Date: 12/09/2010 2:32 AM Title: Boldun
I finished reading this (because I want to read Affliction's Sons later) and when I was done I couldn't help thinking that it was beautiful--which I know is an odd thought when one considers the subject matter. The torture scenes made me feel sick to my stomach, and I had to skim rather than read in-depth at that point, but throughout the story the emotions were very wonderfully written and shown, and the compassion and way that Spock is willing to fight out of his healing trance and to share Kirk's pain was just... beautiful. This was really well written and I think it will haunt me for a long time. Good job!
Date: 07/26/2010 3:28 AM Title: Boldun
Holy fuck. I love this story - and God knows I usually can't stand gore. I've always loved your writing, but the other stories I'd read from you were, if still very powerful, rather fluffier than this. But you do the grim and gritty awfullly well too. This was gut-wrenching in so much more than the literary sense. I had my heart in my throat the whole time Jim was being tortured and clung desperately to Spock, the two of them giving each other strengh, their touch the only anchor to sanity, providing a vital sliver of hope in the midst of unbearable pain. Even if they hadn't already been friends before, that alone would have bound them forever. As it is, that story was an affirmation of life and the power of friendship. It is also a story of doing the right thing no matter the personal cost, something I have the deepest admiration for. There's a line that haunts me: "If Jim tells, millions will die. But he wouldn’t have to watch their deaths." It's so short and simple, yet it pinpoints exactly what the torture is about, where the temptation lies: make one forget about the distant consequences, however terrible, when faced with the immediate and horrific suffering of loved ones. And I love that your ending didn't try to make everything OK right away, instead showing the two men still badly hurt but realizing that their path to healing lies with each other, finding courage and solace in mutual touch. Beautiful.
Date: 11/14/2009 7:30 AM Title: Boldun
Wow! This is a seriously kick-ass piece of writing! I was hooked into the scene and believed every word of it from the get go. Jim's reactions to watching his crew members being tortured was great - feeling so horrified that he has to dissociate from them, yet not allowing himself to look away from their pain. But his scream in response to Spock's torture was just inspired! As was his reaction on waking up in sickbay and finding Spock gone. I also loved the little world they were in during Jim's torture, when they were lost in the meld and it was like this amorphous place with pain and memory and Jim and Spock and their friends and all the places they'd been. I really got a sense that they shared themselves very deeply during that experience, becoming one another's protectors on soul-deep levels.
Thank you for sharing this! I can't wait to read the sequel, but I have to say I might anyway, at least until the finished work is posted. It would be torture to be ripped away from writing like this because it's not finished.
Was that "torture" comment over the top?
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. =D
The sequel is finished now, but I'm afraid you'll find it a much different story from this one. I chose to utilize a different tone and style, and to me, the sequel makes the dissociation of Boldun even more obvious. Still, I hope you like the sequel as much as you liked this one!
Date: 11/04/2009 4:06 AM Title: Boldun
Fuckin' A! This is *such* a lovely sharp, exquisitely painful, story -- in more ways than one, nies? I like the way Jim's thinking, there at the very end of it. You don't just walk away untouched from shit like that. He'll be all right, but it's not canceled out. It still happened.
!Muy muy bueno!
Greywolf, impressed as all hell
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. And this is definitely not something they can walk away from. There's a sequel to this that I'm still writing, and even though it's a much calmer story, the aftereffects of this story are still there!