Reviewer: Alfalfa Signed
Chapter 1: Crying How Bright
Another beautiful Eimeo story. The unusual point of view you chose was deftly handled and quite effective. All along the story had a sense of foreboding, but I still hoped to the last that you weren't going for the 'Generations' ending. In fact, in my own head I'm going to pretend you didn't go there--after all, Kirk and Spock's being bondmates wasn't on the big screen either, so I'm going to pretend their bonding skewed the timelines and Kirk returned to help Spock furnish the house in Regar.
As usual, you capture Kirk's voice very well:
<<You see, you closed the door on that chapter of our life and you, in your infinite logic, are not given to these Human fits of nostalgia; you feel no need to look back to make sure. All I can tell you is that the years stretch out ahead of me as a man I don’t quite know and his skin fits poorly on my bones. If I don’t say goodbye to myself today, I’m not sure how I can start to be this other man. And I can’t find any way to say this to you that I think you’ll understand.>>
Still, Kirk kept his endearing sense of humor:
<<“I like Regar,” I say. “If you’re going to be away for months at a time, I’d like to think I’ll be able to see the occasional pair of Human ears to keep me company.”>>
This was very tender and poignant:
<<For this, I will risk your wrath and muss your hair and I know you will allow me to do so, today, because you are worried that the man you get back won’t be the man you sent out. >>
This gives me the sense of two lifelong partners growing to fit each other:
<<You also know an evasion when you hear one. You incline your head but your eyes let me know that you’re humoring me.>>
This was profound and wise, and it captured so well the compromises couples in love make, how we all sign up for inevitable heartbreak in order to snatch love while we still can:
<<So, yes, I know an evasion when I hear one, but I didn’t press it because I knew even then that the reason you didn’t answer was because there were no words for how bad it would be, and that it caused you pain to think of it. In those empty days without you, I knew loss and loneliness and a desolation that I thought might actually eat a hole in my belly, but the severed bond was only a little throbbing pain underneath the larger, human ocean of grief. If it will be worse than that for you, then I don’t want to know either.>>
This was so sweet--- I admit the eggs took me a moment to process before I remembered ovo-vegetarians-- but I especially love 'your nest of blankets', the romantic image of Kirk's bringing Spock breakfast in bed. I like how Kirk already envisions himself pointedly ignoring Spock's protectiveness... some things never change :)
<<Perhaps we’ll go away first—back to Iowa, to Peter on the farm. Or to the mountains, to my uncle’s cabin. It will be just settling into winter there and you’ll wear four layers of clothing and your skin will still be flushed green with the chill; I’ll cook eggs in the kitchen that looks out over the valley and bring them to you in bed so that you don’t have to leave your nest of blankets. I will ride horses and you will watch and your anxiety will be a shrill whine in my skull and I will ignore it, the way you will ignore the amusement it engenders in response. We’ll remember all the days that have made us who we are, and, wrapped in memories, we’ll take our leave of this planet where I learned to be one man, and on another planet I’ll learn to be a man who sits quietly in an empty house and remembers other times.>>
The end of this quoted piece is so perfectly phrased, although it also puts me in the mind of all those stories/movies where one character says something like, 'when I return let's go to Paris'.... usually a clue that character uttering those words won't return...
May I be permitted the liberty of asking when your *happy* zine story will be shared online? I heard a rumor that you'd written one... :)Author's Response:
Oooooh I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting big, detailed reviews like this, thank you so much! Yeeeeah, I tend to just ignore Generations-canon, if I'm honest; Nexus!Kirk is so OOC (yeah, of course he's going to refuse to help the galaxy because he wants to get laid. Yeah, that sounds just like Kirk *headdesk*) and way to completely invalidate the key central theme of WOK by having Kirk retire from Starfleet before he ever starts waxing philosophical about aging and redundancy and his place in the universe. It irritates me on many, many levels (though the Enterprise crash is all kinds of cool, so I'll let that bit slide). So you can definitely pick and choose what you think happens next after this fic finishes; we know he's going to retire soon anyway because of STVI, so please feel free to read it alongside that if you like!
Never really considered the eggs bit, but I guess I've never seen Spock as fully vegan, just vegetarian (though I think he'd be on board with the no-leather thing, because leather involves killing a sentient being; in fact, there's a throwaway reference to that coming up in my WiP *first shameless plug of author's response*). It is, I'm not too proud to admit, by way of being another two fingers up to Generations (yeah, I really, really don't like that movie; does it show? :-D) where he's found cooking eggs for Antonia, and just NO, all my NO, so I'm reclaiming that bit for Spock.
*Second shameless plug of author's response* YES! My happy fic! I can totally do these too! Assignment: Albion, the new zine from Isis Press, will be available to purchase later this year, featuring the unapologetically cracky "Faint Praise" by eimeo, in which she proves to herself that not everything she writes must be angsty. I'm not sure when I'll be able to put it up on line; I'll check with TLara, but zine fics are usually embargoed for at least 12 months after publication, I think.