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In Which Our Protagonist Finds a New Friend - A 'Bad Days' S

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: In Which Our Protagonist Finds a New Friend - A 'Bad Days' S Reply with quote

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In Which Our Protagonist Finds a New Friend - A 'Bad Days' Story
Posted by kabu (will36@gmail.com)
20 March 2009, 12:19 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=kabu0320090019401.html
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Phædrus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pretty good.

I love the interplay between Isaac and Leon. You are now officially a better character writer than I am. Wink Your descriptions were very fresh, and your humor is worthy of competition with Adam Douglas.

I actually can't find anything to complain about. Good job. Smile
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Azrael
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I chuckled aloud at "High five!" That was very funny.

Your characters are very vivid, and the situations you put them in, while they sometimes border on the absurd, are really great and very funny. The lighthearted side of the human-Covenant war is something we've been lacking, and you handle it quite well. Always good.
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CaptainRaspberry
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoy this series. It's a lot like Tim O'Brien, though with a lighter sense of humor. The writing is really solid, too, easy to read. If there's one criticism, it's one that I would levy at most Halo comedy: there are a lot of similes. I understand that it's a staple of humor, but sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming.
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kabu
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only read one book by O'Brian (The Things They Carried) and I have to say it's one of my favorite books. Actually, he came to speak at my school that year, which was cool.

I have been worrying about the number of similes in my work, but I ultimately decided that an opportunity to use the phrase "like being gently flogged by a sock filled with cold pudding" was too good to pass up.
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kr1
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very enjoyable read, kabu. Leon's looking to be a fun character.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work, Kabu. Your stylish treatment never disappoints. I thought the humor in this piece was particularly well done. I've commented on the past that the tone and style of the humor is sometimes inconsistent, but here it produced the desired effect every time. I was particularly a fan of:

Quote:
Right after that eventful morning, I took to borrowing Gabe's lighter and was making sure to flick it on at least once a day, just to make sure that I wouldn't flip out and smash it with the butt of a fire extinguisher. So far, that had only happened once. Well, twice. Three times, if you want to get technical and count the time where it was snatched out of my hand before I could get my swing going.


This is a perfect example of a passage that is funny by its substance, but whose humor is supplemented by a stylistic presentation. Very nice.

I continue to love Isaac's various neuroses, most notably, of course, his paralyzing fear of fire. I find this works both as an interesting and funny character trait, but also as a point of continuity that really binds the vignette style pieces into a cohesive whole. It seems you're going in the direction of a more serialized approach, but his phobia nonetheless allows us to connect with Isaac consistently from his very first appearance.

Some good developments here. A nice story about Isaac at the beginning fills out his background without beating us over the head with it, and its tied back into the main plot very elegantly. You're hinting at Leon's future role in the story, which, given his presentation thus far, makes me interested in how it will pan out.

Excellent work. Congrats on your well-deserved win.

- Arthur
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Phædrus
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One completely irrelevant comment: If Jannson is Swedish his name should be spelled "Jannsen." Wink

(Names of that form mean "son of ----", and in most of the Scandinavian languages the word for son is "sen")
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CaptainRaspberry
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kabu wrote:
I have been worrying about the number of similes in my work, but I ultimately decided that an opportunity to use the phrase "like being gently flogged by a sock filled with cold pudding" was too good to pass up.


Yeah, I've got to admit that particular simile made me laugh like crazy. There was a simile used by Terry Pratchett that read, "... made a sound like a sock full of pudding hitting a brick wall."
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kabu
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shit. Somebody used that one already? I've been trying my best not to steal stuff, which is why I'm deliberately avoiding Catch-22 for fear of ripping it off.
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Sma11wood
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny you should mention Catch-22 kabu, i started it last night and its actually on the desk next to me as i write this... Uncanny...
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. I managed to catch this one before it left the front page. Dave will be happy.

Apologies for my tardiness, but I've had smaller time than usual for writing. And since I'm trying finish Nai Gor (which is almost done) and Court of Darkness (I'm a few thousand words into the—Godpleaseletitbe—last chapter) I've carved very little time out for reviews. Judging by the quality of submissions lately, I'm the one who's missed out.

This review is for In Which Misfortune Will Soon Befall Our Protagonist - A 'Bad Days' Interlude. I wanted to avoid bumping a thread that's already left the front page. I'll get to this thread's actual chapter soon.

I liked this. You have a great knack for humor. Leon strikes me as Nai Gor's somewhat less intelligent adolescent nephew. And where did you get the name Zhao? For reasons I can't explain until I submit the rest of Nai Gor, that name hits close to the heart of my story. Not that name specifically, but ... I'd better get back to your story. Here are some of my favorite parts.
Quote:
"No. No no no, no way, no how, not gonna happen. Get lost."
Lieutenant Colonel Christina Zhao visibly restrained herself from snapping completely, settling instead for an exasperated glare. They were only five minutes into their first face-to-face conversation, and she could see that he was not going to be at all cooperative. Well, maybe "exasperated" and "uncooperative" weren't exactly the right words; more like "homicidal" and "in a state of asinine denial."

Nice.
Quote:
"There were no survivors, Leon! You destroyed four fucking ships trying to ram them, you jackass! Two of them nearly crushed a city!"
"That was so awesome when I rammed the Cruiser from two directions at once. Squished like a pancake. And please, it's Mister Leon."
"I swear to God, if you keep that up I will destroy you. There is a claw hammer in the closet down the hall. I will take that hammer, find your memory crystal, and I will destroy your miserable, misogynist, pinstripe-wearing holographic ass."

The pinstripes, the bowler: hilarious. Loved your comic take on the memory crystal threat.
Quote:
Why did she even try to start this useless conversation, she thought. Why couldn't he be a "dumb" AI? They were so easy to deal with. Just give them an order, they gave a cheerful "yes ma'am" and went on their way. Get me those files. Yes ma'am. Coordinate the attack. At your convenience, ma'am. Self destruct if you please, we're being boarded. At once, ma'am! Strange things happened when you turn somebody's brain into an artificial construct.

That "self destruct" thing ... it killed me.
Quote:
"Leon, do you know who's brain you came from?"
"Admiral Marcer's, I believe."
"I knew him, you know. One of the most decorated senior officers in the fleet. Lead his armada into combat under overwhelming odds, never missed a single victory. Died of a heart attack in his office a month ago."
"I had no idea! I'm so very sorry, my little sweetcake."
Zhao didn't rise to the bait, just glared at his insolent grin.
"Don't be. He was just as much of an asshole as you. You have no idea how pissed I was when they pulled you out of his brain. The only reason you haven't been erased yet is because people respected the old man, and AIs are expensive."

Wonderful job turning the whole "I knew him" device on its ear.

Having the underlying frustration of her office items (rug, paintings, etc) hanging in limbo was a nice touch. And that her office was too small for a decent stalk ... what can I say? You push my comedic buttons, man.

Oh, I see that Leon becomes part of the larger story. Ah, the possibilities. I hope to have a review of your next chapter (the one that this thread is actually for) soon.

C.T. Clown
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kabu
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I wrote this yesterday. Guess I didn't click post.

As mentioned in the comments thread for [i]Interlude[i], Nai Gor was one of the inspirations for this story. I saw what you did with a terrifying, evil AI and decided to see what I could do with an immature jackass of an AI. Leon is a ton of fun to write.

As for Zhao, I put quite a bit of thought into her name. I needed a sharp, one-stylable Chinese name, and I wanted a short vowel sound with some punch behind it. The "Zh" part gives a bit of zing, I think. I chose "Christina" as a first name because I wanted something very western that can be shortened to an obnoxious nickname, and was three or more sylables. In the backstory in my head, Zhao is a second-generation Boston-ite who grew up on Reach, so she has a very western/christian name.

The choice of Leon's name should be obvious. I like how it contrasts with his dapper appearence. He chose it because he thought it would suit him, but it's really the opposite of who he is.

I put way, way to much thought into this.
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