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Xmas/New Year Fic Pick - Christmas Challenge Winners!

 
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Xmas/New Year Fic Pick - Christmas Challenge Winners! Reply with quote

Some of you may remember that last month, kr posted a challenge for you all to submit your Christmas-themed Halo fan fiction over the holidays.

(Bear in mind, here, that I'm famously bah humbug when it comes to Christmas - I don't believe in god and I hate both mulled wine and Slade. So this should be interesting... Razz)

We had a good few submissions of varying quality, so here goes.

A Jonesy Kind of Christmas by Hedgemony
While not too bad for a first submission (with author's note and all the other unnecessary trimmings), this certainly isn't a masterpiece of prose. There's a lot of work to be done in characterization and narrative, and the formatting needs work too.

That said, it's OK as a fluffy bit of nonsense we can all enjoy in the post-turkey indigestion-ridden Shloer-induced balloon after Christmas lunch (there are other non-alcoholic beverages available, of course.) Good work.

The Ghosts of Christmas Future by GrimBrother One (included here for inclusiveness' sake, despite the fact I don't generally count poems)
This is not too bad
But the characters are weak
And the rhymes clunky


A Christmas Tree for the Sangheili Embassy - A Halo Xmas by WarlordFil
Here we see the typical hallmarks of a FanFiction.Net regular submitting to HBOFF for the first time: author's note at the top, "K+ rating", etc.

Just for your information: normally, we'll only tear your head off if you have a bizarre obsession with (a) Miranda/Chief slash, (b) human/elite slash, (c) elite/elite slash, (d) human/human slash or (e) furries. We don't give a flying fuck if you swear, have *mild* sexual situations (as long as they're not pornographic, of course) or mention multiple religions or non-religions.

Now we come to the story. It's decent enough, but at HBOFF we generally agree that pulling off an alien point-of-view is as difficult as hell. Too often, Elite culture is seen as very similar to human culture, with astonishingly little culture shock and integration far, far too early (like it or not, us humans are, on the whole, a nastily xenophobic bunch.)

I really, really don't like this depiction of Elites, I'm afraid. That said, your writing is good and your characters are strong and well-defined. Next time, however, try writing an all-human story - or, if you're feeling brave, reinvent your Elites.

Overall, then, good work WarlordFil, and I hope we'll be seeing more of you.

Pictures by offensivebias1
Again, this is a decently-written story, although there are formatting issues, and this idea isn't exactly original. (In fact, it would work better as a dénouement to another story: there simply isn't enough character development in there.)

Also, this is perhaps a personal gripe, but the paragraphs are far too long. I'd rather they were broken up just a little more, so it's a little easier to read and follow.

Love in the Time of Christmas by Gallagher
Quote:
"She's got your spunk."

"Nah, she's got my sister's spunk…I'm sorry again, Randy."


As soon as you've established that in lolenglish parlance, "spunk" is a euphemism for "semen," that passage takes on a whole new meaning. Wink

Anyway, I really liked this. The concept is perhaps a bit cliché, but hey, it's Christmas, I can forgive that - especially since it's executed so well. Good work.

Christmas Eve in the Stars by Harbringer352
Despite its occasional narrative faults, this is a beautifully executed story - it's a bit like two old people in an old people's home sharing a phone call on Christmas Day. Temporarily heart-warming, but exacerbating their loneliness.

I'm not too sure about the cultural references, but I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to this. Wink Keep it up!

A Very Johnson Christmas by kr1
Personally, I found the songs... cringeworthy. But in a good way. Strong characters, strong narrative, fantastic punchline... what's not to like? Smile

Merry Krustithamusisas by Shurmanator
Call me Captain Killjoy but... I'm really not sure I get it. True, it's excellently written as always, but I didn't find it funny at all. Too absurdist, too difficult to follow - unfortunately it fell flat this time round. A bit like Meet the Spartans, but without Brent Spiner. Sad

Twelve days of Christmas by Emmazon
This is about as funny as Hepatitis C. Aside from the atrocious formatting, the pathetic grammar, the mediocre spelling and the hideous plot flow... just...

what the flying fuck am I reading? The first part appears to be an attempt at a Halo-themed parody of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which fails spectacularly (no-one has yet topped Frank Kelly's rendition.) Following this, we see a rather disturbingly macabre attempt at adapting Walking in a Winter Wonderland, which is even worse (even more so for the fact it's described as a "carol").

I can only surmise that the person who wrote this was drunk when they submitted it: it is astonishingly poor. And it gave me about as many laughs as the average Drew Carey programme.

And now, the Christmas rankings!
The specially-instated Wang Monster in a Pear Tree award goes to Twelve days of Christmas, for providing us with something that has, quite literally, changed the definition of "three grunts a running."

Honourable Mentions go to A Very Johnson Christmas and A Christmas Tree for the Sangheili Embassy: both of these stories were good fun, but unfortunately lacked the "full" package.

Second Place goes to Christmas Eve in the Stars - despite a few narrative flaws, it's a suitably bleak story with strong characters and an overall warm, fuzzy feeling. Good work. Smile

And this means, of course, our runaway Fic Pick of Christmas 2009 is Love in the Time of Christmas by (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher. Despite the 'spunk' gaffe, the story is beautifully written and realised in almost every respect.

So, congratulations to the winners, and I leave you with a specially-saved festive cracker joke:

The joke inside eb's cracker wrote:
Q: Why was 6 upset?
A: Because 7 8 9.


Happy new year, everyone!
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy shit.

Really?
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eb4642
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Joined: 09 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher wrote:
Holy shit.

Really?


Was that aimed at the cracker joke or at your win?

In both cases, yes. Razz
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Shurmanator
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thank God someone who actually deserved to win won this time.
Congrats Gallagher!
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WarlordFil
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the honourable mention--not bad for a first timer. Smile
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Harbringer352
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that review. I really appreciate the 'narrative faults' criticism. I needed to know what I needed to work on.

Second-place isn't bad for a new recruit. Very Happy
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