Between Ages: FAQ

The "Between Ages" story is available at .

As part of the exercise, I wanted readers to take the story as is, so it has no foreword or author's remarks, save for the summary line on However, I wish to answer some questions from readers, some of whom are not coming from the online fanfic community.

Is this AU?

Note: AU stands for "Alternative Universe". In the meaning most fanfic authors endorse, if a story changes the source text, it is AU. Consider this quote from author Eykar: "Authors note: In this AU, everything is as Tolkien wrote it except for who dies first." The Between Ages is designed to be plug-compatible extension to LOTR, and thus not AU, but it is not 100% feasible for an extension of this magnitude.

Most importantly, even if not formally AU against the text, the internal world of characters is modified to accept the technology, and so it is AU in spirit.

Why is it so short?

It was my first fanfic and I did not budget enough implementation time for the amount of the material I wanted to cover, so I had to cut a few corners when writing. In particular, large segments of Voronve's interaction with Gandalf and Galadriel are simply missing. I encountered significant difficulties reconstructing them faithfully and I wasn't willing to compromise OC integrity, which put their parts behind schedule. See also, "Are the characters OCs?"

Why did you write it?
I am not an author. Primarily, I am a computer programmer, but I do many other things, such as rearing children, watching Japanese cartoons, hunting, competing in Tae Kwon Do, and so on: both constructive and destructive. In such light, writing Between Ages was one of many such things I do. This was just a good time to do it.

As a background, Tolkien's Luddite inclinations irritate me to no end and by writing this piece I protest this part of his legacy.

Are the characters OCs?
Note: OC means "Original Character", that is a character not borrowed from JRRT. The flight and (largely invisible) attendant crew consists of OCs. All the rest are LOTR characters, down to Galadriel handmaidens, at least by design. It is extremely difficult to make them real, 100% reproductions though. They may be inconsistent through the lack of craft.

Update: Cast (named and unnamed, present and missing), in the order of appearance.
Voronve OC Captain of the ship, protagonist of the story.
Galadriel LOTR Leader (now former) of the base Council. Since a base is essentially a mini-nation, she was a benevolent dictator of her people. She heads to her homeworld for retirement. She is universally reverred, and she is extremely harismatic.
Galadriel's staff LOTR
Elariel OC Executive Officer, or "first mate". She is also a long term friend of Voronve, having passed 21 reconstructions after interstellar hops together. However, at the time of the story they are not lovers.
Anwe OC Flight Officer, or 1st pilot. Always silent by choice.
Amroth OC Chief (1st) Engineer. He is outgoing as much as elves come, friendly and cheerful.
Gandalf aka Olorin LOTR A special agent from Valinor's Government to the Middle-earth. He is a diplomat and a James Bond all in one.
Frodo Baggins LOTR A friend of Gandalf, who could not stay in Middle-earth after the war for complicated psychological reasons and is allowed to emigrate.
noname OC Quartermaster
Erestor LOTR Chief advisor to the governor of a satellite base. He would be ranked as Leutenant General in human military terms.
Glorfindel LOTR I made Glorfindel more interested in native population because of his contact with Frodo in the original source.
noname OC 2nd Engineer
noname OCs Attendants
noname OC Flight Surgeon

What the heck is pax?
The "pax" is borrowed from American civil aviation lexicon and is a bona fide word for "passengers". It is used in the story as a cheap way to achieve "Stanislav Lem and Pilot Pirx" immersion effect and also a nod to the aviation community. Mind that most Sci-Fi leans towards seamanship in space, which I find rather out of place.

Most readers figure out the meaning of the word from the context, which is a burden I placed on them intentionally, to spur their imaginations. I am sorry if it offends you.

When is the Chapter 2 coming out?
The story looks open-ended because of the budding romance between Voronve and Elariel, but it is only a failure of the author's craftsmanship. The intent of having that in the story at all was to underline the ever-present hope and optimism, which is associated with love. It is not meant to be a link to a next chapter.

That said, a large scope sequel is not out of question.