Pregnant Lady and a Lift
Why do so many authors have trouble hitting ENTER after one of their characters finishes speaking? This story is unreadable because of the lousy dialogue formatting, and the dreadful spelling and grammar only add to the confusion. If you can figure out who's saying what in the following exerpt, you may have the skills necessary to read the whole thing! Good luck.
"Sickbay! Is he okay? What's wrong?" "He's okay I'm afraid I well I am kind of embaressed but well we were in the turbolift and I was fixing to read him the riot act for the comment about moody pregnant women he made to Tom when all I could think of was how good he looked and how much I wanted to throw him against the wall and show him what it is really meant by to be in a command position.Unfortuanly I was a little too rough and well the doctor should be able to fix his chest and back. I never realized my nails were that sharp or that he could..." "Okay too much information. Don't feel bad in fact those urges are perfectly normal, for a klingon. Maybe IÕve rubbed off on you." "You better not have I happen to like my wife just the way she is. sweet and very.." "Are you saying I'm not sweet, Chakotay? I'll have you know that Tom says all the time I..." "I'm just kidding Be" I love you just the way you are and I am very happy with where my body parts are so that is all I am going to say on the matter. Oh in case you wanted to know I gave Tom the rest of the day off I think he said something about the holodeck." "Thanks I think I will just go see what heÕs up to." "Bye. You know something Chakotay I think you have a real mean streak. I like that"
Burning Thistles Amongst Thorns by Deborah L. Wells
Guest reviewer LS deconstructs this ASC Award winning Voyager story for us, and she's done a masterful job of it too. The only question left unanswered is -- if this was the best J/C story of the year, how bad were the rest?
This 24-part stinker has the dubious distinction of outdoing Janeway's "Turn of the Screw" holodeck program for overblown melodrama. Every sentence is packed to the turgidity of bloated roadkill with prose so passionately purple it reaches well into the ultraviolet spectrum. In short, this story features the most strained metaphors and awkward but insistent imagery I have ever seen-- and when I say this, I speak as a Freshman Composition instructor, so I've seen a heck of a lot.
The story also features the most thoroughly lame-ass attempt at a Machiavellian villain who ever cackled a badly-phrased threat. Though the author claims that he is a malevolent psychological manipulator of near-psychic intuition, Toran never shows the slightest insight into Janeway's psyche or flair for hitting her where it would really hurt, like her fear of failing her crew, her distress over once failing to save the lives of her father and fiancé, her sexual hang-ups--nothing like that. Instead, Toran's supposedly brilliant attempts at deft spiritual and psychological violation range from the simple heavy-handed physical sadism of branding to the pathetically feeble device of snickering and smugly making smart remarks while he watches his slaves work.
The only thing he does that shows any real emotional cruelty is making Janeway choose between him killing Chakotay or some nauseatingly saintly guy who helped them once, and Janeway's angst in that scene is so over-the-top that any real dramatic effect is lost as the reader fumes with irritation. Not to mention that the saintly guy's name is Milo, and anybody who likes to MST will be thoroughly distracted every time he occurs in the story by the desire to yell, "AND OTIS!"
Toran's characterization is not the only one that's bad, though. Janeway and Chakotay spout lofty dialogue that would make any pompous gothic protagonist blush. They react to Toran's humdrum villainy as though his moronic gloating, heavy labor, and short rations are the equivalent of absolute spiritual gang-rape. Also, none of the Voyager crew are remotely believable, their dialogue and reactions either wooden or forced. Even worse, Janeway and Chakotay don't ever get it on, even if you plod through the whole megabyte of this crap.
The pathetic attempts at hurt-comfort! The saintly martyrs! The senseless non-linear chronology with innumerable flashbacks! The innumerable plot and verbal cliches! The ridiculously drawn-out imagery descriptions! The irritating and senseless repetition of the story's title in characters' thoughts at moments of high drama! The convenient pseudo-science! The astounding chain of crucial coincidences! The deus ex machina climax! The interminable post-climactic shipboard angst! The interminable procession of commas placed outside quotation marks! The countless sentence fragments! The misused idioms! The only psychological torture going on in this story is what the author inflicts on the reader,who will be screaming for the story to end long before it actually does.
Some rare gems of this storyteller's art:
Chakotay was finding it a chore to simply swallow around the core of dryness that was making his throat feel raw and open, like a grain silo.
The scorching ripples of the day's sea of humid false-fire spilling its almost invisible-to-the-eye imperfections, wafting up from the ground like a mirage and transporting a cargo of transparent smoke. Which then rose to life in liquid waves to eventually dart across the arid landscape and disappear into nothingness. As simultaneously, the too thin membranes of fragile vessels composed only of flesh and blood, all quite literally began to melt from the inside out. Stemming from the ever constant and intense exposure, as they continued to face the elevated stage and daisinabsolute silence under the open and spread umbrella of a devil's breath.Otherwise masquerading as the sun, which raged impressively in foreground perspective to them, strung high overhead now, and framing closely behind the shoulders of Toran in silhouette. The optical eclipse sphere illusion playing along his form with bursts of pinpoint spikes, flashing rays of illumination. In some ways, the effect it produced was very much in keeping with the historical painting renditions of the Madonna and Child from Earth's Christianity, bringing to mind the spectral visage of shining auras composed of lightening-encrusted prism shards, and golden crowns of omnipotent glory.
Well. There you have it. At one point the author states, "The first rule of the con game - pretty up the package enough, and even rotted meat could find its buying market." Well, she's wrong. No matter how flowery she tries to make it, this story's carcass should go straight into the dumpster. For those of you who choose to endure this extended agony in spite of this review (or, God forbid, because of it) I suggest that one way to recover from it is to spend some quality time coming up with title sound-alikes, like "Chewing Gristles Among Gorns." Trust me. It's therapeutic.
Triumvirate:Borg by Kate's_AJ, Kadith and Kath
I really don't know where to begin with this one. I certainly couldn't finish it. For a start, it's long (and by that, I mean long). It's full of mischaracterization, misplaced capital letters and incorrect spellings -- for example:
Kathryn spun towards the door....phaser in hand...."Stay Away From Me!"
Oh, and in case the above quote didn't tip you off, it's just full of melodrama and over-the-top angst. Not to mention Janeway and Chakotay in a threesome relationship with a previously unheard of in canon but nevertheless beautiful and spirited young lieutenant. Can you say "Mary Sue", boys and girls? I knew you could! Yes, this rather large dose of pure pain has it all.
Rest My Child
My friends, this story has it all. Tense changes, spelling mistakes, invented words, awful plot, bad characterizations, and a total lack of editing are only the beginning. But wait, there's more!
Chakotay walked over to her and stood right infront of her before kneeling down on his knees. He then gently took both her hands on her lap and lifts up to his lip as he kissed both of them. Lifting up his head to look up at her face, he saw tears welled up in her eyes "Kathryn..."
He was in the kitchen preparing supper for both of them when Kathryn suddenly for no reason walked up the staircase. He had tried calling her a few times asking where she was going but each time she would ignore him.
As the doctor waited for the affect of his patient unconscious, he placed a gentle hand on Chakotay. "Commander, her condition had worsen than I thought. She has suppose to recover from the loss of the child but it only had gotten worst. What has happen to her?"
The young boy watched as the woman he thought was his mother leaves, being forced to leave him. His eyes burned with fire and his whole body suddenly exploded, leaving the room on fire, calling for his mother "MUMMY!"
Chakotay couldn't hold back the sob that he was holding before her choke out the sob
When she and Chakotay first move in here to stay, the owner had warned them that they were not allowed to go into this room. When Chakotay asked her why, the old woman told him it was better that they do not know, and so they never know about this mystery room.
"Kathryn! Kathryn!" he tried to wake Kathryn but each attempt failed when he realized that there was blood flowing out from her head.
Kathryn's back was facing him as Chakotay walked into the living room, his wore an expression of sadness
And, finally, redemption.
Kathryn was on her knees, flowers in her hand as she stare sadly at the tombstone. She kisses the flower that she was holding and gently placed it near the tombstone. "Rest in peace little one. May you find the peace that you never find"
Even by blacjac
Standard h/c tale in which Paris is injured, almost dies, and is saved at the very last second. It's a mediocre story all round, and wouldn't be worth mentioning if it weren't for the gloriously stilted sentences that manage to slow what little action there is down to a crawl. And what a painful crawl it is.
He waded through the broken pieces until he came to the fallen piece of the ceiling. He looked up and saw the brown sky. He blinked back the dirt that was falling into his eyes. He then looked back down at the metal and shivered. He bent down and slid it to one side. He then went over to the crates the supplies were in. He rumaged around them until he found the containers. He picked one up and saw the oragne liquid.
Quiet Night by Nemesiz '99
A story of 383 words, seven of which are misspelled and the remaining 376 are variations of "ooooooh". I won't soon forget the big romantic finale...
*oh, oh, oh, oh*
*kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss*
Oh dear. I hope I haven't ruined it for you!
Laughter by Nemesiz '99
I was literally stunned the first time I read this. I've waded through it three times since then, and I still wake up screaming. It's short, and you should read it for yourself because there is no way a simple review can hint at the horror that is this story. I know you think I'm indulging in hyperbole, but I honestly believe that this is one of the very worst pieces of fan fiction I've ever come across. Here's a small taste of what haunts my dreams:
She is laughing with a hoares voice, hoares from all the crying and no speaking. A laugh without emotional, empthy, no love and no hate. No happiness and no sadness.
Ship of Dreams by Lauren Taylor and Cheile
Oh joy. Another "Let's take a popular movie and insert the names of our favorite characters" fanfic. This story, ladies and gentlemen, is simply and purely pathetic. From the many idiotic plot holes so large that Voyager itself could fly through them to the characterization that, well, isn't, this story is full of misery. And the ending (The Star Trek equivalent of "Oh, it was all a dream") will have any poor, deluded readers who forced themselves to read that far shrieking "What the -- ? What a cop-out!"
Each Other or Their Friends by Tilbrook
I knew that this story was going to be a stinker when I encountered "Chocotay whizzing round the corner wearing his some what strained ‘I’m happy’ face’" and running into Tom "whistling ‘whistle while you work, Der len der len der len’". In addition to the bizarre characterizations there's the usual grab bag of godawful gaffs including inventive spelling, misplaced punctuation, and an odd penchant for only capitalizing the occasional word. It's enough to make you, like B'Elanna in this story, "take the only option a lady has in a situation like she fainted clean away." Or something.
For Once In My Life by Mea Ky
Every potential author should read this one, just to learn what not to do. Besides the usual mistakes we've come to know and loathe (Mary Sueism, dreadful spelling, wandering tense) the plot, what little there is of it, meanders pointlessly back and forth and is ultimately meaningless (although that old standby, Virus as a Plot Device® raises it's nasty little head). In addition, the author's grasp of the characters is always sketchy and occasionally laughable. Oh, and did I mention that the title has nothing to do with the story? While that may not be a hanging offence the fact that it hasn't even been capitalized correctly should be. This one almost drove me to abandon it half read, but I forced myself to finish it out of morbid curiosity . I kept thinking, how much worse can it get? Read it yourself and find out. Why should I have to suffer alone?
Put 2 and 2 Together by Lanna 13
Look out! It's a Mary Sue alert! Worse, it's a Twin Sister alert! Yes, B'Elanna has a twin, everyone! Let's all thank the author for giving us this important bit of information Paramount so thoughtlessly neglected to mention.
Gentle readers, this story has the lot. Cliched, poorly-written Paris/Torres romance, even worse Harry Kim/Mary Sue romance, bad spelling and punctuation, gross characterization abuse and "surprise" plot twists you can see from a mile away. The story has a link back to the author's fan fiction site, so you can find out where K'Lanna came from in the prequel, and read the sequels, but only if you want to. Don't hold us responsible if you hurt yourself while laughing.
The Reincarnation Series by Ronnie
Well, well, how interesting. This particular series was nominated by the BCCSSJ. A whole series of vignettes based on placing Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres in different periods of Earth history, and having them meet and interact. A highly ambitious endeavor that fails spectacularly.
Let's examine why. For a start, to be fair, trying to put characters from a particular fandom, setting and time into another one is extremely difficult. One has to simultaneously have the characters act as people from that time and place would act, and have them act like the characters we know and love from Star Trek. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Only the best of authors can manage it successfully. And this author, I am sorry to say, is far from the best.
These characters bear absolutely no resemblance to Tom and B'Elanna that I can see. The whole Reincarnation "series" is nothing more than a collection of otherwise unrelated vignettes, except for the premise of the two in Ancient Rome, etcetera.
As an added bonus, there are other series on the page as well, for you to peruse and groan in pain over. Enjoy. Or rather, whimper.
Looking for Miss Elizabeth by Veronica Jane Williams
Well, what can be said. Another overly insipid Paris/Torres romance, with the added joy of them having children. And add to that the especial joy of "Everybody got back to the Alpha Quadrant, and they all make up all their family quarrels, and the extended family lives happily ever after." Really, what more needs to be said? It's just another entrant in a done-to-death category. And it's not done well at all. In fact, it's quite Godawful.