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[2009: JUL-AUG] Feedback

Ryan Horn

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Liberty Falls:

The description of an engineering crew going through a gauntlet, while the ship they serve is going through its own was very well done. As I read the story, I could envision the ship falling to pieces, as well as the difficult choices of how to send your team to safety. The final gauntlet, as she sacrificed her life to save her sister's, was a great completion to the story.

Unfortunately, the ending description of her heroic effort pulled me from the story. As she is carrying her sister on her back the heat is killing her. But there was nothing to say why her sister was not similiarly affected. Or perhaps she was affected and the effort was for nothing, but that did not appear to be the suggested attempt.

Definitely a well written story, very visceral, and plays to the fact that even in the Star Trek Universe, people do die despite the technology at hand. An enjoyable read, and I look forward to more in the future!

Edited by Ben Walker
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The Gauntlet of Atlas:

This was a great story, reminding me in some ways of "The Sixth Sense" in the twist at the end. I found myself rereading the story again, noting that the phrasing that I thought so clearly indicated one thing...actually had been left very open to interpretation. It was very well written, pulling me into the story from the opening lines, and leaving me just as shocked and grudgingly amazed at the audacity and success of the thief as the guard who she'd conned.

Excellent story, well worth the victory in this round...and I hope to see more!

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Between a Rock and Space

by Tal Tel-ar

For starters, an excellent title! I liked the gauntlet idea in this story, a crippled shuttle 'running the gauntlet' in an asteroid field. I liked, too, the claustraphobic feel, particularly within the cramped shuttle itself but also outside in the asteroid field.

The two characters aren't examined or developed in much detail but Tal Tel-ar gived us a few satisfying snippets of their lives (such as the young man's betrothed) and let's the reader fill in the rest. However, I think the characters needed a little more flesh on their bones, perhaps a little more interaction, as they feel very frail, almost charicatures of the naive farmboy/grizzled spacer types. Some extra detail would also have helped the length of the story, too, as it feels as if it's over almost as soon as it's begun - I would have been to find out about more of their journey.

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The Gauntlet for Gauntlets

by Mailea Labria

An interesting story, this. The setting is intriguing, the mysterious past of the orphan children and the strange vault. Like all good short stories, this one leaves an awful lot of questions unanswered, letting us speculate on the patriarchal nature of the 'father-figure'.

I particularly like the various different uses of the gauntlet theme - the literal gladiatorial conflict, the more general quest for knowledge (for both Kosk and Labria) and the nice touch at the end, where Labria needs to put on her physical gloves in order to open the vault. I also loved the description of Kosk's 'stonecrash' laughter, very characterful.

As with 'The Darkest Night' the ending to this tale could easily be the start of a whole new story for the chief characters.

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The Darkest Night

by Tallis Rhul

Well now. Right from the first line this story grabs your attention. It's gripping and tense throughout and Tallis does a very good job at setting the scene bit by bit, not overwhelming the reader with too much information at once.

It's very well-written, too, although does suffer on occasion from 'run-on' sentances; the use of a comma when a fullstop would have worked better.

The characters are stereotypes (the defiant Bajoran boy, the callous and arrogant Cardassian Gul) but they're Star Trek stereotypes; Tallis succesfully uses his audiences Trek knowledge to his advantage, able to dispense with unneccesary details about the setting and concentrate on the story itself, the 'traditional' characters allowing us to get a handle on the situation right away. At almost 3000 words it's close to the limit but it doesn't feel overlong or dragging. In fact, I found myself rather quickly swept along with the two boys and eager to find out if they made through their second gauntlet in one piece.

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