Date: 06 May 2012 01:22 Title: Chapter 24
That was quite an enjoyable ending from the battle with the Gorn to some semblance of a happy ending for Torlik to memorializing Commander Hawke. I especially liked the exchange between Wilcox and Hans regarding whether or not to become involved in the Gorn conflict-- a decision that made itself when another attack came, of course. Also glad to see some kind of cliffhanger ending.
I should look forward even more to "The Ruse".
Author's Response: Thanks for you kind words. It was certainly a joy to write the end of the episode. I was glad I was able to get it all in without over doing it. And the cliffhanger ending is something I like to do. I hope you enjoy "The Ruse".
Date: 05 May 2012 01:08 Title: Chapter 24
Great way to end the story; end it on a mysterious note! Torlik it seems is going to have much greater prominence in the next story.
To sum up; this story had great characters, some good twists, action, plot turns, and used the Gorn and Geckonians in a very interesting way. I can look over the little minor mistakes (because I can be just as sloppy with my writing), but I thought as the chapters progressed the story-writing grew stronger.
You have an interesting premise here, plus it seems several more stories concerning the Gorn and Geckonians are in the making here. The Gorn seem to have become the new 'big threat' to the Federation. Another thing I liked was you retaining some of the Gorn's mystery as this story progressed. Are the Gorn more advanced than the Federation and Geckonians believe? Who knows? Looking forward to the next story.
Over all I would give this story four out of five stars (if only the rating system was restored).
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Sorry for the sloppy mistakes - i'm constantly looking at the writings and editing mistakes. hopefully eventually i'll get them all.
i'm glad you like the characters as I spent a lot of time fleshing them out. with a lot taking completely different directions than i originally planned - but more about that in my blog when it is set up.
The Gorn will return in the future alongside the Geckonians as we delve deeper into their premise and some of more subtle mentionings in the first story will get a greater time in the second and beyond. Unfortunately you'll have to wait for Torlik, his redemption (or not) will take a few stories to come about.
Thanks for the 4/5 stars, i couldn't ask for more.
Date: 05 May 2012 00:08 Title: Chapter 17
Very good story-telling! I say that because it is clever stuff contrasting Hawke's style command with Hans. Because really what the crew need is Hans more militaristic style so the crew don't have to worry so much about the actual mission (for Hans keeping them busy distracts them). Clever...
Date: 04 May 2012 02:00 Title: Chapter 15
Loved the last bit! Inspired choice throwing in some humour on such a dark situation!
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed the humour. I do like to use humour from time to time, even more so in dark situations. I use it as a method to really make the dark moments seem dark. If it was constently doom and gloom then you as a reader (especially in longer books) would simply turn off in the end and say - "oh look they're i doom again". But by contrasting that with some light humour you get a rollercoaster of a ride.
Date: 04 May 2012 01:47 Title: Chapter 14
Wow! From an under-confident captain to a blood-thirsty madman! Quite a change coming from John. This story is becoming really interesting now!
Author's Response: I wasn't going to originally do this. But I thought that the man is all about lack of confidence in his command ability, and is also a control freak. So what happens when someone like that? They start doing nasty things, going off the rails. This was classically seen last year in the UK news (although no where near the level John goes) with the woman who put the cat in the bin. Someone had lost their confidence, wanted to gain some measure of control and they flew off the rails. It also shows a little more depth into John - he is emotionally driven. It is a nice contrast to Hans, who despite everything that the Gorn have done to him (and the next story will expand on this as well), he can't hide his feelings, but he doesn't act on them. The two of them complete each other almost and allow the other one to improve. A little like Kirk and spock.
Date: 04 May 2012 01:28 Title: Chapter 13
Awesome! You bumped off your first officer mid story!
Author's Response: You aren't the first one to mention that this was a great move. Unfortunately for Commander Hawke, it was planned from the start, he was never a long term character. However if I simply killed him off like they killed off the VOY first officer then nobody would care. By giving him a face, emotions and some screen time you are shocked and appreciate his death more. Of course this only really works in the first novel of a series. If I introduced a new character next story and simply killed them off, you would probably guess it. And doing it mid story instead of at the beginning or at the end, gives an added shock as it is unusual. Thanks for the feedback. - very much appreciated.
Date: 03 May 2012 18:20 Title: Chapter 11
Alright some action! The Gorn make great bad guys!
Author's Response: thanks for the feedback. I'm grateful for every word, I will certainly bear the desciptiveness in mind. I'm glad you like the Gorn, they are a rather undeveloped species in the ST universe, yet could be such a problem. The advantage of this is that I can take them into any direction I like.
Date: 02 May 2012 14:41 Title: Chapter 8
John is pretty shaky as a captain; I like that. It doesn't come smoothly to him like that of Picard, Sisko or Janeway.
Author's Response: John is 'very shaky' at times. He is an emotional man who lets that get the better of him more times than he really should. Perhaps he shouldn't have been made Captain, but as Starfleet are desperate at the moment.
Date: 21 Apr 2012 23:26 Title: Chapter 21
This story is starting to take a more interesting turn with the Federation in quite a dilemma. They risk being the Gorn's next target whether they help the Geckonians. It has the feel of an entire TV season with a big story that has immediate crises resolved with the big far from resolved.
Author's Response: I'm so glad that you are enjoying the big implications that my story is setting up for the universe. I like to think of Nightingale like it's season 4 of enterprise, with lots of mini story arcs covering a couple of books (with a couple of standalone dotted in for good measure). It won't be long now until this book is finished, but the Nightingale will be back in action dealing with the ramifications in th next one.
Date: 10 Apr 2012 20:31 Title: Chapter 16
The opening scene of this chapter was kind of creepy, but I am sensing a possible Shrak-Visitor romance. Am I correct?
Author's Response: Shrak is not exactly the typical starfleet officer. She is aggressive and overly so for an Andorian. And with aggression normally comes those moments of creepyness. I wanted Shrak to come across as creepy in this chapter, so you get to know her a little. She is someone who is a dedicated officer, willing to do her job, but you shouldn't turn your back on her for one minute. On the other hand Visitor, is the innocent, impressionable youngster. She is a dedicated officer, but has less experience of how the real world works. The coupling is going to be a rollercoaster. The Shrak-Visitor story arc will play a more significant role later in the Geckonian story arc, with the second and third books really showing what will happen between them before Chloe coming into her own in the 4th book. But some foundations were needed in this book for their romance.
Date: 07 Apr 2012 22:41 Title: Chapter 7
Do you really mean 60 trillion or 60 billion for the population of both Gorn and Geckonians? Surely it can't be 60 trillion?
Author's Response: Tthought i would respond in one post. Thanks foe the great feedback. i do attempt to give the characters a lot of background. partly to make a reader care, but also to add tension and conflict. Wilcox was never meant to be a great captain, in fact he is definately someone who cant cope with not being in control. but his journey in this episode and the next couple will help him develop into that captain the ship needs and deserves. his journey is mirrored by chloe, who too will take time to develop, but through different means. Torlik has a hard journey. but in some ways he makes it harder for himself, Paul was certainly willing to talk to him and he shut him out. But he is also the symbol for what makes starfleet. that sometimes the right decision is painful. as with the population i spent a long time trying to work it out. I considered that the Federation is made up of 150 members and about 1000 colony systems. Considering that earth could be able to sustain a population of about 10 billion (should we technically be able to use every part of the world in some capacity and we didn't use food replicators) and that the Federation has used the Moon, Mars, Pluto; some moons of Nepture, Jupitar and Saturn and some of the meteorites in the solarsystem ring, I estimated that about 15 billion could live in the Sol system alone (considering we are 7 billion now, its only a double of the figure in about 300 years). So if we use that as a system average and multiply that by 1150 thats 17 trillion. Then I considered the Gorn and the Geckonians. Both reptilian species and cold blooded. So neither actually need to eat as much as humans, vulcans and so on. A mammal uses rougly 70-80% of what it eats to stay warm and for energy to move. A reptile uses only 10% for that. In fact many large reptiles such as Komodo dragons do not need to eat for up to 3 months (though 1-2 is far more common) and some snakes eat only once a year. Therefore their food production could be much lower than that of humans( approx 1/17th of the space for the same population or 17 times the population - i went for the latter). Also for the two species to be powers, they would need to have sizable territories (though not as large as the Federation obviously). For this I used about 240 worlds (collectively 21% of the Federation) between the two, which equates to 60 trillion people in the two empires. There is also some further information in the Geckonians that helps explain why there are so many. For instance, the Geckonians breed once a year, but live for at least 300 years. It is also established that the natural environment for the Geckonians is underground tunnels. It is more than feasiable that in the day and now that they live on the surface as well, doubling their living space. I hope that explains the situation with these two species. I wouldn't expect many other species to live that size of population, though I suspect that the Klingons and Romulans contain empires about 500-700 systems big, with some of the other empires slightly smaller. glad you are enjoying the story.
Date: 07 Apr 2012 21:48 Title: Chapter 5
Now that was a powerful scene! I think Torlik did the right thing, and Starfleet officers (in particular captains) are there to protect civilians, and Torlik's previous captain was being really neglectful. I'm surprised Torlik wasn't court martialled for firing at that Murray fellow. Great chapter!
Date: 07 Apr 2012 21:39 Title: Chapter 4 - Departing
Wow! I love it how there are so many face-palming moments with John's style of command. Poor guy doesn't seem to improvise well, and I like how the helm officer, Chloe, is all green, raw, fresh-meat just waiting to be tempered with real-life and some nasty experiences! You're making me really emphasise (or at least get really into) these characters. Nice one.
Date: 03 Apr 2012 10:45 Title: Chapter 1 - Orders
"As always with a new series a few chapthers set up the characters, but not all the main characters will be heavily introduced until later on in the book, though certain story threads will be started in this story that will continue in other books from some of the minor contributors in this book, which will give them prominence in later stories."
Good approach, that way the stories pace (the first story) is not sacrificed, and it lets the reader grow accustomed to the characters you have prominently introduced.
Author's Response: Thanks. Its nice to know some people agree with me.
Date: 02 Apr 2012 23:25 Title: Chapter 2 - Exploring the Possibilities
Nice little backstory about the Gorn, keeps things in perspective, plus John is coming to terms with him being a captain. I guess the next two or three chapters are introducing the cast ones before the real action happens? I am rather interested with John being on such friendly terms with his first officer? Is it professional, can it last? Interesting chapter.
Author's Response: As always appreciate the feedback. The Gorn story arc will be involved in this book and the following two and so a bit of backstory is definately needed in my opinion. But I appreciate that you liked it. As always with a new series a few chapthers set up the characters, but not all the main characters will be heavily introduced until later on in the book, though certain story threads will be started in this story that will continue in other books from some of the minor contributors in this book, which will give them prominence in later stories. This is kind of reflected in some of the ST. For instance Kes and the Doctor are poorly represented in Caretaker (I didn't realise by how much until I watched it last night). In regards to Hawke, I would keep reading on that one.
Date: 31 Mar 2012 21:58 Title: Chapter 13
I did not THAT one coming. The sudden death of Commander Hawke did add plenty of shock value to the story. Does Hans become XO now? Considering the precarious situation his ship already in, Captain Wilcox will have plenty of personnel shuffling on his hands now.
Author's Response: Thanks, I am glad you found it a surprise. Its what I wanted from the start, which is why I developed his character and his relationships so much. If you didn't care for him, you wouldn't feel the shock. Its like in YOY: Caretaker - you don't really get to know the XO or CMO (other then they seem so dislikable) so when they are killed you don't feel anything other than - "could see that happening". It also now means for the reader that no character is safe.
Date: 31 Mar 2012 00:06 Title: Chapter 1 - Orders
So we'll soon be off, trouble with the Gorn (interesting to see where you go with them) and stuff. I like how you add a little off-hand humour in random places, but I also admire you are using your own made-up class of starship. Quite a few authors (myself included) stick with ships already described or shown in canon. Good job!
Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback. I do think a little humour in places allows for stories to have more of an emotional impact when things hit the fan. I always think that a reader tends to become a little numb if everything is all doom and gloom and then when everything hits the fan they tend not to care. My ship has been something that I've developed over a number of years thinking about how much Starfleet really needed it. Glad you are enjoying the story.