Category Archives: Review

Review – Razor

Review – Razor

Razor
Razor, a tiny drabble, does not really need much of a review.

Background

First of all, Razor was written in response to a drabble prompt of the same name.

Plot

In addition, like the vast, vast majority of drabbles, Razor simply does not have much of a plot. Instead, it offers up a view of Tripp Tucker’s life and date with someone – probably a human, and certainly not T’Pol or even an alien guest – and a time at the movies. Hence this quick drabble shows a possible date between Tripp and a human woman, and it’s possibly Amanda Cole if they had gone further than one kiss. It was prompted on The Delphic Expanse;  the prompt word was the same as the title.

Real original, right?

However, it’s possible the prompt writer did not consider horror films when creating the prompt. So there’s that. Small comfort.

Yes, it’s possible to not enjoy your own work. I see no reason to expand on this one at all.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

In addition, most drabbles suffer from length and depth issues, and this one provides no exception. Furthermore, the story breaks canon and does not even dovetail well with my own fan fiction timeline. So while it does fit into the In Between Days timeline, that is just barely the case. Hence I do not pretend to be much of a fan of it and I have only posted it one place for good reason.

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Review – Prison Break

Review – Prison Break

Prison Break
Prison Break exists in the Dispatches from the Romulan War universe. Hence it dovetails well with In Between Days.

Background

First of all, I wrote Prison Break as a kind of homage to World War II prison break films such as The Great Escape. However, the Romulan War served as the backdrop.

Plot

Hence the concept behind Prison Break consisted of showcasing, from a journalist’s perspective, how some captured humans had gotten out of a Romulan prison. Therefore, this marked the first time I wrote about Berren Five, a location I have used in the HG Wells stories.

In addition, the original plan meant no one had survived an original attack. However, I convinced the series runner to allow for this kind of a different story. Therefore, the former prisoners detail everything from using ration packets to shore up tunnels to how they got rid of the dirt (a nod to The Great Escape, one of my favorite films, ever).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because a prison escape story can feel rather uplifting, the intent also involved giving hope to the families and turn the series around a bit, as it had stagnated and had gotten rather negative. While that may be expected with war stories, it just seemed a tad too much, and nonstop. Hence the escape story and the reunions of the former POWs with their pleasantly surprised families had a purpose. It evoked the same sort of hope and positivity that can happen in the midst of any war.

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Review – Oh My Darling

Review – Oh My Darling

Darling
Oh My Darling ended up being somewhat similar to Smells in plot and tone.

Background

Oh My Darling was a chance to return to Multiverse II and its improbable lovers, Rita Spinelli and Donald Janeway.

Plot

Since Multiverse II didn’t really end properly, I had nowhere to send these two characters. In addition, I really liked the idea of them, that they would almost be the flower growing in the desert or even amidst the radioactive rubble. Because Rita is rough and an ex-addict, and Donald had worked with Colonel Green, their love had an improbable air to it. Furthermore, while Sky (Rita’s daughter) had already made it into the story, the other children were barely hinted at. Hence I needed a place for them and wanted to revisit them and give them a kind of home.

Music

The music is, of course, the old standard, Clementine.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Aside from Detroit Rock City, A Single Step, and Hub of the Universe, I had not written too much in the pre-canon, pre-Enterprise time period. Hence the story helps to set up the future in ways that other stories of mine just can’t. Furthermore, almost like a phoenix (and the reference to the Phoenix, Zefram Cochrane‘s ship, is not accidental), Donnie and Rita rise from the ashes with this story.

The story even predates Lili and her family, although it does come after some interphased sections of some stories, such as Day of the Dead, Crackerjack, and, of course, Concord.

Hence I was happy to showcase a bit of their lives but also hope in the darkness. Because that’s why Sky Spinelli is really named Speranza Memoria, e. g. Hope and Memory.

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Review – New Toy

Review – New Toy

New Toy is, unfortunately, a failed story.
New Toy

Background

First of all, New Toy never really had much of a plot. Because the concept behind it was to try to get people to donate to Ad Astra and give them more story if they did so. However, it sadly backfired. As a result, there is very little story and a lot of going to nowhere. While the concept is of interest, it never really got off the ground and now, I am certain, it never will.

Plot

Hence the main plot of New Toy, such as it was, consisted of a kind of enemy creating a brand new weapon. And here’s all I’ve got, sorry: In August of 3110, the Chilo try out a new temporal weapon that threatens the multiverse.

Therefore, Carmen has to send HD and Marisol. And so Boris threatens HD (hence HD’s song).

Because I was looking to get people to donate, any number of disparate extra plot elements were thrown. Meet the kitchen sink of short stories!

Yeah, that is just never, ever a good idea for plot development and story lines, okay?

Music

The music is Lena Lovich’s New Toy.

And HD also sings Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out with Him?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While it might have been a good idea at the time, it just plain isn’t anymore. This one will (highly likely) never be finished. I have no plans to pick it back up again, and I have little doubt that no one is exactly clamoring for it these days.

Ah, well. They can’t all be good ones. Hey, at least I tried something new!

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Review – Smells

Review – Smells

Smells
Smells lingered over this little story, just like they do in real life.

Background

First of all, Smells was written because of some petulance on my part. Because I was posting on a site requiring beta reading before posting, I got tired of that. I didn’t want to do that as it was fan fiction. Furthermore, I was seeing suggestions of changing some of the fundamentals of Reversal. With so much dependent upon that story, imperfect as it is, I wasn’t interested in subsequent ‘fixes’ which I felt would gut the plot. However, I was curious about the beta reading process and reeled off Smells with two brand-new characters in order to see what it was all about. Hence my reasoning was to offer up two characters I didn’t really care about in the hopes that I wouldn’t be offended by any suggestions and would potentially learn something.

And then I mostly forgot about the story, but revisited it when I began writing the E2 stories as I needed names and I needed relationships. Tracey and Osh fit the bill rather nicely.

Plot

Because Smells was not intended to have a plot, the story progresses linearly although it barely goes anywhere. Essentially, Trace and Osh discover they are going to become parents. Furthermore, Phlox once again proves he has the lousiest bedside manner of any Starfleet doctor, ever, in the history of all Starfleet doctors.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

Most drabbles suffer from length and depth issues, and this one is no exception. However, the story is decent even if a little oddly executed. Certainly, within the E2 time frame in particular, this sort of thing could happen.

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Review – Multiverse Mini

Review – Multiverse Mini

Multiverse Mini seemed like a good idea at the time.

Multiverse Mini

Background

First of all, Multiverse Mini was my idea, to add a round robin mystery style story. However, the story was never completed, and the mysteries were too odd and no one really ‘got’ them.

Plot

The concept behind Multiverse II consisted of a puzzle and a mystery to be solved by the other players. Hence my inspiration came from Dungeons and Dragons and the like.

Music

I wanted this one to be loaded with music. Hence the prelude song (before anything else happened) became Neil Young’s My My Hey Hey because I wanted to instill a feeling of foreboding.

The first song posted? The Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds because  I wanted the participants to think about the illogic of Pepperland.

And then to give a hint that a river had to be crossed, I added Lenny Kravitz’s version of the old Jimmy Cliff tune, Many Rivers to Cross.

So for the next trial, I wanted the characters to teach each other something. Surfing was supposed to be fun. Hence I went with the B52s’s Rock Lobster.

And then in order to make the training sessions obvious, I added the Beach Boys’s Surfin’ Safari.

Because Lili becomes distressed by the sound of the waves (I added a thunder and lightning storm to the night of her parents’ deaths; that detail had not been there before), and the test was ended before Naurr, a Caitian, would have to get wet.

So the next test concerned getting out of heat, and the song? Buster Poindexter’s Hot Hot Hot.

However, the test really evinced cooperation, and that meant, of course, Miami Sound Machine’s Conga.

Unfortunately,  the story ended here, as the other participants abandoned it. A pity, as there were other challenges.

Unposted Challenge Songs

So for the fourth challenge, it concerned harmony and working together, a la Emilie-Claire Barlow’s O Pato.

And then the hint song? The Youngbloods’ Get Together.

The fifth challenge involved getting from place to place and that meant cars. Hence the first song (why? I can’t recall why) – Warren Zevon’s Sentimental Hygiene.

And then the hint song made more song, Ronny and the Daytonas’ Little GTO.

Since the next one concerned vision and identity, the song was David Bowie’s Sound and Vision.

And the hint song? The Who’s The Real Me.

Furthermore, I can’t honestly recall the theme of the next challenge, but the song was Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, and Lili and Naurr had to cook something.

In addition, the hint song – Jay and the Techniques’s Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie.

Finally, the finale song – The Tubes’s Talk to Ya Later.

With the hint being Donna Summer’s Last Dance.

Furthermore, as the aftermath, Kantalia converted to her true shape, similar to a creature called a Spanish Dancer.

Spanish Dancer - Multiverse Mini
Spanish Dancer – Multiverse Mini

 

Second Spanish Dancer image - Multiverse Mini
Second Spanish Dancer image – Multiverse Mini

In addition, others joined her and the big reveal would be that they were of Branch Borodin’s species and that they belonged to universe #49.

Finally, the epilogue song (because the planet was 100% water and with no dry land) –Manhattan Transfer’s Trickle Trickle.

Yeah, as I look back on it now, it is really … weird.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Unfortunately, the Multiverse II round robin barely got off the ground. Participants did not seem to understand the puzzles and they went off in unexpected directions which derailed the ultimate plot, which was intended to show Branch’s origin world. I can only blame myself for that.

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Review – More than a Will to Live

Review – More than a Will to Live

More than a Will to Live is not one of my favorite pieces, sorry.
Review – More than a Will to Live

Background

First of all, More than a Will to Live arose as a round robin style story created with a few friends. Those sorts of stories often do not work out well, although at least this one was completed. And that’s a lot more than I can say about other such collaborative efforts.

Plot

Because the plot is a bit of a mishmash, it’s a little hard to retell it, so many years later. The main concept was about a primitive alien race fighting invaders. And that would have been a fine idea, except it got derailed and the plot never really got off the ground. As I wrote the primitives, I enjoyed putting them together and tried to get something out of their story. I wanted them to be seen as people. Instead, it became a lot of tropes. However, I cannot fault my fellow writers. This is because we were all relying on tropes after a while. And I will be the first person to admit that they make for far easier writing at times.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Round robin stories can often have consistency and transition issues. This one was no exception. I can see where the prose needs to be tighter. Furthermore, there were any number of plot threads which were lost or ignored altogether.  Hence the wrap up feels forced and strange, and as if it does not quite follow from the parts preceding it. And without a decent, logical, step by step flow, I feel that a story such as this suffers. And that does not serve either the readers or the writers well at all.

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Review – Inspiration

Review – Inspiration

Inspiration is an exceptionally personal thing.
Inspiration

Background

First of all, Inspiration was a response to a prompt of the same name. As a result, I decided to go with an author insertion type of theme. Hence the idea was to write a story about the more or less near future. And the future would begin to intersect with canon, which says we are supposed to be in the midst of World War III, right about now.

Er, not so much.

Therefore, it seems as if some of the premise falls flat. Furthermore, the concept now, as I review it from a remove of a few years, feels trite and, frankly, more than a little bit weird. And in some ways, the story twists the concept and the plot too much. In short, it feels as if I was trying way too hard with it.

Ah, well. They can’t all be gems now, can they?

Plot

There is not too much of a plot, although it does dovetail with the In Between Days and Multiverse II story lines.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I feel the concept was an acceptable one, the story suffers from too much author insertion and not enough plot line. Hence I believe it could have been improved by using an original character in the place of myself. And it may have even become a great time to resurrect Leland Loomis. However, that would have veered the story off and into a rather different direction. Yet that might even have saved it. Hard to say now. I have no plans to revisit the story or the concept at this particular time.

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Review – Infinite Diversity

Review – Infinite Diversity

Infinite Diversity

Background

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations! First of all, Infinite Diversity was created as a means of showcasing LGBTQ stories within the context of Star Trek fan fiction. And while it says some good things, it does not really fit in with canon, personal or otherwise.

Plot

Because Infinite Diversity exists as a more or less anthology, it does not, truly, have any sort of a plot to speak of. Hence the main themes include the colors of the rainbow and any prompts. Most of the stories take place in the Interphases E2 timeline.

Therefore, the prompts and the colors devolve as follows:

  1. Wisdom (Red) – Dave and Frank dye their cabin in rainbow colors as they dye tee shirts for Pride Week. And the last dye job makes them look like serial killers (prime timeline).
  2. Fairness (Orange) – Diana and Preece Ti discuss why choosing each other isn’t unfair at all, even though there are no other choices (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  3. Grace (Yellow) – Diana’s funeral, where Jonathan gives the eulogy to cover Diana’s widow, Leah (prime timeline, refers to the Bread story).
  4. Melancholy (Green) – Kelsey cross dresses in private (E2 timeline, first kick back in time but also refers to the prime timeline story, In Memory of Kelsey Haber).
  5. Distance (Blue) – Luke and Preston fight  (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  6. Generosity (Indigo) – asexual pilot Christian Harris volunteers for a dangerous mission so others don’t have to (E2 timeline, either kick back in time).
  7. and Perseverance (Violet) – Melissa and Norri try to feed infant Tommy (prime timeline, references Temper).

Music

While the only song is this one, it’s a good one, particularly considering that character Kelsey Haber, in the prime timeline commits suicide. Hence he may very well have been more melancholy than he lets on here.

Story Postings

Infinite Diversity on Ad Astra.

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I feel my heart was in the right place when I wrote Infinite Diversity, it could have used more of a plot.

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Review – If I Could Do it All Over Again

Review – If I Could Do it All Over Again

Review – If I Could Do it All Over Again

Background

If I Could Do it All Over Again was written in response to a prompt of the same name. And of course the concept was, if you could have an instant replay, would you take it? Furthermore, how would it work?

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere | If I Could Do it All Over Again

However, I eventually realized that the story did fit in with my own personal canon, but I could alter it. How could I make it fit?

Plot

Captain Jonathan Archer mourns his Ikaaran bride from the first E2 kick back in time – Ebrona – before he meets Esilia. Because the relationship between Lili and José was already established in Together, I had to follow that. However, I wanted to use the E2 time frame as a vehicle for exploring a possible relationship between Lili and Jay. Furthermore, I wanted Malcolm to have someone, because I had always hated how that went down in canon.

Since I wanted these other relationships to work out, I had to do something different. Hence I created two kicks back in time. Most noteworthy, because the short story established an early death for the Ikaaran species, I had to determine a manner in which to get that convincingly onto the page.

So some of my inspiration came from the old TOS episode, The Mark of Gideon. In that story, an overpopulated world use’s Captain Kirk’s recovery from Vegan choriomeningitis as a means of obtaining germs to deliberately sicken and kill off a part of their population. It’s implied that they don’t believe in birth control. Hence, I gave a similar purpose to the Ikaarans, except they would send their youth out for farming stints in order to obtain more food and then return to marry. However, their bodies would have almost an effective kill switch, and they would die young because of genetic manipulation.

As a result, Ebrona (and eventually Esilia) dies young. And this story, which is about that event, is instead read by Archer during the second kick back in time, as he goes over old logs.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I loved being able to use this story in a rather unexpected and different fashion but still get what I needed out of it.

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