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Fic Pick of the Week (April 24)

 
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CaptainRaspberry
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Joined: 20 Mar 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Littleton, MA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject: Fic Pick of the Week (April 24) Reply with quote

Kinda nervous, I mean, this is my first time.

Innuendos aside, we had a whopping two entries this past week (one of which was technically already submitted). So let's get right to it.

Second Place: Halo/Terminator: Crossover Part I & II, by Michael Finn
Collectible Base: In this submission, there are unfortunately not a lot of positive notes to touch on. What can be said here is that at least it seems like Michael's read a few grammar textbooks. The story (now that it's correctly formatted) isn't punctuated with awful syntax, misplaced or missing periods, overused exclamation points, and comma whoring. Sentences are simple and, with notable exceptions, don't try to be too ornate (there are a few monster run-ons that seem like they'd be more at home in the NYC subway system than on this site). If nothing else, the author has a good grip of the english language.

Don't Hit the Wall: Unfortunately, there is precious little else that can be considered good. First off, it's a humongous wall of text. It's taken me days to plow through the whole thing. If this is two parts, why not split it up? There's no clear indication where one part begins or ends.

If only that was the only thing wrong. This story is so full of tropes and clichés that it's hard to keep them all straight. Chief among them is the main character, who shares the author's name and seems considerably powered, even for a Spartan (not to mention that for a while he shares the number 117). He remembers his full name, which fortunately doesn't include the family Flinn, loves peace, and is apparently smarter than Dr. Halsey and stronger than Chief Mendez. He was "too good" for the Spartan program, so was sneaked out and became a regular Marine who climbed the ranks quickly and runs a top-secret group of daredevil/ragtag volunteers, whose actions "make what ODSTs do look like a cakewalk." In short, this character screams "Gary Stu" at a decibel liable to shatter your brain.

The method of the crossover between Terminator and Halo universes is very overused: a freak Slipspace accident transports the human and Covenant survivors to an alternate universe (tachyons are actually used as a reason), where they must band together with the local human forces in order to battle the vicious SkyNet. And speaking of overused, the humans are clever and valiant (or dumb and cowardly), the Elites are unnecessarily violent and abusive towards the lower castes as well as blindly subservient to the Prophets (I wonder if the Grunts are stupid/incompetent and the Jackals bloodthirsty, too?), and the Spartan is in the company of an A.I. who is skilled at hacking and wisecracking (maybe there was a reason Michael had the number 117 at first?).

I really wish there was something else good and/or redeeming about this particular fic, but the truth is that it wouldn't have made it to the fic pick if there had been more than three submissions. Alas, there were not.

First Place: Attack on Installation 06, Part 18, by Jake Trommer
Sweetbread: Personally, I'm not that familiar with this series; I only just arrived here, and haven't had time to go through the archives to find and read all the currently ongoing projects. However, I have heard many good things about Jake Trommer's Attack on Installation 06 story, and I can see from this update that his word-of-mouth (or maybe of-finger) reputation is well deserved.

The characters seem real and believable, even if the idea of a young pilot hitting on his female CO has been run around the block a few times, and the canon characters behave close to their established personalities (Stacker is right on, but the Chief seems a bit too vocal). Jake even does a good job conveying a sense of foreboding (why is it that Stacker can reach Third Squad fine, but seems cut off from the Pelican?) that is like to be a problem later on? It certainly gives me the idea that there's more going on than is seen.

Shortbread: A huge complaint that I have is that this story is short, too short to actually get anything done. We see the characters move around a bit, get a little of the foreshadowing I mentioned above, and even end on a double-cliffhanger; but the story really isn't advanced in a significant or meaningful way. Each chapter should either push the plot forward a full peg (this seems more like a third of a peg) or give us a greater understanding of the setting, world, or character. It doesn't really seem to accomplish this.

So there it is. Congratulations, Jake Trommer!
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kabu
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Joined: 18 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry Raspberry, you did fine Razz

I have to say I agree with your assessment. I couldn't get through the massive, massive Terminator thing, but I was put off by the whole "super chess genius" thing. Also (with apologies to Mr. EnthroneDarkness' Star Wars story) I am not at all a fan of crossovers.

As for Attack on 06, while it was way too short, what was there was very good. I actually liked the flirting thing - it may have been done before, but it was well written.

Congrats to Mr. Trommer!
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Azrael
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Joined: 10 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fine review, Cap'n! Fair but firm.

Congrats to Jake.
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grats to Jake.

Hope the terminator story guy continues writing. We may not want to read it... yet. Keep writing because I think the potential is there.
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Jake Trommer
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Raspberry!
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CaptainRaspberry
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jake Trommer wrote:
Thanks, Raspberry!


Don't thank me, you desesrve it.
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