Reviews for Tying the Gordian Knot
Ominae chapter 24 . 8/16/2006
Not a bad story...

A good one.
Cheah chapter 20 . 6/13/2005
Much better than previously, in my opinion.

Well, I think there's a bug somewhere. Very, very, occasionally, a line or two in your paragraphs suddenly appears as a new paragraph. Hmm...

The thing on peripheral vision is the first time I've seen anything like it outside my research notes. I'd say well done. I'd also add in that one loses fine motor control, heartbeat and breathing rates goes way up, one can't think very well...

But then, I think that'll make it too complicated.

In my opinion, 'point and click' won't get anyone anywhere in shooting. I've heard of people missing targets at point blank because they didn't aim, and I've seen someone miss a human-sized, brightly lit target at the 25m live-fire range before...because he didn't aim.

I don't have much experience in the field of hacking and electronic warfare, but from what I do know...the online attack seemed real enough, though I think the hacker has the capability to do a lot worse...and I'm sure you know that, too.

The Mozambique drill isn't exactly what you've decscribed. The original Mozambique was to shoot the target twice in the chest, lower your weapon to ascertain if he's down, then snap your pistol up and shoot him in the head if he's not.

The one flaw in this is lowering one's weapon. You'd be giving an advantage to the enemy that way. In fact, Jim Rosseau (?), the guy who first used it, almost got plugged by a rebel's bayonet in Mozambique because he lowered his gun. And Rosseau missed: he broke the rebel's spine with a 9mm bullet from his Browning instead of getting a clean shot at his head.

What the Chechen used doesn't have a definite name. Some called it the Jeff Cooper technique, since he advocated it (though Jeff Cooper's modern technique was actually sighted fire and holding the pistol with two hands). A Marine who specialises in counterterror work calls it the 21 drill: two shots to the chest and one to the head, without pausing the check whether the target is down. If the sights are superimposed on a head, then bang. I don't call it anything.

Mikhail used a British SA80 to kill the L21 gunner, right? In my experience with unzeroed rifles (rifles that I personally haven't zeroed before), both on the live-fire range and infantry stimulator, the shooter will most probably miss. Then again, i't's most probably just me.

The British Army is still using Sterlings? I thought they've been phased out in the 70s-90s... I can only think of one British Army formation still using them: the Gurkhas. And that's only because I've heard that Singapore's Gurkhas are still using them.

I distincitvely remember in one book that Brit SAS

and Irish RUC were using Sterlings in the early part of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and had switched to MP5s by the middle to the end of it.

The Strayer Voigt Infinity probably won't come in .25 Automatic Colt Pistol. As far as I know, the .25 ACP is an antique round: I haven't heard of people selling it in bulk either in the commercial or police/military markets, and that it's been replaced by the .32 or something like that. In fact, my reference book, supposedly highly comprehensive, has nothing on the .25.

Shooters will probably stick to .22, .32, and the like for small-calibre target pistols. This, of course, doesn't mean that the .25 Infinity definitely won't come out.
Cheah chapter 19 . 5/14/2005
Well, it's okay, but I think there's a formatting problem in the story. Some lines were chopped in half: one half remains in one paragraph and the other half forms a new one.

Ricci was using an M8 calibrated for 6.8mm SPC, right? From what I've read, the SPC was supposed to fragment a lot when it enters the human body. Such rounds probably turn as it travels through flesh as well for extra damage, though I'm not sure. Of course, there's always Murphy's Law.

The final part probably needs a bit more detail. It's kind of confusing, inasmuch as I can't tell exactly where the suicide pilots were headed to. Also, wouldn't the Navy aviators switch to cannons?

Well...I suppose this story's getting better...and I think all of your readers would like to know why Peel and co. are attacking the base.
haus chapter 1 . 4/1/2005
you could not tell what was going on in the story. Revise
Cheah chapter 18 . 3/31/2005
Once more, good, but very, very, confusing. Then again, I haven't slept much, and I'm still losing sleep, so it could just be me.

Pilots in helicopters won't use the AN/PVS-7 NVGs. That kind of NVG is essentially a monocular NVG, which isn't famed for depth perception. Since pilots need to guage depth, they use night vision goggles which provide them with depth perception, i.e. dual-tube (aka binocular) ones. I'm guessing the AN/PVS-14 helmet-mounted NVG is the one issued to helicopter pilots in the American military.

The XM8 has a really, really, short handguard. With a 20" barrel, you'll have maybe 8 inches of barrel sticking out. That makes the barrel easy to damage. I reckon that a longer handguard should be included as well. Or just modify the Sharpshooter and/or SAW variants of the XM8.

Wasn't Gordian's security element called 'Sword' instead of 'Shield'? Or is my memory going?

Finally...how did Evens know where the forward observer was? Did he see a flash of light from a lens? Did he see him on the screen? This sort of thing has to be mentioned.
Cheah chapter 17 . 2/1/2005
Okay...for Act 1 of the siege, you already know what I think. Except for this: I'd think it's better if you say that the Desert Eagle jammed due to the ammunition being especially dirty. I mean, not everyone knows that the 325-grain variant of the .50 AE bullet produces a lot of carbon fouling.

For Act 2, it's okay, though a couple of things made me wonder. Ruzhyo is supposed to be a 'Chechen out of Spetsnez'...are the Russians recruiting from a province (unofficially) at war with them? Or did you mean something else?

Also, the response to the breakout comprises of one guy in body armor and wielding a Serbu Super Shorty. Eh...wouldn't the crash team be more organized and better armed than that?

Finally, in Act 3, things seem a little confused. It'd be much better if you could better describe the confusion and the initial explosion of the mortar shell. Then again, maybe it's just me...

Well, keep up the good work.
Cheah chapter 13 . 12/9/2004
Okay...from what I've read up to this point, you're okay as a writer. That means you're not as bad as Singaporean writers, but there's room from improvement.

From what I can tell, you have a tendency to include your personal thoughts in your text, i.e.

This is textbook, but sometimes when programmers are pressed by a deadline, or they just quit early to watch DBZ, they’ll resort to shortcutting security. (I’ve seen the empirical data, and the number of successful hacks shot up when DBZ episodes were first aired in the United States.)

In my humble opinion, the latter sentence is unecessary. If you must, either add it in as a character's thought or in an author's note.

Also, again in my opinion, there's a lack of detail. I mean, it's jarringly obvious in the action scenes, especially the end of Chapter 13.

Meaning:

The Russian closed both eyes, choked his stomach back down, and moved one elbow before the other.

Vladimir could no longer see the Chechen when the distant Saiga let down a fusillade of buckshot and Magnum shells. MOVE FASTER! Both Saigas had the tested sheet metal ten-round clips. Ruzhyo had his emptied nearly as fast as a semiautomatic allowed. Hurry.

I don't know about you, but I'd have described the area around the site and what Vladimir saw.

Speaking of which, I gather Vladimir and Mikhayl's doings is a subplot? I mean, I can't figure a connection to the main story yet. Of course, it could simply be my over-fatigued brain talking...

Hm...by the way, the M2 was a failure. It could only fire 75 rounds continuously before overheating. Its successor, the M2HB (Heavy Barrel) was better suited to the M2's role. It's stuff like this that makes some people annoyed. Not me, but...you'll never know.

And finally..."Do you have a cold beer' in Chinese is 'Ni you mei you bing dong pi jiu?", when written in hanyu pinyin form. You'll probably pronounce it as 'Nee yo mae yo bing dohng pee jiu'. I've been studying Chinese for nine years, going on ten, see. If you ever need help for this, just contact me.
Sentinel Talos chapter 11 . 11/20/2004
I feel your pain. For some reason asterixs disappear too. Anyway, story's looking good. Hope you figure out how to get the next chapter posted. BTW, good luck on the blog.
Typewriter King chapter 10 . 11/13/2004
I hate leaving myself a review, but chapter 11 has a few errors in it. The lonely woman’s name should be spelled “Khadijah,
Sentinel Talos chapter 9 . 10/27/2004
All right, you updated. Good to see you're back in the game. A good chapter you got here. The rednecks games was a nice touch. My main critique is a matter of grammer. I think I saw at least two errors in verb tense, the first at the start of the Gulf section and one at its end. You might want to check that.

Anyway keep up the good work.
Sentinel Talos chapter 8 . 10/15/2004
Not bad. Interesting quotes. You seem to have a good grasp of geopolitics. I agree with your comments at the end of chapter five. However I'm not exactly sure what direction you're headed with this. It does seem right though, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

PS Thanks for your review
LegacyReborn chapter 2 . 9/9/2004
There definitely is some connection between Bin laden and Bush... o.O

looking forward for more
LegacyReborn chapter 1 . 9/7/2004
Hey! This is really good so far! I hope you're not offended if I say you write as good as Robert Ludlum does! :D He's one of my favorite authors, so that says something :)
LegacyReborn chapter 1 . 9/7/2004
Hey! This is really good so far! I hope you're not offended if I say you write as good as Robert Ludlum does! :D He's one of my favorite authors, so that says something :)