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Author Topic: Hooray! Not-so-newbie fanfic!  (Read 8323 times)
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Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #320 on: 12-22-2005 21:00 »
« Last Edit on: 12-22-2005 21:00 »

say what now, you have the perkiest internet writing I've ever seen. Hurrah, indeed.   tongue
Smoothly, it is, then. And from now on, I avoid new characters... except for a few more... er... darnit.

Shortish bit filled with angst and sugar. Be prepared! (I realize some of you are always prepared for that particular combination.   wink)

You can all thank Bergey for betaing this so quickly. I'll be kind and wait 'til tommorow before sending him the next part. (And you're aren't to beta it unless you absolutely want to until after Christmas. I won't have you being a keyboard slave for me... on Christmas anyway.   smile And by the way, your "prolixity" made me choke on my egg nog, Homer Simpson)

The part that follows this is more like an extension to the scene as opposed to an actual scene change.

TOTPFanfic update!
-------------------------------------------
Part 53:


Munda’s eye fluttered as consciousness returned. Thoughts of her family returned a second later. Despite the throbbing soreness, she tried to sit up.

   “Easy there,” came the gentle rejoinder from a familiar voice. “Everything’s alright.”

   “No, no, it’s not,” the cyclops protested miserably. “Everything is wrong, my daughter, my husband… the whole universe is falling apart.” She fought to keep the hysteria raging inside her from reaching her voice. She wasn’t particularly successful.

   “Don’t get up, Munda. You’ve just had surgery.” She ignored the warning, filled with a need to take some sort of action, and overwhelmed by the urgency coursing through her. “Leela’s safe. She’s safe.” Chastity murmured, running warm hands against Munda’s back as she gently forced the cyclops to lie down.

   “Safe?” The word was so far from Munda’s current understanding of reality that it had lost all meaning. Fear had seized her, and it would not let go so quickly.

            Chastity smiled warmly, stroking her patient’s arms and toying with the messy hair. It had once been a strident purple but time had let it fade to a muted violet. When Munda had quieted a bit, the doctor took a breath. In a hushed tone, she shared an announcement of tremendous impact. “The war is over.”

    Munda’s eye flew open and she stared up at an exhausted, but happy-looking Chastity. “What?” she whispered, feeling the muscles in her abdomen tighten painfully. The hope in those words was too terrifying to contemplate, so the exhausted woman disregarded it completely. In a voice thick with despair, she said, “Yes, of course it’s over. It was over before it all began really. A bitter smile touched he lips. “What are they going to do to us?” she asked, despondently.

   Soothing fingers pushed her head back down to rest on the thin pillow. “Don’t you go and hurt yourself again,” Chastity admonished her gently. “It’s not what you think, Munda, and it’s better than we could have hoped. The President and Supreme Mutant are in talks right now. Peace talks!” Munda, hurting body and soul, shook her head in blatant disbelief, desperately wishing the doctor would understand that she could not bear any more, but Chastity would not leave the matter alone. “It’s true! The fighting has stopped and the wounded are being treated. Nixon has agreed to let us be.”

    Munda didn’t understand why such happy news would bring tears to her eye and dread to her heart. “No,” she shuddered, trembling in denial.  “Munda,” Chastity persisted, “they’re pulling all the soldiers out of our home! We’ll be free again!”

   Involuntary tremors gripped her. She wanted to curl up in a ball and wait for the world to end. Instead, she squeezed her eye shut and breathed, fighting to pull herself together. After a while, she managed to ask, “If they’ve already decided to leave, then what are the talks about?”

   Chastity’s face had lit up again in that radiant glow. Munda was beginning to hate that look. It gave her a creepy feeling, like it wasn’t entirely natural. “Reparations, if you can believe that. He’s really not such a bad guy, once you get to know him.” The unnerving feeling redoubled, and her solitary eye narrowed in suspicion.

   “Who’s not?” she asked uneasily.

   “Richard, er, President Nixon.” The doctor blushed and bit her lip at the slip.

    The miserable cyclops gaped at her in astonishment. “Are you crazy?”

   Chastity shrugged sheepishly, but she met the piercing stare with a touch of defiance.  “Maybe, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, does it? As long as the fighting is over? Listen, we’ve never ever had official negotiations with the surface dwellers before. This could change everything! Can you imagine being treated like people by the surface dwellers?” Frankly, Munda could not. She did not trust this apparent change of heart from Nixon at all.

   Chastity was looking at her with eager expectation in her eyes. Munda cast her own eye around the room, hoping to escape giving a response. Ragged curtains were drawn around her cot for some semblance of privacy, obstructing her view, but the rising and falling thrum of voices told her she was in a large room, probably some sort of makeshift hospital. The heavy thickness of the air told her she was home, in the sewers of New New York. She thought, with a stab of grief, of Leela lying on the bed in the now destroyed warehouse, her own makeshift hospital, fighting for her life, with Nixon crashing through the walls. It seemed like so long ago when she’d last seen her daughter’s open, perfect eye, filled with blended fright and determination, all for her red-headed friend. Unexpected sobs shook her, but she did not weep.

   “Munda? Munda!” Startled back to awareness, she turned an alarmed gaze to Chastity, who had grabbed her tentacle. “You’re hyperventilating. You need to calm down. Slow deep breaths, now. That’s right, breathe with me.” With the doctor’s assistance she managed to steady her breathing, but nothing seemed to steady her nerves.

   The mutant shook her head numbly, recovering, and then turned back to her real concern. “Leela, she’s alright? She’s really safe?” Chastity nodded, but her lips tightened uneasily. “We had a report that she’s doing better than she was, breathing normally, vitals stabilized; that’s good news, but apparently, she’s still unresponsive.”

   “You had a report?!” Munda exclaimed. “And just what do you mean, ‘apparently?’” she demanded, the beginnings of anger sparking deep in her eye.


The doctor tried to shush her as her irate voice easily penetrated the flimsy curtain. “She’s not down here with us. Now, don’t panic.” Chastity’s quick words did nothing to belay the sickening fear Munda was feeling. “Listen, we know she’s getting medical attention, we just don’t know where.”

   “That doesn’t make sense! How can you know she’s okay if you don’t even know where she is?!”

   “Doesn’t make sense to me either, Mrs. Turanga,” another voice slurred wearily.

   Both women looked over to see a white-faced Fry clinging to the curtain and listing dramatically. In a split second, the doctor reached him, slinging his arm over her shoulder. Once she’d gotten a firm grip, Chastity half carried him to Munda’s bedside, scolding him maternally. The cyclops quickly shifted her legs out of the way, not without pain, and urged him onto the bed.

   “You’re alive!” she exclaimed, “...you’re awake!” she corrected herself, not liking the negativity of her own words.

   The young man smiled at her with a sad sort of humour. “Yeah, I’m okay, but I think I might really die if we don’t find Leela soon.” Under the hyperbole, there was a current of truth that resonated within Munda.

   “I know how you feel,” she sighed, winking rapidly to prevent the threatening tears. Shyly, Fry gave her shoulder a sympathetic squeeze.

   Chastity was frowning at Fry in a doctorish manner. “You are both alive and awake, but you aren’t ready to be eavesdropping just yet.”

   Munda leapt to his defense, “Have some sense, doctor, it’s harder to avoid eavesdropping than to do it in this place.” Fry laughed weakly in agreement. His exhaustion was palatable as his head drooped forward. Ignoring both the warning look on Chastity’s face and the warning twinges in her body, she pushed aside the blanket and awkwardly made her way over to the redhead, slipping a tentacle around his waist. After the surprise faded, Fry relaxed into the embrace and let his head rest on her shoulder. Satisfied she’d done what little she could for him, Munda turned her eye to Chastity. “You owe us an explanation,” she said gravely.

   The doctor looked away, a gesture that terrified her, before looking back with pity shining in her eyes. “Before the ceasefire was declared,” she began slowly, “Leela was captured by the surface-dwellers. I see you remember that,” Chastity added sympathetically, when Munda’s face twisted in reaction. “Well,” Chastity continued reluctantly, “she was transferred to a military hospital in order to be … uh, studied… and cared for.”
   The addendum meant nothing to Chastity’s audience. “Studied!” Munda and Fry shrieked in tandem, prompting the doctor to wince and gesture at them to lower their voices.

   “I know, I know; it’s terrible, but before you panic, listen!” Munda gave the protesting delivery boy a firm squeeze, quieting him. She needed to hear this.

   “So they took her to the surface. Where?”

   Chastity pursed her lips unhappily, “I don’t know where. They seemed to have… lost her.”

   “What?!” Fry bellowed. Munda’s shock had pushed her past such elegant verbosity.

   “Shh, please, there are some sick people here who need to rest.”

   “There are some sick people up there, too! They’ve got her. They’re lying; they just don’t want to give her back.” The delivery boy looked ready to charge out of there and give the entire Earthican population a piece of his mind. Munda reached out and gave him a squeeze on the wrist, waiting until he looked at her before speaking.

   “Please, Fry,” she breathed, “Let her speak. I need to understand where my baby is… and you’re scaring me.” Fry hissed a rueful apology.

   “I’m sorry, I truly am,” Chastity murmured. “The President tells me that she’ll be released to us as soon as they’ve located her. It’s just that she wasn’t the only mutant brought to the surface, and somehow in all the chaos at the triage centre they lost track of her. They found a doctor who remembers her being there though, and he said she was stable. BP was low but she was breathing on her own. They just don’t know where she was sent.”

   Fry looked like death warmed over; a ghastly shade of grey, and Munda could only guess what she herself looked like. Appalling, she decided, if she could judge by the concern in Chastity’s expression. It was all just too much. “Oh, Leela,” she moaned sickly.

   “Munda, Munda dear, don’t think like that. We’ve been promised that all of the prisoners will be sent back to the sewers.”
   
   “Don’t tell me about promises, doctor,” the cyclops replied frostily, surprised by the coldness in her own voice. “I won’t have any peace until she’s back safe in my arms.” 
Fry nodded in fervent agreement.

   The doctor pressed her lips tightly together and nodded sharply. “I don’t blame you one whit, but there’s hope now, at least, and isn’t some hope better than none?”

   Munda had no answer to that.
------------------------------------------

I think I'm starting to over-angst myself.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #321 on: 12-22-2005 21:24 »

Layla:

One word:

BRAVO!   love

Okay you cunts, let's see what you can do now.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #322 on: 12-22-2005 22:59 »

very good again Layla, but I've gotta say that the chastity/nixon thing has me confused.  It feels really... random.  I know you'll explain it at somepoint, but until then *shrugs*
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #323 on: 12-23-2005 00:15 »

 
Quote
I think I'm starting to over-angst myself.
[Elzar]No question.[/Elzar]
 
Quote
“You’re alive!” she exclaimed, “...you’re awake!” she corrected herself
Callbacks win.  Christ, I'm talking like such an internet junkie.  What I mean is, I like the reference.
 
Quote
His exhaustion was palatable
Not to over-reference myself (or question yours or JBERGES' vocabulary), but I do not sink zat means what you sink it means. You're probably looking for "palpable," as "palatable" basically means tasty.

I'll leave any other nitpicks for others, and just say great stuff.  Munda and Fry are both believable here and your descriptive text is astounding as usual.  And might I add one more thing about Chastity/Nixon: Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

Looking forward to the thrilling conclusion, which will hopefully happen sometime in the next decade/10,000 pages.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #324 on: 12-23-2005 01:06 »
« Last Edit on: 12-23-2005 01:06 »

I hate when people act like Fry and Munda.  It's probably a good thing phones don't have tasers built into the earpieces.  I would have tased a good many people like them.  You should be applauded for capturing the true essence of panicky, shortsighted people, but instead I will say "boo" for making me think of work on my day off.  Nah, I'll applaud you.  Maybe I'll just go with a non-committal "booray!"

Fry's line about dying if Leela isn't recovered struck me as exceptionally dark for him, hyperbolic or not.  I'm not quite sure how I'd reword it.  Maybe something about him being alive but no being okay until Leela is safe or all the chaos was over or somesuch.

Also, Chas isn't much of a sugar-coater.  Doesn't she know that the medical term for "studied" is "tests and observation"?  I understand "studied" was needed to evoke outrage, but as hard as she was trying to allay the fears of her friends, she really blew it on that one.

Good update.  Not my favorite, but still good stuff.

I don't know why people find me intimidating.  Quite frankly, I WILL DESTROY THEM!
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #325 on: 12-23-2005 01:38 »

*Does the happy dance of happiness*

It's all so perfect!
Arkan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #326 on: 12-23-2005 05:15 »

EEEEEEEEEE! Fry!  love

Everyone was in character and the descriptions were great. And I think the Chastity/Nixon thing is interesting, even if it is weird.  tongue

More please!  big grin
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #327 on: 12-23-2005 05:37 »

Hi...remember me?  (I don't blame you if you don't). 

I loved the two updates.  The tether scene is brilliant, and I don't mean that hyperbolically, and someday could you let us see the earlier, flawed version, so I can gain insight into the process of producing brilliance like that?  Seriously.  I need to know how to do that...

It needed to stay in the story because it's totally part of your theme of being lost but hanging on because of those you love.

I adored the Nixon/Chastity thing, it's so wonderfully twisted.  My only suggestion is that the "Nature says we should not be" line should be in italics or something so that it's clearly a thought of the character rather than a bit of narration.

Am I making sense?  It's 4:30 am and I've been wrapping Christmas gifts since elevenish.  Reading the tether scene I kept seeing it as curling ribbon or florist's wire.  Which I knew was just my brain, not your writing, never fear.

I'm very happy.  Of course, not that I've read your TWO updates I can't stay up long enough to read Venus' stuff, I hope she's happy enough to forgive me....(smiles wanly)

Love you guys, I've missed you, hope I have time to do this more often, at least for a bit...

The Shinester
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #328 on: 12-23-2005 10:51 »

This is gonna be the most edited fanfic in history, and that ain't not not bad! Seriously, thanks for being so incredibly helpful everyone!

Shiny... Shiny... weren't you the violent precursor to hockey? Oh, oh! Shiny who is a fantastic writer and regularly wipes the floor with me, yay!!!! I missed you!!! (with that big rock, darn!)

I'm not making much sense today. Let me sum up by saying, of course I remember you! You're great!! Sadly, I don't have the (more) flawed version anymore unless JBERGES saves his email from wayyyy back. (Months ago, I believe) Venus might have it too. As I recall, it was longer, involving several tethers. She spots Fry and Bender as she floats away, then gets snagged on Morris' tether (not by name obviously) which was an older, deeper love. When that goes, she's held with Leela (newer love filled with pride.) The more I write it this way, the more painful it seems.  wink

I'd love to know how you do what you do, or how Venus, Bergey, well, the list go on do what they do. I'd love to mercilessly club my angsty muse into submission, but she' bigger and meaner than me. We all have our own styles, eh?

Thanks for giving me a concrete reason for keeping the tether scene in. So eloquent too. I have a theme?

Love you too Shinester, don't be a stranger!

Arkan: I have not yet begun to weird. smile Thanks Arkan, I'll do what I can.

Venus: Oh, Venus, you have such a way with words.  tongue Thanks, sweetie!

Dr. Thunder: Isn't booray an old French dance? Or perhaps it's the precursor to booyah?

You're right, that line is very dark for Fry. It quirked Bergey too. I'll have to think about it.

About Chas (speaking of bratty names), pobody's nerfect. Besides that, my reasoning (which I have just come up with) is that it's a cultural thing. I figure mutants for fairly direct people given how they live. The line still bothers me though, has from the minute I wrote it.

Thanks for the support, Morbo!

Nerd-o-rama: How did I know you wouldn't argue with me on that?  wink Good eye on the call back.

You are completely right about palatable. I'm just gonna blush for a while then go study a dictionary.

Thanks for the kind words, and for making me laugh. (Ew. Ew. Ew.)

And the conclusion in either the next decade/10000 pages? Definately one of those.

soylent orange: yep! it's weird, it's random, but it's going somewhere, honest. (How often has Futurama done something weird like this?)

Ralph: Thanks kindly!
NIC2001

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #329 on: 12-23-2005 15:01 »

Layla: Can you believe that I'm working today and tomorrow! 8 years!!! For the last 8 years I've always had the holiday period off! Why...

Oops sorry about that. Anyway, after reading your last update and I must say that I didn't like how Chastity reacted in to some of Fry and Munda questions. Is she hiding something? Did she do some kind of pact with Nixon? Also I was wondering where’s Bender and the Professor?  And what about Amy, Kiff, Hermes… will they survive their Air Lock trip?

With all this said I must say that I really enjoyed your last update Layla. I can see that you’re working hard on your fic and I can’t wait to see how it ends!  (I still remember the true love kiss thing… do you?)

Keep it up Layla!
Btw, you may want to go see the new drabbles in your drabble topic (If you didn’t go already.)
say what now

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #330 on: 12-23-2005 19:56 »

OMG IT'S FRY!!!zlkajtoiu5yal;wt;a'sl;dfj!

Short, but lovely nonetheless. I love the whole Fry/Munda bonding thing going on... it's making my insides go squish. Heehee.

I'm not too worried about Leela, though knowing the whole twistyturnyangstydramatic thing you've always got going on as a fantabby writer, I probably should be... but I really do trust Chastity. Then again, I usually trust most people without question, gullible as I am...

I hope I'm right in trusting her. I don't wanna die from Leela worry anymore! *collapse*

But I love Fry, and I love you...

Hooray for updating!
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #331 on: 12-23-2005 20:33 »
« Last Edit on: 12-23-2005 20:33 »

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Fry came back! That was a great part Layla. I saw a punctuation error that confused me with the dialouge so I'll point it out to you once I find it again. Anyway good job, I can't believe this is actually almost over  eek
Blane

Professor
*
« Reply #332 on: 01-12-2006 03:39 »

OMGZ where did layla go?!
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #333 on: 01-12-2006 11:38 »

Well, as far as I know, school/work (same thing, as she's in a teaching practicum this semester) started back up last week, and her schedule hasn't re-stabilized to the point where she has time to kill on the internet.  I'm sure she'll be back as soon as she has the time.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #334 on: 01-12-2006 18:03 »

Argh!  Quit faking me out, you twerps.  The next time this thread pops up to the top of page one, it had better be because Layla's posting something.
Shippy Mandy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #335 on: 01-17-2006 22:25 »

YAY! You've finally updated! And it had angst and shippy! HUZZAH!

*hugs Layla very, very tightly*
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #336 on: 02-23-2006 20:44 »

Surprise! I'm back! No, really!

Some of you (most of you?) know that my computer commmitted hari kari and was also possessed by evil spirits. The good news is, with the assistance of a computer guy, and the neighbourhood exorcist ("The power of RAM compells you!" ) my computer has been restored to good graces.


The bad news is that we had to reformat it, meaning it has been completely wiped clean.

Don't despair. I backed up my stories, and as far as I know they are in the same state of disarray as when I left them some time ago.

More bad news, I do not come bearing writing, but hey, since everyone else is writing I figure I can kick up my heels for a while!

Although, it has been rather a while hasn't it. Well, I'll try to get back into the swing of things again soon.

For anyone who emailed me without a response, I'm very sorry, and I don't even know if anyone did email me really, but maybe they did. Sorry anyway. (Canadian apology number 37: The generic all around "Sorry anyway" )

I missed you guys and girls!
Blane

Professor
*
« Reply #337 on: 02-23-2006 23:55 »

Yay! Layla's back! Not you ever knew me, because i just finished reading everything up to the last update when your computer died. Ohwell, i'm happy anyway!
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #338 on: 02-24-2006 01:17 »

Glad you're back, sweetie! We missed you.  smile

And I'm actually about halfway through my review of your story.  I'd probably finish it sooner if I was inspired for an update. (How's that for incentive?)
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #339 on: 02-24-2006 01:26 »

Yay! Layla's back from the dead!
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #340 on: 02-24-2006 11:17 »
« Last Edit on: 08-27-2008 21:20 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
Surprise! I'm back! No, really!
<Handel's "Hallejuliah Chorus">
Yay! She's back!

Gladda' see ya' kiddo!  love
Quote
Some of you (most of you?) know that my computer commmitted hari kari...
Mine did too: Only it had the bad taste to do so when I was trying to complete my taxes...  roll eyes
Quote
The good news is... my computer has been restored to good graces.
Hooray!
Quote
The bad news is that we had to reformat it, meaning it has been completely wiped clean.
*Gasp!* What about your fic's?
Quote
Don't despair. I backed up my stories, and as far as I know they are in the same state of disarray as when I left them some time ago.
Thank God! ... For the 'still there' part, not the 'disarray' part...  wink
Quote
Although, it has been rather a while hasn't it. Well, I'll try to get back into the swing of things again soon.
Sadly, it has been - BUT, don't rush yourself.
I know from sad experience writing a story takes its own sweet time - and yours are among the best.
This isn't a compliment, it's a fact.
Quote
I missed you guys and girls!
Likewise.
<Looks at own gender sign>

Hey! Wait a minute...  wink
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #341 on: 02-27-2006 15:19 »
« Last Edit on: 02-27-2006 15:19 »

Layla, I promised you a review of your story when it was done.  I couldn't wait - so sue me.    wink

~~~~~

FRY'S CHOICE
by Layla50

Reviewed by Shiny


Layla's story...where to begin?  I guess, at the beginning.

In the midst of reading Tongue Luck's hilarious shipfic parody, I ran across the following post:

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:
Tongue Luck, if you haven't yet, check this out.
It suffers from the entirely different problem of being intentionally dramatic, but in terms of style, pacing, diction, and just plain writing quality it blows past 99% of the competition.

I shrugged, and said, "Why not?"  I had dipped into random stories on Futurama Madhouse, aka The Leela Zone, but after finding a number of truly execrable works, and a few that were well-written but waaaay too depressing for my taste, I had soured on "serious Futurama fic" and had only read JBerges' stuff in its entirety.  But I am reasonably open minded and was willing to give it another go, especially one recommended in a thread making fun of the stories that had caused me pain.

 
Quote
The feeling of dread was heavy in the air in the silent room. Silent that is, save for the unceasing beep of the heart monitor.

Uh-oh, I thought, it's starting off a little melodramatic.  Also an incomplete sentence, not good in the first paragraph.

 
Quote
If things were different, she could have laughed. Leela doubted that Fry had ever gone so long without saying something utterly foolish, excepting of course his long sojourn across time.

Now, that was quite a bit better.  A valid insight that tied the present seriousness into the show's usual goofiness, bridging the gap in tone (and causing my barely suspended disbelief to inch a little higher), presented in an image that rang of actual poetry.

 
Quote
A thousand years of frozen sleep. It was such an incredible happening, a miracle really, that he had not been disturbed during all that time, that he had survived that entire perilous millennium one icy breath away from death.

Perhaps, I thought, the poetry wasn't a fluke.  The author seemed to know how to walk the thin tightrope of haunting imagery without falling into the chasm of purple prose.

 
Quote
If he could make it through that, surely, this sleep was no different; surely, he would open his eyes again, and peer at her from under his astonishing red hair. Then he would beg her for a date, or go looking for an adventure, either in space or on earth. Home was nearly as strange to him anyway. But it was home. Leela let go of Fry's hand briefly to run her fingers through his hair, by way of comfort. She would never permit herself such familiarity if he were awake, not wanting to give him any ideas. Nothing she did stopped him from having ideas, but it was a cruel tease, and Fry was dear to her. Leela didn't want to hurt him.

From that point on, I stopped analyzing, because I was hooked. 

The intro was technically almost perfect, and brilliant in execution, and neither dropped its "hook" too soon nor kept the reader waiting impatiently, but presented it, baited and tempting, just as the reader opened his/her mouth to sample a little more.  Of course, I only knew all this on a subliminal level.  My superliminal self had taken the bait and was merely sunk in the story, going "Hey, this is pretty good.  What's wrong with Fry?  Where's that next section, damn it?"

And this is part of Layla's genius - that you are not aware of her genius while you read, you are only experiencing the story.  This is how fiction is (IMHO) meant to be - totally engaging, its craft only visible in retrospect but then (hoo boy) what a joy to examine.
For instance, this bit, which begins the next section:

 
Quote
"I'm walking on sunshine, whoa-oh!" Fry was jubilant. Not for any reason in particular, simply because the air was fresh and life was good. Yesterday, he had gone into space, today he was going into space, and tomorrow- well, tomorrow was maintenance day and he'd be scrubbing the Planet Express ship, but the day after that, he'd be going into space. The future was beyond his wildest childhood dreams, and the future was today.

Can I possibly describe how much I love this paragraph?  I don't think so. I could say that I have seldom come across such a perfect distillation of a character, in tone as well as in fact - for the wonderful run-on sentence in the middle glides from one thought to the next just as Fry's own sentences (and one assumes, his thoughts) do -  but I can't explain why it gives me such joy to read.  I could say how perfect the word "jubilant" is, illustrating Mark Twain's famous observation - but I can't say why it's the "right" word for Fry.

Layla's word choice in some way defies analysis, for she does not merely walk the tightrope of haunting imagery, she dances gracefully across it in a ballet that leaves the reader breathless with wonder and delight...and what's more, she delivers actual drama and insight as she did so.  Her grasp on character is like the grip of Vermeer on his brushes, so perfectly balanced that the end result seems more akin to the work of pure spirit than to the actions of drab, earthy flesh.

Look at this intro of the Professor:

 
Quote
Professor Hubert Farnsworth suddenly laughed with maniacal glee; for a scientist whose genius skipped merrily along the path to madness and whose advanced age had settled him into a pleasant senility, he was quite childlike in his enthusiasm. He was an altogether disturbing person, but with a certain strange charm that endeared him to his employees.

There's the Professor in two sentences.  It's all there, everything we've learned about him summed up in fewer words than there are episodes in the series. Such elegance in prose is seldom encountered in professional fiction, let alone fan writing.  Less talented pro writers could spend an entire page telling us less about the professor than those fifty-six words do, and it almost certainly wouldn't be as beautiful.

But Layla's real genius is in her sensibility for the essence of Futurama, and her ability to translate the wacky, surreal world of a Matt Groening cartoon into a serious tale about real people we can care about.  She does this by echoing the methods in the more serious episodes of the show.  She makes the danger real, but gives it a twist.

I was starting to have doubts throughout the first half of the story, I admit.  The danger to the mutants seemed too real, too serious for Futurama.  I was starting to have flashbacks to Schindler's List and Hotel Ruanda until I reached this part....

(Long quote follows)

 
Quote
Nixon's arrival at the high-tech lab hidden under the Lincoln's head's bedroom sent already busy scientists into a tizzy of activity. The sea of white lab coats was quite disorienting, but one separated from the crowd and approached the president.
"Oh, sir, you're here. Great!" The slender dark-haired man was grinning with obvious enthusiasm.
"You've finished the project then? To my satisfaction?" Suspicion burned in Nixon's eyes. He had not forgotten the last scientist who had promised results.
But the middle-aged man was unphased by his employer's dark expression. "I'm sure you'll be pleased sir, as the project has exceeded all expectations. You see, we were coming at this from the wrong angle in the beginning. What we really needed was-"
"Enough of your Tower of Babbling, Egghead, show it to me." Nixon interrupted impatiently.
"Right, right, sorry." Egghead called over his shoulder as he beckoned eagerly to someone in the crowd. "Open it up!"
A large metal door swung open, knocking over a couple of unwary lab techs. Nixon chuckled evilly, but soon forgot about the unfortunate people as he stared up the impressive hulk of his massive robot body. A hush fell over the room as the technicians and robotisists waited for the Earthican President's reaction.
At first, Nixon could only choke and gibber in stunned surprise at what had been done to his beloved robot body. When he remained speechless for several seconds, the dark-haired man cautiously prompted him. "Sir?"
The floodgates shattered and the president began howling in inarticulate fury. As one, the crowd of scientists edged back from the raging head. Uncertainly, Lackey tried to support Nixon by stamping his feet and waving the jar around, imitating a temper tantrum as best he could.
A particularly violent swing sent the president flying out of the top of the jar, bouncing and rolling across the floor. Unnerved lab techs skittered out of the way, and Lackey let out a horrified "eep!" before courageously rushing to retrieve the supreme ruler of planet Earth.
"Oh, sir! Sorry, sir, sorry, sorry!" Lackey babbled tearfully as he settled Nixon back into his jar. The riled up dictator rewarded his quick actions with several serious bites, each one sending agonized yips into the air, causing the small army of lab-coated workers to wince in sympathy. Finally, Egghead worked up the nerve to address the president.
"Does it, does it fail to meet your expectations, President Nixon?" he squeaked out timorously. Cool eyes rolled upwards to glare at the scientist, but Lackey was trembling so violently that the effect was spoiled by splashing liquid.
"Taxpayers paid for shock absorbers," Nixon howled at poor Lackey, "so use them! You are not a paint mixer!" Gulping air, the miserable man flicked a switch on the jar and though he shook as forcefully as before, the president's life support system was still. "Ah, that's better," Nixon sighed in relief, before glowering again at Egghead. "Now, what have you done to my beautiful body?!"
"Only what you've asked us, sir!" the scientist exclaimed in quiet alarm. "It's now fully protected against the hazardous atmosphere of the New New York sewers. You'll have no problems with her down there now, sir."
"Her?" came the dangerous question.
"Uh, sorry. I meant him, well, it, well, the robot body, sir."
Nixon decided to let the terminology issue slide for the moment. "And all these&#8230;&#8230; modifications were necessary for that protection?" Nervously, Egghead nodded.
"The two&#8230;&#8230; protrusions on the chest?"
"Yes, sir. They work together to create a field-"
"And the rounding of the hip area?"
"Yes, sir. That prevents-"
"And the red colouring on the ends of the delicate finger like protrusions?"
"Uh, yes sir. Those are panels for-"
"Yes, yes. I can understand all of that, but what about the knitted sweater?"
"Well, it's not really a sweater, sir. Those fibres protect-"
"and the ducklings on it, they're necessary?"
"Oh, yes. That." Egghead cringed in regret, "You see, sir, we had to send out to another organization for the fibrous covering. We weren't really equipped for knitting, as I'm sure you can see." Nixon grunted non-committally and the scientist continued, "And it turns out that the Nice Old Grannies Knitting Circle specializes in-"
Nixon sighed in exasperation. "Alright, enough. I don't have time for this. I have a subversive society to overrun, but when I get back, you and I are going to have a conversation about this." There was murder in Nixon's eyes and Egghead swallowed hard. "Turn it on, and I'll take her, uh, it, for a test rampage."

The humor reveals itself slowly, piece by piece.  When you finally realize what's going on, each additional detail makes it funnier and funnier.  By the time I got to the ducklings, I was laughing loud enough that my dog was staring at me in concern.

And aside from amusing me and confusing my hound, this section completely put the story back in the Futurama universe.  For things in Futurama can be dark and dangerous, but they are also usually absurd.  Real drama can exist, but it has to go hand-in-hand with the surreal, for Matt Groening's genius is in pointing out that life, whether good, bad, or ugly, is pretty much guaranteed to be weird.

There is so much delicious absurdity here to savor: the source of the strange noises in the walls, how our second string heroes escape captivity, and most ingeniously of all, resolution of the - but no, that would be telling.

"Fry's Choice" is pretty much a masterwork of fanfic.  Not only is it a pure delight for the diehard Futurama fan, but I believe that even the uninitiated could read, understand, and thoroughly enjoy it, so seamlessly does Layla introduce characters and situations.  JBerges set the standard for humorous fic in this fandom; Layla has done so for long, angsty, shippy drama (which Venus is busy living up to with her "Sixteen Days," and I am hopefully coming reasonably close to with my own long tale).   All fanwriters should read Layla's work for an example of excellence.  Eventually.  The first time they read it, they will be unable to do anything but fall into the story, living it along with the characters.   And is that not what writers everywhere have dreamed of producing, since first they looked down at the page?

Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #342 on: 02-27-2006 18:56 »

...

THUD! (Layla falls gracelessly out of her chair)

...

I uh, I... uh....

Wowsers. I have no idea what to say to that, Shiny.

I'm both flattered and intimidated, so inflitimatered, I guess. That's quite a review. I was rather intrigued at hearing how you ever came to read Fry's choice and delighted by your skepticism.
It's something I appreciate, having a fair bit of it towards my own writing. I remember writing that first paragraph, debating whether I should make the sentences grammatically correct or go for a more naturalistic feeling. Since I intended to show no one but me, I figured it didn't matter.

I remember that first flitting of temptation, gesturing vaguely towards PEEL, almost teasing me.
"I wonder what the hard-bitten PEELer's would make of this."

Heh. Well, wasn't I surprised. To tell the truth, it's a little scary to think of much people like you have enjoyed my little hobby because I don't want to disappoint them. It was easier in the old days when I was publically writing for my own amusement. Somewhere along the line I started writing for you, and it became both nerve-wracking and energizing.

I'm touched that you like my writing, especially since yours is so... polished.

But, it's just a little story. Just something for fun to while away the hours. Not brilliant, not a masterwork, certainly not a professional work. Still, I'm happy with it, and I'm happier still that I've gotten to communicate with so many wonderful people here, who I never would have ever known if I hadn't pushed that little "submit" button one evening.

I can't promise anything, but I'll try not to let you down, any of you.

Most of you.

That's all I can do.

Thanks Shiny, from the bottom of my heart, I've got some writing to do.  smile
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #343 on: 02-27-2006 20:14 »

It is TOO a masterwork.  May I remind you that Olympic competitors are required to be amateurs?  Remember, the root word of "amateur" is "amat," or "love," meaning eople who do things for the sheer love of doing them.

Don't be inflitimatered, Layla.  And don't feel pressured.  This is just the review I've been telling you I've been working on (see, I didn't make it up  wink )  I'm home with a cold and had time to finish it up. 

Just go on doing what you do, and we'll read and enjoy it, as always. There is no "letting us down" here.  We're all just Futurama fans sharing our ideas about the show we love. 

But don't sell yourself short, either.  You have more than enough skill to go pro (have you READ some of the stuff that escapes the printers these days?  You knock most of it into a cocked hat.  Seriously).  If you don't want to, no worries.  Just rest assured you could.

Take it easy,
Shiny
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #344 on: 02-27-2006 22:17 »
« Last Edit on: 02-27-2006 22:17 »

Aw, doesn't Shiny make you feel good when she bursts into your thread spewing compliments like that?  She practically made me blush the first time she reviewed me   smile (Also, I apparently set a standard.  w00t!)

Welcome back to the wonderfulish world of computing, Layls.  Hope things manage to run smoothly from here on out.  Get in touch when you have some free time, I have a feeling I'm faaaaaar behind on betaing.  Also, I may or may not miss ya   tongue

 
Quote
And this is part of Layla's genius - that you are not aware of her genius while you read, you are only experiencing the story. This is how fiction is (IMHO) meant to be
On a side note, this is so very true.  Makes betaing difficult as hell...
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #345 on: 02-28-2006 02:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Shiny:
It is TOO a masterwork.  May I remind you that Olympic competitors are required to be amateurs?

They are?  Then how do you explain all the professional hockey players playing hockey and professional basketball players playing basketball at the olympics?
Blane

Professor
*
« Reply #346 on: 02-28-2006 03:19 »

Yeah, i don't think that olympic competitors are requried to be amaterus, but Shiny might of been saying that olympic competitors must compete for the sheer love of doing what they do, but i'm not sure either way.
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #347 on: 02-28-2006 14:09 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
THUD! (Layla falls gracelessly out of her chair)
May I suggest a seat-belt?  wink
Quote
I wonder what the hard-bitten PEELer's would make of this.
We like it!  love
Get used to it.
Quote
Just something for fun ... Not brilliant...
It would seem to me you're out-voted there...  wink
Quote
... not a masterwork...
Wrong again.
Quote
... certainly not a professional work.
You could be with a little work.
Quote
... I'll try not to let you down...
Never a doubt.
Quote
I've got some writing to do.
You GO girl.  love

Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #348 on: 02-28-2006 18:57 »

I looked it up on Wikipedia, and apparently it's no longer the case that only amateurs can compete in the Olympics. 

But my point remains valid!  Some of the greatest works were produced by people who were only "doing it for themselves."

DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #349 on: 03-01-2006 03:17 »

If it's any consolation, I'm pretty sure most competitors in the Olympics are amateurs.  I really can't see people drawing a salary for curling or hammer-throwing or biathalon or somesuch.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #350 on: 04-04-2006 12:15 »

*reads all 29 pages in less than 2 days*

*tries to find words to describe how amazingly super-fantastic Layla's fic is*

*fails*

*gives up and gives her a big hug instead*
Kagome

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #351 on: 04-27-2006 12:22 »

Hooray I'm useful by posting
mookie427

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #352 on: 04-27-2006 12:28 »
« Last Edit on: 04-27-2006 12:28 »

no you're not.

stop posting/spamming now.

you're only useful by posting if you post something useful
NIC2001

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #353 on: 04-27-2006 12:32 »
« Last Edit on: 04-27-2006 12:32 »

WTF!!!

What is this guy doing? (Kagome) He's posting on all the topic one after the other... no no  Stop it man!
Kagome

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #354 on: 04-28-2006 07:02 »

I'm a not so mewbie(rank wise)I guess  cool
NIC2001

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #355 on: 05-18-2006 11:11 »

…Well It May the 18th … and if I remember correctly, it’s Layla’s birthday.

  big grin Happy Birthday Layla!   big grin

I hope you read this. We are missing you a lot here. (Well I miss her.  cry )

I hope that you come back to us soon.   smile
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #356 on: 05-18-2006 13:43 »

Oh?

Happy birthday, Layla!
Arkan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #357 on: 05-18-2006 14:02 »

Woohoo!
What day is today?
It's Layla's birthday
What a day for a birthday
Let's all have some cake!


Uh, what number is it anyway?

I hope you come back soon, Layla. Well, if you're reading this, then you obviously have, so yay! But if you're not Layla: awww...  frown
MarriedtoAmy

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #358 on: 05-26-2006 20:46 »

Everybody is gay on this forum  mad
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #359 on: 05-26-2006 23:19 »

...okay.

"Misery Loves Company" is up on TLZ, and it's awesome!  Squeee!

P.S., Layla can't come to the thread right now.  She's in French Camp, or something.
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