07. Random Measures 1994 (Ashley McConnell)

Random Measures 1994 (Ashley McConnell)

  • Excellent

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Good

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fair

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Just Bad

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
Sam embarks on a new time-hopping adventure that transforms him into a part-Native American bartender even as Al, back home, copes with the reappearance of one of his wives.
Last edited:
Publishing Information:

Quantum Leap : Random Measures
by Ashley McConnell
Paperback | Ace | 1995-03-01 | listprice: $4.99
ISBN-10: 0441001823 | ISBN-13: 9780441001828
This one was okay, it wasn't one of my favorites. The time stream concept and how they could never be sure what might change was interesting.
This is a well portrayed leap of the type of situation that gives the classic feel to the show; the issue of fetal alcohol syndrome and underaged drinking appealing to Sam's true belief system because of which he refuses to yield to his role. I enjoy this story to an extent.

What is unappealing to me is the portrayal of Sam's soul leaping rather than his body. There is clear evidence to the contrary in the TV series.

* The Color of Truth - The host is revealed in a later episode, Shock Theater to walk with an arthritic limp however there is a behind the scenes tid bit (can't remember where I saw it, possibly the documentary on the first season DVD extras) that reveals that Don had told Scott upon inquiry not to limp because he is physically Sam not Jesse Tyler.
The difference when he does in fact do the limp in Shock Theater is that Sam actually believed he was Jesse Tyler.

* Blind Faith - his host is blind but he did not inherit that as is made perfectly clear in several instances. The most significant being when he nearly gets the famous host (falsely) exploited as a fraud by getting caught reading a dog food box.

* Nowhere to Run - The host has had both his legs amputated as a result of a war injury in Vietnam yet we clearly see Sam's in tact legs and at one point he is even able to stand when drastic measures are required to ensure the success of the leap.

* Trilogy Parts II and III - Sam conceives a daughter with the woman he leaped in to save that is determined by Ziggy to be Sam's own daughter not the host's. Her high IQ also clarifies that she has Sam's genes. If it weren't his body that leaps he would be incapable of passing on his own genes.

Though she is not the only author to use soul angle, I have actually never been the biggest fan of her portrayals of the project. Other things that bugged me were:
*The suggestive portrayal of Dr. Beeks having the hots for Sam as shown by her affectionate words towards the lifeless body "When are you coming home Honey?" which actually sound much more like something Donna would say and her imagining the leapee in Sam's body flexing his pecs. While amusing it was uncharacteristic.

*Ziggy being referred to as an 'It'. Though Ziggy is a computer she has never once been referred to as an 'It'.

*Two leapees from the TV series are miss-named in reference. She calls Leon Stiles (Killin' Time) Leon Stryker and Nick Allen (Play it Again Seymour) Mickey Spillane. That second one is a serious ***.
That's just sloppy, there is no excuse for such errors.
I don't claim to have a perfect memory of every character, but until Nick's last name just hit me a moment ago I had been about to refresh my memory right here at the Al's Place Episode Guide.

There were also some awkward scenes that seemed unnecessary, the cafeteria conversations between Dr. Beeks and Gooshi and then she and Tina.

Tina's portrayal as constantly using the word 'like' like some valley girl while her appearance suggests it didn't feel accurate. This author seemed to have played off her appearance. One of the things I really like about Tina is how the intelligent technician she is comes in that total ditz package. In another novel, I believe 'Prelude' she's even said to be the second most intelligent person at the project to of course Sam (though that's probably rivaled when Sammy Jo appears). The show doesn't develop her character enough but she certainly would not have been hired if she weren't a great deal more intelligent than she looked.

The angle with Janna was one of the more interesting parts of the project environment. I found it unique and clever to explore the concept of Al knowing that ensuring Sam's success in a leap would mean giving up something in the present that is precious to himself. It was a lot more raw and real than what we see in M.I.A or Vietnam because in those instances he had been giving up something that was already gone. Which technically means he wasn't giving up anything at all.
One of my favorite moments of the project in this novel was when Al had thought that if he ever married again Sam would have to be there for it to work because he considered Sam a good luck charm and the nightmare he had about being back in the tiger cage in Vietnam where he watched a Lt. in the cage next to him being killed and then become Sam was beautifully symbolic.

Overall I did enjoy this novel which is why I am nearly done RE-reading it. ;)


Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
Sam embarks on a new time-hopping adventure that transforms him into a part-Native American bartender even as Al, back home, copes with the reappearance of one of his wives.

As late as this correction is, it's a quirk of of mine.
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
Janna Fulkes Calavicci is not a reappearing wife, she's a sixth wife.
Once again, no, she's a new wife. It's specified that he met her at the project and he didn't recognize her at first when she appeared in the timeline. How would he not recognize a past wife? Then there is the fact that she is unwritten at the end of the novel, none of Al's five marriages were ever unwritten until 'Mirror Image' when Sam changes Beth leaving him. The entire novel series takes place prior to 'Mirror Image' because the last one 'Mirror's Edge' ends with him leaping into 'Mirror Image'.