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[2006: NOV-DEC] Feedback


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En Route by Nemitor Atimen

I really liked the way Nemitor took the moving "First Contact" and incorporated it into the story, altering it only slightly to have Cochrane dying. The effort of the survivors to "keep the dream alive" shows the best part of the human spirit, something brought out into stark relief as they encounter the Borg in space. The only issue I ran into with this story was the flow. While reading it, there were times I had to pause and re-read to determine who was supposed to be speaking or consider a phrase that sounded awkward. A minor flaw to an otherwise excellent story. Nice job!

~Ben Walker

The Last Contact by Julia Harden

Julia Harden’s approach to this month’s challenge was an interesting one insomuchas the writer creates a race for First Contact rather than examining a set of events had another canon Star Trek race been the first to reach Earth. The Arecibo appear somewhat more sinister than the passive Vulcans, and LtCmdr Harden describes their actions (for example kidnapping terrans and conducting horid experiments on them) in a style that echoes many recent SCi-Fi TV shows such as Roswell and the X-Files as well as the modern “Alien-kidnapping” folklore.

It is interesting how the writer chooses to bring out the Arecibo’s personal side… showing their thoughts and emotions. Where as to us First Contact would be a major event, to the alien protagonist he is clearly tired and just wants to go home after a long mission. My main criticism of this story would be that, since it uses a non Star Trek race, it could have perhaps included more descriptions about the Arecibos’ appearances, people, society, political structure and history etc. Slightly darker than First Contact, this seems to be more a “people story” about those on the Arecibo and their personal relationships and feelings as they complete their mission. This is well done but I feel it also means the story suffers in how it approaches the challenge and that more could have been done to examine the actual effects of this First Contact on the people of Earth. I think to really rise to the “what if…” aspect of this challenge then this particular short story might also have benefited in exploring how this First Contact with the Arecibo effected Earth’s future and even the existence of Starfleet and the Federation etc. Nonetheless this was a well-written piece and it would perhaps be interesting in future writing to see Julia Harden further develop this new race that she has created.

~Rocar

On their own, What if the humans never met anyone on that faithful day? by LtJg Pedro A. S. Ramirez

This was a solid idea. Half-way between “1984” and “The Time Machine”, the concept of a world founded on self-interest rather than magnanimity is almost the exact opposite of what we try to emulate in ST. So this was an interesting concept and of course a good concept is a great place to start a story.

However, at times this entry felt more like the outline for an idea rather than a fully-worked up story, and possibly it suffered slightly for this. Nerreht’s previous entries have been of a very high standard, however, on this particular occasion perhaps more could have been done during the writing process to develop the story more and explore what was an excellent concept a little more thoroughly. Everyone entering these challenges needs to be careful to turn their good ideas into strong stories as best they can for this forum. That said, I did actually really like the story. It had a dark quality I find myself very attracted to. One of my favourite films is "Dark City" and this certainly reminded me of it fondly in parts. With a bit more fleshing out, this had a lot of potential. So I guess my main criticism is that a good idea like this one deserves the best possible treatment from its writer. C'mon Nerreht, you had 2,500 words left to play with here and they could have been used to really delve into yet detail. I've enjoyed your stories in the past and I feel that with your writing talent you could have perhaps achieved just a little more with this month's entry! :)

That said, I liked how you approached the idea of a future without the Vulcan’s influence but more importantly the subtle way in which this story indicates, hints at and underlines some very real and detrimental elements in our society today. Indeed, one of the most powerful tools offered by creative writing in the fantasy/sci-fi genre is the way the setting (of a future/fantasy world) allows for the writer to make a social commentary and criticisms about the real modern day world around him. I believe this is something Nerreht begins to do well with this entry. Indeed, upon reading this short story, every reader should be weary of the corporation before we allow it to take over on a galactic scale.

~ Rhys & Rocar

Edited by Rocar Drawoh
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