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Longsword R: Sabre

 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Longsword R: Sabre Reply with quote

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Longsword R: Sabre
Posted by Sterfrye36 (Sterfrye36@yahoo.com)
7 August 2008, 4:25 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Sterfrye360807080425231.html
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiosity, does anyone recognize the references to musicals? Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, I just got your little name drop from the new guys. Sterling and Beard. Good one. Wink I swear I'm sharp.

Great continuation to the story. I felt like this time that the POVs were more balanced in this third of the mega chapter. It also, without a doubt, felt more lighthearted on the human's perspective.

Looking foward to the next part.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thedarkfire wrote:
For the record, I just got your little name drop from the new guys. Sterling and Beard. Good one. Wink I swear I'm sharp.

Great continuation to the story. I felt like this time that the POVs were more balanced in this third of the mega chapter. It also, without a doubt, felt more lighthearted on the human's perspective.

Looking foward to the next part.


Yeah, I Mary-Sued my grandfathers in. So sue me. Razz

And thanks, I'm glad you liked it. My biggest apprehension about this chapter was the scene in Afterburner, but that appears to have come off well.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to post my review for the last two installments on here. I have very few comments on the first one anyway. It was very good, but this part of the story (that is, the chunk you sent me to proofread) is like a snowball rolling down a hill. It starts quietly, and then gets bigger and faster and more imposing with every page, until we get to the climax (which has not been posted yet) which contains the best space-battle sequences I have ever read—and that includes anything in the sanctioned Halo novels.

But I'll shut up about all that for the time being and get back to the stuff you've already posted.

You've really given this story time to unfold and broaden instead of going for the quick fan fiction-esque payoff. Your detailed and confident explanation of technology—especially the bells and whistles on the new super-stealthy fighters—really pulls the reader into the story. Here's a good example:

Quote:
"All right, the Sabre was designed in Lockheed-Martin's famous Skunk Works under the codename RIVER CITY. Thanks to her metamaterials construction, she has an even smaller radar cross section than a Longsword and is totally undetectable. Because of the emphasis on stealth over firepower, it's got a far lighter load than your old ride. It uses a less powerful version of the 'Sword's frequency agile attack radar. There's no CINVET, the pod's not stealthy enough. Sabres only carry twenty missiles, have no external hard points, and still use the old 110 millimeter rotary cannons because the plasma cannons are too noticeable and you can't fire a blast of plasma cold enough to avoid detection without making the weapon pointless."
Hill walked counter-clockwise, leading James towards the back of the aircraft. "She uses one of those Boeing PDE-P51 Mustang engines to scoot. Nifty thing about that is that the Mustangs have a really complex system of baffles that cools the escaping gasses enormously on its own. When you're in space, the frigid temperatures keep there from being any sort of infrared signature at all. You could almost stick your head inside the exhaust and not hurt yourself.
"The cockpit is a COFFIN system, which is short for Clear Operational Format for Flight Interface." James looked uneasy.
"Sort of an unfortunate acronym." Hill pretended not to hear him.
"It sounds complicated, but all it means is that every single part of that cockpit is a basically a screen. Fish eye lens cameras the size of pinheads on the outside of the fuselage record what's going on outside, correct for distortion, and project it through the back of the screens in real time to create the illusion that there's no aircraft around you. You can look at your feet and literally see the floor beneath you. It takes some getting used to, but you won't have to rely on those infernal rearview cameras like you did with a Longsword.
"The biggest feature, however, is the ACES system," Harold said as he walked under the bird to admire at it from underneath.
"What's that stand for?"
"Nothing. The actual acronym for the thing is so convoluted that we ended up just using the codename they developed it under."
"Oh."
"It's what allowed the Sabre to seem invisible. Basically, the skin of the bird is constructed out of metamaterials, the stuff I mentioned earlier. Metamaterials have properties determined by their structure instead of their composition." James shook his head.
"In English?" Hill nodded.
"Yeah, I know it's hard to follow. The physics of it are way over my head, but put simply the metamaterials resonate at a specific color frequency to cancel out a frequency of light, and they can only cancel out one frequency at a time. It's kind of like a rock in a stream; the materials keep the fuselage from absorbing light much like a rock causes water to flow around it. When light hits these materials while they're resonating, it travels along the surface without actually ever touching and then releases on the backside on its initial vector.
"Did you understand any of what you just said?" James said humorously. Hill rolled his eyes.
"No. All I do understand is that it works, and beautifully. There's another form of it that they were even able to broadcast over the wheels somehow. The weird thing though, is that the metamaterials can only resonate with one frequency of radiation at a time. In execution, though, it's far better than even the Covenant cloaking technology because it's totally uninterruptible provided you don't run into anything, which is its only weakness. It can't simulate anything passing through because an identical pair of rocks would definitely attract attention in space."
"So if these things only resonate at one frequency at a time, how was the Sabre invisible when I looked at it?"
"Well, the ACES system uses electrical currents on the skin of the bird to continuously change the structure. It actually changes at such a fast speed that your eye can't catch it. It shows up the same way on screens, too. The thing is undetectable."

Nice work, and it makes sense. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it does Wink

Your simulation scene was strong, and I found the banter between the AI and Rabinowicz amusing. The "Daemon" was a nice touch. Your creativity in these space battles is intimidating, or it would be intimidating if I wrote space battles, which I don't. Good thing, as it turns out. I must confess, I've always hated space battles. They bore me in novels and are usually a complete mess in fanfics. Few things can make a chapter as choppy and incomprehensible as a beginning writer trying to describe dozens of ships locked in 3-D combat. Ugh. They mean well, but that doesn't make it any easier to digest. It is no small compliment, then, when I tell you that I actually enjoy your battle scenes.

I have to say, the scene in the Afterburner surprised me. Well, you know how I felt about it. It was, in my opinion, flawed beyond keeping I had hoped that you would cut it out completely. You did, however, decide to leave it in with a few changes. I don't really have much to say, other than the fact that I'm glad you didn't take my advice. Dang it, Ster! I hated this scene during the proof, and now it contains some of my favorite lines. The pacing and tone of the conversation is many times better than what you had in your draft. Whatever you changed, it worked. Here's my favorite part:
Quote:
"Guys. I asked you a question," Samantha Matthews broke in. She was seated in the same booth. It would have been impossible for them not to have heard her.
"Oh, sorry," Sterling said.
"Yeah, we apologize," Glenn followed up immediately.
"It wasn't like, you know, we were ignoring you or anything—"
"Despite the fact that we were already eating when you and Zoë showed up—"
"And wanted to discuss something totally not related to our very serious, very intense discussion of the—"
"Life or death matter of hang cleaning."
"That's a matter of life and death?" she asked disbelievingly. Beard and Varner traded knowing glances.
"Definitely."
"Couldn't be more important."
"Lives hang in the balance."
"It could just save the polar bears."
"It might end up being the key to defeating the Covenant."
"All I asked is what you thought was wrong with Marcus." The pilot was clearly exasperated.
"Battle fatigue," Varner answered.
"Shell shock," Beard added.
"You think he fought a turtle?"
"Yeah. And got fatigued from it."

This really made me laugh. Great banter. Glad you kept the scene. Glad I was wrong.

I thought Interlude was a good chapter. I didn't say much about it here because it served mostly as a set up for this and what follows. Altogether, I would say this has been top notch. Having read your draft for the next chapter (that is, unless you've broken it up into more than one piece) I know that the best is yet to come.

Hope to see it soon.

C.T. Clown
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Azathoth
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just wound up swimming through the whole Longsword R series in order to remind myself what exactly is supposed to be going on here, and I have to say, this is a solid and well-written piece. If I dissected every single sentence of this thing I'd be here all night, so I'll focus instead on some of the bigger things.

'Sulamee's Thought Process. This isn't a huge problem in this chapter, but in Interlude, 'Sulamee's thinking at times feels exaggerated and over-the-top. Granted, that's not particularly out of line for a religious fanatic, but all the same, what makes a hyperreligious nutcase such a nutcase is that they think they're the most reasonable person in the world. For example:

Quote:
Even though the Prophets had never stated exactly what it was that the Heretics believed the Halos to be, 'Sulamee had never cared.


Take this - it just doesn't seem like something that's even important to him. It doesn't exactly feel like someone thinking about the religion he devoutly follows. He might say that the Prophets had not seen fit to bless him with knowledge of the sacred mysteries, but I really doubt he'd say that he doesn't even care. This wasn't so much a problem with this chapter, but keep an eye on it.

Moving along, we get to a learned description of the specs of the Sabre. I know jackfuckinall about things that can fly, so I can't really comment on most of this, but:

Quote:
...you can't fire a blast of plasma cold enough to avoid detection without making the weapon pointless.


Plasma weapons are pointless anyway, as my nerdy self likes to point out, but seeing as how the Haloverse is enamored of plasma I can't bring a severe objection against it. But wouldn't a 110mm rotary cannon produce some pretty considerable heat as well? Nothing on plasma, of course, but still, it might be enough to disrupt one's stealthiness.

Quote:
"Yeah, I know it's hard to follow. The physics of it are way over my head, but put simply the metamaterials resonate at a specific color frequency to cancel out a frequency of light, and they can only cancel out one frequency at a time. It's kind of like a rock in a stream; the materials keep the fuselage from absorbing light much like a rock causes water to flow around it. When light hits these materials while they're resonating, it travels along the surface without actually ever touching and then releases on the backside on its initial vector.


Noooo my science

I'm not entirely sure this couldn't work, but I doubt it deeply. Truckin' along...

Quote:
...It was comical. What wasn't was his loadout; if the mission was simply supposed to be reconnaissance, why did he need anti-ship missiles?


I understand the effect you're going for here, but it comes off as a slightly awkward segue. I think just inverting the structure of the second clause might work out a little better:

Quote:
...It was comical. His loadout, however, was not.


Even then, the transition still feels a little forced to me, mostly because the change of subject is so abrupt and complete. Maybe a paragraph break here would have helped?

Quote:
thrust vectoring


MULTI TRACK DRIFTING reference, or legitimate pilot jargon? Hell if I know. (Like I said, flying things are out of my area of expertise.)

Quote:
Grit turned to face the squadron commander, ever so slightly letting his palms brush against his pearl-handled revolvers.


Who was it that said "Only a two-bit whore ever got killed by a pearl-handle revolver, and only a two-bit pimp ever carried one?" It might have been Patton. Anyway, Grit in general seems a little odd; I understand he's got a definite gung-ho ethos going on, but I'm doubtful of some things - most notably his ability to command people. I may have just not been paying close enough attention to earlier installments, but I don't think AIs possess actual military rank or authority as a rule.

Quote:
"Porn," Glenn stated. The squadmates turned to look at him.


Poor Marcus, even when he reads his bible people suspect things. You know, there's some sh!t novel or other out there in which the only memorable scene is this sheltered fundie-Christian kid masturbating while reading Song of Solomon. I read this book several years ago and immediately forgot everything about it except that. Which I guess shows you a little about me right there.

This whole segment with the pilots talking in the Lounge was fairly well done, but it almost fit a little too well, which is a problem a lot of authors have. In the real world, there are awkward silences, stupid rejoinders that don't really make any sense, jokes that nobody laughs at, and points where nobody really has any valid input on the matter. I realize you're hardly going for GRIMDARK GLOOMNDOOM, but too many "flawless conversations" has a distinct reality-break effect.

Anyway, I really liked this, even if I haven't been keeping up with LR properly in recent months. Write more.
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Azathoth wrote:
Well, I just wound up swimming through the whole Longsword R series in order to remind myself what exactly is supposed to be going on here, and I have to say, this is a solid and well-written piece. If I dissected every single sentence of this thing I'd be here all night, so I'll focus instead on some of the bigger things.

'Sulamee's Thought Process. This isn't a huge problem in this chapter, but in Interlude, 'Sulamee's thinking at times feels exaggerated and over-the-top. Granted, that's not particularly out of line for a religious fanatic, but all the same, what makes a hyperreligious nutcase such a nutcase is that they think they're the most reasonable person in the world. For example:

Quote:
Even though the Prophets had never stated exactly what it was that the Heretics believed the Halos to be, 'Sulamee had never cared.


Take this - it just doesn't seem like something that's even important to him. It doesn't exactly feel like someone thinking about the religion he devoutly follows. He might say that the Prophets had not seen fit to bless him with knowledge of the sacred mysteries, but I really doubt he'd say that he doesn't even care. This wasn't so much a problem with this chapter, but keep an eye on it.


Good point. I may have to insert that in the next chapter at some point. Thanks.

Quote:
Moving along, we get to a learned description of the specs of the Sabre. I know jackfuckinall about things that can fly, so I can't really comment on most of this, but:

Quote:
...you can't fire a blast of plasma cold enough to avoid detection without making the weapon pointless.


Plasma weapons are pointless anyway, as my nerdy self likes to point out, but seeing as how the Haloverse is enamored of plasma I can't bring a severe objection against it. But wouldn't a 110mm rotary cannon produce some pretty considerable heat as well? Nothing on plasma, of course, but still, it might be enough to disrupt one's stealthiness.


In space, the heat from those guns, unless they're constantly firing (and they wouldn't be, even during heavy combat) would be nowhere near as hot as you might think, especially given the vacuum.

Quote:
Quote:
"Yeah, I know it's hard to follow. The physics of it are way over my head, but put simply the metamaterials resonate at a specific color frequency to cancel out a frequency of light, and they can only cancel out one frequency at a time. It's kind of like a rock in a stream; the materials keep the fuselage from absorbing light much like a rock causes water to flow around it. When light hits these materials while they're resonating, it travels along the surface without actually ever touching and then releases on the backside on its initial vector.


Noooo my science

I'm not entirely sure this couldn't work, but I doubt it deeply. Truckin' along...


Look under "Development and Applications.

Quote:
Quote:
...It was comical. What wasn't was his loadout; if the mission was simply supposed to be reconnaissance, why did he need anti-ship missiles?


I understand the effect you're going for here, but it comes off as a slightly awkward segue. I think just inverting the structure of the second clause might work out a little better:

Quote:
...It was comical. His loadout, however, was not.


Even then, the transition still feels a little forced to me, mostly because the change of subject is so abrupt and complete. Maybe a paragraph break here would have helped?


Hmmm. Maybe. I guess the way I think's just awkward sometimes.

Quote:
Quote:
thrust vectoring


MULTI TRACK DRIFTING reference, or legitimate pilot jargon? Hell if I know. (Like I said, flying things are out of my area of expertise.)


No, thrust vectoring is what a few aircraft have now, mainly in the engine nozzles. See the F-22 Raptor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrust_vectoring

Quote:
Quote:
Grit turned to face the squadron commander, ever so slightly letting his palms brush against his pearl-handled revolvers.


Who was it that said "Only a two-bit whore ever got killed by a pearl-handle revolver, and only a two-bit pimp ever carried one?" It might have been Patton. Anyway, Grit in general seems a little odd; I understand he's got a definite gung-ho ethos going on, but I'm doubtful of some things - most notably his ability to command people. I may have just not been paying close enough attention to earlier installments, but I don't think AIs possess actual military rank or authority as a rule.


I think they do. Think back to the original Halo where Cortana bosses Foehammer around all the time.

Quote:
Quote:
"Porn," Glenn stated. The squadmates turned to look at him.


Poor Marcus, even when he reads his bible people suspect things. You know, there's some sh!t novel or other out there in which the only memorable scene is this sheltered fundie-Christian kid masturbating while reading Song of Solomon. I read this book several years ago and immediately forgot everything about it except that. Which I guess shows you a little about me right there.


Uh...wow.

Quote:
This whole segment with the pilots talking in the Lounge was fairly well done, but it almost fit a little too well, which is a problem a lot of authors have. In the real world, there are awkward silences, stupid rejoinders that don't really make any sense, jokes that nobody laughs at, and points where nobody really has any valid input on the matter. I realize you're hardly going for GRIMDARK GLOOMNDOOM, but too many "flawless conversations" has a distinct reality-break effect.


I didn't think it was a flawless conversation. Sterling was chomping on a burger in the first part and Zoe wasn't even paying attention. Maybe the people you hang out with are just more socially inept than those that I do (Kidding!). Razz

Quote:
Anyway, I really liked this, even if I haven't been keeping up with LR properly in recent months. Write more.


Next chapter's ready to be submitted, but I'll wait until Wednesay or Thursday. After that, I plan to launch a new series and alternate LR and JGU: NCIS. I'll let you guys wrestle with that acronym. Twisted Evil In the meantime, thanks for reading! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry it took me so long to get to this, Ster. I started it the week after you posted, but I never finished and it fell off my radar. So here's the review I owe you.

First off, I like your style. Reminds me a lot of Stackpole and Allston's X-wing books, got a similar feel to it. The firefight with the superweapon very much reads like a plan gone wrong, too, all chaos. Nice surpirse, too, didn't expect that, brings Corran Horn to mind. The friendship you've got between the other squad's reminiscent of Allston's stuff, too. You said you used Face and Phanan as a model for two of them, right?

There were a few nitpicky things, though. I thought it was odd that the superweapon was immediately referred to as such, then as the Daemon. Threw me a bit, but in light of the next section it makes more sense. I also find the idea of an Elite intel network odd. It's been established that there were some Elites unsatisfied with the way the Prophets were doing things, but I've always imagined Elites as the stoic types who might grumble a bit, but still go on with their duty.

And funny story, the day after I first started this, I saw something on your metamaterials on the news. The anchor even used the same metaphor, IIRC. Razz

Anyways, good work. With luck I'll get to Midway before Friday.
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