Reviews for Just a Computer
Aviantei chapter 1 . 6/25/2017
Summer greetings, Soror! A bit late, but no time like the present, yeah? In any event, let's review your first piece of summer!

I knew from reading you summary this would touch on me. The humanity of artificial intelligences has been a topic that's stuck with me since I went through the .hack/ series. As your piece shows, the emotional connections are real, regardless if the body is biological.

The scene of someone needing to prepare their own birthday party sent a twang up my heart. The physical limitations of being a computer are not fun.

On the criticism side, this story was handled mostly in exposition. Since it seems like you're adding a level of character reflection over canon events, this is fine for a fic. But it's always a good idea to practice showing over telling. Try out writing out actions and scenes to show the emotions you want and see where it gets you.

But of course, the most important part is to keep on writing. You got this. Keep on going and growing, and I'll see you at the end of summer!

-Avi
FullMentalPanic chapter 1 . 6/9/2017
Partly because there are so few Dragonback fics, but also because I liked the way you wrote it, I enjoyed reading this. You're able to communicate emotion effectively without getting overly sappy about it, and the characters all came across clearly even though we're seeing everything from Uncle Virge's biased perspective.

It's interesting to think Virgil might have died from natural causes. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but I was under the impression it was a heist gone wrong. Or maybe it was a combination? Anyway, I love how Uncle Virge is aware of his limitations and is doing what he can to overcome them. It may be the single most humanizing aspect of his characterization. It's fantastic how clear it is that Draycos and Uncle Virge don't get along even if they can effectively work together. Though Jack doesn't get much dialogue, he still comes across distinctly as someone who is trying to change, is determined, and is wise to Uncle Virge's machinations. Good compliance to canon, and you even give us some emotional payoff with the ending. I seriously thought this was a great piece.
Chronic Guardian chapter 1 . 6/7/2017
Well, Sororina, I must say your pacing and framing has improved since the last time I read your work! It's especially impressive that you got through this with only five lines of dialogue. Exposition heavy pieces are difficult for budding writers to pull off, but you've done wonderfully here.

Your development of Virge as an independent thinking entity with a distinct purpose goes a long way to humanizing him despite his more mechanical elements. Just as Zahn does in the original, you successfully suggest and display feeling without being overly hamhanded about it.

In critical notes, some of these names being thrown around might be a little much for a self-framed one shot. Note how you say "Mercenary school" and "Slave plantation" instead of "Whinyard's Edge" and "Brummgan plantation". You use words the audience can already understand without context. That said, it might be a good idea to frame the Valugua/Shontine conflict in broader terms. Plus, that would give you the added bonus of showing Virge's uninvested attitude on the matter.

Additionally, I'm not sure Virgil would go so far as to say "please" to a computerized copy of himself. Would he treat Virge as another person, or more as a clone that's already on the same page? I feel you could get away with a more "these are your orders" tone without sacrificing the emotional impact.

But hey, that's just me. Read it over for yourself and see what you think.

On a good ending note, the last few lines really strike gold in the Virge/Jack relationship. You do a good job of uncovering that deep bond with only a few succinct lines.

On the whole, you are improving greatly. I look forward to what you offer next, Sororina!
Yours,
-CG
poeticlandmermaid chapter 1 . 6/6/2017
I almost ugly cried, there.. I love the element of humanity you gave Uncle Virge - the longing and the rejection and the loyalty. Beautiful. The birthday bit almost destroyed me! But what a way to wrap it up - his purpose is revealed perfectly!
laughingbelle chapter 1 . 6/6/2017
I love this fic. I think it showed the foundation of Uncle Virge really well. It's really interesting to me, the idea that artificial intelligence could have "feelings" of resentment and such. I really want to read this series now :D