2228: Voice Above, Sky Within – Chapter 1


Author: commandork lexi
Media: Video Game
Topic:  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter 1
Critiqued by Ghostcat





Hello, dear Patrons! Now that it’s a new year, I can bring out another Skyrim fic without feeling like I’m driving the source materials into the ground.

I can’t help it. I love a good work of fiction with deep lore that also lets me shoot frost trolls repeatedly in the face with arrows. Any-hoo, let’s take a look at the summary and I’ll show you what attracted my attention to this fic.

Caeila grew up a warrior, a prodigy, a blue-blooded noblewoman destined for greatness (yet she only wanted freedom). Azrael was a troublemaker, a bastard, a reject of society on a downwards spiral (yet she only wanted redemption). It was the Imperial City that brought them together, but it is Helgen that keeps them inseperable. (Two Dragonborns, Femslash)

So this fic is going to feature not one, but what appears to be two special little snowflakes that have a lot of potential to be Sues. A Dragonborn (or dovahkiin) is a mortal born with the soul of a dragon; something so rare that prior to the events of Skyrim, there had been no known dovahkiin for centuries. The Elder Scrolls wiki only lists a handful of known dovahkiin – but also includes the entire Septim lineage, which I take issue with since the ability to be a dovahkiin does not appear to be an inherited trait but spontaneously occurs in the population. Having two dovahkiin appear in the same location at the same time is akin to having a unicorn crap out a leprechaun; a fantastical feat of luck that perplexes the hell out of you. It makes me wonder if the author wanted to have a character that was both a high-born aristocrat and a low-born thief but couldn’t figure out how to give one character two Tragek Backstories so they had to divide them into two characters. And possibly will have them make out with each other, which sounds a bit weird now.

Now, on to the fic!

Title: Voice Above, Sky Within

Rating: T

Which starts off with another title bit. Yay.

Pairings: F/F, Caeila/Lydia, Caeila/Aela, Azrael/Astrid, Azrael/Vex, Azrael/Sapphire, Iona/Vex

And has a long list of many female characters that will eventually hook up, like all good works of fiction. Wouldn’t Pride & Prejudice be a much better book if you knew in advance who was going to end up together at the beginning?

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2213: If Brawls Subspace Emissary had dialogue – Chapters 5 and 6

Title: If Brawls Subspace Emissary had dialogue
Author: Vic0911
Media: Video Game
Topic: Smash Brothers
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
URL: Mario and Pit chase the Ancient Minister, and Diddy Kong, trying to forget Donkey Kong, swings through the jungle
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back for more of this utterly pointless foray into the Super Smash Brothers story mode.

Oh, did I say “utterly pointless”? Yeah, I meant that. One other problem that jumps out at me with this fic is that it just really doesn’t have much of a reason to exist. But, you know, that should be obvious to literally anybody who played the original mode. I mean, if it was able to tell its story adequately and the dude just couldn’t figure it out, that’s his problem, you know?

Alas, my bile fascination is what it is. So let’s just get going, shall we?

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2174: Scott Pilgrim X Mass Effect – Chapters 5

Title: Scott Pilgrim X Mass Effect
Author: WildeHoppsShipper
Media: Video Game/Movie/Graphic Novel
Topic: Scott Pilgrim/Mass Effect
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL:  Scott Pilgrim X Mass Effect – Chapter 5
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back for more Scott Pilgrim X Mass Effect. I’m your host Herr Wozzeck, and today…


Can we just get this over with? I have the horrible feeling we’re just stalling for time at this point, and I think we really need to get this over with as soon as possible. Especially given the mass stupidity we can expect out of this fic at this juncture.

Yeah? Alright.

Let’s do this! Read the rest of this entry »

2064: Mass Vexations Retrospective – Mass Vexations and the Missing Deconstruction

Title: Mass Vexations
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect, with a dash of Heavy Rain, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and other assorted properties
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL: Mass Vexations 1, Mass Vexations 2, and Mass Vexations 3. Also, the TVTropes Page.
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to this retrospective on Mass Vexations. I’m your host Herr Wozzeck, and we’re getting back into the thick of it.

And this time, we’re going to talk about a particular story element that playes most of the trilogy. And actually, this is something that kind of has a preface in something I brought up in ErtTheKing’s Subject 23 snarking, so it’s not going to be a totally new thing for any of the Librarians to hear about.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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2051: Mass Vexations Retrospective – Gontermanesque: A Tale of Stu Aspects

Title: Mass Vexations
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media: Video Games
Topic: Mass Effect, with a dash of Heavy Rain, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and other assorted properties
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL: Mass Vexations 1, Mass Vexations 2, and Mass Vexations 3. Also, the TVTropes Page.
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hey guys, it’s your friendly Neighborhood Herr Wozzeck here, and… well, we’re gonna do something a little bit different with these installments of snark that I’m gonna be writing over the next couple of weeks. Let’s call it a hindsight commentary.

See, y’all probably have seen that it’s Mass Vexations on the snark block today. Issue is, I have no desire to snark the entire thing. And that’s for one very simple reason: word count. The whole trilogy is just too damn long for me to sustain any kind of full-length line-by-line snark, and it would be a fool’s errand to try to do the whole thing.

‘Cause let’s be real: Mass Vexations is wordy. I mean real wordy. And let’s break that down for a second: Mass Vexations, if we look purely at the fanfiction.net word count function (which admittedly includes A/Ns in this, but one set of variables at a time), the word count comes to just under 188K words. The median average of most novels is about half that, at 99K words. That’s bad enough, but it gets worse, because then Mass Vexations 2 and Mass Vexations 3 both boast a word count that totals at about 607K and 603K words, respectively. For reference, that means that both MV2 and MV3 individually are longer than Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that the entire trilogy’s wordcount eclipses the entire Harry Potter series by about 300K words, and Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (which is the current Guinness World Record holder for the longest novel) by about 100K words.

You are crazy if you expect me to sit here snarking that entire mass of words line by line for any amount of time. I do not have that much time in the world to dedicate to such an insane project, and I say this as the guy who wrote the thing on the snarking block. Even a summary snark wouldn’t exactly work here.

But… well, let’s face it. It’s still a fairly problematic series in a lot of ways, and looking back… well, while I wouldn’t totally call it an old shame, there are a lot of things I would change about the series knowing what I’ve written now. So this time, I’m gonna go ahead and take the gloves off.

*takes gloves off*

Oh, it’s not because I’m about to go hard-core on myself: this is admittedly going to be a more serious affair than what you normally see at the Library, mostly because I think I’m going to go in deep with real critical self-analysis here, with more of a critic’s eye than a jokey-joke eye than usual. I’ll crack a joke or two here, but expect this to be more in the style of, say, a Lindsay Ellis video essay.

Also, I’m not really going to plan on tackling this thing in chronological order. I think, for me, discussing this particular previous work of mine is going to involve going at it and talking about the broader issues of narrative. We can nitpick individual typos and silly lines of dialogue all day long (and trust me, that’s in the cards, too), but for me, it makes more sense to talk about this from a standpoint of “here’s an aspect folks criticize/I think was a problem, let’s talk about it more”.

And if you’re wondering why I’m doing this? Eh, I felt it was time. I’ve been thinking a lot about these things for the past few years, across the time I’ve done FBA fiction and also these Library of the Damned snarks, some of which were written in conjunction with the writing of MV3. And… well, in the interest of full disclosure, I also discovered recently that there’s a line-by-line snark of the trilogy elsewhere on the world wide web that got started in September. While those of you who know one of my previous snarks know I normally wouldn’t mind that happening, in this case it’s written by someone who, in Hannity-esque fashion, failed to disclose that not only is he a former “friend” with whom I had a vicious falling-out, but that he made some contributions to the Mass Vexations universe that got excised (more on that later). Also, as best as I can tell given his past behavior regarding Mass Vexations and me as a person, he’s doing it to spite me.

You’re probably going to call this a product of bruised ego, and honestly, I can understand why you might think that given what I just disclosed. But here’s the thing: snarking things out of spite means that you lose a certain objectivity when you critique it, and doubly so when you fail to disclose your previous relationship with the fiction. Thus, I’m hoping that hearing some of these criticisms straight from the horse’s mouth proves to be an exercise in greater objectivity.

So yeah. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

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2005: A Thorned Rose Chapters 4-7

Title: A Thorned Rose (re-write)
Author:  Mercs2Girl
Media: Video Game
Topic: Mercenaries Franchise
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter 4 ; Chapter 5 ; Chapter 6 ; Chapter 7
Critiqued by: ME-Iron-Maiden

*enters the reading room, clad in green and black Mandalorian armor, the soft suit and trim of my helmet’s visor a dark olive drab with the plates, boots, main helmet sections, and gloves finished in a simple flat black paint*

Hello, everyone. Me-Iron-Maiden here and welcome back to the snarking of “A Thorned Rose”. Just give me a few moments to get set up and we’ll get started.

*pulls out a bottle of Gorilla Glue given to me by Bifocals, reads the instructions for use, and dumps it haphazardly over the room*

Alright, let’s see if I’m forgetting anything.

*pulls out a datapad and references the checklist I have typed up on it*

Ok, it looks like we’re just about ready.

*quickly inspects my weapons; an E-11 blaster carbine, a DL-18 blaster pistol, and a Stokhli spray stick before sitting down at the fic viewer*

You might be wondering why I’m geared up. That’s for several reasons.

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1981: Ash and Arceus: Ash’s Revenge

Title: Ash and Arceus
Author: terminalvelocityrunner
Media: Video Games
Topic: Pokemon
Genre: Adventure/Drama
URL: Ash and Arceus: Chapter 1
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

DISCLAIMER: The fanfic being snarked contains a scene of sexual intercourse: thus, this snarking is rated Not Safe For Work. Read at your own discretion!

Hey guys! It’s your boy Herr Wozzeck, and I am back from another brief hiatus that was spent figuring out my next career moves! Now that I’m mostly out of the real thick of it, though, I can concentrate on other things. Like writing. And riffing. And maybe wondering what in the hell some people were thinking trying to give us shit.

See, we got a comment on one of our older riffs recently: this one, to be precise. And in this comment, they said this:

I’m pretty damn sure I can’t find this because of you. Nice job. Now maybe I should go and criticize some of your own fics. Fanfiction is just people trying to live out personal fantasies or wishes for a series in the only way they know how. They aren’t here so you can make rude coments on the author or their work that they took time out of their life to write and post for others to see and enjoy. Sure it’s funny…but it might just be painful for the one who wrote it.

And they decided to log themselves in as “An anonymous writer on Fanfiction.net”. So, you know, you would think “hm, maybe the author decided to hop in and leave an anonymous bitchy comment because reasons”. I mean, it seems to fill in all the check boxes, right? The timing is about right, the tone is about right… everything about it seems to make sense. So in our author’s mind, “anonymous writer” would make sense to hide their identity, right? Because why risk outing yourself as someone when you can come up with a new username? Hey, it worked for Jedi Qui-Gon, why not here?

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