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ginger_reckoning

2.1.21 gingerreckoning-EK ch 4 (L) (and maybe s?) 2500 words

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Thanks so much! Here's revised version of chapter 4 from a few weeks ago. Got a lot of new content, so i'm eager to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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Overall

Two major points. The first, I'm not sure what this chapter adds to the overall narrative. How does it advance the plot? Could it not be summed into say, a passing conversation in another chapter? It seems to exist mostly to establish characters, but doesn't seem to move anything forward. I'd suggest picking the relevant parts and putting it into a more dynamic chapter.

There are elements in here I like, like the color coded gender/sex swapping. With that said, point 2 - you'll need to be clear and deliberate here as to what is being swapped. Is it gender, or is it biological sex? Is it both? From the narrative you seem to be describing biological sex, which would change physical appearances and some parts of brain chemistry (narrowing emotional range when moving from female to male, as an example). However gender, which is in the brain, would remain constant or maybe edge just a fraction in either direction (unless said character was, say, gender fluid). Gender is how we perceive ourselves within our society's context of gender. It is a social construct, can change over time in all humans, and is not rigid. Biological sex is fairly rigid, also defined somewhat by society but has clear categories that most people fall into related to chromosomes, hormones, and physical attributes. 

Likely you already know this, or at least most of it. My caution comes from the problematic trope in sci-fi of conflating the two. It is very common to have sex-phasing aliens and not address gender. For many trans people this can be a form of wish fulfillment, and of course, we all deserve narratives with wish fulfillment. But the intersex population has, for a long time, raised concerns about this trope and conflating sex fluidity with gender fluidity. Primarily because it erases intersex people, or others them by basically saying it's alien to switch sexes, this never happens on Earth (spoiler - it does happen on Earth). I think you have a good basis here for sex-changing aliens, which would allow for some fun discussions about how their gender is always pretty much the same, but their thought processes go through different channels when male versus female.

If you seek publication for this work at some point, you'll want to be sure to run it past a few intersex sensitivity readers as well, just to make sure you're hitting the finer points. I can help of course, but the week-to-week format here doesn't allow for great continuity edits. I'm in the process of a full biological sex shift (intersex is weird sometimes) and can definitely speak to the mental changes as well as the physical.

 

As I go

- pg 1: WRS. I am so confused. Have we had a time jump?

- pg 1: ooooh, it's a POV hop. I get it

- pg 1: +1 for gender convo

- pg 2: I don't care for how easily E gives up the tear. She fought so much! And giving it up is very much letting the plot drive her, not her driving the plot. This POV and I currently aren't connecting, either. I'm struggling to get a foothold

- pg 3: the change in sex though is very interesting and I'm more interested in them now, though I'd like it to be for personality as well as awesome sex swapping ability.

- pg 3: I doubt any of us are in the correct mental state to make any binding decisions at this point. <-- LOL cause they're all dudes now? That seems to be what is implied

- pg 4: She had chosen to further imitate humans and their permanent genders <-- I thought they were swapping out biological sex? See discussion above in the 'general' area

- pg 5: getting a lot more 'this happened let me think about it' than a more active 'let's talk about it'. Which is a shame because when the two characters talk they are full of voice. I'd rather they have a discussion and react to the events, and we learn about them through the reactions

 

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Overall: There’s certainly some interesting stuff here, I think, but at the end of the sub I’m left wondering how this chapter moves the story forward. Ti starts the chapter being angry and frustrated and,.. ends the chapter being angry and frustrated, and we’re not really in a substantially different place on p6 than we were on page 1. We don’t have enough information to substantiate the threat that Ek may or may not represent (aside from her obvious blunder) so even the “investigation” doesn’t seem like much except somebody venting frustration against a coworker.

It definitely feels like there is the basis of a solid political intrigue here, but intrigue has to have a pretty delicate balance between too much information and not enough, and right now this is definitely falling on the side of “not enough.” Plus, I’d like to see somebody take more substantive action over the course of the chapter.

As I read:

“Fire was breaking out all over the station…” A bit of a nitpick but this sounds literal until I get to the next sentence.

Why is G making a show of subservience to Ti if they all know Ti is not in charge?

Not sure what it means to be “good at” being male or female? Is this just a reference to Ti being snappish, or is there some sort of cultural knowledge bound up in these aliens’ ability to sex change?

Curious about the way the En work too. It sounds like they’ve maybe only recently attained sentience/the ability to think independently?

“...humans and their permanent genders” it’s starting to seem a bit weird that Ti is so stuck on the En who decide to present as one gender identity. (See also all of the excellent points @kais has already made about sex vs. gender and sex-swapping aliens.)

Okay, starting to have trouble keeping track of the implications of the various things that are being thrown out here. So the Bes think Ek is a god, fine. Are they same as the sad?

It’d be good to have some sense of the actual stakes here. We know they’re voting, but have no idea what the consequences of the vote are rather than finding another figurehead – and since the vote may or may not be permanent and Ek has said she’ll abide by whatever decision is made, it doesn’t hold a lot of weight.

“Who’s ready for an emergency meeting?” Okay, this is both hilarious and further convincing me that these revolutionaries do not actually know what they’re doing. If that’s what you’re aiming for I am now on board 100%.

“Who programmed this?” I mean, fair question, but it sounds like Ti has encountered this thing many times before. His annoyance here reads as mostly performative, not convincing.

Why is LN famous? It seems at last fairly common for the En to imitate the forms of their, um, masters (the language there is kind of uncomfortable, of course, but I suspect it’s supposed to be).

So obviously Ti has his own agenda, and it’s good to see that sort of confirmed here, but I’d really like something more than vaguely ominous hints about it by now.

“Background” is not terribly specific. If Ti is worried about what’s happened to Ek since things have apparently changed in the last two years, why not focus on that? “Background” sounds like, I don’t know, a standard criminal records check or something.

Similarly the comments around Ek: “investigate her background” is a bit of a letdown; Ti is hardly making a specific threat, and I don’t have a ton of faith in the ability of any of these revolutionaries to follow through on it anyway. I assume that it’s supposed to be building off the reference in the (first chapter? Prologue?) along the lines that Ek did not actually exist, but again, that’s not a particularly specific threat: I don’t know what that means for Ek, or any of the other characters, or their cause, and I’m not invested enough in the character that I’m worried about a non-specific something bad that might happen to her later if someone apparently on the same side as her decides she’s a nuisance.

I do get the sense that there are some significant things happening in the background of all this, which is great, but we’re far enough along that I would like at least some sense of what those things actually are.

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I enjoyed reading this, but like the others, I didn't see a lot of purpose for it aside from seeing T's character. It does provide a good introduction, but pairing this chapter with a more significant even might help give it a full arc.

I think @kais covered the subtleties of the gender vs. sex discussion, but I do appreciate the species design. Making the specifics absolutely clear will help it be a great worldbuilding aspect and not a point of contention.

I have to say, I actually liked T's POV better than E, but I'm wondering what is added to the story by seeing through T's eyes.

Notes while reading:

pg 1: "Fire was breaking out all over the station"
--This seems like it's literal, but then the next line says they aren't.

pg 2: "She had seemed like such a perfect choice, earlier"
--we still don't know why she seemed so perfect.

pg 3: I like the gender-changing based on temperament.

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Overall:

I still like Tik-‘s PoV better than Ek-‘s, and I like getting to see their character a little better, but I don’t think there are enough concrete things going on here. We get hints of things (suspicions of this “new” Ek-.  Some biological information about Tik- and friends.  Tik-‘s concerns over the sad-‘s religiosity), but I’m not sue where those things are going, and there wasn’t much moving us forward along the “setting up the new government” track.

I’m still curious about what’s going on and where things are going, but could have used a little more from this chapter to focus us in that direction.

Pg 1:

The literal vs. figurative fire issue again.  I like that it’s brought back at the end of the scene, but it still needs to be clearer up front that they’re not literal.

Pg 2:

“Gy- continued to frown…made her sick.”  I’m not sure what she means by Gy- acting grateful or making a show of subservience.  He doesn’t really seem to be doing those things.  Restraining his anger, maybe, but I don’t see leaving it to a vote as being subservient.  It just seems to go along with the lines of the laws and committees that should be guiding their choices. 

Pg 3:

“good at being male”  I’m not sure what is implied by this either.  Not good at what?  Do they have different social norms they’re supposed to be holding to when either male or female? Or are they trying to hold to one constant social norm, but find it more difficult when either male or female?   I’m going to leave most of the sex/gender comments to @kais, because they put already put some of that into far clearer terms than my vague sense of concern would have gotten to. But I’m not sure what being good or bad at being male is supposed to mean even before we dig into those other questions.

Pg 4:
Every time I see “sad-”, my brain immediately goes to these guys: https://twilight-imperium.fandom.com/wiki/Sardakk_N'orr  which is not entirely your fault, but I think it’s because I don’t have a good picture of what they actually look/act like in my head yet.  We’ve seen the humans. We’ve seen Tik- and his/her/their people (would they use “they” for a single individual over a stretch of time when they’ve been both male and female? Or some other pronoun?).  But we haven’t interacted with these guys as directly yet.


Pg 5:
“Religion shouldn’t have a place…”  and “…shouldn’t inform their vote…” I always get a little antsy when these sorts of comments get thrown around without context.  
With context detailing why the narrator’s worldview is starkly a-religion/anti-religion (or whatever the appropriate term would be) and therefore makes them naturally suspicious of anyone who is not? Sure.  But right now, I don’t know enough about Tik- to get where the blanket statement is coming from.  Their opposition to Ek- seems to be painting them as some sort of marginally-antagonistic force, but they seem to be the main one actually trying to get things done.
Without some basis for Tik-‘s thoughts, I have concerns about the implication that the things people believe about whatever higher powers they look to can be extricated from the rest of their worldview.  It just seems overly simplistic for a practical, intelligent character.  Even if Tik- just really hates religions.
Does it make sense that they are angry about the sad- are voting based on declared godhood? Oh yeah.  But I think the anger should probably be directed at the religious beliefs themselves that are making them vote that way, not the intersection of religion and politics.   If the religion itself is problematic and doesn’t have good reason to declare Ek- as a god (we assume this, but we don’t know anything about how the sad- came to this decision, so I don’t know for sure), go ahead and have them tear it apart for those reasons.  That it’s inconsistent. That it’s provably false. That it’s illogical.  But flatly trying to separate any and all religious beliefs from politics seems very simplistic if the world is full of various and varied religious beings.   Especially when Tik- seems to have dreams of all of those varied beings working together and combining their knowledge.
 

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On 2/1/2021 at 9:22 PM, kais said:

With that said, point 2 - you'll need to be clear and deliberate here as to what is being swapped. Is it gender, or is it biological sex? Is it both? From the narrative you seem to be describing biological sex, which would change physical appearances and some parts of brain chemistry (narrowing emotional range when moving from female to male, as an example). However gender, which is in the brain, would remain constant or maybe edge just a fraction in either direction (unless said character was, say, gender fluid). Gender is how we perceive ourselves within our society's context of gender. It is a social construct, can change over time in all humans, and is not rigid.

Thanks, these are some super helpful notes! I guess what I was thinking was more of a gender change than an actual sex change, with them being hermaphrodites but only having one set of genitals "active" at a time. (And then some secondary sexual characteristics, like the feathers, changing as well). I will definitely try to be more careful with not using gender and sex interchangeably in the future. And i will try to show more...personality change I guess? Because I'm trying to write genderfluid. Though I did not think about how that might "otherize" real genderfluid people, so...hm. I guess my characters will probably have to hang a lmapshade on that somehow. 

5 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Making the specifics absolutely clear will help it be a great worldbuilding aspect and not a point of contention.

This sounds like fantastic advice, so I will try to make it as clear as possible in the next draft. And probably refer to sex L, since that is what seems to be more applicable to them. 

4 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

The literal vs. figurative fire issue again.  I like that it’s brought back at the end of the scene, but it still needs to be clearer up front that they’re not literal.

You know, part of me was like "but it's only one sentence..." but everybody brought it up, so...

19 hours ago, Silk said:

but at the end of the sub I’m left wondering how this chapter moves the story forward

this seems to be the main problem. The main beat was kind of supposed to be "Ti wants Ek removed (and possibly killed if necessary)" but I think I need to emphasize that even more. 

19 hours ago, Silk said:

Okay, starting to have trouble keeping track of the implications of the various things that are being thrown out here. So the Bes think Ek is a god, fine. Are they same as the sad?

It’d be good to have some sense of the actual stakes here. We know they’re voting, but have no idea what the consequences of the vote are rather than finding another figurehead – and since the vote may or may not be permanent and Ek has said she’ll abide by whatever decision is made, it doesn’t hold a lot of weight

Bes is the name of one of s. I think that might be WRS, but i'm going to make sure i mentioned that earlier just in case

Thanks, this is a good point. 

4 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

It just seems overly simplistic for a practical, intelligent character.  Even if Tik- just really hates religions.

The thought with this is that the emperor ran this orwellian theocracy and since Tik has been fighting against that he is pretty jaded against religion in general. though if I'm honest theres also probably some projection in there, so I guess that's something to be sesnitive of in the future. Thanks! 

 

4 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

but I think it’s because I don’t have a good picture of what they actually look/act like in my head yet

Oh, I need to make this more clear earlier, I think, though I did put some little descriptors earlier. They look kinda like this, but without fins

Spoiler

Image result for sea angel relatives

 

4 hours ago, C_Vallion said:

would they use “they” for a single individual over a stretch of time when they’ve been both male and female? Or some other pronoun?

you know, I don't know. Personally, I'd say either is fine, but probably leans toward she/her since she spends most of her time as female. Though maybe they/them? or even xe/xer? Or maybe h/s? honestly I don't know, and will probably have characters just refer to her with female pronouns unless otherwise stated. 

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2 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

The thought with this is that the emperor ran this orwellian theocracy and since Tik has been fighting against that he is pretty jaded against religion in general. though if I'm honest theres also probably some projection in there, so I guess that's something to be sesnitive of in the future.

I got the impression that there was some sort of problematic theocracy going on, but it wasn't clear what/where that government was since we haven't seen that part of their motivation yet.  That's an entirely fair reason for Tik- to be jaded, but I think it would be helpful to make sure it's called out.  Just to make sure it's based in something instead of coming across as being flippantly dismissive of any culture or species with a religious worldview.  

2 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Oh, I need to make this more clear earlier, I think, though I did put some little descriptors earlier. They look kinda like this, but without fins

There were some descriptions, but I didn't have an actual character to tie it to. So I had vaguely been aware that the sad- were a thing and a species of that description was a thing, but had them in two separate spots in my brain. I figured they were probably the same one after reading this chapter, but that was more because we only seem to have the four different species at the moment than because I remembered it. 

Edited by C_Vallion
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On 2/3/2021 at 4:49 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

Because I'm trying to write genderfluid.

I am not genderfluid, so the usual grain of salt applies, but I think the thing to keep in mind here is that that a person who is genderfluid may shift between different gender identities regardless of what their body is doing or what sexual characteristics they exhibit (which is not the same as a change in personality, of course). What you described, both in the narrative and in your post just now, sounds more like a change in biological sex, where the body's physical characteristics shift. If these particular aliens change both biological sex AND gender identity, I think the point that @kais is making is that you need to be deliberate about communicating the fact that these aliens do both. One way of doing that is to remember that gender identity isn't going to be heterogeneous across the population. It may very well make sense that a race of sex-shifting aliens has a higher population of people who are genderfluid, but there still going to be people for whom that isn't true - there are going to people who have fixed gender identities regardless of what their body is doing.

On 2/3/2021 at 4:49 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

The main beat was kind of supposed to be "Ti wants Ek removed (and possibly killed if necessary)" but I think I need to emphasize that even more. 

Yeah, so I think the issue (for me, at least) is that this didn't really feel like a change, per se. Threatening to start an investigation isn't really that, well, threatening unless we have the context to understand why it's a threat; and the revolutionaries already seem irritable and prone to squabbling (Ti in particular) and probably out to further their own agendas. I got the impression that Ti might be willing to kill Ek, yes, but not that Ti was more or less willing to do so than before.

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20 hours ago, Silk said:

I think the point that @kais is making is that you need to be deliberate about communicating the fact that these aliens do both. One way of doing that is to remember that gender identity isn't going to be heterogeneous across the population. It may very well make sense that a race of sex-shifting aliens has a higher population of people who are genderfluid, but there still going to be people for whom that isn't true - there are going to people who have fixed gender identities regardless of what their body is doing.

Yes, this exactly. If they are gender fluid, their bodies do not change. The way they dress might, the way they act and and interact in society will, but their coloring (which in birds is so directly linked to biological sex), etc., will not. It's fine to have them change both gender and sex, but again, you need to be very specific about it. Call it out, hang a lantern on it, etc. And maybe have a touch of dialogue where one of them says 'I always find the physical changes stranger to adapt to. Changing my hats is one thing. But when my internal organs move, it is weird' or something akin. 

On 2/3/2021 at 4:49 PM, ginger_reckoning said:

with them being hermaphrodites but only having one set of genitals "active" at a time.

So....you're writing intersex characters whose hormones shift to 'activate' only one set of genitals at a time? This will be very tricky road to walk. Hormone surges are inherently sex changes in many cases, and if they happen too fast or too frequently you can just...destroy your body. So presumably your birds have adapted to that over time but we are going to need some very well-written scenes that discuss that change. But also if they are changing active genitals, they aren't gender fluid, they're sex fluid. Writing a gender fluid species would mean their bodies stay the same, but their presentation changes (in terms of their interactions with society, how they want to be addressed, perhaps how they dress, etc.).

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Better late than never to read and write up some comments, right? :)

As I go:

pg 1

-T really doesn't seem to like E much, huh? Why did she accept E acting in her current position (been a while since subs so this could have been explained)? Does she have a plan to deal with E? Right now she seems all attitude and no action. 

pg 2

-Crisis against the monstrosities? I want to know more (doesn't necessarily mean more needs to come now, but I will be watching for this)

-What traits made E good for the job then that are gone now? Still not really sure what E does tbh so that may be part of my difficulty figuring out where this assessment is coming from.

-A little thing that's been bugging me. E's been at this job for a while, right? So blurting out something to the rest of the galaxy that she immediately regrets doesn't seem like it should happen without a good reason. E seems mostly lost and while that's helpful in having us learn stuff with her it's hard for me to see the experience we're being told she has. 

pg 3

-Like other people have been saying, I think we could use some hashing out of gender/sex dynamics here. Unless otherwise specified I'm going to assume that gender in other sapient species works more or less the same way as in humans (being mostly stagnant with a few genderfluid people), which raises questions about how this combines with the sex switching. 

pg 4

-So who's voting here? Is the group that's being talked about here powerful enough to swing the vote on their own?

-Why do they see E as their god, exactly? 

pg 5

-I like T's comments here. The fact that a religious faction is swaying politics right after they deposed a god-emperor really highlights how unstable the whole situation is. This is a dynamic that I think should stay and I wouldn't mind more focus on it. 

pg 6

-Top of here is a good place to go into T's motives since we're kinda there already. I think they could be more specific. What does freedom mean to them? What does seeking and sharing knowledge look like?

-I need to know a bit more about this gut feeling of T's that E is not the same person. Also do they mean like they think she's been physically replaced by someone else or just that her personality is different?

Overall:

Agreed with everyone else that this doesn't seem to advance the story much. One thing to keep in mind is that "advancing the story" doesn't always mean flashy events. It seems like T is going to be a major PoV character in this story so they should have their own motivations, plans, arcs, ect. While one good way to edit this would be to tie it back into the larger narrative about what this means for the space station they've taken and the galaxy, ect, I also think the story needs to decide what T's narrative is going to be about, at least for the start. Once the story gets that locked down it's easier to direct the chapter so that it advances T's personal story. Right now they're fairly one-note to me. That one note is a good one and I like them as a character (especially since they seem to be right that Et isn't all that competent tbh), but I can't see where their personal tale is headed. For me that's the biggest issue right now. 

Good luck moving forward/editing! :)

 

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Okay, I'm speed critiquing because I am so behind. General impressions, no fine detail or LBLs.

- "dropped from the air. All of them" - Excellent inciting incident for the chapter, good tension, and I'm intrigued to learn more about this.

- "revealed the Resistance to the entire galaxy" - More big stakes for the story and loads of potential for conflict. I remain skeptical that the news of the Res would not have got out by now, but putting that aside, good.

- "was, in fact, dead" - This is a handy reminder of the situation, and just loads on more stakes. There are three plots strands here, and I really like how you've kind of summarised that last X-number of pages for the reader (especially helpful for me, having missed a week and having strong case of WRS).

- "stacks of paper" - Really? This is very dating, IMO.

- "No ship can teleport within twenty astronomical units of the station" - Why is that? It's been mentioned before, I think, but I'm not sure if there ever was an explanation.

- A servant would not use their supervisor's first name in this very familiar way. Unless 'K_e_x' is a title, but assumed it was a name.

- At the end of Page 1, I'm enjoying being in KT's POV. They have loads of attitude, loads of stress, trying to manage all these stresses. It's good. I feel their pain.

- Just because I'm not calling LBL stuff, I wouldn't want you to think that there were not a bunch of grammar, word choice, etc. issues with this chapter, because there are ;) 

- I like the conflict here, the argument between KT and Gy. There are still 'foundational' elements to the story that I struggle with. I have never been convicted as to why they chose Ek as a figure head. Her POV chapters did nothing to convince me that she was suitable, and no logical explanation was ever proffered that stood up to any examination, IMO.

- "to make of big show of his subservience" - I've never been aware of anything like this from Gy, not in the slightest that I can remember. He's always been quite high-handed, IMO.

- "jaw thrust forward" - See? This is the opposite of him being subservient.

- "A swap—brought on by the stress" - Excellent detail, completely logical in the circumstances. I like it, and then the section rounds off nicely. What I don't get from this though is much sense of plot progression. This scene set up some nice details, and had some nice character moments, but it didn't really do much to move the plot on. Okay, they're going to have another meeting, having just had a meeting. Ek has for of resigned, but hasn't. As a I say, not a lot of forward motion, but I did enjoy TK's POV. Her first, I think?

- "his feathers a vibrant, masculine green" - Okay, confused now. Isn't orange the masculine colour? Having multiple colours for the same thing is confusing, or having two races doing the same thing but with different colours, also confusing.

- "I was never good at being male" - This is an excellent line. I like it. It's humorous, and yet also poignant and carries meaning for the character, and background for the species.

- "You test the bounds of my apology" - Another enjoyable line.

- "looking out of place in the space station" - Uh-oh...hidden assassin!!!

- "as they slumped in their seats" - This is not so great, as it lumps them all together and describes them with one characteristic. It's very unlikely that the humans are all equally tired, so this comes across to me like lazy description.

- "shook himself from his reverie" - Pretty clichéd, IMO.

- "Ek is God in their mind now" - This bit lacks impact for me, because there were loads of names flying around, names that I either (a) could not remember from previous subs (my bad), or; (b) haven't really been introduced, and therefore the reader cannot really react with any great knowledge. One of those things admittedly would be my fault to some degree.

- "Running mediator.exe" - You...can't... be serious! They are running Windows????!!!!!! My immersion in the story just went blue screen and the real world intruded, dumping me out of the scene.

- "Who’s ready for an emergency meeting?" - LMAO :lol:  'Good morning, Vietnam!!'

- "TT leaned forward. The famous human enod? This would be interesting." - Hmm. I kind of underwhelmed by his reaction. Is this not more surprising? He was thinking how subservient the En were (wasn't he?), so is the fact of one taking the lead here not more surprising, like jaw on the floor surprising?

- "admired most about his mate" - Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Nothing in KT's reaction to Z in this chapter suggested a reaction to a mate, and nothing in KT's inner monologue indicated that Z was his/her mate until now. That feels like withholding to me. I think that needs to be up front. I don't think it's plausible that KT would not think of Z are his/her mate during the chapter, before now.

- PROBLEM: "something must be done" - You've skipped the argument at the meeting, so I don't know how to react to anything now. It feels like things are being deliberately withheld from me for dramatic effect, and I don't appreciate that. It feels very artificial.

- Okay, so what happened is now described in retrospect, which is always less compelling and involving that seeing it play out. 'Here's what you missed' doesn't seem fair when I was right here, and didn't go anywhere, but did have the opportunity to see the tension play out.

A more important problem, IMO, is that I never felt any tension around Ek being removed. I'm not invested in her being the leader, and never have been, so the fact or her being removed is like...meh, whatever. It feels like the least important thing that's going on right now. I was enthused at the start by all these big galaxy-spanning issue they have to deal with and, as I say, this seems like the least interesting thing going on right now.

- "Religion shouldn’t have a place in politics" - naive.

- "I am not disagreeing with you, dear" - See, this is what I meant. I feel that this was withheld in earlier dialogue. I don't think there was any reason to do that. I think it should be upfront that these two a hitched. If my wife walks into the room, that's my wife walking into the room, not a fellow delegate.

- "Just helping you be objective" - :lol::lol::lol::lol: 

- "And should the need arise…find a way to neutralize her" - Nope, hang on. He's just asked Z to investigate her. If you're investigating her, the need to neutralise here will NEVERE ARISE. It has not part in investigating someone, it's a whole other thing. I'm not saying you can't have this end to the chapter, I'm just saying that the instruction from TK to Z needs to be something that would logically encompass neutralising her. Something like, 'Monitor her activities, we must ensure she doesn't make any more pan-galactic pronouncements. If it looks like she will, neutralise her.'

- "would not let that human burn it all to the ground" - This is a neat way to finish, but because it brings the focus back to the lack of buy-in that I have to the central conceit of the story. I still don't believe that or under why the rebels would set Ek up as their figurehead. It makes no sense. It's not plausible, IMO, the way things are set up at the moment, and that undermines everything else for me.

Thanks for sharing. Hope these comments are still of some use :) 

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There is already a lot of feedback and I am really late, so I'll keep it short. 

I liked seeing how and why this characters was going to be getting in Ek's way. I get a general sense of T's motivations. However, I was not too engaged in T's POV. I was getting to Ek and for now, would rather just stick with the point of view. 

I was also a little confused about how Ti's gender changed. It wasn't entirely clear to me what prompted the change. Does that species code certain feelings or actions to different genders? Does it vary from person to person? Is there any way to control it? What if they don't want to change? What if the physical change conflicts with their gender?

With all the talk of the E's staying loyal to the humans, I was curious to see if L would go against what Ek wanted because it seemed to be going in that direction. And I still think I'd rather be in Ek's POV when a whole species declares her a deity. 

Edited by shatteredsmooth
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So so late, sorry! 

I think there has been very carefull coverage already, so I'll just chime in with something I don't think has been mentioned.

It's POV has a ton of personality, and I love that. My only problem was that for how intensely T seems to be feeling, their thoughts balance very reasonably. This, but also that. The decision T comes to and their interactions seem to be building towards an extreme decision, which they do, but on the way their thoughts seem very moderate. Like things someone would say while they were angry and venting, but not their unfiltered feelings/thoughts durring a crisis. 

That was just my impression.

Again, sorry for readi g so late!

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