Reviews For The Devil We Know
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Reviewer: Enterprise1981 Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Aug 2011 21:12 Title: The Devil We Know

The whole story sure read like an hour-long episode. I was one of those disappointed at not having seen a follow-up to "Conspiracy" (of course, Pocket Books novels and fan-film productions offered their own interpretations).

If I have one minor knit-pick, it's Picard's knowledge of the joined nature of Trills despite his claim in "The Host" that "we know so little about them". Or maybe it's something that's not exactly public knowledge like Vulcan mating practices.

Author's Response:

Thank you for the review, E1981, I’m glad the ‘episode-ness’ of that story came across.

You’re right, Captains and bridge officers like Worf are exposed to a very different set of information than Doctor Crusher or Counsellor Troi, who was the one who said, ‘we know so very little about them.’ Picard knew about the Trill a few years before the events that took place in The Host, but saw no reason to speak of the joined nature of Trills to anyone, especially considering he had never had one aboard his ship until The Host. It hardly seemed relevant to anything, a sentiment that Odan himself echoed on the Enterprise.

But there’s another thing, too. Knowing the relationship Crusher was having with Odan, Picard would be the ultimate buzzkill if he announced out of nowhere that her lover had two cerebral nuclei! Before volunteering that information that particular fact I think Picard would wait until the need to know became higher.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Aug 2011 21:58 Title: The Devil We Know

I think your concept was very strong, especially the way you were able to bring ENT into the TNG continuity, and definitely full of moral quandaries.

The Locque'eque virus was one of the things that stuck out the strongest to me in all of ENT, so I think it was a very good choice since it helps the readers recall the strong visual images of that episode (as opposed to TNG's effects, which could be weaker until the later seasons).

It also fits that Dr. Howard used the Locque'eque virus; that species had to have been absolutely obsessed with survival to decide that they had the right to take the lives and cultures of other species to re-form their society.  Dr. Howard and the parasites both seem to me to exemplify the same chilling mentality--survival whatever the cost.

(I've always wondered if any nutcases ever deliberately subjected themselves to the virus to allow that society to rebuild, BTW...but that's a whole other story.)

My one criticism, though, would be that opening with Data's log may not have been the best move, given his dry diction.  Had this been on TV or a in movie, where there was some kind of visual image or soundtrack to lend extra interest to the scene, I don't think this would've been a big issue, but in writing it doesn't quite translate for an emotional punch.  In writing, it can send a reader into "scan mode" and end up disguising some very, VERY creative thinking.

Author's Response:

Thank you, Nerys, for the thoughtful review. I’m humbled and grateful to receive your suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Aug 2011 01:27 Title: The Devil We Know

Oops!  Meant David Mabury... :O

Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Aug 2011 01:25 Title: The Devil We Know

Very nice job Sam, and as one of the 'newbies' JLP was speaking about, I can tell you without a doubt that I was able to follow this effortlessly and was sucked in - hook, line and sinker - from the very beginning.

The action was engqaging, the prose delightful, and the story suspenseful until the reason for Dr. Howard's 'treachery' was revealed.  A very fitting entry for the challenge. Bravo!

Author's Response:

I’m very pleased you found some enjoyment in my story, LBD. Consider it a tiny payback for all the great stories of yours that I’ve enjoyed over these past months.

As for being a newbie, I’m just not buyin’ it anymore. ;) You may not have watched TNG or ENT, but you read and understand non-TOS stories with the best of them.

Author's Response:

I’m very pleased you found some enjoyment in my story, LBD. Consider it a tiny payback for all the great stories of yours that I’ve enjoyed over these past months.

As for being a newbie, I’m just not buyin’ it anymore. ;) You may not have watched TNG or ENT, but you read and understand non-TOS stories with the best of them.

Reviewer: Jean-Luc Picard Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 19 Aug 2011 14:02 Title: The Devil We Know

Very good piece, certainly read like a better episode of Season 3. I will say I was a bit surprised seeing Worf listed as Commander several times.

Other than that possible goof, it was excellent.

Author's Response:

Thank you for your review, Jean-Luc. I am honored that you would consider my story in the same class as the better episodes of season 3. That’s about the best I could have hoped for!

You’re absolutely correct about Worf’s rank. He was a Lieutenant until 2371 (the final season of TNG), when he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. And although Lieutenant Commanders are often referred to as just ‘Commanders’, Lieutenant’s never are. Thank you for spotting that error, and I will correct it.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 14 Aug 2011 09:11 Title: The Devil We Know

That was a good story, engaging and full of suspence, which didn't let go after learning the reasons of Dr. Howard's actions, as we still had to witness Ensign Knoll's struggles to save the day.

I enjoyed how you presented Data's way of thinking--it fits him and it really felt like being in his head. I also like both young officers, who in spite of their worries and being aware of their lack of experience decided to take the bull by the horns...and succeeded! That's what Starfleet is!

Trevor clearly became Hazel's personal hero and I am not surprised at all. Nothing warms a girl's heart more than a man who bravely saves others, regardless of risks for himself. Something like that can even make a girl want to marry him :)

Great characters and a great story.

Author's Response:

Thank you for your thoughtful review, Gul Rejal. I’m very happy to hear how well you understood both Trevor and Hazel; there were times when I was concerned that they might have gotten a little lost in the ‘woodwork’.

I’m sure that the Trevors of the world would not rise nearly so high, especially under such tough circumstances, if it were not for their Hazels. There’s a human phenomenon at work here, and something more than just pride. Whether it’s genetic or behaviorally acquired there often seems to be someone – maybe a child, maybe someone in the back row, or someone in the seat beside us – that casually reminds us of who we are and why we’re here, perhaps not realizing how they have reconnected us to the world, stronger than ever before. That’s what Hazel did for Trevor that day.

Here’s to Hazels everywhere.

Reviewer: trekfan Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Aug 2011 05:54 Title: The Devil We Know

Slick way to tie ENT and TNG together, Sam, and nice work all around. Where was Troi in all this though? Did I miss her? I doubt she would have been useful anyway, lol.


Liked the ending of this two, very cool. Beverly's sister is kinda badass-more please.

Author's Response:

I’m glad you liked the ENT tie-in for this primarily TNG story, Trekfan. I’m sure the irony of that tie-in is not lost on you, either; reaching into the past to find a disease that later proves to be the cure.

She may not be Michelle Rodriguez, but Mary Howard is one tough cookie. She had the unwavering courage and moral certitude to make the decision that preserved humanity, even though it meant sacrificing herself and her friends. Sacrificing oneself to save a crew – like Spock did in WOK – is a comparatively easier needs-of-the-many-type decision, but what about sacrificing other innocents who are not willing to give up their lives? It gets fuzzier, doesn’t it, and in that moment of doubt may pass the opportunity to make the best decision. Mary Howard knew that.

Troi wasn’t mentioned in the story, but I heard she joined an away team to the Copernicus shipyards and assisted Doctor Crusher. As you know, curing a disease is sometimes the easy part compared to the lengthy recovery that follows, so Troi wanted to assist in the rehab efforts that she knew would soon be so very important. I would say she did her part this time.


Reviewer: David Mabury Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 05 Aug 2011 19:53 Title: The Devil We Know

Reading this was a quick master class in fanfic: Longtime fans can enjoy many flawless references to canon, yet newbies can dive into the story on its own. Characters are true to form even while reacting to novel circumstances. I enjoyed the fluid writing and fine characterization. Great stuff!

Author's Response: That is high praise, David, and I am very grateful. A great deal of the credit rightly goes to the contributors to the Memory Alpha wiki, that over the years have transformed the site from its rather spotty beginnings to what is now a very complete database of Trek canon. I’ve got a feeling, though, we’re going to see some other entries to this challenge that may take things up a notch or two still further!

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Aug 2011 16:02 Title: The Devil We Know

Wow Sam. You surprised me with this tale by making the different links from ENT episodes and TNG episodes. It all gelled greatly together to tell a neat mystery that perfectly matched the challenge.

I liked your renderings of the TNG crew. You gave a wonder about Data through his eyes and the opinion of Geordi which is one of the things that endeared so many people to the character of Data. Very spot on.

With Beverly Crusher you made her a viable and professional woman, when all too often her character was brushed aside or seen by fans as an hysteric. I really liked your portrayal of her. A professional but who also trusted Jean-Luc enough to bring her sister home.

Even then, you did not romantise that moment, because Picard did not make it a promise because that's not what he does. He does what is for the best of Starfleet. In Dr. Howard he quickly recognised that she was in fact looking out for the best interests of the Federation herself.

Very good.

Author's Response: Thank you Miranda, your thoughts are very much appreciated. I’m pleased to hear that the characters in my story rang true for you, and glad you thought that my tie-ins to Enterprise in general and the episode ENT:“Extinction” in particular, worked. I think my main motivation for writing this story was because of my admiration for episodes like ENT: “Regeneration” and VOY: “Flashback”, and others like it, where the story portrayed some handoff of some subtle, hard-won gemstone of knowledge from the old to the young, or vice versa, and – for a short time – we can almost believe that the many separate crews are one, working together across time, and all headed in the same direction. Too romantic? Maybe, but it feels so right. :)

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