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Vestal Sins: Prologue: City Upon a Hill

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Vestal Sins: Prologue: City Upon a Hill Reply with quote

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Vestal Sins: Prologue: City Upon a Hill
Posted by Arthur Wellesley (arthur_wellesly@hotmail.com)
12 June 2009, 7:26 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Arthur_Welle0612090726191.html
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Azrael
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really enjoyed the Economist article, even if it felt a little opinionated for news reporting. It makes your setting very real and we already know what the situation on the ground is.

Loved the imagery of Eyal treating himself to a full, robust breakfast for his day off. Very calming, very appetizing. I ate an omelet to this and it just made it more delicious. Great stuff, looking forward to what lies beyond...just get it out quick!
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a testament to your skill as a writer that with a brief breakfast scene, you not only made me crave some ham and eggs, you also made me become aware of my own pitifully inadequate breakfast--Baked Lays chips and coffee. It was playfully teasing and bitterly revealing; I tossed my PC monitor onto the floor and stomped on it in a fit of rage.

Naturally, I didn't actually do that, but I love descriptions of a good meal; it stems back from my elementary school days struggling to read the Redwall books. That scene also seemed like the... 'the calm before the storm,' or whatever you may call it. Sad that he couldn't enjoy his day off, but Eyal sounds like a busy dude.

Quote:
In 2414, Perry was able to force the signing of the Vesta Accord by UNCA director Li Na.


Sounds like he had some blackmail going on right there. Laughing

The latter part of the article did lose my interest for a bit. But the sheer volume of history that you've concocted for Vesta is impressive, and the weight of that history compels the reader to keep going, lest he miss some important bit that'll come in play later on.

As usual, very impressive chapter, one that sets the stage for greatness to come. My only complaint would be the same one that I have for most prologues--because of the need to set the stage, there's little that the chapter offers, by itself.
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UNSC Trooper
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

History and Halo... I just wow'd.

I really like these newspaper/report-oriented fics - you can cram a lot of backstory into it without ignoring other parts of the story. The history of Vesta seems very believable and true to the political environment in Halo, and it sounds much like the Civil War period: one party supporting international relationships on one side, and a sovereign, nationalistic party on the other. I also liked the way you approached the Inner Colony Wars, a conflict not many of us know existed in the first place.

Quote:
UNSC Chairman Terrence Hood did not help this perception when he said last year from his new Massilia abode, "We survived the Covenant onslaught only to be undone by antiquated notions of sovereignty."

Thought you'd have seen it coming, Mr. Hood. Razz

The well-written journalistic element here was what stood out the most, though. It doesn't really sound like a newspaper; rather more like a narration in itself.

Fantastic introduction, Arthur. Hope you got more coming!
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved this.

You worked in the background information really well, and you described the curtailed off-day with elegance and clarity.
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kabu
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't even have breakfast. Now I feel all miserable.

reviewer stuff:

So the article was exposition-heavy, sure, but it was written in a really gripping way, and the backstory you've created is really good. Inter-human conflicts after the war really interest me (my next series is going to take place in the 2580's) and you've come up with something really cool.

The Economist article actually reads like a newspaper article, which adds a nice touch of realism.

And somehow, you've made me care about a character who's had barely three lines of dialogue.

Oh, I'm sure you noticed that little typo at the beginning, but that really doesn't matter.
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, you always have time to comment on my stories, Arthur, and I always respected you for that.

But I feel ashamed because this is really good; good enough from my perspective not to really lay down anything constructive expect for 'good show' and 'hope to see the next one', but this definitely deserves more. Everyone who's giving input has summed up my views on this.

I really am looking forward to the next one, Arthur.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Az. I appreciate the comment, and I'm glad that the breakfast scene had the desired effect.

I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Sev. And I promise that subsequent chapters will have an actual point to them, beyond tasty, delicious exposition.

Very much appreciated, Trooper. I'm a history major myself, and I love drawing on history as an inspiration when crafting my own worlds. Certainly the Civil War was an inspiration here.

Thanks eb, and kabu. Yes, I picked up on that typo, and I died a little inside.

And Gallagher, it's always a pleasure. And I'm glad you liked it.

As to the tone of the article: I chose the Economist for exactly that reason. They're an opinionated bunch over there. They write anonymously - no bylines - and the newspaper talks with one voice. They often say "this newspaper urges" or "this newspaper believes," and I worked that in. They always openly endorse a candidate or party in big elections. For the last American election, they endorsed Obama; in the Indian election, they endorsed the Congress Party. I feel confident that, if they're still around in 500 years and these events come to pass, the Economist would endorse Alexander Lansing.

- Arthur
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Current Project: Vestal Flame. Current Word Count: 27,017
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Azrael
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A well deserved fic pick win.
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work, Arthur. I love the setting you paint us here, and how you use Eyal as a lense to read the article. Vesta sounds like it has a fascinating history, very in-depth. Is this the first time you used it besides your last submission?

Anyways, I really don't have much to comment on. Really, excellent work. I enjoy your take on the UNSC, CA, and all the various government agencies, and quite enjoy the idea of the single free colony. I have a feeling I'll enjoy this series. Wink
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StevieTopSiders
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh mai gawde! That was amazing. I felt like I was reading real, published, and acclaimed material! I especially liked The Economist (for which you did mess up an italics coding). I subscribe to the magazine (me, myself, though my dad reads it, too) and that was an incredibly similar writing style! And you're right, it is incredibly opinionated (my brother calls it "liberal propoganda").

Great story! And I only used periods instead of exclamation points... for two sentences! Awesome read (and I will need to work my parentheses use. Very Happy)
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, kr. I used a version of Vesta in an old series called Cardinal Sins (c wut i did thar?), but this particular incarnation is different in almost every way.

Thanks, Stevie, and I particularly appreciate your comment on the style. I really tried to ape their writing techniques. I'm glad you thought that I came close.

- Arthur
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