"Circle of Life" (Sentinel/Stargate)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 29th July 2001 (5)

I looked at this initially in the hope that it might be a sequel to "The Ridiculous and the Obscure" but it wasn't. It doesn't appear to be related, anyway, though it has the common thread that Daniel and Blair were friends in College.

I'm torn about this one, because the idea is delicious, but I can't buy it. The name set-up worked nicely, but I couldn't believe that the woman was who she was said to be; not enough resemblance. Let alone resemblance between the other two parties supposed to resemble each other... (how's that for avoiding spoilers?)

This is a one-idea story, written with the author's usual good style, but it didn't work for me.

"Eavesdropping" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (8)

This one made me feel bad. I'm not of the school of thought that thought Christine (in Cypher) was a bitch, so reading a story which turns her into a shallow selfish gold-digger really left a bad taste in my mouth. Wish I hadn't read it.

"The Grocery List" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (11)

That was fun. Sharp lean style, little quips in there. When one can manage to do a dialogue-only piece (or in this case, dialogue plus shopping list), and it works, that makes things even more interesting. Loved the "lean ground beef", "purina hippie chow" and "extra ammo" items.

"Home Invasion" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (14)

Lol! Ah, what fun. Improbable, but a delightfully worthwhile antidote to all those Hurt Blair stories out there.

"Jimmy and the Easter Eggs" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (12)

A nice little Jim's-childhood story. And it wasnt angsty! Just nice. I liked how Jimmy was unselfish. And that Grace wasn't portrayed as a horrible person.

"Merging Traffic" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (10)

A post-Sentinel Too story. A very intriguing idea, well-presented. Crept up upon. I like the way that Blair made Jim realize what was going on. I'd really like to see this followed up on, it's too much fun to leave it at one little short story! So what if it's AU. I like AU. Well, I like some AU. And I like this one. Did I mention that I like this?

"O.J." (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th June 2000 (2)

Drabble, therefore very short. But it got a laugh out of me!

"Obfustcator" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 12th August 2001 (7)

An interesting little What-if? Alternative Universe story. What if Jim had been invalided out of the army for his zone-outs? This is a first-person told from Blair's point of view... a Blair who is slightly different from the Blair we know (well, I think so!). I don't think Steven would be like that either... though it isn't so very far from possibility. This story is really just an introduction, but I doubt very much there will be a sequel, alas.

"The Ridiculous And The Obscure" (Stargate/Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (7)

I liked this! Looking at the whole TSbyBS mess from another point of view. And just showing that those who really know someone, or who are interested in the truth, wouldn't believe the honourable lie. And I liked the parallel drawn between Daniel and Blair. I would really like to see this followed up, a sequel or something.

"Ring A Bell?" (Sentinel/Xena)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (9)

This one is more for the Xena fans, I found it hard to follow. I vaguely know who Joxer is, but not really well enough to appreciate it.

"Small World" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 23rd October 2000

That was lovely. The way that Blair can cast light and affirmation about, just by being himself. I can't really say much more, because it's a very short story, and anything more would be spoilers. I wish it were longer, or that she would write a sequel.

"Stick Figures" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 17th July 2002 (3)

The interesting thing about this story is the style. Someone else might have taken the same events, and made of them a trite and flimsy thing. But this story, it was sanded smooth, slowly showing the grain beneath.

"Thief of Hearts" (Sentinel/Highlander)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th June 2000 (1)

This was good. I must admit, I get an extra kick out of Highlander crossovers where the mortals don't find out about immortality, where no-one dies and becomes immortal - even though I enjoy the other kind too. This was very good. Amanda was so Amanda. And Jim & Blair were themselves too, though this was mostly from Amanda's point of view. This had one of the things I like about crossovers - getting to see Our Heroes from someone else's point of view. We saw Amanda looking at them, and we saw (a little) Blair reading the Chronicle. I enjoyed this. (Warning: M for implied hanky panky)

"Till Human Voices Wake Us" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th August 2000

A post-Sentinel Too story, that I didn't want to read until I'd actually seen the episode. This was well done, particularly the initial segment when you are trying to figure out whose point of view it is, and you realize, and you say, oh my. Sympathetic and in character for Jim and Blair. And the last line hits you there.

This story was nominated in the 2000 Cascade Times Awards in the "best epilogue" category.

"The Wall" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th January 2001

A pensive and thoughtful piece, well-written. I can't say much more, for fear of spoilers, since it was quite short. I liked the stylishness of the opening paragraph, the pictures painted, the way you weren't beaten over the head.

A Sense of Honor

(1) "A Sense of Honor (One)" (Sentinel/Vorkosiverse)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 11th October 2000 (1)

This is so cool! Two of my favourite things together: The Sentinel, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan universe. And it fits so well! James Vorellison, military man, Barrayaran aristocrat, prisoner of war with a secret shame. Blair Sandburg, cosmopolitan Betan anthropologist, finding his life's work -- a Sentinel.

A perfect blending of both worlds, with all these little touches and details (like Naomi's "single-parent licence" or the fact that Blair spent a year on Athos, the offhand remarks about Jackson's Whole, and so on). I don't know how someone who wasn't familiar with Lois McMaster Bujold's work would cope reading this story -- there are a number of subtle details that they would miss (one of them, at the end, quite important in its implications). But I like the subtlety of the details very much.

The characterisations are spot on: James is reserved, suspicious, short-tempered with a tendency to use violence, honourable, dutiful. Blair is enthusiastic, academic, non-violent, freethinking, been everywhere, man... The little we see of Naomi is good too.

This is terrific! The possibilities are fascinating. I can't wait (even though I have to) for the next one.

(2) "A Sense of Honor (Two)" (Sentinel/Vorkosiverse)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 29th July 2001 (13)

I was looking forward to this one. More of the story of a What If Blair Sandburg and James Ellison had been born into Lois McMaster Bujold's far-future "Vorkosigan" universe. (It's a bit hard to figure out what to call the universe... I've chosen to call it after one of the planets, Barrayar, which is better than calling it after the family name of some of the characters -- Vorkosigan -- because the Vorkosigans don't turn up at all here!) This is the sequel to "A Sense of Honor One" and follows on immediately from it. You absolutely need to read the first one first. I like, again, the way the Barrayar universe stuff is woven in as needed; it fits very well. Some things didn't fit with Barrayar though -- "bus" and "taxicab" and a few other terms really jarred.

It felt too short. There were things I would have liked to have seen in much more detail. For example, I would have liked to have savoured every moment of Blair's appointment with Barrayaran Imperial Security; instead we only get a taste.

I liked the character of Carolyn (what we saw of her), and it was nice to see cameos of various well-known names. Megan was a bit of a cypher, though. On the upside, there were some choice remarks scattered all through, which I can't repeat because they would be spoilers.

Sparrowhawk Sandburg

(1) "Sparrowhawk Sandburg series" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 30th July 2000 (6)

This series of stories (no, I can't remember all the titles right now) about Blair Sandburg's half-sister, Sparrowhawk Rainbow Sandburg (aka Beau), is okay. I don't really buy the Consort thing (being a conservative person who will readily point out that even the term "Guide" isn't strictly canonical, and therefore tossing in other Titles besides Sentinel and Guide may perhaps be going a bit far) but, anyway, it's enjoyable enough. Actually, my favourite is the WWII Drabbles because of the nifty ideas of the origins of a few things, like the Golden Fire People etc. And I like Sandburg's grandmother (whom we see in Mimsy's Wedding!)