Well readers, it was a several month journey getting here.
Work first started on Fireteam Freelance at the end of February. At the time, I had no idea how it would turn out. An episodic series? Posted for free, as it was written, with no editing, directly to the site? This was one of those experimental things that sounded interesting, but there were a lot of question about how it would turn out. Now, six months later and with the last entry in the series complete, uploaded, and posted, and with an audience that’s been following every episode of the journey, it’s time for me to ask: what did you guys think?
I have my own thoughts on Freelance, but I’ll be posting those tomorrow. With this post I want to hear from you readers. Those that read it, those that bounced off of it … the gamut. Freelance was experimental, embracing a lot of things that made it different from my more usual, published stuff. It was episodic, which meant that the content of each episode always had to feature the same elements, unlike a book chapter which could count on a reader having read prior chapters.
Basically, there was a lot different about Freelance, and while I’ve got my own thoughts on its performance, what worked, and what definitely didn’t, I’d like to hear from you readers that spent the last six months following it. I want to hear what you liked about it, but also what you didn’t like about it, what you felt worked or didn’t, and/or even what left you feeling cold.
Because again, Freelance was experimental. An exercise in stretching out and trying something new to see how it worked, to see what I could do with it and what readers would think.
Rather than sell something so volatile and unpredictable (after all, it could fail utterly as a fun product), I decided to make it free and see what would happen.
So anyway, this is your big chance to tell me what you thought. And I’m looking forward to hearing it. As I said, I have my own thoughts on it that I’ll post tomorrow, but for now? I’m interested in hearing what you guys thought and think of the adventure now that it’s over.
5 thoughts on “Fireteam Freelance: The Feedback Post”
It was definitely fun and interesting for me to read, though the fact that it hadn’t been proofread was obvious enough to be a little annoying.
I think the coolest thing that was explored here that really hadn’t been in your previous works were the cosmetic gene-mods. It slotted interestingly into the world that had genetic and cybernetic soldier boosts and a lack of visible aliens. (The gene-mod implications for human trafficking were extra-horrifying, by the way. Whole new layers of wrongness there. Very thought-provoking.)
I felt that you did a good job of representing Owl’s breakdown, though that was probably my least favorite part of the experience. Losing the Commander kinda hollowed her out.
Anvil’s tank collection, as well as her geeking out over new weapons tech, was pretty fun.
It did feel weird that the group took so long to realize at the blacksite that the armatures were robots rather than people, especially given that they’d already noticed how unnaturally still they had been in videos of Bora. (I think they also theorized during said video that those “soldiers” were really bots?)
I did appreciate the cleverness of holding back the jamming grenade for the surprise reversal, but why’d they hold on to that ace-in-the-hole for so long? Did they know that Bora would want to inspect them in-person before killing them?
Speaking of Bora, I can’t say I really felt a connection with her or Piggy the way I do with Eidre. Eidre, to me, is chilling and dread-inspiring, while those other two I look at and think “Golly, they sure are evil.”
Over all, I enjoyed Fireteam Freelance.
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It started out kinda slow for me, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters at first because there wasn’t much characterization. The background interview interludes helped a lot, and I began enjoying the episodes a lot more as I got to know the characters better. Action for the sake of action is too much like Michael Bay films (which I don’t watch, they are so monotonous) — for me, action works much better when it makes sense.
I think my favorite episode was the one where Owl was out shopping and had the run-in with gang members. I read it while waiting in line in a parking lot to enter a Home Depot in Los Gatos CA, I could relate to the throngs of people in the marketplace.
I thought the vast majority of the action sequences were very effectively written. The last episode felt a bit over the top, however, with the end boss being so formidable that the fire team had to assume almost unbelievable super superhuman abilities/endurance in order to survive. But I was happy to see the team members get to Pisces, and am looking forward to them helping save the universe in Starforge!
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[…] that there’s more time for readers to post their thoughts to the reader feedback post. A day (less, really) isn’t enough time for most people to respond, and most people react when […]
I completely enjoyed the episodic nature of this story. The build-up in each episode was great, and I loved the action, it was always completely in character, fit with the story, and was intense to the point it had my complete attention and enjoyment.
(Side note – I am one of those goof balls that enjoys Michael Bay films – at least the first few times watching. Boom! Blam! Good times. ;-P )
I was crushed when they lost the commander. Her heroic and tragic sacrifice was a shock, and I felt as empty as Owl with her gone. The way you wrote her and the rest of the teams reaction to her sacrifice was relatable and felt entirely spot on.
I have to agree with Bugsydor. Your descriptions of the gene-modifications on the sex slaves was believable, and horrific. Not somewhere I would have thought to go – and yet your taking the story there showed a dark and entirely believable side of what is clearly possible, especially with our less than angelic human nature. So, uncomfortable as it was, kudos to you for exposing it, and introducing your readers to the darker aspects of this universe and humanity within it.
Overall, this story was a page burner, and 100% a keeper.
If you ever release this as an ebook it is going into my collection. 🙂
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[…] you’ve given me your thoughts (and if you haven’t, well it’s too late now). Now it’s my turn to offer you mine. […]