04. Prelude 1994 (Ashley McConnell)

Prelude 1994 (Ashley McConnell)

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Discuss "Prelude" here!

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Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
Dr. Sam Beckett wasn't always a leaper. And Admiral Al Calavicci wasn't always a holographic image. In 1993, at Stallion's Gate, New Mexico, Sam and Al were ordinary men with extraordinary ambitions...
Project Quantum Leap was only a dream.
What was the secret that made Ziggy much more than a machine? Why did Sam really want to travel in time? Where was Al that fateful winter night? And who almost destroyed the dream before it began?
The answers are just a leap away...

Note: This one takes up where "To Close for Comfort" leaves off, but you don't have to read one to enjoy the other.
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Publishing Information:
Quantum Leap: Prelude
by Ashley McConnell
Paperback | Ace | 1994-06-01 | listprice: $4.99
ISBN-10: 0441000762 | ISBN-13: 9780441000760
McConnell picks this up from the end of a previous book of her's "Too Close For Comfort". Which makes sense in way. That book involved a leap to Al's time right before joining the Project. But its totally inconsistent with the rest of Prelude.

This is very clearly the backstory before Sam had changed any history. Tom died in Vietnam, Donna never showed up for the wedding.

Yet the book starts out with younger Al interacting with a time traveling Sam, of course Al does not realize it. The ending of "Too Close For Comfort".

On a similar note, its strongly implied that the Doctor who operates on Sam was really a Leaper. That he saves the brain cells with the knowledge that they will be needed to create Ziggy. Shortly after which the Doctor has no memory of doing so...
Well I am reading between the lines a bit. It was confusing. Normally the Doctor would have no reason to save and properly preserve Sam's Brain tissue. When he hands over the sample to Sam he seems at a loss to explain why he did so.

I maybe be wrong but this was similar to how the author handled other Leaper's after they return to their time. Being confused as to what happened when they were gone. But really not questioning or doubting others accounts of events either.

Anyone else see this as another Leaper? Or Divine Intervention???
I've just finished re-reading it.

I just love the part when Sam is standing outside at night gazing in wonder with his arms in the air. As I was reading it I realized that the author was talking about Leaping. I think that section is so beautiful.

The banter between Al, Ziggy and Sam is totally funny.

The end section was also another favourite part. As you read the parts leading Sam to experiment with the accelerator it kinda reads like Sam knows this could kill him and it's really the unknown he's walking into. But knows he's ran out of options. It kinda makes me cry.

Janine xxx
I liked the background information from before Sam started leaping and reading about what started it all. This is a good one. The interaction between the characters is funny. :)
I didn't realise I hadn't read this one!!

but I haven't an I would love to. I'm relatively sure nobody here wants to send a copy to Australia for me to read, but I'll have to try and track this one down.
I do like this story - need to reread the other one from the same author (and some of the other books but this was a fairly recent reread for me) And honestly I would probably enjoy a third story showing the aftermath of these events. I also noticed that the doctor appears to be have been a leaper for just those a few critical moments, from someone with medical training.

The question would be *who* that leaper would be and implies that Sam leaping to begin with is a predestination paradox or maybe just having a functioning hologram link and Ziggy is. Aka it has to happen in order for him to leap and IF the person leaping to accomplish this is Sam (has medical training) or anyone who follows behind him then time loop/predestination paradox. Of course in the new series other holograms seems to be much more flexible. In this book Sam and Al have head injuries making it easier to harvest the needed cells.

We know from mirror image that the dead can be leapers, so our plausible options could be GFTW working through a "ghost-leaper" to nudge things just enough that Sam succeeds in becoming a "Super-leaper/Living Leaper" or whatever term it makes sense to coin to distinguish the types, Sam himself being near death being able to tap into this and operate on himself?, a Sam from an alternate timeline who still leaps but perhaps had no contact with his own time or something?, the same Sam who leaps in a closed time-loop, some future leaper we are unaware of (none of the known group from the revival project have the medical background needed - although again the mystery leaper seemed to only be there for the briefest moments/only partially overshadowing the actual doctor).

Overall its an interesting and enjoyable story, that left me wanting more.