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Fic pick of the week (April 17)

 
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Azrael
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Joined: 10 Aug 2004
Posts: 504
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: Fic pick of the week (April 17) Reply with quote

Remember that part in "Kill Bill" when the Crazy 88s surround The Bride and you thought, "oh hell no, that's just too much?" That was this week in the fic pick.

Let's just go down the row of veterans and up-and-comers who threw their hats in:

JD Ford (asked to be taken out of the running...which is, frankly, garbage)
Cold Blooded
Sev
Kabu
ENS Rabid Gallagher
Captain Raspberry (it's just a funny name. I enjoy it.)
Jake Trommer

I mean, we're lucky to get that in a MONTH. So yes, I cried just a little bit. I'm just a man.

But who rose up with the most impressive combination of nouns, verbs, and adjectives? Read on!

Honorable Mention: A Painted Rocket - From Tulane by Captain Raspberry
Like a BOSS: Rasp gives us a very vivid, very engaging look inside his world on the planet Tulane. His first person narrative is very natural, you really feel like you're sitting down with his character and listening to a casual war story. Even the dark bits, though quite affecting, are free and easy; you move on without being stuck in the quagmire.

The action is robust and easy to follow. The dialogue is efficient. The mood is real and you're rarely taken out of the story. A quality read from a writer who shows great promise.

Not where! When?: The natual, conversational style of Rasp's narration falters from time to time when you try to figure out just WHEN you are. The last chapter took place AFTER the events of THIS chapter, so you get the feeling that the series isn't so much about the development of the character as the singular events that he's thrown into. While interesting and definitely friendly to first time readers, it's a bit disorienting for people who click "read this series."

Second Place: Brightly Colored Soldiers by SeverianofUrth
Beats a sharp stick in your eye!: Sev is dark. And weird. You have to just accept that when you read his stuff. See "Seven Days." It's a style of his own, and it sticks with you even after you read it. He takes on the always hard material of multiplayer fan fiction and turns it into a VERY dark and gruesome tale that I'd rather not describe. You have to read it for yourself. It'll certainly make you think twice about running into a guy with a Brute Shot.

It's gory, it's totally surreal, and somehow Sev pulls this off time and time again. I will always take my hat off to writers who can take the untrod path and make it look good. Worth your time.

Penetrating. TOO penetrating.: Sev delights in the gritty, gorier aspects in this piece, which, if we're going to be basing this in a multiplayer game, seems a little off. Dismemberment, sticking dudes on poles, it's all a bit queasy, and it will turn off a couple readers.

I appreciated how Sev handled the respites between games (God, it was creepy), but there were parts of the action in the games where I thought, "this is a Halo multiplayer fan fic, not Gears of War." A minor gripe, and one that I didn't linger on for long.

Fan Fic Pick of the (belated) Week! Never Bring a Gun to a Pillow Fight - A 'Bad Days' Story by Kabu
Who says people don't like winners?: Kabu won this on a single scene: the legit war hero going bat shit crazy on Covenant troops over a- well, you'll have to read it. It felt like a mashup of "Hot Fuzz," "Scrubs," and a sci-fi "Tropic Thunder." It was just bizarre, but a hell of a lot of fun to read.

I also liked the idea of the characters fighting within their own base and Leon getting increasingly pissy about it. A fun, casual read with a tremendous scene near the end.

And yet...: It's not Kabu's BEST work. There's a bunch of grammar and spelling errors, and Isaac just didn't feel like Isaac to me. Maybe it's him knowing what to do under pressure Wink

Regardless, it's a great piece and you'd do well to check it out.

Sorry for the lateness! See you at the next update!

Az
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CaptainRaspberry
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah man, that time switch is disorienting? Dammit, I was going for an effect of having the stories jump around. I'll have to rethink my nonlinear storyline, then.

Still, I agree with the winners. They were damn good, and as soon as I read them, I knew I didn't stand a chance.
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SeverianofUrth
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Joined: 09 Aug 2004
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Location: Dumb posts & crap stories

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still find it funny that, the week before this update there were two stories, and the week after, just two again. If there are ten submissions next week, we'll all know there's some sort of a hivemind working here.

Congratulations to Kabu. Although I think all of us should light a candle in memory of J.D.
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Azrael
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had Ford not pulled himself out, it would have been his win. I think we're all ok with that.
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kabu
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spelling/punctuation stuff was particularly egregious in my case. That's what you get for proofreading at 3:30AM Razz .

What I'm slowly going for, here, is that Isaac isn't nearly as bad a soldier as he thinks he is. If you go back and a few stories, especially the one where he runs across a battlefield, he gets his soldier-ing things done pretty well, and he's kinda starting to get a glimmer of that. None of my characters are what they appear to be on the surface. I am going to explore the other soldiers in his squad a bit more, show who they really are.

Also, J.D. is totally da man. Unofficially (as much as anything around here is official), I can't help but think of him as Winner for Life. You rock.


Edit: It's "kabu" with a lower-case "k", for Pete's sake
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J. D. Ford
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal salutations and congratulations to the winners!




~J. D.
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