KSK

First Flight (Epilogue and Last Thoughts)

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I really tried to push reading the new chapters further and further into the future to prolong the time I would have to read more. But then I read the last 3-4 chapters in a single day and only just finished the epilogue in bed now.

I won't come up with 450.000 words so I won't even try and make it short:

Well done. Very well.

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Well, I think you've written just about the best thing on this site.

Wait, let me check...

Yup, definitely.

Man, what year is it?

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Just finished reading this after most of a week blitzing through it. If I can write something a tenth as good, it’ll be more than enough for me- that was amazing!
I particularly liked how you managed to incorporate pretty much the entirety of the Scottish national anthem (Flower of Kolus, indeed :wink:).

 

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On 5/16/2020 at 1:54 PM, jimmymcgoochie said:

Just finished reading this after most of a week blitzing through it. If I can write something a tenth as good, it’ll be more than enough for me- that was amazing!
I particularly liked how you managed to incorporate pretty much the entirety of the Scottish national anthem (Flower of Kolus, indeed :wink:).

You're selling yourself seriously short there - just keep doing what you're doing with Audacity! Glad you liked First Flight and thanks for dropping by to say so!

And thanks to everyone else for a lovely set of comments to cap this whole experience with. You folks are the best.

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I've finished the PDF version of First Flight which, in true First Flight fashion, has ended up a bit longer than originally planned. Basically, I've included, with some help from @KSK (much appreciated), a bunch of appendices of First Flight related stuff off the forums (maps, cast/crew list, random worldbuilding, Old Kerba and some other odds and ends).
Anyway download it here.

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Not a problem - helping to put the appendices together was fun!

On a related note, I vaguely remember a discussion about background notes for First Flight happening somewhere up-thread. Those notes are not included in @LordOfTheNorth's fine compilation because I didn't want to add a bunch of random notes and scribbles to his nicely curated bonus material, but if anyone is curious (and sends me a suitable email address), I can forward them on.

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1 minute ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

Quick question, not a poke, but how is the pdf conversion coming? Did I already miss it?

It's done, the link's a couple of posts back up (it should be working).

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, LordOfTheNorth said:

It's done, the link's a couple of posts back up (it should be working).

Ah, thank you much.

 

Note: SEVEN MEGS, GOOD LORD

 

Second Note: OH MY GOD HOW MANY PAGES!?! OVER 1100!?!?!

Edited by Kerballing (Got Dunked On)

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SPOILER WARNING

 

I just got past the chapter of Ornie's... *sniffs* funeral and I'm... actually crying IRL right now... this is the first time I have ever read the majority of this series... when something makes you cry, that's when you know it's really good.

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I just finished getting caught up, and wow. Thank you KSK for writing such a masterpiece that I have had the pleasure of reading over the years.

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I finished reading it... HOLY CRAP. Apparently I've never read any of this apart from the epilogue, though some parts did seem familiar there was nothing I had distinctly remembered reading before.

Quote

KSLV-0001 Lodan Kerman

OH MY GOD I CRIED.

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Bravo.  A read I started seven years ago and haven't forgotten about since.  Well done, and thank you.

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20 hours ago, mstachowsky said:

Bravo.  A read I started seven years ago and haven't forgotten about since.  Well done, and thank you.

And thank you in return for not forgetting. Seven years is a long time to wait for the end of a story and I truly appreciate everyone who stuck with it and who kept coming back for more even when the updates were coming at a snail's pace!

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And thus ends KSP's greatest literary epic. Thank you, KSK.

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Posted (edited)

I hope, to spare @KSK's sanity, he doesn't try to write one for KSP 2. Mind you, if its half as good as this one I'll still shower him with rep, but seven years must have taken a toll. So thank you for finishing this story, even while it was 7 years in the making. 

Edited by KerBlitz Kerman

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1 hour ago, KerBlitz Kerman said:

I hope, to spare @KSK's sanity, he doesn't try to write one for KSP 2. Mind you, if its half as good as this one I'll still shower him with rep, but seven years must have taken a toll. So thank you for finishing this story, even while it was 7 years in the making. 

Well, since you mention it, KSP2’s interstellar expansion and colony focus does naturally lend itself to further the story... tho at the way things are going, @KSK could take another seven years and still beat it to release. :P

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On 6/16/2020 at 10:40 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, since you mention it, KSP2’s interstellar expansion and colony focus does naturally lend itself to further the story... tho at the way things are going, @KSK could take another seven years and still beat it to release. :P

Oh shush, don't jinx us. Besides, I don't think we've had an official release about that, have we? Just rumors?

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On 6/16/2020 at 9:40 PM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, since you mention it, KSP2’s interstellar expansion and colony focus does naturally lend itself to further the story... tho at the way things are going, @KSK could take another seven years and still beat it to release. :P

*twitches gently*  Another dried frog pill? Why yes, that would be most agreeable if you'd be so kind.

Joking aside, @JakeGrey wrote this rather good snippet that would tie nicely into the end of First Flight. Which isn't too surprising since it inspired much of Joenie's story arc. :) Right now though, I think it's unlikely that either Jake or myself (assuming that Jake was cool with that) are going to build on that snippet - I know that I'm not ready to dive back into another KSP novel.

So for now, a big thank you to @KerBlitz Kerman for the kind words and sound advice. :)

And on a completely non-KSP related note, have a very early sneak peek at the next work in progress. As in, so early that I'm just noodling around with it and such niceties as actual characters and internal consistencies are a Problem for Another Day. It's almost certainly just going to be a short story since I don't have a plot in mind so much as a single, hopefully cool, scene to build up to.

 

Spoiler

The suit painted a blurry, lime flavoured diamond across my visual cortex. Muttering under my breath, I narrowed my eyes, squinting at each corner in turn. A tingle ran up my ocular muscles, making me shiver and, with a fleeting odour of piano music, the cross snapped into focus and disappeared.

“Dammit, Joe - when was the last time you calibrated this thing?”

“Is it still giving you cross-talk?”

“And tap-dancing across my eyeballs.”

“Ahh – nothing I can do about that. Sensors weren’t designed for your thick skull is all.”

“Very funny.” I triggered the start-up sequence and waited for usual sensation of sitting on top of my own skull to pass. The systems came online in a rush of hyper-awareness, the life-support systems feeling reassuringly hale and hearty, the power core sitting like a knot of anticipation in my stomach, straining for release.

My sensorium expanded. Neutrino flux from the nearby star echoed in my ears like the sound of surf lapping against a distant shore. I leaned into the criss-crossing gravity fields around me, like a groundside sailor testing the wind. The warm electromagnetic fields threaded through the ship’s hull membrane tugged against my skin like a silken net, smooth and lustrous.

“Luckily for you, everything else in this blimp pod seems to be working. Okay – I’m moving out.”           

The membrane peeled away from me as it flowed back into place. I flicked a command at the suit systems, taking bearings on the ship and the nearest stellar point sources, before shutting off the interface and taking a moment to look around me with my good old-fashioned h. sapiens eyeballs. Call me a hairy-knuckled throwback if you like but I still say it’s the only way to get that genuine floating-in-space sense of awe. And if I ever lose that it’s time I was out of this business.

At first glance, Beta was nothing particularly special. Just another hunk of cosmic rock, about two Old Earth radii wide if I was any judge, and no discernible atmosphere. Alpha, on the other hand, was spectacular. A Neptune sized gas giant, ringed with a diffuse halo of ice particles. I frowned. Even to these h. sapiens eyeballs, something didn’t look quite right. The suit translated me fifty klicks, my view of the ring shifting as it did.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, KSK said:

*twitches gently*  Another dried frog pill? Why yes, that would be most agreeable if you'd be so kind.

Joking aside, @JakeGrey wrote this rather good snippet that would tie nicely into the end of First Flight. Which isn't too surprising since it inspired much of Joenie's story arc. :) Right now though, I think it's unlikely that either Jake or myself (assuming that Jake was cool with that) are going to build on that snippet - I know that I'm not ready to dive back into another KSP novel.

So for now, a big thank you to @KerBlitz Kerman for the kind words and sound advice. :)

And on a completely non-KSP related note, have a very early sneak peek at the next work in progress. As in, so early that I'm just noodling around with it and such niceties as actual characters and internal consistencies are a Problem for Another Day. It's almost certainly just going to be a short story since I don't have a plot in mind so much as a single, hopefully cool, scene to build up to.

 

  Hide contents

The suit painted a blurry, lime flavoured diamond across my visual cortex. Muttering under my breath, I narrowed my eyes, squinting at each corner in turn. A tingle ran up my ocular muscles, making me shiver and, with a fleeting odour of piano music, the cross snapped into focus and disappeared.

 

“Dammit, Joe - when was the last time you calibrated this thing?”

 

“Is it still giving you cross-talk?”

 

“And tap-dancing across my eyeballs.”

 

“Ahh – nothing I can do about that. Sensors weren’t designed for your thick skull is all.”

 

“Very funny.” I triggered the start-up sequence and waited for usual sensation of sitting on top of my own skull to pass. The systems came online in a rush of hyper-awareness, the life-support systems feeling reassuringly hale and hearty, the power core sitting like a knot of anticipation in my stomach, straining for release.

 

My sensorium expanded. Neutrino flux from the nearby star echoed in my ears like the sound of surf lapping against a distant shore. I leaned into the criss-crossing gravity fields around me, like a groundside sailor testing the wind. The warm electromagnetic fields threaded through the ship’s hull membrane tugged against my skin like a silken net, smooth and lustrous.

 

“Luckily for you, everything else in this blimp pod seems to be working. Okay – I’m moving out.”           

 

The membrane peeled away from me as it flowed back into place. I flicked a command at the suit systems, taking bearings on the ship and the nearest stellar point sources, before shutting off the interface and taking a moment to look around me with my good old-fashioned h. sapiens eyeballs. Call me a hairy-knuckled throwback if you like but I still say it’s the only way to get that genuine floating-in-space sense of awe. And if I ever lose that it’s time I was out of this business.

 

At first glance, Beta was nothing particularly special. Just another hunk of cosmic rock, about two Old Earth radii wide if I was any judge, and no discernible atmosphere. Alpha, on the other hand, was spectacular. A Neptune sized gas giant, ringed with a diffuse halo of ice particles. I frowned. Even to these h. sapiens eyeballs, something didn’t look quite right. The suit translated me fifty klicks, my view of the ring shifting as it did.

 

 

 

Holy crap is that sci-fi? Just one thought, maybe be a bit more explicit about it being a neural interface. It feels like the content of an Asimov book, but a different writing style (which is good because while Asimov wrote some very amazing books I feel like it's an exercise in futility to understand them). Please keep the friendly bickering (or rivalry). Seems good!

 

EDIT: by ocular muscles do you mean ocular nerve?

Edited by KerBlitz Kerman

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Wow...

I've been puzzling over what to say for way too long but I'll say that this story's last few chapters did not disappoint, a rollercoaster that actually made me feel … quite a few things actually. That alone puts it up with those relatively few works I consider greats and I am deeply honoured by the mention in the end notes.

Since I first started visiting these forums years ago, I've tended to gravitate toward the fanfiction section (a common trend with me), yes I visit other places but here is where I come back to (event though I actually look at very few) and in particular, this story is what I would return to whenever I decided to come back and look around, as I did today. To see a work of such quality reach completion is … (I can't think of a word). Too often a great work like these will be swallowed by circumstance and fade away unfinished.

I know the praise is all so common here but I would also like to add my thanks for this work to you and those who assisted in the creation, especially the PDF release. I don't exaggerate when I say that I was incredibly excited to see a neat, well formatted manuscript and the appendices! I love worldbuilding and with the various explanations all in one place is much appreciated.

As a final thought, I must also thank you again for sharing your writing process back in 2017, I still keep those notes handy.

And now, I submit my addition to the tide of tribute rendered to this titan of KSP fan fiction and bid it farewell*. to @KSK I thank you

 

Sincerely

AviosAdku

* Not that I won't read this again (although it will probably be the PDF version that gets the most use going forward). The end of this era deserved, in my opinion a degree of flowery sentiment.

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And I'm deeply honoured in return by your final thought. You're very welcome - it's moments like that when you know you've made a difference!

I'm also sincerely glad that the last few chapters did not disappoint. In the end I found it quite difficult to pull all the various plot threads together in a sensible way and I was always very aware of the big time-skip between the last two chapters and the even bigger skip between the last chapter and the epilogue. I still think that was the right way to do it but one could also reasonably argue that those two time skips glossed over quite a lot of stuff!

Anyhow - enough introspection!  I shall take the flowery sentiment with gratitude. :) 

 

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@KSK

I  am both humbled and honored to be mentioned as a contributor to this amazing work. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 

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