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This was an awesome series!!!
Bravo to youb29;b29;
Breaking my heart, here!!!
Such an awesome story. Can't wait to read more of your stories. Such insight and real empathy comes across.
You have my admiration.
Oh my god, this was wonderful. Every chapter had me bawling in some way, and it was just. Just fucking fantastic. Oh my god. Just. Just wonderful and I'll come up with a better review with reasons why i loved this eventually.
I had forgotten about this story, but now I have read it again I remember - fabulous! Thank you! Now... where are those tissues...?
Reviewer: kerry (Anonymous)
28 Feb 2010 4:41 pm
I just read 'Tales of a Broken Mind' and was going through the other stories that you have written and discovered that you are the author if this story. I read this sometime last year and never did leave a review *smiles guiltily*.
This is a beautifully written story that deals really well with the fact that a disability is not just one of those things, but something that jas to be dealt with with life altering changes.
Thank you for this lovely story.
Reviewer: deez (Anonymous)
23 Oct 2009 4:09 am
This is a very engaging and emotionally resonant story that takes on several important topics in a thoughtful way.
However, certain historical inaccuracies pulled me out of the story at times -- the brief header info and most of the story made me think I was reading an AU that was our Earth: no stargate, but the same history. What I might suggest, if you're so inclined, is that you consider changing your header info to say that this is an AU in which tolerance for and legalization of gay marriages/unions and related matters happened quite a bit earlier than on our Earth?
The historical things that were off enough to jar me out of the story:
- After Rodney proposes marriage, and what he says about it not yet being legal in the US but already being so in Canada. Same-sex marriage did not become legal throughout Canada until 2005, and its (contested but upheld) first same-sex marriage was performed in 2001, whereas your story implies the proposal takes place earlier.
- (small nit) John ordering a dildo on the Internet. If this was during 1993 or 1994, which is what I'm guessing based on the story's timeline after Somalia, it is *very* unlikely that John would have been able to order anything on the Internet. The first inklings of the World Wide Web as we know it weren't seen until late 1994, and the Web is what helped e-commerce become widespread several years later. (However, catalog shopping by mail-order, phone, and fax would be accurate. Especially if their university is in mid-to-Northern California, it'd be likely that some of John's female friends (from his English classes, who were maybe also doing Women's Studies?) would have had something like a Good Vibrations catalog to lend him -- and GV's fax, phone, and mail-order business was doing quite well in the early and mid-nineties. ;-> )
- Most importantly, throughout, Rodney's ability to make medical decisions for and have access to John while he is in hospital(s). Even now in some states long-term cohabiting, registered as domestic-partners-in-civil-unions same-sex partners may be denied access to or the power to make medical decisions for their partners in favor of blood kin. (Or ex-spouses.) Certainly back then, for Rodney to get the level of access he had, John would almost certainly have to have been an only-child orphan and he and Rodney would have had to go to a lawyer before his deployment(s) to set up a formal, witnessed health care proxy giving Rodney decision-making power. Which was not as common back then as it is now, so it would have taken effort to arrange, and might also not have been easily accepted by the treating doctors or hospital administration without pushback and Rodney having an official copy in hand.
But again, overall, despite the nits (meant as concrit), compliments on writing an absorbing story that gives a satisfying, thoughtful look at both the cost of having to hide one's relationship and at a relationship in which one partner has a serious disability.
Reviewer: Wanted_a_Pony (Anonymous)
19 Oct 2009 1:22 pm
Gods, I can't believe I've been reading SGA fanfic since, well, since this was posted on Wraithbair, & only now found out about it via a rec on the LJ comm SGAgenrefinders! But maybe I had to read as many fics by as many different authors as I have to really appreciate _Fading Skies._ I'm wrung out & blown away by the emotional wrenches it put me through before the joyous conclusion, but none of the tears felt cheap or coerced. The sheer size & relentlessness of the fic is impressive--are you _sure_ the word count is 65,432??--& you use it all to portray the complexity of the issues John & Rodney face together & individually.
A previously reviewer suggested that you could "file off the serial numbers" & pub this as original fic, & I think you really should consider doing that. Especially now when the U.S. media is forbidden to show or write in detail about U.S. military casualities in action or any of the thousands of U.S. soldiers killed in current conflicts, the average civilian just has NO IDEA what it's like being in a war/police action/peacekeeping mission or what the consequences are. Most people also have no clue what issues a paraplegic (or more broadly, any differently abled) person faces. With a little broadening this story could speak to those issues in a way any reader can understand & empathize with.
Around 1970 my brother-in-law was sent to Vietnam & came back horribly messed up, both psychologically & ethically; he ended up committing suicide after he & my sister were divorced. In the 1980s my ex-husband was crippled by injuries & diseases he sustained while on duty as a medical corpsman, then discharged by the Navy. It took him untold hours of paperwork & almost 10 years of appeals to get more than 10% disability pay, despite the fact he's never been able to work more than part-time since. In 2003-04 my nephew was sent to Iraq & returned to the U.S. with severe hearing loss & PTSD, which was diagnosed & documented by the Army. He went AWOL when he was about to be returned for another tour in Iraq regardless of his condition--along with tens of thousands of other U.S. soldiers, not that you hear about THAT in U.S. news media either. (Later his entire unit was broken up & reassigned to other units when it was discovered that some officers & senior non-coms were taking bribes to get some soldiers out of the 2nd tour. Didn't help at my nephew's court martial.) Where I'm going with this is that, despite the lip service to patriotism & fervent vows to *Support* *Our* *Service* *Members*, things aren't markedly better for many U.S. soldiers in the 2000s than they were in the 1960s. They may get a parade or a sappy newspaper editorial when they get home, but their medical care still varies with how much they can pay themselves (many V.A. hospitals are either holding facilities or hellholes) & the long-term support for veterans & their families is often no better than that given civilians--that is, whatever they can scrounge themselves. Changing that depends on educating the public about what needs to be changed, & _Fading Skies_ does that as fanfic & could do it as general fiction as well.
Anyway, that's my rant & I'm sticking to it! ;-) Thanks very much for writing & sharing this. I know I'll be re-reading it in the future (after I've restocked the Kleenex) & looking up your other fics!
Reviewer: korilian (Anonymous)
18 Oct 2009 2:46 pm
I love that you didn't treat his disability as a tragic yet romantic plot device. You made me cry several times.
Reviewer: Wilson (Anonymous)
26 Jul 2009 1:13 am
Just letting you know that this is the 4th or 5th time I've reread this story. By far and above the best story I've read.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Hearing that somebody liked a story I wrote enough to read it more than once is the best compliment an author can get. I'm very happy you enjoyed the story!
Reviewer: Dee (Anonymous)
20 Jun 2009 4:10 pm
Thanks for that. It was amazingly long and I really enjoyed reading it.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm happy the length of the story didn't turn you off. I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed reading it!
Reviewer: T.K (Anonymous)
18 Jun 2009 5:45 am
I don't normally read fics where the main character has a disability due to the fact that most authors downplay the true seriousness of it. They breeze through the mental aspects, and even the physical aspects, making the disability seem not important, or treat it so flipantly.
Since saying that, I must say that I was floored by your awesome, compelling story. I loved how you made them struggle, and see that changes needed to be made, because yes, John was now different.
You handled it perfectly. Great job. I enjoyed your story immensely.
Author's Response: Thank you! When I first started thinking about writing a story featuring a major disability, I decided that I would make it as realistic as possible. I always try to make my stories as realistic as possible, even if they take place within a sci-fi/fantasy universe. Doing that requires a lot of research and the writing takes longer, but I always want to do the characters and people who have lived these situations in real life justice. I'm always very disappointed when I come across a story which deals with a disability but neglects to deal with it seriously. That's why I tried very hard to keep this story from falling into that category, even though some people felt the story included too many graphic details about John's disability. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story!
Reviewer: Sara (Anonymous)
20 May 2009 8:28 am
I haven't read any of your other reviews, but I'm sure I'll be repeating what other people have said. WOW!! This story was just incredible, and one of the best fan fiction stories I have read. You are a very talented writer, and I hope you are also using that talent on projects other than fan fiction. I don't normally read AU fics, but having read and loved all your other stories, I started to read. This story is insightful, heart-breaking, funny, accurate, and... I am lost for words... it was simply brilliant. Please keep writing for us! Sara x
Author's Response: Thank you for your wonderful words! I'm very happy you gave the story a shot even though you're not a fan of AUs and that you enjoyed it. I am working on some original fic now and your kind words make me feel very excited about dabbling in a world other than fanfic. Thanks again!
Reviewer: darkmoore (Anonymous)
13 Nov 2008 2:28 pm
You know, It's taking me a lot of time right now, reading this. It's familiar, maybe more familiar than I am comfortable with. You got it down really well, though. The way you start watching the news in a whole new way, or how the simple dropping of the lid of a pan can send a grown man to his knees. I wonder if words are enough to describe something you really can't explain to people who've not been through it. You're doing a great job here, even though this fic is hitting way too close to home for me. Very real. Nice work!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! There were two main reasons why I wanted to write this story, and one of those reasons was that many people don't understand how a small or large part of a soldier never really comes back home from the frontlines. Just because a person is back to their normal surroundings and back with the people they are closest to doesn't mean that they will ever be the same person who left for war - which is something you seem to understand. I'm so happy to hear that you think my portrayal of the events in the story and the characters was realistic. That was my biggest concern with this story - making it as realistic as possible and not sugar coating anything or hitting a magical rewind button, since real life rarely has one. Thanks again for the kind words!
Reviewer: Wilson (Anonymous)
24 Aug 2008 4:15 pm
What a great way to start the morning!! Fabulous, realistic and well plotted. Needless to say I'm in tears, bawling at the utterly fantastic ending. Keep up the great writing. Now- I'm off to find more of you work!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.
Hello, beautiful story. I had started reading it when you first wrote it, but somehow lost track, because I'm an idiot. Found it again because I've been reading more of your recent stories & wanted to look over your past stories. It's a powerful story, I appreciate all of the details & difficulties that you wrote about John's adjustments to his new life. I love, love the last chapter with Rodney being some completely clueless about Mike Landon (why Sam Brumby?) and the later proposal. Thanks for writing!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and found it realistic. I'm embarrassed to say that I never realized that the name 'Mike Landon' actually belongs to somebody. I must have read his name somewhere and the name stuck. When I was searching for a name to use, I just grabbed this one out of my head and put it down. Yes, my mind is funny that way.
Reviewer: Sandy (Anonymous)
14 Aug 2008 12:50 am
just finished this story, it was amazing. Your attention to detail concerning treatment and therapy was amazing. I loved both Rodney and John in this story. However, John wouldn't have to give up flying. There's a group of paraylized/disabled pilots -- The Wheelchair Pilots Assocation. The organization is out of Big Bear City, California. I believe it's mostly private planes, and I'm not sure about helicopters. Here's a link to an information site about the organization
http://www.palaestra.com/flying.html. and here's the contact for Big Bear City, Caliornia
For more information, contact the Wheelchair Pilots Association, Big Bear City Airport, Attn: Mike Smith, PO Box 2799, Big Bear City, CA 92314.
Author's Response: Oh, wow, that's really cool! Unfortunately, I never even considered the fact that a paraplegic could possibly fly (due to safety considerations), so I never looked into it. That's really awesome that pilots still get to keep their wings (in a manner of speaking), even if they've suffered permanent disabilities. The story wouldn't be the same story if I did let John get back into the cockpit (since so much of the story is about John discovering that he doesn't need to be able to fly to live a happy, full life) but that's good to know! Thanks for the heads up.
Reviewer: Gillian (Anonymous)
16 Apr 2008 3:21 am
This story is as brilliant as I remembered! I know I reviewed when I first read it, but since you just provided me with hours of pleasure in the reread, I figured the least I could do was thank you once again for sharing this wonderful, heart-warming story.
Did you ever think about changing a few names and getting it published? You really should.
Author's Response: It's always wonderful to hear that somebody enjoyed something I wrote, but the ultimate compliment is hearing that somebody enjoyed it enough to read it again! Thanks for taking the time to let me know you still enjoy the story! Additionally, thank you for thinking that the story is good enough to publish! Wow, that is just about the top compliment a writer can get, isn't it? I did actually consider changing the names and tweaking some other things and making it an original fic (since the only SGA elements are Rodney, John and Jeannie's characters) but for now, I'm content to let it remain an SGA fic. The message within the story and the whole point of the story is something that isn't purely aimed towards the SGA fandom, which is why I like the thought of the story maybe reaching a wider audience. Maybe sometime down the road, I'll tweak it and see if somebody outside of the SGA fandom likes it.