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Does Three Square Meals really get more depth and complexity?

Pliotrov

So in the intro note in Three Square Meals, the authors says "The story dramatically increases in depth and complexity". I've now read 37 chapters and I've started wondering when it will get this depth. As it's been so far, the pattern has been: Travel towards place to do something > shag like bunnies in spaceship while traveling > Maybe pick up a new girl.

There is no suspense at all, since MC seems to be able to sleep off any injuries, and he can heal everyone with sex. The harem follows the usual stupid harem pattern where the girls form their own couples around him. All girls are more or less the same character, just with different occupations (this is explained storywise since his semen is basically transforming them to his ideal mate), only Jade is somewhat interesting so far.

So yeah, does the story actually get deeper anytime soon (I've read 37 chapters as stated) or will it continue being a stroke story with lazily written characters for a while longer?

Replies:   REP  Zom
richardshagrin

A lot of stories on SOL have the "difficult we will do right now, the impossible will take a couple more pages" flavor. It is fiction/fantasy that life will go smoothly. Or that the hero influences how life goes. But it usually is nicer for the reader and the writer for happy endings to be the norm. If not every chapter, then the author gets accused of cliff-hanger endings. Would you want to read a long story where the hero is frustrated, un-loved, and very seldom gets rewards or satisfaction? I think that kind of story is called Tragedy, and isn't typically popular for readers.

Replies:   Pliotrov
Pliotrov
Updated:

@richardshagrin

That's not at all what I'm talking about, I actually rather prefer stories that's lighthearted and tend to avoid stories with to much drama, I avoid "tragic" tags like rape, blackmail, nonconsensual, tear jerker etc. I really liked the start of TSM aswell, it was when more girls showed up that it got very repetetive. The girls all behave in a very similar way, have the same reactions to things, have indentical bodies etc. I was hoping that the depth and complexity the author wrote was coming up would be mostly character focused. I'm not hoping for a tragedy filled with heartbreak or death of loved ones, I'm just saying that so far it's like reading the same few chapters over and over again. It was a good few chapters the first time, but it feels very repetetive.

And you say that it a fiction that life will go smoothly, dude it's not been smooth at all so far, he's been in alot of shitty situations. If it was a fantasy about smooth living, he would just be cruising off in space getting drunk and having sex. Thing is, he's put in very "unsmooth" situations but he's got a plot armor free-card, so the reader knows that he's going to be just like new literally after a nights sleep. Like I said I'm not hoping for this to be a tragedy, but it would be nice if MC could atleast get hurt, and that in turn could be potential for some emotional moments for other characters, you know, they might worry if he's gonna be fine, they might nurse him back to health over some time or something.

That's what I mean that I'm hoping for when the author promises more depth and complexity, atleast I would find that more entertaining that just fly around different systems to upgrade his ships, have sex with identical women, fight aliens, and if anyone's hurt they'll be fine the next day, rinse and repeat.
Normally I wouldn't make a post about this, I only did it because the author himself wrote that the story gets more depth and complexity further into the story, and I don't feel like this has happened so far since the recent chapters I've read are very much like the first few chapters I read and I was just curious of when this will start happening.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Pliotrov

I don't know if I would call it depth and complexity, but there are several perilous situation which has the main character and/or his harem injured, and suspense (usually a battle) that goes on for a couple of chapters. Generally, the really intense stuff get resolved within two chapters, but there are dangers that are ongoing and recurrent for multiple (as in tens) of chapters. Most of it is urepenant space opera, but the battles are well-paced, and I usually skim the sex parts.

REP
Updated:

@Pliotrov


I've now read 37 chapters and I've started wondering when it will get this depth.


I'm up to Chapter 65. I don't see much depth and doubt I will see any in the remainder. The complexity is there in that Tefler has multiple subplots perking away, creating more while ending others.

My personal opinion is the sex scenes and references are repetitive, but at least the level of detail has dropped significantly in the last 30 chapters. There is still a great deal of ego stroking and talk of how great each other are for my personal taste. I also have a credibility problem with the timeline for doing work and for going from concept to production. The idea of getting an idea for new technology, assembling the raw materials, configuring a mass manufacturing facility to produce a new product, writing all the software/firmware, and then having the finished items rolling of the assembly line in 4 hours is ludicrous especially when all the work is being done by 1 person.

But I'm willing to overlook all of the impossibilities for a good space opera story, and TSM is that type of story.

sunseeker

thanks to all for your comments as I was wondering the same thing as Pilotrov after seeing the 9+ score. I had stopped reading it a long time ago for the same reasons...

Lapi
Updated:

I have to agree with what has been written except that the story is an example of a 'good space opera'. I can't agree with that. Half of the story is just a repetition of the same sex scenes, The time-frames are so short as to be unrealistic and not believable. 20-25% of the story is great, the other 25-30% pure filler and poorly done. I think I read through chapter 59 so maybe it gets better. The story does skip around a lot and seems as though it is just done in outline form as not to take much writing to give any detail. John Wales and Mike Cropo and other stories like "The Private' are much better Space Operas. I may skim a few more chapters but unless it gets better will not read on.

Zom

@Pliotrov

So yeah, does the story actually get deeper anytime soon

Nope.

Jim S

To all who posted, thanks for the reviews. All of you might consider becoming formal reviewers to warn off the general reading public from similar overrated/misrated stories. As a public service. :) You'd reach a wider audience than just the denizens of the Forum.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Jim S

to warn off the general reading public from similar overrated/misrated stories.


Three Square Meals is similar to many of the stories posted to SOL. Yes, I do have a number of problems with the story, but we also need to take the following into consideration regarding Tefler as an author:

1. The plot is not what I would call outstanding, but I would rate it as very good; probably around a 7 or 8. The plot starts with the MC John thinking he is basically an average person whose father was not human. Tefler introduces his readers to the premise of John discovering that he is far different from an average human. The early chapters expand the initial premise by introducing different aspects of how John is different, until his character Irillith labels him a Progenitor; it is at that point where the extent of his abilities begin to make themselves known. The facets introduced and their associated events result in his having a constant learning experience, which is expanded throughout the story.

2. Tefler does a good job in developing his characters; a far better job than some authors whose stories receive higher ratings.

3. Tefler's spelling, sentence structure, and other grammatical factors are above average, in my opinion, and that aspect of his writing is superior to that of many SOL authors who receive similar or higher ratings.

My main problems with Tefler's story are:

1. The early chapters contain long repetitious sex scenes with the sex scenes taking up around 20-30% of the chapter word count (my estimate), but in the later chapters, that percentage drops to around 10%. My personal preference would be less than 5%.

2. There are many scenes in which his 'girls' make discoveries regarding medical, technological, and other things. The nature and number of these discoveries are beyond my level of believability, but they are presented in a way that allows me to move beyond my disbelief.

3. The main characters are continually making statements about how great the other characters are. Personally, I have a strong dislike of authors telling me how great the characters are by having their characters make constant 'ego building' comments about other characters.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


There are many scenes in which his 'girls' make discoveries regarding medical, technological, and other things. The nature and number of these discoveries are beyond my level of believability, but they are presented in a way that allows me to move beyond my disbelief.


Note: much of this is based on schematics and other tech / science info that John's father's race has engineered into the extra Helix in their DNA (they have triple helix DNA).

John subconsciously passed this data on to Sparks/Dana and Rachel who were better equipped to understand and make use of it.

Replies:   REP
Jim S
Updated:

@REP


Three Square Meals is similar to many of the stories posted to SOL. Yes, I do have a number of problems with the story


My point, or the one I was trying to make while leaving it unsaid, is that strong, valid criticisms are made by more than one reader AND the story is carrying a 9.34 rating as I write this. This is incongruous in my mind. Hence my suggestion that the other posters here start doing formal reviews. We need more people pointing out stories that don't deserve their extraordinary ratings. 9.34? That's in Top 10 of all time at SOL, or close to it. And the described deficiencies are far from minor.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Yes, I agree.

However, an 18 YO person with no technical education would lack the ability to apply that knowledge and build the technology that Dana creates. There is also Dana's ability to adapt other alien technology and improve it making it far superior to what she starts with. She not only analyzes and improves the technology, but she also reconfigures her mass manufacturing capability and produces the improved product in less than 24 hours from first exposure.

robberhands

@REP

Tefler's spelling, sentence structure, and other grammatical factors are above average, in my opinion, and that aspect of his writing is superior to that of many SOL authors who receive similar or higher ratings.

'Many SOL authors who receive similar or higher ratings'?
There are exactly nine authors on SoL who ever wrote a story with a higher rating, and 12 stories out of forty-one-thousand available here.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Jim S

It sounds to me that what you are actually complaining about is the way readers rate stories. That has been addressed many times in the Forum and you are welcome to go back through the history file of those threads and read what we all think of how readers rate stories.

Most of the authors on SOL have no desire to review other authors' stories. We tend to respect the right of an author to create a story that we do not agree with or like. On a personal level we may find fault with the story, but we also acknowledge that the author has the right to create a story according to their preferences. We authors exercise our rights as readers to rate stories like Three Square Meals according to our personal scale of good-bad.

If you don't like the story and want to write a review, go ahead and do it.

One factor you are overlooking in urging us to all write reviews is, we may have problems with certain aspects of Tefler's story, but we don't necessarily think it is a bad story.

Personally, I doubt that a fair review will have any affect on the story's rating even if multiple reviews were to rate the story as poor. That is because readers who have already read and rated the story are not likely to read the reviews. Those who have not read the story will be reading the reviews to find a good story to read. Assuming we all wrote reviews, I suspect many of us would give the story a reasonably high rating and if your review gives the story a poor rating, it is unlikely that your review would sway the opinion of the people reading the reviews to any great extent.

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@REP

My post was driven by incredulity more than anything else. And I followed with the reason for it. I'll reiterate. Several readers find this story, rated at 9.34, as having serious deficiencies. This is what is.

I don't really care what the reasons are. I just note the fact. As to how authors approach another author's work, I can't say as I'm not an author. I am a reviewer and I probably would review the story if I read it, something I'm not planning on doing. Why? The opinions expressed in this thread which seem good enough for me. More than one post stated the story has what I consider serious deficiences.

This goes back to another thread where why doing reviews was discussed in depth. The point I made there is the same as the one I make here -- that more reviewers are needed to warn readers away from bad stories that are highly rated and drawing readers to good stories that are poorly rated, this for whatever reason.

As to why a bad story can achieve a high rating is something I won't speculate on. But it happens with distressing frequency.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Dominions Son

@REP

but she also reconfigures her mass manufacturing capability and produces the improved product in less than 24 hours from first exposure.


These are general purpose mass fabrication devices. Basically very advanced 3D printers that are designed for exactly that sort of use.

REP
Updated:

@robberhands


There are exactly nine authors on SoL who ever wrote a story with a higher rating


'Similar' does not mean 'equal to or higher'.

I would say 9 or above qualifies as similar and that means 148 stories. If I drop similar down to 8.9, it would mean 214 stories and 8.8 would give us 302 stories.

I will also say that 'superior to many' is an exaggeration considering the stories actual rating. At the time I wrote the post, I was not aware of the story's rating and believed it to be around 8.0, which would give us 2,390 stories, and in my opinion, Tefler's grammar is superior to many of those stories' authors.

Replies:   robberhands
Dominions Son

@REP

However, an 18 YO person with no technical education would lack the ability to apply that knowledge and build the technology that Dana creates.


Just because it may not have been from a formal setting doesn't mean she had no technical education. She was building custom weapons and other tech with tools and materials scrounged from scrap piles before she hooked up with John.

It's not necessarily surprising that such education might happen at much younger ages in a more technologically advanced society.

Beyond that the genetic mods introduced by John have significantly boosted her base intelligence which was probably already at prodigy/genius levels.

"There is also Dana's ability to adapt other alien technology and improve it making it far superior to what she starts with."

The improvements to alien technology has been mostly Ashnath & Malari tech that are basically cheap knockoffs of the Progenitor tech that's been built into Dana's DNA.

robberhands

@REP

... his writing is superior to that of many SOL authors who receive similar or higher ratings ...

But higher means higher, right?

Replies:   REP
REP

@robberhands

But higher means higher, right?


Yes it does. But as I said, at the time I wrote the post I thought the rating was around 8.0. I have read many stories with ratings higher than 8.0 that have atrocious grammar.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

It isn't like I mind that you like the story. Usually, I don't care about scores when I decide to read a new story, but I admit the exceptional high score of this story made me curious and I read it - well, started to read it. Now I'm back to not care about scores.

Replies:   REP
Capt. Zapp

@Jim S

And I followed with the reason for it. I'll reiterate. Several readers find this story, rated at 9.34, as having serious deficiencies. This is what is.


For those who complain about the story, if you have such a problem with the story, why are you still reading it? Just jump to the end, give it your low vote, and quit reading it.

I am a reviewer and I probably would review the story if I read it, something I'm not planning on doing.


That is your right. It is also the right of the readers to vote the story as high as they want to. Since you have NOT read the story and refuse to do so, quit trying to get someone else to write a negative review.

Replies:   Jim S
Lapi

Just IMHO the story is not complete as if Ch 95 and the content is not even close to a 9 plus score. I decide to read a story based of score, flags and the overview description. This story does not match up to what has been promised. My earlier opinion was that 25-30% of the story is great, the rest could well be deleted.
I also never have voted any score for another authors story for the reason stated in this thread.

I thought a 3-D laser only replicated the pieces it was given not enhanced or changed functionality, ie a water pistol into a Phalanx Gun.

Ernest Bywater

@Lapi

I thought a 3-D laser only replicated the pieces it was given not enhanced or changed functionality,


3D lasers used in manufacturing will only make the shape of the item being cut from either the original or a file, but it will make it out of the material you're cutting. Thus you can use a 3D laser to cut weapons parts out of a stronger material, but it will not change what the weapon can do or how it operates. They're manufacturing equipment, and only that.

Ernest Bywater

@Lapi

the content is not even close to a 9 plus score.


That's where you run up against the only aspect of the scoring no one can do anything about. There are a lot of stories which have a sort of cult following where they score the stories high, based on what they like in them, while others who get bored with the story stop reading and never vote on it. Thus a lot of stories end up with high scores because they only get voted on by those who like them. This problem is especially true of the long stories that include a lot of sex, because those wanting a lot of sex will stay with the story while those seeking more plot drop out without scoring the story. There's nothing that can be done about the issue. It's one reason why I rarely look at the scores.

Replies:   PotomacBob
awnlee jawking

@Lapi

and the content is not even close to a 9 plus score.


Stories are scored on appeal, not content.

It's the literary equivalent of a B movie - it ticks all the right boxes for massive audience appeal but it will never be considered for an Oscar.

AJ

Jim S

@Capt. Zapp

That is your right. It is also the right of the readers to vote the story as high as they want to. Since you have NOT read the story and refuse to do so, quit trying to get someone else to write a negative review.

I'm not trying to get them to write a negative review; I'm trying to get them to write a review.

My point in this stream is that I'm glad someone warned me away from it as, given it's current length, it would be a huge waste of my time. And to encourage more writers to enter the Reviewer cadre as that can only improve SOL.

Replies:   richardshagrin  REP
richardshagrin

@Jim S

more writers to enter the Reviewer cadre

Depends on what kind of reviews they write, and if they keep reviewing the same stories somebody else reviewed. The purpose of reviews is not to keep people from reading particular stories (the one being reviewed.) It is ok to point out things the author could have handled better, particularly the technical issues like homonyms, misspelling, hyphenation (like mis-spelling), and other grammatical issues some (grammar Nazis) aren't happy to read. Or things like vampires or harems too large for any one male to service that strain belief. But if you the reviewer don't like a story, please don't review it. In theory, you are recommending to friends you haven't met yet, other SOL readers, maybe years after you write the review.

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

But if you the reviewer don't like a story, please don't review it.


On the contrary, provided the reviewer explains why they don't like a story, the review is more useful to readers than a recent deluge of 10-10-10s.

When I'm considering an internet purchase, I go to the negative reviews first.

AJ

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

harems too large for any one male to service


No such thing unless you are talking about the entire harem being serviced with in a specific time frame. But then how large is too large depends on how long the time frame is.

On man could easily service a harem of 365 women provided each woman only gets "serviced" once a year.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

On the contrary, provided the reviewer explains why they don't like a story, the review is more useful to readers than a recent deluge of 10-10-10s.


Only as long as the review doesn't devolve into a rant about the poor skills of the author.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

No such thing unless you are talking about the entire harem being serviced with in a specific time frame.


I think harems are too large when it's impossible to remember the females as separate characters. And yet I can think of stories where I feel the author has so many females they blur into each other, yet have story scores of 9 and over.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

negative reviews

"Review Guidelines

Reviews on the site are means of encouraging readers to read the stories, and to help authors get better at what they do. So if a review is meant to simply drive the author away from writing then it won't be published on the site. So if you don't like the story and can't finish reading it because it is horribly bad in your opinion, then simply don't review it. Better send a private email message to the author.

That does not mean you cannot criticise the story, but make it constructive criticism, not destructive one.

Don't review stories that are on your list of squicks, what's the point? If you hate the story going into it then the review will be bad of course.

Reviews that are all negative will be rejected."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@robberhands

Now I'm back to not care about scores.


I never consider the readers' rating of a story in deciding whether I want to read the story. I don't consciously look at the rating.

The only time I consider ratings in choosing to read a story is when I'm reading reviews of stories. Most reviewers have a rationale other than it has a lot of sex scenes when they assign a rating. They explain why they like/dislike the story.

REP

@Jim S

I'm not trying to get them to write a negative review; I'm trying to get them to write a review.


That is not an accurate representation of what you said earlier. You said:

All of you might consider becoming formal reviewers to warn off the general reading public from similar overrated/misrated stories.


People are NOT warned off by positive reviews.

Replies:   Jim S
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I think harems are too large when it's impossible to remember the females as separate characters.


I would tend to agree, but that is a vastly different criteria for "too large" than "too large to be serviced by a single male".

A single male can service a very large number of females unless you place a time constraint on how often each female gets serviced.

If a male services one female per day (easily doable) from age 16 to 60, with no repeat customers, he could service slightly over 16K females.

Replies:   REP  sunkuwan
REP

@Dominions Son

But then we have MCs with 30+ women in their harem and the MC services them all individually in one night (between 9PM and 6AM) and still manages to get an adequate night's sleep.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

But then we have MCs with 30+ women in their harem and the MC services them all individually in one night (between 9PM and 6AM) and still manages to get an adequate night's sleep.


An there we have a specific time frame. On that time fame (9 hours) given he has a day job, anything over 3 is pushing it. If he doesn't need to work for a living and can sleep from 6AM - 2PM, 30 is still pushing it, but 20 might be believable.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

You took my 'negative reviews' out of context - I was referring to internet purchases.

That does not mean you cannot criticise the story, but make it constructive criticism, not destructive one.


I agree. But reviewers shouldn't feel inhibited from giving an appeal rating of only 6, say, if they can justify it.

Of course, there's always the question of what a reviewer's score of 6 actually means. Some reviewers explain their scoring system but, for the others, does it equate to the story score appeal of 'Not Bad'?

AJ

REP

@Dominions Son

but 20 might be believable.


Only in the world of fantasy. :) But we would all like to try doing so.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Only in the world of fantasy. :) But we would all like to try doing so.


What? 20 in 9 hours is only one every 27 minutes. :)

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

20 in 9 hours = 1 raw dick :)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

20 in 9 hours = 1 raw dick :)


Wuss! :)

Replies:   REP
Lapi
Updated:

I learned something from what EB and Capt Zapp wrote, that appeal is why there is a high vote and not content. The old 3 category voting would make more sense then to show such disparity.

IMHO I think the ones who don't like or read a story thru do not vote so only those who like it do.

Happy T day in the USA

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Lapi

The old 3 category voting would make more sense then to show such disparity.


The problem with the 3 category voting was the large number of voters who voted all three categories the same based on simple appeal.

sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

Arlene and Jeff comes to mind. Even with his "enhancements" there is no way he can constantly service all of his wifes with the kind of detail that is provided every night. There is just not enough time.

Replies:   REP
Not_a_ID

@REP

There is also Dana's ability to adapt other alien technology and improve it making it far superior to what she starts with.


So far she has only been bringing the discovered techs closer to "the progenitor level" of advancement, she hasn't surpassed it as of chapter 92, and only matched it in a couple instances. As she ostensibly has the progenitor tech database rattling around in her head, it allows for some suspension of disbelief. Now what their medical officer has been up to may be a little more questionable.

Replies:   REP
Jim S

@REP

That is not an accurate representation of what you said earlier. You said:

I think you're taking that sentence out of context.

People are NOT warned off by positive reviews.

Well, good. I don't necessarily want them writing positive reviews either. I want them to write honest reviews.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Jim S

I don't necessarily want them writing positive reviews either. I want them to write honest reviews.


I can think of very few cases where I would consider a review that goes out of it's way to warn readers to avoid a particular story "honest".

Replies:   Jim S
sharkjcw

SCORING is BASED on what people reading the story THINK of it!!! So sitting around whining about the score of a story is pretty silly. Read it and vote what you think or shut up whining and crying about it.

Let the bitching (at me) began!!!

Dominions Son
Updated:

@sharkjcw


Read it and vote what you think or shut up whining and crying about it.


Big Hand.

Round of Applause.

:)

ETA: Let me add: Stop using scores as the primary criteria for what you read, pay more attention to the tags and description. If you don't like stories with much sex, stop bitching about stories that have lots of sex and start avoiding stories tagged much sex.

Replies:   sunkuwan
lucifermorningstar601

@sharkjcw

well said big round of Applause

awnlee jawking

@sharkjcw

SCORING is BASED on what people reading the story THINK of it!!!


I think there's clear evidence that many readers are voting for the author rather than the story. Look at the voting in the Halloween contest before the authors' identities were revealed. The scores were unusually low because fanboi-voting was thwarted.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands  sharkjcw
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

The scores were unusually low because fanboi-voting was thwarted.

I don't want to dismiss your conclusion, but it is an assumption based on less than conclusive evidence. The Halloween Contest not only anonymized the authors during the voting process but it also had a different reader pool, a limited time frame to submit a story, and limited the story themes as well.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@robberhands

I don't want to dismiss your conclusion, but it is an assumption based on less than conclusive evidence. The Halloween Contest not only anonymized the authors during the voting process but it also had a different reader pool, a limited time frame to submit a story, and limited the story themes as well.


And also brings back the discussion about tastes of the paid SOL membership versus the unpaid members. (Or the possibility of unpaid(and paid) members holding, and voting, from multiple unpaid accounts)

Replies:   robberhands
Lapi
Updated:

Once you guys stay on track much good info comes out. I have to agree with the 'stop whining' thing about the score/vote/adjustments.

In my case I'm not letting any voting on the new stories and will delete or change many on the older ones and just look at downloads again. I know the stories behind the paywall will not get that many reads but the idiots that vote a 1 or 2 don't seem to have access there.

sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

What does that matter or solve?

Description and Tags don't tell you the quality of the Story.
The amount of sex and what the Author thinks is "much sex" or "some sex" is completely subjective.

As a solution, Lazeez could implement a second scoring figure that displays the scoring based on the last 6 or 12 months. So it would probably negate the high impact of earlier votes when the Story had "so much potential".

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

... the paid SOL membership versus the unpaid members ...

I love this mistake! How can I become a paid member on SOL? It always was a dream of mine to get paid reading stories. I'm really good at it!

Replies:   Not_a_ID
sharkjcw

@awnlee jawking

Look at the voting in any contest. It runs in the 7's maybe low 8's. If I remember correctly a contest was won a couple of years ago with a score in the high 6's.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Jim S

@Dominions Son

I can think of very few cases where I would consider a review that goes out of it's way to warn readers to avoid a particular story "honest".


That depends on your definition of honest, doesn't it? When I wrote the above, I was using the M-W definition of the word, i.e. free from fraud or deception. Put another way, genuine. An honest review may not agree with your, or mine for that matter, opinion of the story. But that doesn't make it dishonest.

awnlee jawking

@sharkjcw

I think that supports my supposition (although it could also support the theory that Halloween stories have limited appeal).

Personally I think the winning entry, by G Younger, compares favourably with the rest of his stories.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I think that supports my supposition ...

I think there is a simple reason why readers you termed 'fanboys' regularly rate the stories of their favorite authors highly - even before the story is completely posted, or even just the first chapter is out. The simple reason is, they usually like their favorite authors' stories. That's not 'unfair', it's just their anticipation won by experiance, and a preference for a particular kind of stories.

So I believe you are correct, the missing support of their usual readers is one reason that stories in anonymous contests score lower.

Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

The amount of sex and what the Author thinks is "much sex" or "some sex" is completely subjective.


And the complaints against TSM are mostly about the quality / quantity of sex which is completely subjective on the part of the complainers.

I disagree completely about the lack of character development. Each of the girls has a distinct personality and desires.

Replies:   sunkuwan
Not_a_ID

@robberhands

... the paid SOL membership versus the unpaid members ...


I love this mistake! How can I become a paid member on SOL? It always was a dream of mine to get paid reading stories. I'm really good at it!


Not a mistake, at least for parts of the U.S. A "paid membership" is simply a membership somebody paid for. Not one where people are paid for being members.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

Yeah, the paid membership wasn't the mistake; 'the unpaid members' was. I didn't mean to nitpick, I really enjoyed the fantasy this tiny bug represented.

sunkuwan

@Dominions Son

You said, that the users should look at tags and sex inclusion to determine if they like the story.
I, myself, don't decide if I want to start a story based on tags and the amount of sex.
Tags are not quality.
And I read "some sex" stories that had sexual encounters in every paragraph and "much sex" stories that had no sexual encounters for several chapters.

SOL is an Adult site, but that doesn't mean that a story has to be bombarded with meaningless sex every scene.
My own experiences with those are
Flight of the Code Monkey
Three Square Meals
Arlene and Jeff

I don't include stories that revolve around sex like "Six Times a Day" or "Summer Camp"

Those 3 examples pride themselves with an overarching plot. But the sex scenes grind the plot to a halt every time.

REP

@Dominions Son

Wuss! :)


Yeah, men in general, not any of us. :)

REP

@sunkuwan

Arlene and Jeff comes to mind.


If you recall, Roustwriter's premise is that if Jeff's wives are in contact with the wife he is servicing, they all have an orgasm. He doesn't have to service them individually.

REP
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


So far she has only been bringing the discovered techs closer to "the progenitor level" of advancement,


I'm only up to Chapter 68, so my reference point for Dana's enhancement to technology is Federation technology, which was Dana's background at the time I made the comment. I read the part about her being exposed to progenitor technology yesterday.

ETA: Even with progenitor technology, fabricating a technologically complex device from concept to finished product in less than a day is ridiculous. That is especially true when you take into account they are on a spacecraft in the middle of nowhere and can't get FedEx/UPS to deliver the raw materials needed to produce the device.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Dominions Son
REP

@sunkuwan

Description and Tags don't tell you the quality of the Story.


and ratings tell you even less.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


That is especially true when you take into account they are on a spacecraft in the middle of nowhere and can't get FedEx/UPS to deliver the raw materials needed to produce the device.


Good thing for them they have a stock of raw materials on board then.

U.S. Navy ships, up until the 1990's had the practice of ensuring the battlegroup in particular had all the expertise needed to repair or outright replace practically anything on the ship, or to have spares on hand at a minimum. The naval practice in general goes back centuries before that(the reason they mostly stopped was the skill sets were more valuable in the commercial sector than they would pay enlisted personnel --setting up a revolving door until they hit the brakes). It isn't unreasonable to expect that a deep space warship in particular would contain fabrication facilities sufficient to effect most self-repair tasks if given both time and raw materials.

That she has a dedicated workshop which is presumably purpose built around facilitating custom specification fabrication work just further augments capabilities that probably already existed onboard.

With that said, yes the extent of what she has been doing is certainly on the extreme end all the same.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


That is especially true when you take into account they are on a spacecraft in the middle of nowhere and can't get FedEx/UPS to deliver the raw materials needed to produce the device.


The fabrication is done with 3d printers far more advanced then any 3d Printers or CnC machinery available in the real world. These fabrication machines are designed more for rapid prototyping than for mass production of thousands of identical units, so they don't require huge amounts of reconfiguration to do what Dana is doing with them.

A military space craft like the Invictus would carry considerable amounts of raw materials for field repairs. They would have to, it could take centuries to limp to the nearest military dry dock at sub light speeds.

Dana was enhancing Federation Tech with what amounts to Progenitor tech long before they ever realized that John had passed Dana Progenitor tech data in her DNA mods.

They rescue Tashana, Irillith's twin sister, in Chapters 71/72, but at first Tashana is convinced that John is as evil the the rest of his kind and a threat to all Malari to the point that she almost starts a Malari civil war. They don't convince her that John isn't the threat she thinks until late in chapter 75,

Then in chapter 76 they finally get access to Tashan's research on Mael'nerak the Progenitor that created all of the humanoid races in the area of space known to humans.

But it isn't until chapters 79 or 80 that they board a Ashnath copy of a Progenitor ship built on a fragment of Mael'nerak's personal flag ship that the Ashnath had recovered. John and several of the girls, including Alyssa boarded the rebuilt Progenitor ship to rescue the Ashnath high council from Drakar boarders.

On the rescue mission, Alyssa ends up getting overwhelmed by psychic impressions of battles that took place on Mael'nerak's ship over 10,000 years in the past. It isn't until Alyssa shares those impressions with the John and the rest of the crew that they realize the full extent of how much of Dana's designs and innovations are actually based on Progenitor tech and science data passed from John's DNA to Dana's

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

Oh, for those who are skimming over or out right skipping the sex scenes in TSM and complaining about the lack of character development, A lot of character development actually happens during the sex scenes.

There are significant differences in what each of the ladies wants in the way of treatment in bed. Even the Malari twins, Irillith and Tashana have significantly different needs/desires in terms of sex.

There is also John's Progenitor nature pushing him towards sexual dominance and John trying to fight it and brooding over the effects it is having on the ladies.

REP

@Not_a_ID

... had all the expertise needed to repair or outright replace practically anything on the ship, or to have spares on hand at a minimum. ...

That she has a dedicated workshop which is presumably purpose built around facilitating custom specification fabrication work just further augments capabilities that probably already existed onboard.


You missed the point!

Yes the Navy had the expertise and materials to repair/replace "existing" items. They did not have the raw materials to create "new" items that required raw materials that were not a component of the "existing" items.

If you recall, Dana created her workshop from existing tools that were available in the Federation. Her intent at that time was to create anything that might be needed by the spaceship; she did not select those tools for creating customized equipment that deviated from Federation technology. However, a good 'general' workshop would have many of the capabilities that would be needed.

The ship's store of raw materials would have been limited to the material needed to repair or build an existing item of equipment. If element XYZ was needed to create Dana's "new" technology and it wasn't an element used in the existing equipment, she would not have had the raw material necessary to build her new technology.

REP

@Dominions Son

These fabrication machines are designed more for rapid prototyping than for mass production of thousands of identical units, so they don't require huge amounts of reconfiguration to do what Dana is doing with them.


So you are saying that just because you have a fabrication machine, it is not a major task to reconfigure it to produce a different item. You need to remember that just because you don't modify the machine does not mean you aren't reconfiguring it.

Such a machine would be supplied by bins of raw material and it would be programmed to obtain a specific raw material from a specific bin. Dana would have had to remove the existing material from each of the bins and fill the bin with the proper raw materials. For the machine to produce the desired product, Dana would have had to write a program to control the machine. That program would have to define the amount of each raw material to be 'mixed' and the placement of the 'mixed' material in fabricating the product. All of that and move would be required whether you are producing 1 or a 1,000 of the item.

I and others reading this thread are still somewhere in the middle of the story. Telling us what will happen in future chapters is a real spoiler.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


So you are saying that just because you have a fabrication machine, it is not a major task to reconfigure it to produce a different item. You need to remember that just because you don't modify the machine does not mean you aren't reconfiguring it.


No, it's not just having a fabrication machine. It's the difference between having a fabrication machine designed for producing large batches of identical parts and a fabrication machine designed for producing thousands of one off custom designed parts for rapid prototyping.

The fabrication machines Dana has are in the latter category.

Dana would have had to write a program to control the machine. That program would have to define the amount of each raw material to be 'mixed' and the placement of the 'mixed' material in fabricating the product.


No, all she would need is a CAD file describing the shape and composition of the object to be produced.

The Federation Fabrication machines are only used for parts made from materials known to the Federation. Later in the story, she also has machines for fabricating Malari crystal material and fabricating parts from said crystal.

The more advanced materials they use are psychically shape-able and the parts are made by either John or Alyssa.

I and others reading this thread are still somewhere in the middle of the story.


Everyone reading it is somewhere in the middle of the story as it isn't finished yet.

Telling us what will happen in future chapters is a real spoiler.


As I see it, that's pretty much what the entire thread is asking for.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Everyone reading it is somewhere in the middle of the story as it isn't finished yet.

As I see it, that's pretty much what the entire thread is asking for.


1. The part about the story not being finished is true. Since you need me to spell it out to you to the gnat's ass, what I intended was some of us are still in the middle of what has been posted up to this point.

2. "... the entire thread is asking for."

Where did you ever get that idea?

Pilotrov started the thread by asking - "I've now read 37 chapters and I've started wondering when it will get this depth." His query had been answered by discussing the story in generalities, until you started quoting the specifics of what happens in the chapters.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Where did you ever get that idea?


The depth is there in what he's already read, but he's skipping over most of it. There's a lot of personal interaction and character development built into the sex scenes themselves.

From the tone, I don't believe he would accept a simple yes as an answer.

Fr

Banadin

Having been aboard the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier I can tell you they can do almost anything but replace through reactors. I would expect no less of future Navy's.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Banadin

I can tell you they can do almost anything but replace through reactors.


Except when they do the mid-life refueling, which almost is a reactor replacement. ;)

Having been on a ship that decommissioned 2 years after I transferred off(And 37 years into its designed 30 year service life), some things are harder to replace than others. Parts obsolescence(and subsequently scarcity) is also an issue, one that has become increasingly vexing for larger commercial(and military) craft over the last couple of decades(not to mention many types of factories and other long service-life facilities.

Keeping spares on hand in quantity isn't particularly viable. But the manufacturers also don't seem to like building widget _____ for 50 years either. They want you to buy the new and improved widget 5 years later, which isn't going to be fully backwards compatible so they can get you with sprocket B and C along the way.

The reality is that the cost of addressing all those "legacy support issues" that start accruing over time makes it simply cheaper to build an entirely new ship/craft rather than refit the existing one. In some cases, they may justify breaking an existing craft apart and doing a full rebuild basically from scratch(The U.S. Air Force and Navy have both done this with fixed wing aircraft airframes), it is exceedingly rare with while just because of the sheer scale involved and the nature of the (highly corrosive) environment it operates in.

It's cheaper to send a ship to a ship breaker facility and recycle it for scrap while building an entirely new ship than expend the resources to dry-dock the ship, completely tear it down, and reassemble it once again. (Which isn't to mention maintaining weight balance, dealing with design restrictions from previous design decisions/obsolete systems, etc. Much easier to design/build from a (mostly) clean slate.)

Which I guess is the big difference between aircraft and ships, you can park an airplane just about anywhere. So finding somewhere to do a tear down and rebuild is trivial in comparison to finding a dry dock with sufficient capabilities to do the required work. Which isn't to mention economy of scale on rebuilding 200 planes of the same type vs 6 ships of a particular ship-class variant.

A space dock would have a bit more in common with an aircraft hanger than a drydock. Further, from a hull and equipment(well, most equipment--some things may not like hard vacuum much) perspective, hard vacuum would be a benefit. While for a waterborne ship, water just makes everything more difficult.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@Not_a_ID

It's cheaper to send a ship to a ship breaker facility and recycle it for scrap while building an entirely new ship than expend the resources to dry-dock the ship, completely tear it down, and reassemble it once again.


Hmmm, might be true, taking into account the self induced bottleneck of suitable shipyards for rebuilding military ships. Those few big enough and located within the USA can more or less dictate the price.
Ever heard of any US-Navy craft refitted in a non-US shipyard? Many reliable partners of the USA do have large shipyards, some even with know-how in building larger ships for their own navy, e.g. GB and France.

Is it really cheaper to scrap a ship and build a new one?
Maybe in the USA. The Royal Navy thinks probably otherwise:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Argus_(A135)#Design_and_facilities

HM.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
sunkuwan

That's why the US has the biggest military budget. Just buy new instead of refurbishing.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

Is it really cheaper to scrap a ship and build a new one?

Maybe in the USA. The Royal Navy thinks probably otherwise:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Argus_(A135)#Design_and_facilities


Keep in mind, that given what this thread is about, I'm assuming the initial discussion topic was about the ship John Blake's story is primarily set upon. Where the ship undergoes a progressive succession of rather extensive and comprehensive upgrades.

"In reality" the naval planning office would instead prefer to keep the existing ship in service with minimal upgrades to keep it operational and "current" while they go about building a new ship from the ground up with all of the "latest and greatest."

Then take the old ship and evaluate what to do with it then, with the most probable outcome becoming "inactive reserve('mothball') fleet" and/or eventual scrap metal. (If it doesn't become target practice for a new weapon platform verification via BDA after being shot at by the new stuff) Also common for the US is "farming out" our older ships to other nations to score us some easy brownie points and make them reliant on us for logistics/parts support for all of the equipment that nobody is making new parts for.

You're also ignoring the (unmentioned) SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) that is a pretty normal thing for all US Navy warships to go through after about 15 to 25 years of service depending on the platform.

The thing about SLEP is that there are certain things they'll likely never touch in total, even if they play with the Auxiliaries. For example, when they modernized the Iowa Class Battleships in the 1980's under Reagan, they barely touched the ship's engines. A plankowner for the USS Missouri's first commissioning who worked on the propulsion systems would be right at home in the engineering plant that still exists on her to this day. Likewise for the people working the big guns on her(well, aside from the guns being rendered inert IIRC).

Now the electronics suites, and a lot of the auxiliary systems on board? That is a completely different story. Those DID get replaced and upgraded. Likewise the VLS cell system installed didn't even exist prior to the 1980's so a pre-1980 crew member wouldn't know much about that particular retrofit.

But it still ignores I was commenting on a full rebuild not a partial retrofit. SLEP's are partial retro/refits.

Where "the problems start" is functional capability obsolescence. This actually was part of the reason for the demise of the Nuclear Cruisers for the US Navy, as they were built prior to VLS "becoming a thing" for the Navy. Lack of VLS capability was a major contributor to their being retired once it came time to be refueled. Their not being refueled in turn was then used to claim they were "cost ineffective" for the benefits offered and that program was effectively killed.

In the present day, the VLS equipped AEGIS ships which were scheduled for a 50 year service life may have their service lives cut short when/if they get a viable Naval Railgun/LASER system combination finalized. Those ships simply do not have sufficient power generation capabilities for them to be expected to ever be capable of fielding such weapons platforms.

Sure, they might possibly be able to make them capable of doing so, but they'd have to completely rebuild and replace the propulsion systems on the ship to run on an electric drive(diverting power from propulsion to weapons as warranted), among other things. It also means they'd likely have to completely rebuild the lowest portions of the ship to do that, and because of the costs such an effort would incur, its simply cheaper to build a new platform from the ground up instead. Particularly when you consider the other differences that come with transitioning to newer designs.

A tertiary thing for (roughly) pre-1995 designed US Navy ships also is the whole gender integration thing. They were not designed with female crew in mind. For engineering plants in particular this becomes an issue where ship's fittings were often specified with a 160 pound adult male in mind. This presents a problem for a 110 pound adult female trying to operate said fittings. One that is much easier to address on a ship platform designed from the ground up with the 110 pound female in mind rather than trying to retrofit the older systems.

Edit: There also is the matter of "sanitary issues" that are unique to women. Most of the older ships were not plumbed in such a way that they can properly handle certain items that many women commonly flush down the toilet.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

"In reality" the naval planning office would instead prefer to keep the existing ship in service with minimal upgrades to keep it operational and "current" while they go about building a new ship from the ground up with all of the "latest and greatest."


Navel warfare tactical doctrines also play a role.

In the case of John Blake's ship it was rendered obsolete not by new technology, but by a change in navel warfare doctrine. Moving hostile boarding infantry troops from cruisers to drop-ships staged from carriers.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

In the case of John Blake's ship it was rendered obsolete not by new technology, but by a change in navel warfare doctrine. Moving hostile boarding infantry troops from cruisers to drop-ships staged from carriers.


Where the 20th Century version of that would be the discontinuation of Battleships by practically everyone except the Unites States(and only intermittently at that) after World War 2. They were too manpower intensive with too narrow of a mission profile in light of their vulnerability to airpower, which was a much cheaper and far less manpower intensive option, which also had a lot more versatility to go with it.

Whereas before WW2, the only way to counter a battleship was with another battleship of equal or greater firepower and armor.

That wasn't so much a "change of doctrine" as it was a "doctrinal change in light of emerging and demonstrated technologies." (Which was effective nautical combat aircraft in that case)

The John Blake scenario was pure doctrine though. The tech/tactics argument wasn't so clear cut, as both John Blake and his Admiral buddy commented on when he initially obtained the ship. Something I'm perhaps a little better qualified to comment on than most(an actual Marine or War College type being exceptions), having served on a ship which had transportation of (mechanized or otherwise) infantry troops as a primary mission rather than secondary or tertiary. :)

Sadly, by the time I made it to my ship, its 3" guns had been replaced with CIWS mounts. So we'd lost our ability to provide coastal fire support in exchange for some limited ability to defend ourselves against missile attacks.

The newer Amphib ships can double as missile boats though, so they're kind of back into the fire-support role once more. There is a lot to be said about fire support from an actual ship vs fire support from a small craft. Ships typically have much longer loiter times, and are less impacted by adverse weather. Also, as everything ship based is typically capable of being manned in shifts(and with large stores of ammunition), that loiter time capability can be highly demoralizing/"problematic" for opposing forces.

Yes, sufficient amounts of air power can mirror that, but you need to have the aircraft available to do so. Which is where air power being rather fungible can be both a blessing and curse. They're also very easily diverted into other not-so-nearby theaters that are deemed "in need of assistance," while the (naval) Ship isn't likely to stray very far away as that can become a bit more involved for numerous reasons(that may not involve fire support).

It actually has been an ongoing thing with the USMC and the Navy in regards to the Batttleships since they were decommissioned after Desert Storm. The Navy didn't want them, but the Marine Corps did, and still does to some degree. Although they both like the potential of the Naval Rail Gun if it becomes viable.

Assuming we don't have a hard core militarized space race on our hands during this century, NRG's(and "coastal defense" variants) are probably going to be one of the more interesting things to watch play out this century. Nothing say's "Hello" like a gun that can shoot something 250 nautical miles away and hit within feet of their target destination, hit like a 2,000 pound bomb, and cost about a dollar per shot.... And be able to fire once every few seconds.

That's going to potentially change naval and aviation warfare a lot. Carriers certainly won't be ruling the seas like they have been, although they're still major players.

I almost hope it causes a return to a Battleship/Battlecruiser likeness, where at least a few (nuclear?) Large-sized ships(40K+ tons) get built with rail gun batterys instead of 16" gun turrets. Maybe a healthy helping of missile cells to go with it for extra range. But that's probably my inner 6YO speaking.

I think the reality is they'll be going for swarms of smaller/faster ships with one or two rail guns each. Simply because it's "the better option" in terms of damage avoidance vs damage protection and what happens in the event a ship does get hit.

PotomacBob

@Ernest Bywater

where they score the stories high, based on what they like in them,


As a reader, I ask this question: Isn't that what we're supposed to do, score the stories based on what we like in them? If not, what is the correct standard?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@PotomacBob

As a reader, I ask this question: Isn't that what we're supposed to do, score the stories based on what we like in them? If not, what is the correct standard?


Input the result from rolling 1die10

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@PotomacBob

As a reader, I ask this question: Isn't that what we're supposed to do, score the stories based on what we like in them?


Yes it is. I was simply explaining why some stories one person thinks are scored wrong is due to other readers placing a different score on them to the person I responded to.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Input the result from rolling 1die10


Don't forget to factor in the author's +3 quill of inspiration. :)

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