Sound Off in the Forum

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Burden of Proof review: Author's response

Thank you for a very nice review. What else can I say? I'm certainly glad that my experiment with 'JAG in space' is working well in your eyes. I hope your review hopes boost the sales, lest Paul Sinclair's career come to an abrupt halt at the hand of the publisher's accountants.

One thing I did want to let you know is that the whole Greenspace episode wasn't really thrown in for laughs. I had two reasons for the episode. The first was to illustrate the sort of operations Navy ships are most likely to find themselves engaged in (as opposed to all those space battles). The second reason was to show how Paul himself had changed, though I realize from your review that I should've emphasized that reason more clearly. Paul's at the point where he's been so deeply immersed in his job and the Navy that he's become mentally as well as physically isolated from larger society. Hence his shock at seeing the 'hippies.' Lieutenant Sindh's talk with Paul afterwards was about making Paul aware of how he'd changed. And you'll note I did have Commander Sykes defend the group. But to Paul they were primarily the people who'd messed up something his ship was going to do and caused a lot of extra trouble... (I should've had exactly that line put in somewhere).

The fact that I have to explain that means I didn't write the scene as well as I should've. Rats.

I didn't, to the best of my memory, ever directly encounter Greenpeace. I know I sometimes received the usual warnings they might try something. But the closest I ever came to that sort of civil disobedience was off Vieques (Puerto Rico) where civilian fishing boats had a tendency to deliberately sail into firing areas to protest the Navy's use of the island as a firing range. It's funny, but as I recall we didn't really get angry at people protesting, but we did get upset when they did something unsafe (especially if it was something that might've caused our own ship to inadvertantly injure them).

But then the military's gotten more conservative in political bent since then so perhaps that's not still the case.

Thank you again for the review. It means a lot to me to receive praise like that from a hard-to-please reviewer. Next time I'm beating my head against the keyboard in the dark marches of the night I'll be able to remember that somebody thinks I'm not wasting my and the readers' time.

All my best, John