOS expert as I thought, and I didn't think I was much of one before! :) Hope you'll like what I do with this going forward. Thanks again for the comment!
Date: 26 May 2014 00:22 Title: Prologue
Oh. Linking the future to the TOS episode. That's actually inspired. Seems obvious but I certainly didn't expect it. Neat way of passing the torch on the whole exploring the vast unknown Trek spirit too. Seems that in 300 years Starfleet may find they get an answer back from these probes? And a lot can as McCoy says, happen in 300 years. Although that works both ways on both sides of the Barrier. So we may have an inkling of some of what happened this side from the ficlets but ... what has happened on the other side? Very intriguing premise. Of course, you've given yourself a heck of a challenge too. Should prove interesting to follow.
Author's Response: "Of course, you've given yourself a heck of a challenge too." Pressure much? :) Glad you liked the intro, I did want to link it back to TOS because that is definitely the spirit I'm hoping to capture in Federation. I also wanted to write something with these characters since I didn't get a chance at Kirk and McCoy in my ficlets! Yes, will definitely be getting some answers as to what has happened in the Andromeda Galaxy going forward. For now, though, we're gonna concentrate on how things have changed 300 years on in "our" galaxy. Thanks for reading!