Reviews For Strength Training
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Reviewer: AllTheLoveWeHad Signed [Report This]
Date: 02/09/2015 6:11 AM Title: Chapter 1

Actually, according to official sources Vulcans' body temperature is in fact lower than humans'. The higher temperature is just a fanon thing that for some reason is regarded as canon. But anyway, interesting story and well written. I myself always thought Vulcan control was more of a mental than physical thing.

Author's Response:

If by "official sources," you mean The Starfleet Reference Manual, that's also fanon, though it's more accurate fanon than most. :-)  You might want to check out my essay "Mistakes to Avoid When Writing TOS" (on AO3), especially item #7.

I'm glad you thought the story was interesting; I always enjoy thoughtful additions to Vulcan culture.  And yes, of course Vulcan control is mental; this IS a mental exercise -- it's a mental response to a physical stimulus.  Of course, in "real" life, Spock probably practices his control without a physical stimulus, but it occurred to me that he might need something to "push against," as it were, to strengthen his control, and I wondered what that might be.  As I've said before, I think about Spock more than is strictly sane, but I think that's a habit a lot of us share. :-)

Thanks for leaving a review; I appreciate it.  And thanks for the support re Vulcan body temperature. ;-)


Reviewer: Hypatia Kosh Signed [Report This]
Date: 11/30/2014 3:05 AM Title: Chapter 1

Ha ha, Star Trek is so inconsistent I'm sure somebody could find a 'cap with opposite readings but I admire your fannish obsession, btdt. I also found the cooler body temperature argument persuasive but fandom is fandom and it's hard to change something that one is so used to. I'm pretty sure Spock is referred to as having a higher body temperature in several of the pro-novels published in the 80s as well as the concept being pervasive in fandom until, I'm not sure exactly, but some Star Trek RPGers, a lot of whom are science nerds, starting seriously asserting the lower body temperature thing. It's not like it had never been said before, but the RPG stuff was being thrown up online, new fans come along and read that (instead of starting on the novels, as I did), and now it's more mainstream.


I think this was a pretty interesting take and I like how dedicated you are to writing everyone in character. I immediately noticed that you used DeSalle, who gets forgotten about a lot. So as one giant nerd to another, I say please keep it up!

Author's Response:

It's true that one can take screenshots of all sorts of readings; I chose the ones from "The Naked Time" because it's the only time that Spock is in the biobed while being perfectly healthy and having completely normal readings (well, the only time he's healthy that we get a good look at the monitor).  If his readings are lower than this baseline while in a healing trance in "A Private Little War" or higher after having been given a stimulant in "Mirror, Mirror," those readings are reactions to those circumstances, rather than depictions of normal, healthy Spock.  I don't see this as the show being inconsistent but rather as its being surprisingly good about changing the readings to reflect the circumstances.

As for the novels, my view of canon is the same as Memory Alpha's -- only what's on the screen is canon.  To me, the Star Trek novels are just another form of fan fiction.  They're usually more polished than other fan fiction, but even that isn't always true -- I'd stack up the work of Jenna Hilary Sinclair and Jane D against any of the pro authors.

I don't insist on convincing anyone else; I just wanted to avoid being scolded for "not knowing" the "fact" that Spock's body temperature is higher, when it's clearly NOT a fact, and if anything, the on-screen evidence is on the other side. :-)

Thanks for the compliment about keeping the boys in character.  I love the Star Trek characters because of who they ARE, so having them stay in character is very important to me.

There are a lot of us giant nerds in Star Trek fandom; any show that gives us both Spock and Scotty clearly has a place for us. :-)


Reviewer: Dunyazad Signed [Report This]
Date: 11/30/2014 1:58 AM Title: Chapter 1

Fascinating story and an intriguing premise. I didn't think the story fit into the "self-harm" rubric, because Spock hadn't set out to harm himself, but to strengthen his emotional controls. I appreciated the story in large part because of the detail and concreteness you used in telling the story.  In ST fan fiction, Spock is always shown working on his "controls." It seems they are often in tatters, and he has to mediate for hours and hours to restore them. In far too many stories, the reader has no idea what Spock is doing to maintain these "controls," or even what is at stake for him. You showed us all these things, and it made for a realistic and vivid story.

Author's Response:

Thanks so much for your lovely review; I'm thrilled that you liked the story.  I also enjoyed your tongue-in-cheek description of how Spock's controls are treated by many fan stories. :-) 

I sometimes worry that my stories are TOO concrete and detailed, that they seem more like manuals or textbooks than like stories, so I'm glad to hear that it's this very feature that made it believable.  Whew! :-)

As for the trigger warning, I put that in because my beta suggested it quite strongly.  I agree with you; I thought that Spock's explanation made it clear that what he was doing WASN'T self-harm.  But my beta insisted, and I figured it was better to warn where a warning was unnecessary than to trigger even one person to go hurt herself.


Reviewer: Dahliaxat Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 11/29/2014 7:51 PM Title: Chapter 1

I really enjoyed this. I know the subject matter isn't for everyone. When Spock told Jim and McCoy why he had increased his strength training it really did something to Jim.  After he was past the shock Jim seemed to be more connected to Spock, more than before. I love McCoy's reaction where he thinks they're both nuts.

This is the first time I've read a story where we truly see Spock fighting to be the best of both worlds. He's keeping up with Vulcan control but he wouldn't trade human friendship for all the sand on Vulcan. 

Excellent story and you nailed their voices as well.

Author's Response:

Thanks so much for your wonderful review; I'm thrilled that you liked the story!  And yeah, I think it'll take Jim a little thinking time before he realizes just how large of an admission Spock made to him, but "we're so close that I've had to triple my training time" is a pretty serious admission. :-)

I know that struggling to seem wholly Vulcan and being ashamed of being half human are defining features of Spock in canon, but the more I think about him, the more I think that he's too logical to expect himself to be something that he's not.  He IS the best of both worlds, and I think he's smart enough to realize that this is an advantage, not a drawback.  So my picture of Spock is slowly evolving away from the canonical one, but I think my headcanon is more logical.  I guess we all do that, which is one reason why we're still writing stories about these guys, forty-eight years later. :-)

Thanks again!


Reviewer: Annieo Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 11/29/2014 7:46 PM Title: Chapter 1

Your analysis of how Spock maintains emotional control is very interesting.  I also think that  the Vulcan body temperature is lower than a human's.  That better explains why he wears thermal clothing beneath his uniform, his vulnerability to cold, and why the hellacious heat of Vulcan and his cabin don't even arouse a sweat. Thank you for this thought provoking story.

Author's Response:

Thanks for your review; I'm glad you found the story interesting and thought-provoking.  I think about TOS in general and Spock in particular ... more than is strictly sane. :-)  So I'm glad you enjoyed some of the results of that thinking.


Reviewer: ironland Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 11/29/2014 6:33 PM Title: Chapter 1

This piece is such fresh and believable . Terran train their strength and Vulcan train their emotion. 

Love it. 

Author's Response:

Thanks so much; I'm really glad you enjoyed the story!

I love the segments of Vulcan culture that other fanfic authors have created, so when this idea occurred to me, I decided I had to add yet another thing to Vulcan practice.  On the one hand, it's a real shame that TOS didn't tell us more about Vulcan culture; on the other hand, it leaves a mostly unexplored area to be mined in fan fiction. :-)


Reviewer: nml Signed [Report This]
Date: 11/29/2014 4:46 PM Title: Chapter 1

This was a very interesting story and a unique idea. Loved the friendship that oozes out of this (Kirk-Spock and the triumvirate will always be ST for me) and this line was so any-universe-insightful Jim "... I trust you with my ship, I trust you with my life ... but you've shown me I can't trust you with yours." Read that one over and over. Also loved the concern and h/c at the beginning. You should write your take on Denva - pretty please w/snowflake sprinkles! :)

Author's Response:

Thanks for your review; I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!

The idea seemed a bit strange to me when I first thought of it, but the longer I thought about it, the more sense it made, so I'm glad it made sense to someone else, too.

I chose my pen name for truth in advertising, after all. :-)

I'm not planning to write a Deneva story right now, but I never say never, and I'm thrilled that you liked this story enough to request another.


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