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Author Topic: Guy you've never heard of writes something mediocre!  (Read 29076 times)
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AsaB

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #440 on: 03-30-2005 16:43 »
« Last Edit on: 03-30-2005 16:43 »

As usual, it's always reviewed to atoms before I get here. But that was simply great. Simply...yes, brilliantly written. Loved Zapp (as usual, this compliment of mine is getting old) and how you put the Futurama cast into the Hitchhiker universe, it was nicely pulled off. It just fits. Also, your Fry was so cute and goofy all the time!
And the name 'Buick'? Heehee...

W00t, TOTPD! Everyone do the Bender!
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #441 on: 04-05-2005 12:53 »
« Last Edit on: 04-05-2005 12:53 »

Well, I have a large test tonight that I should be studying for, which means it's about time I responded to everyone individually...

Kloudes:  Yeah, I think I managed to hit stride at some points in the fic.  It wasn’t as choppy as the last one.  Hopefully I can keep that up; thank you as always for giving up your time to beta it.

Shaucker:  Billion came from... ‘Trillian’ sounding like ‘trillion.’  Really, I’m not clever. Also, Volcanon was the lamest name for the planet I could think of.  Glad you stuck your head in here to post again, and don’t worry; soon you’ll be a college student with nothing but free time       tongue

Venus:  Yes, more than enough for a CD.  You should have mail on the subject, actually, unless a spam filter caught it or you deleted it or I sent it wrong or you hate me... 

Great white sharks?  Was this a bit of foreshadowing for you art?

Tongue:  Heh, you read me too well sometimes.  I had Fry only saying comics, but then I thought it was too trite so I added horoscopes to really drive home the “Fry is stupid” joke.  Anyway, think of Fry saying “Is it not me?” in the same way he’d take a normal guess, i.e. “Is it Ben Franklin?”  Off the cuff and casual.  I think that reading lends itself to the joke better.  If you still don’t like it, then I guess that’s just how you feel.  Thanks for an honest critique.

M0le: Glad you liked the joke (sticks tongue out at...uh...Tongue)  Congrats again on POTM.

SJM:        laff  One of the best replies ever.  Why aren’t you writing some sort of fiction for us all again?  Hell, your non-fiction would be funny.

Boingo:  I didn’t think out how the mission would resolve if it was a success, don’t draw attention to it!       big grin  Glad you like the rock and roll joke, which is possibly my favorite joke in the fic.  I was near giddy when I came up with it.  Seriously, I’m that big of a dork.  Where did you go on vacation?

AsaB:   And speaking of... welcome back from vacation, Asa!  Don’t worry about being late to post in this thread, I seem to be doing the same in yours.


Expect an intro part to my new fic within a week or so.  I want opinions on the format and style, and if you’re OK with both I’ll move on from there.  There may be a long delay between this intro part and regular updates, partly because of schoolwork and partially because I want to flesh out an actual plot, which might take a while.  I don’t want to get into this one without knowing where I’m going.  Until then...

AsaB

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #442 on: 04-05-2005 14:11 »

Ooh, exciting! New fic, new style, sounds definitely good. The fact that it's actually going to take you a while to flesh out the plot sounds particularly juicy. And here I go, breaking my own habits by actually being the first one, for a change, to reply after your post!
Also, thanks for the welcome.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #443 on: 04-05-2005 14:27 »

i got your mail Berges, i just gotta dig through my boxes to find the track list of your last cd (i recently moved so all my cd cases are in boxes in my closet)

Yay! You were finally able to see my fanart! Double Yay! You're starting a new fic!
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #444 on: 04-06-2005 05:35 »

 
Quote
Hell, your non-fiction would be funny.

You think so, huh?

Alright. Once I'm finished writing it, I'll send you my latest Anthropology essay.

"The Neanderthal: To Live and Die in B.C."
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #445 on: 04-06-2005 22:26 »

Wow, JBerges.  Just...wow. 

I'm new here, but I've spent the last month or so reading Futurama fanfic here and there (and about twenty years *cough* reading fanfic in general), and I've never seen a case of false advertising like you calling your work "mediocre."  Modesty be damned!  What were you thinking?!

I mean, you write high-concept stories with actual plot, good pacing, and logic; filled with excellent characterization, jokes fully on the level of the show (sometimes witty, sometimes crude, sometimes silly, sometimes mind-bendingly erudite), and sweet, sweet shippy moments...and you do it all repeatedly and consistently.  You actually finish your multi-part stories. 

There are rich pro writers who don't have half your talent and skill!  Never, never describe your work as mediocre again!  Don't make me come kick your ass!

I'm in awe.  I'm green with envy. I want to have your baby.  Etc.

In humble admiration,
Shiny


JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #446 on: 04-09-2005 12:24 »

Aw, thanks guys.  You’re too kind.  Except Slack; he’s just kind enough.  Shiny, welcome to PEEL, and thanks for the barrage of ego-boosting compliments and propositions.  They made me smile on an otherwise dreary day.  Stick around, will ya?

So, here’s the introductory part of my new story.  As I've said, it’s a different style than before:
____________________________

UNTITLED: Part 1

Another day, another face full of ink.  Fry sighed unconcernedly as he used his shirt to wipe the crustacean’s defense mechanism out of his eyes.  Things like this didn’t faze him.  Life was still good, and always somewhat better than it had been.  A fun job, a place to live, friends, and three rhomboid meals a day.  All he needed.  Fry stepped forward as Zoidberg scuttled back towards the door from whence he came, but Bender seized him by the claw faster than a portly man at a seafood buffet.

Bender (fuming):  I give you a shopping list with TWO items on it and you still manage to screw it up?!  (He checks in the bag)  What the hell is this anyway? (He pulls out some long, red strands)

Zoidberg (meekly): ...Liquorice?

Bender:  I needed liquor, and ice you idiot!

 (He makes use of the candy, flogging Zoidberg with the ‘whips,’ which live up to their name by cracking loudly.  Zoidberg breaks free and Bender chases him out of the room)

Leela:  Fry, you know Bender’s weekly shopping list, why didn’t you say something?

Fry:  I wasn’t with him!  We just met at the door!

Leela (prying): Oh really? Then why weren’t you at work?

Fry:  Uh...  I... was at the museum, looking at art...

This statement was not a lie, though Philip failed to mention that Art is the homeless man that lives on the museum’s front entrance steps.  Sometimes he’ll play the spoons for a quarter, which in some circles could be considered art.  Earth is not enclosed by any such circle.  Leela merely rolled her eye at Fry, which by this point in her life had become about as instinctive as breathing regularly.  In fact, the only thing Leela truly missed about having two eyes was being able to roll both of them at once.  Something was simply more gratifying about it.

Farnsworth (entering): Good news and bad news, everyone!

Leela:  Isn’t the good news usually bad news anyway? 

Farnsworth (defensive):  Not this time it isn’t!  This time, the bad news is most assuredly the bad news.

Fry: Well that’s a relief.

Leela:  Fine, I’ll bite. (faux-naïve) What’s the good news, Professor?

Farnsworth:  The good news is that the bad news isn’t so bad!

Leela let out a sigh that could extinguish a birthday cake, and once again found her pupil pointing upwards.  She knew that ceiling well.  Very well.  Fry took it upon himself to ask the obvious question; he was good at that.

Fry:  And the bad news is?

Farnsworth:  Due to scheduling and proximity, you’ll have to make your next three deliveries in a row, on one trip.  It could take a while.  You’ll be leaving as soon as possible.

Leela (worried):  How long is a while?  A while as in, “a couple of days,” or a while as in, “don’t count on you being alive when we get back?”

Farnsworth: (shrugging)  Both, I’d imagine.  Anyway, let’s see... this is a long trip, so you two will need to bring the staff doctor, and staff cook... and staff engineer along.

Fry and Leela gave each other a nervous look.  One of the few things they consistently agreed on was that, generally, the more people that went on a mission, the worse things tended to go.
 
Bender was indeed a welcome addition most of the time, as a companion and especially when some strength and non-metaphorical elbow grease were needed. However, most of these missions didn’t require a dreadful in flight meal.  The last time Bender cooked onboard, he had burnt the kitchen down.  Not accidentally, mind you; he simply got bored while waiting for the pork to ferment. 

Fry got along with Amy well enough, but sparks were liable to fly between Leela and the intern; especially if Amy ever tried to fix that broken electrical coupler again.
 
Everyone hated Zoidberg.

Farnsworth (cntd):  Hermes and I will stay here.  I’m forcing him to do some repairs on the building while you’re gone.

Leela:  Can you tell him to paint the ceiling while he’s at it?  Something interesting...

Farnsworth: What?

Leela: (sigh)  Nevermind.

Fry:  So then, what are we delivering?

Farnsworth:  Oh, you know, this and that.

Fry:  Your clipboard and that pen?

Farnsworth (angry):  No! (accelerated) You can peek in the crates when you’re on board, your things are waiting for you no need to pack get moving!

(He points the way out of the room, as if it was previously uncharted. Fry and Leela reluctantly adopt a hastened pace, and exit)

(Cut just as hastily to the ship)

Planet Express Ship.  A ship Professor Farnsworth once declared “too good for a proper name.” He also said the same of “That thing! Yes, you know the one I’m talking about!  That invention that’s too good for a proper name!  ...No, not the ship, damnit!”  Regardless, Leela liked the fact that the ship didn’t have a name.  There was something more dignified about flying a ship of business compared to a “Zip,” a "Millenium Falcon," a “Lucy in the Sky,” or a “Nimbus.”
 
Amy, Zoidberg, Fry, and Bender were aboard now, and Leela had managed to smuggle Nibbler along for the ride, too.  The Professor had stayed true to his word; the ship was already filled with everything they needed for the trip.  Farnsworth had even provided new clothes, which he produced using the Clothing Xerox he invented.  “Hmph...” Amy had scoffed, “looks like another week of wearing the same outfit.”

Leela leaned against the steering console.  She needed a week off, not an indefinite amount of time with coworkers.  Halfheartedly, she went through parts of the mandatory preflight check.

Leela: Crew and cargo?

Fry: Check!

Leela:  Fuel reserves?

Fry:  Check!

Leela:  Beer?

Fry:  Czech! (He pops the top off of a ‘Fortranvar’ brand beer)

Leela:  Good enough for me.  Let’s get going.  I need to steer us out of the mega-sector before autopilot can take over, and I’d like that to happen sometime before what would be morning.  (she readies herself)  Start the countdown at zero, would you?

Fry: Z-

Leela:  Blastoff. 

(Leela activates the controls, and the ship darts to the sky.  The sound of something falling down is heard just outside the cockpit)

Amy (off screen; irritated):  Hey!  How about a little warning next time!

(Cut to: Several hours of flight later)

   The thoughts that run through a tired captain’s mind are lonely and depressing.  Even a non-emotional captain will attest to it.  Something about the endless blackness; the blurred voids of what never was, and never will be.  You can easily maneuver a ship through that stuff, but rarely a life.  The mere recapitulation of this truth had once made Leela pity a man so much as to submit herself to him, an act she would regret forever.  Presently, thoughts of this manipulation haunted her as she steered a steady course.  It was like some sort of malicious cycle, and she could only hope to God that that she’d never bumble through the wrong side of that metaphoric wheel again.

   Meanwhile, Fry was gleefully juggling apples.  That is, if by juggling, you mean tossing three of something into the air, flailing your arms about for a short length of time, and then picking up the same three of something off the ground.  The two workers were in the same room, and the dichotomy of moods was enough to trigger a tornado somewhere between them.  Fry had given up small talk at these times long ago.  Leela, however, had not.

Leela:  Do you really have to do that in here? 

Fry (childish):  Do you really have to do that in here? 

Leela (irate)YES!

Fry:  Oh, right. (He starts to leave)  ...I guess I’ll give these back to Bender in the kitchen.  He pegs the mice for the soufflés with them.

(Leela gives a near inaudible murmur of recognition, and continues steering)

_____________________________ ___

Well, there it is.  Some very vague plot development leaves it open for me to do just about whatever I want from here.  I don’t have a cohesive plot even close to written, so I fear there may be a bit of a hiatus here.   But, you never know, maybe something will hit me.  The main purpose of getting this part out was to get reactions to the style; if you don’t like it I may just scrap it altogether and try something new.  So please, be honest, and tell me what you think, and what you think should change.
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #447 on: 04-09-2005 13:31 »

The mix of prose and script style is a little disconcerting to me, but don't scrap it!  I think you should just make it all prose style.  It would translate with very few changes.

Your wordplay continues to delight me.  I loved the "lambaste" and other things in your earlier fic, and in this one "LIQUOR ICE", "Czech," and "art/Art" made me giggle.  Also loved "this and that/clipboard and pen." And Fry juggling apples.  Your Fry has all the adorable quirkiness he should have (though it occurs to me just now that he was better at it when double-juggling with Amy in the supply closet in the show). 

I love the internalizations, they seem very in character.  Which is why I suggest you make it all prose instead of making it all script.  Wouldn't want to lose those good character insights.  I particularly liked Leela's metaphor about steering a life.

I think the only line that struck me as not right was Leela thinking of sex with Zapp as "submitting herself" to him.  I don't feel that she'd put it in those terms to herself; and I can't quite see sex between them as having that quality anyway.  Leela's a pretty active character, taking the initiative whenever possible--even in sex.  In pouncing on Alkazar, and smooching with William Shatner, notice she was on top.  (Hee!)

Anyway.  I like it very much so far, please do continue!
boingo2000

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #448 on: 04-09-2005 14:10 »
« Last Edit on: 04-09-2005 14:10 »

First thing's first: My vacation was in Florida.  It was wonderful, if a little rainy towards the end of the week.

Now then, to buisness.  I have to admit, I initally was not thrilled with the change of style.  Then it occoured to me that it was only my last post that I was calling you a "master of funny stage direction", and this change would certainly open the door to that.  So with a faily open mind, I started reading:

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
Another day, another face full of ink.

Good opening.  Doesn't spell the joke out, but it's quite obvious what happened.

 
Quote
Life was still good, and always somewhat better than it had been.  A fun job, a place to live, friends, and three rhomboid meals a day.  All he needed.

That doesn't quite flow for me.  I think it would read better for me if it was "... and three rhomboid meals a day: all he needed."  I don't know if that's gramatically correct, but it looks right to me that way.

 
Quote
([Bender] checks in the bag)[/i]  What the hell is this anyway? (He pulls out some long, red strands)

Zoidberg (meekly): ...Liquorice?

Bender:  I needed liquor, and ice you idiot!

When you wrote that, you had to know that I would love it.  If you didn't, you haven't been paying attention.

 
Quote
This statement was not a lie, though Philip failed to mention that Art is the homeless man that lives on the museum’s front entrance steps.  Sometimes he’ll play the spoons for a quarter, which in some circles could be considered art.  Earth is not enclosed by any such circle.

That's a really funny segment.  The style is a little derivitave of Douglas Adams, but I'm willing to chalk that up to you still developing your own style.

 
Quote
Leela let out a sigh that could extinguish a birthday cake, and once again found her pupil pointing upwards.  She knew that ceiling well.  Very well.

This is the benifit of this format, I think.  I can't imagine how you'd pull that joke off in script format.

 
Quote
Leela (worried):  How long is a while?  A while as in, “a couple of days,” or a while as in, “don’t count on you being alive when we get back?”

Farnsworth: (shrugging)  Both, I’d imagine.

Your ear for what the characters sound like remains sharp as ever.

 
Quote
Farnsworth:  Oh, you know, this and that.

Fry:  Your clipboard and that pen?

I can't wait for someone to mention "this and that" to me while holding two things so I can try that joke on them.

 
Quote
Planet Express Ship.  A ship Professor Farnsworth once declared “too good for a proper name.” He also said the same of “That thing! Yes, you know the one I’m talking about!  That invention that’s too good for a proper name!  ...No, not the ship, damnit!”

That's good enough to be part of the actual continuity.

 
Quote
“Hmph...” Amy had scoffed, “looks like another week of wearing the same outfit.”

Shouldn't that be in script form like the rest of the dialogue?

And that would seem to be all I have a specific comment for.  Overall, I liked this new style much more then I expected to.  I'd like to see the script format return at some point, but I'm looking forward to the next bit of this story.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #449 on: 04-09-2005 19:22 »

Times like this remind me why i 'married' you in the first place Bergey. I very much enjoy this new style it opens up joke possibilitys that script format wouldn't be able to do.

“Hmph...” Amy had scoffed, “looks like another week of wearing the same outfit.”

BWAhahahaha!!! I love those kinds of jokes in cartoons!

Pegging the mice for the soufflés with apples also had me rolling. It's so something Bender would do.
AsaB

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #450 on: 04-09-2005 22:03 »

This style definitely works. It's already been pointed, but yes, it certainly makes more room for jokes. You should keep it! Or even try full prose, that'd be fun.

I'm one of the first to reply now? What a break-through, for once. But it was truly wondrous. The jokes you had, especially the ones that were play on words (liquorice!!) had me laughing out loud. And you really nailed Leela, being her moody self there. Heh. This reminds me why you're one of my favourite authors here.
I'll be waiting  big grin
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #451 on: 04-10-2005 08:34 »

First, let me say that you last fic was great. It's funny, 'cause I just started to read HHGttG (That was supposed to be funny...I can't remember why...)

In any matter, I love this new style you've got here. It's hilarious, as always, and really does remind me of Hitchhikers Guide... Which is good. Anyway, as I do with all prose stories, 'cause I'm too lazy to actually review, I'll just quote some things and tell you why I liked 'em, and then hopefully you'll get a vague notion of what makes this fic so great.

 
Quote
This statement was not a lie, though Philip failed to mention that Art is the homeless man that lives on the museum’s front entrance steps. Sometimes he’ll play the spoons for a quarter, which in some circles could be considered art. Earth is not enclosed by any such circle. Leela merely rolled her eye at Fry, which by this point in her life had become about as instinctive as breathing regularly. In fact, the only thing Leela truly missed about having two eyes was being able to roll both of them at once. Something was simply more gratifying about it.

I think that was my favorite bit of all. It was hilarious, plain and simple. This is where your style and Adams's style meet. It's funny, true, and...it's just this sort of different, plaintive style of comedy. I don't know if I'm saying it right...it's not quite deadpan, but it's sort of mellow. It's dull and funny at the same time. (I have to stop talking now.)

 
Quote
The thoughts that run through a tired captain’s mind are lonely and depressing. Even a non-emotional captain will attest to it. Something about the endless blackness; the blurred voids of what never was, and never will be. You can easily maneuver a ship through that stuff, but rarely a life. The mere recapitulation of this truth had once made Leela pity a man so much as to submit herself to him, an act she would regret forever. Presently, thoughts of this manipulation haunted her as she steered a steady course. It was like some sort of malicious cycle, and she could only hope to God that that she’d never bumble through the wrong side of that metaphoric wheel again.

Meanwhile, Fry was gleefully juggling apples. That is, if by juggling, you mean tossing three of something into the air, flailing your arms about for a short length of time, and then picking up the same three of something off the ground. The two workers were in the same room, and the dichotomy of moods was enough to trigger a tornado somewhere between them. Fry had given up small talk at these times long ago. Leela, however, had not.

It's the same sort of thing...funny and kind of depressing. It's actually a pretty classy sort of humor, when you think about it. (The following comment, however, is not classy: Me likeyed the juggly thing. That Fry is one funny fella.)

That's about all I have to say. I like the blend of script and prose you got going on here. It's a neat way of doing this. Um...everyone's in character, and it's great to see you venturing into prose. Yeah, you probably still need to find your real voice (I guess this may be just a bit too much like Douglas Adams to really seem totally unique, but there are enough differences to make this a really interesting story so far.)

Keep up the awesome work, Bergey. Eagerly awaiting more, as always.

 

SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #452 on: 04-10-2005 08:52 »
« Last Edit on: 04-10-2005 08:52 »

Interesting style there, which I shall dub 'scrose,' for what are hopefully obvious and dull reasons.

All the fun of writing big meandering go nowhere ramblings, without the bother of having your characters interject, quip, gasp, exclaim, and ejaculate! Genius!

So yeah. I'd point out good stuff, by why bother? I was born making sweeping generalizations, and I'll die making sweeping generalizations! (Probably immeadiately after saying something like 'Eskimo's are all such useless shots, they couldn't hit me if I was to lay down upon their spear heads and wriggle like am oxygen-starved fish. See? See?)

And now, I'm going to post some latin I stole from a video game, because nothing says 'kickass' like a big stream of latin and a violent confontation. Here's the first:

Estuans interius ira vehementi
Estuans interius ira vehementi

Sephiroth, Sephiroth

Estuans interius ira vehementi
Estuans interius ira vehementi

Sephiroth, Sephiroth

Sors immanis et inanis
Sors immanis et inanis

Estuans interius ira vehementi
Estuans interius ira vehementi

Sephiroth, Sephiroth

(chorus part 1)
Veni, veni, venias, ne me mori facias

(chorus part 2 ~ sung over part 1)
Glorioso, generosa



translation (I should check this with a latin speaker...):

Estuans interius ira vehementi --> Burning inside with violent anger
Sors immanis et inanis --> Fate, monstrous and empty
Veni, veni, venias, ne me mori facias --> Come, come, oh come, do not let me die
Glorioso, generosa --> Glorious, noble


And for the violent conflict portion... well, I'm bound to run into you one day. AND I've got the orchestral version, so rock on!
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #453 on: 04-10-2005 10:41 »
« Last Edit on: 04-10-2005 10:41 »

When it comes to overall reactions to the new style, Shiny took the words right out of my mouth. I like her! Especially since we seem to be a minority of two in this opinion.

I laughed at the dialogue, and I laughed at the narrative, but switching back and forth was kind of jarring to me. Like, I can see how it could work, sort of like one of those movies with a narrator breaking in at random points. They do that in that loose seal TV show, if memory serves. But, well, it didn't especially work for me. The flipping between styles kept taking me out of the story. And maybe I'm off base, but it felt like you had to regain momentum with every switch. It seems like it would flow a lot better as a prose piece in the purest sense. You demonstrated when you used dialogue as part of your anectdotal backstories (Farnsworth not naming the ship and Amy lamenting her wardrobe) that you're capable of integrating speech with that quirky tangential rambling stuff. The description of Fry's apple juggling showed you can easily do the same with stage directions. When you want to keep the dialogue quick and funny and snappy, you can do a lot of that,
"I like cake," said Jim.
"As do I," said Kim.
"Let's have some."
"Okay."
"I'll get the plates."
"I'll get the cake."
"Wait! It wasn't cake I liked. It was brains!"
"Good," Kim laughed, positively giddy over this serendipitous new discovery of the old friends' mutually beneficial interests, "I've always wanted a lobotomy."
Jim sighed deeply and turned his gaze to the floor before responding. "Life is cruel. My clever scheme to find a fellow zombie fetishist has turned up nothing but an aspiring vegetable. Well, let's get the butcher knife. I'll fire up the grill,"
stuff. Light on the supplementary description as you want, including some where you see fit, still centering on the fast-moving dialogue, and it may flow nicer than the current mix of styles.

I've told you that I didn't especially think Futurama lent itself to prose, in part because I felt that way about stories that were predominantly dramatic, and the two tended to coincide. Well, I still think script form feels more naturally in line with the show, but, after reading this, I think it would be better to see a mostly comedic prose piece than this sort of halfway point. I definitely think you should stick with this. And keep up the hybrid if you want. When I go off on annoying long-winded ramblings like this, it's about reacting and critiquing honestly and letting you make of it what you wish, not actually trying to get you to change what you're doing. If that's the style you think would work best, then by all means keep it up. Maybe it's just taking me a while to get used to it. Most of the other groupies seem to like it just fine. The important thing is to be writing what feels right and produces a final product that you're proud of. It feels silly to say this sort of thing about fanfic, but I think this new stuff could really help you to advance as a writer, and I'd hate it if you cast that to the side over some initial awkwardness. So, most importantly, keep it up! With or without the switch Shiny and I suggested. If you like, we can talk more about this via singing telegram or whatever.

Eh, what the hell? I'll do a some quote/review stuff, too.

   
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
three rhomboid meals a day.
I very much enjoyed that turn of phrase. Rhomboid is a funny word.

   
Quote
Farnsworth (entering): Good news and bad news, everyone!

Leela:  Isn’t the good news usually bad news anyway? 

Farnsworth (defensive):  Not this time it isn’t!  This time, the bad news is most assuredly the bad news.

Fry: Well that’s a relief.

Leela:  Fine, I’ll bite. (faux-naïve) What’s the good news, Professor?

Farnsworth:  The good news is that the bad news isn’t so bad!
It's just occurred to me what I like about many of your character interactions, especially the ones involving Farnsworth. There's something of a vaudevillian sensibility to them. This is in line with the show, and it's something that's strangely refreshing to see utilized well in this day and age. Keep it up.   
Quote
Fry took it upon himself to ask the obvious question; he was good at that.
Heh. I got a kick out of that.   
Quote
Leela:  Can you tell him to paint the ceiling while he’s at it?  Something interesting...
Nice. I liked every stage of the eye rolling talk, and bringing it into the dialogue was the perfect capper.   
Quote
Start the countdown at zero, would you?

Fry: Z-

Leela:  Blastoff. 
Ties with the clipboard thing for my favorite joke. So delightfully offbeat, and almost like a TSHL callback.   
Quote
Meanwhile, Fry was gleefully juggling apples.
Hilarious juxtaposition. I like the ensuing description of the apple juggling as well. And the somewhat poetic paragraph before it. It's nice to have a little bit of tone change to humanize the characters' emotions, so long as there's something like that afterwards to keep the brooding from ruining the story's comedic nature.

Couple small things I didn't like:
   
Quote
The last time Bender cooked onboard, he had burnt the kitchen down.  Not accidentally, mind you; he simply got bored while waiting for the pork to ferment.
Okay. You use the simple past (he ran) for the regular narrative and the past perfect (he had run) for stuff that happened earlier. I dig. So, maybe "he simply got bored" is in the wrong tense?   
Quote
Farnsworth (cntd):  Hermes and I will stay here.  I’m forcing him to do some repairs on the building while you’re gone.
It's not incorrect, but I get sad seeing continued without any vowels.

Looking forward to more. Sorry this review was so damn long. I'm not efficient!
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #454 on: 04-10-2005 10:47 »

*grumblemumblestrumble* Make ME look like a fawning fanboy with your intelligent criticism *grumblemumblestrumble*
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #455 on: 04-10-2005 10:56 »

I miss writing essays...
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #456 on: 04-10-2005 14:06 »
« Last Edit on: 04-10-2005 14:06 »

Right on, Tongue Luck! And I like your essays. 

Really, JB, it would all prosify so very easily.  And you don't even have to stop composing in 'scrose' (thank you, Slack Jawed Moron!) if it feels more natural to you.  Just go back afterwards and translate. 

Mostly what you lose in prose versus script is stage directions for the dialog, like (irate), (worried), (defensive), etc., and those don't add to the humor in general.  The one that I thought did ((faux-naive)) could be easily changed, oh say, like this:
~~~~~~~~~~~
"Fine, I’ll bite." Leela blinked and smiled, faux-naïve. "What’s the good news, Professor?"
~~~~~~~~~~~
Or better than that.  But at any rate please keep writing it! Okay, I'll shut up now.

DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #457 on: 04-11-2005 01:01 »
« Last Edit on: 04-11-2005 01:01 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
I've told you that I didn't especially think Futurama lent itself to prose, in part because I felt that way about stories that were predominantly dramatic, and the two tended to coincide.

Nobody has said it better.

To be honest, I'm on the fence about this one.  It has a lot of potential, but it looks a lot like a narrative with the dialog in script form.  A story, for me, loses some of its magic when the author tells the reader what the characters are feeling and the genesis of his or her motivation.  That makes me feel disappointed and causes me to ignore many fanscripts.

Obviously, if the scripts are simply being read as a transcript, it's harder to distill what's going on inside the characters' minds, but the actor in me--indeed, the actor in us all--manifests the performance in the mind.  And recapturing the essence of a performance is what fanfics are all about for me.

While I'm anti-prose, I'm extremely pro-hilarity.  Solid jokes so far, none of the heavy stuff without suitable comic relief, and I'm dying to see where it goes.

P.S. While amusing, 99% of your last story felt foreign to me (not a big fan of the book).  I feel like I'm missing out on something good.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #458 on: 04-11-2005 01:09 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by DrThunder88:
  A story, for me, loses some of its magic when the author tells the reader what the characters are feeling and the genesis of his or her motivation.

...Really? That's exactly what i love about prose. Does this mean you don't like reading novels in general?
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #459 on: 04-11-2005 02:37 »

I'm a fan of novels in certain genres.  Stories where the characters are doing a lot of critical thinking or reasoning benefit from straight-up prose because the author doesn't have to force the characters to verbalize the minutae that are absolutely critical to intricate plots.  The more intricate the plot, the more it benefits from prose. 

Jurassic Park is one of my favorite examples.  I loved both the book and the movie, but they were entirely different genres.  The book was a clear sci-fi thriller while the movie was more of a fantasy adventure.  Could Spielberg have made a movie where Malcolm explains the unpredictability manifesting itself in the compy population?  Sure.  Would it have been interesting?  No, probably not.  The details in the book are irrelevant to the motion of the screenplay.

It all comes back to what TL said.  If I wanted Futurama to be a techno-thriller-mystery, then I'd enjoy reading fanfics in prose form.  As it stands, I enjoy it as a comedic adventure.  Even if (and I strenuously emphasize the 'if') I wanted it to be a romance, I feel I could relate to it better as a script.
Kloudes

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #460 on: 04-12-2005 16:29 »

Well, I refuse to give my opinion on the prose/script (scrose... I love it  smile) ordeal, as JBERGES seems to already have enough jargon to be thoroghly confused by. I will say, however, that I enjoyed the little peek into Leela's exasperated mind.

Anyway, I thought you came back a lot stronger with the jokes in this part.  As was mentioned by... everybody, the "liquorice" joke was freakin' amazing. The characterization was also spot-on, especially Farnsworth and certain Fry lines.

Overall, it was a strong beginning to what could be a good thing. I know you're busy, but keep up the good work.  big grin

j_ohanley

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #461 on: 04-13-2005 21:55 »

Hmm...

Are you sure you don't watch Arrested Development JBERGES? This latest fanfic is written in almost the exact same style. I can practically hear Ron Howard's voice during the non dialogue scenes. Plus, you use the phrase "from whence it came," I believe, which is a favorite saying of one of the characters. I'm just making connections where they don't exist however.

I like it so far. I'm a better critic whenever I see the whole thing, so I'll refrain from specific comments at the moment.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #462 on: 04-17-2005 16:45 »

Just popping in to let you know I've been catching up on my Berges reading.  Two things:
1. You win fanscripts.  No time for real comments.  You just win.  And wordplay.  I'm still dying of laughter over "A Norm shouldn't fall against the gradient," and that was like three months ago.
2. I think you've managed to write better HG2G than the screenplay writers for the movie version.  And they had Mr. Adams on call for most of the writing.

Also, Slacky, two fun facts about OWA:
1. Most of the lyrics to that piece appear to have been lifted from the later movements of Karl Orff's Carmina Burana
2. You have a recording of that?  Can I borrow it?  And a couple of blank CDs?
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #463 on: 04-18-2005 05:06 »

 
Quote
2. You have a recording of that? Can I borrow it? And a couple of blank CDs?

I have a fully orchestrated version of it. You may drown on your own envy, now.

I'm sure I could find a way to send it too you... if you have no 'ethical' problems...
I

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #464 on: 04-27-2005 16:50 »

There. Finished reading through the thread.
 To summarize: Dude, you ROCK.

 My favourite so far is "Of Mice and Mensans"; so many nerdy Science jokes. All the others are great as well, though. Keep it up.
NIC2001

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #465 on: 04-28-2005 18:47 »

Wow there was a lot of good stuff in here.   eek

The one that I liked best was The ButterFry Effect. But all of your fic were really good.

Keep up the good work.

JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #466 on: 05-01-2005 19:55 »
« Last Edit on: 05-01-2005 19:55 »

Hmm.  Seems about time for a Layla-esque apology.  What can I say? I’ve been busy, and have gotten absolutely nowhere with this story.  I have a lot of at least a few ideas, but nothing’s coming together.  Additionally, I’m still not sure what direction I want to take it format-wise.  If the lot of you can still remember what you said a little while back, I’m going to try to respond to all of you.  If for anything, because I don’t want the thread dead on its Threadiversary™. 


Shiny:  I’m still debating the script/prose issue, so thanks for your input.  I did enjoy the bit of internalization that I did, so if anything, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be bumping this down to only script.  Maybe your prose-ified script idea will win out...  As for your comments about Leela submitting, I think that that’s exactly what made her night with Zapp different from the other guys.  She was attracted to all of the other men, even Alkazar... but with Zapp... I think it was a completely different experience altogether, and that’s one of the reasons it bothers her so much.  However, you are completely right about the juggling.  Let’s just say he’s only good at two person juggling, shall we?

boingo2000: “When you wrote that, you had to know that I would love it.”  I distinctly remember thinking of you when I wrote that.  I was staring at a box of liquorice Altoids at the time... and 14 birds were flying by the window...
Anyways, thanks for all of your input.  It’s nice to know which jokes worked well.  Warn me if I ever start sounding too much like Adams...

Venus: I do like the ability to work in jokes that I couldn’t work in to a script, and that is one of the reasons I decided to make a switch.  I’m glad you like the new style.  Thanks for your marriage support, and also for finally starting to post your fic.

AsaB: And you’re one of my favorite artists here... and we’re both really lazy right now.  Don’t give up waiting, I’ll be back in a couple weeks, hopefully.

Gorky:  As mentioned to boingo, I don’t mind if mine and Adam’s styles meet, just as long as I’m not copying or using his.  Thanks for the heads up, and be sure to yell at me if that ever happens more. “It's dull and funny at the same time”  Like us!!  Woooh!  *high five*

SJM:  You amuse and frighten my greatly.  Congrats!  “Scrose...”  I like that word... Also, I'm still waiting for you to write a fic... please?

Tongue Luck:  I never got a singing telegram...  but, I do see where you’re coming from.  Like I said, I’m not quite sure.  What I think is going to happen is, next time I have some free time (more than the 20 minutes it’s taking to write these replies) and some inspiration, I’m going to start at the next part of the story... and whatever I start writing will win.  I appreciate your trigger-happy candor.  It keeps you from lying to make me feel better. And since you gave such a long thorough reply, I’ll fix both corrections you suggested.

DrT:  Firstly, read the book... or at least watch the movie.  You’ll still get most of the jokes.  Secondly, I do agree that Futurama is best set as a script, but at the same time, I really want to do something different this time around.  And in the end, when push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love, even if it’s not a good idea.  If I keep writing Futurama fanfic after this story, it will almost definitely be in script form again.  If anything, maybe this’ll show some of those prose writers that you can use it as a means of conveying comedy...  and speaking of scripts and writing, are you going to be writing any new scripts in the near future? 

Kloudes:  And you’ve still yet to give me your opinion of the scrose... your opinion does matter, yknow...

j_ohanley:  I’ve seen one or two episodes of AD.  I think it’s pretty good, especially since its one show that takes advantage of the pun.  I don’t recall hearing the phrase “from whence it came,” though.  Thanks for reading.

Nerd-o-rama:  Heh, thought I had lost you to Layla forever.  That Norm joke was the dorkiest thing I’ve ever written, which explains why I think it’s so funny.  But then, you’re a CS major too, right?  I’ve been looking forward to the HG2G movie... I hope it doesn’t suck... 

I:  Congratulations on picking a screen name bound to cause confusion.  Any time you talk about yourself, we get to yell at you for speaking in the third person.  Thanks for stopping by my thread; I swear it’s usually a bit more active. 

NIC2001:  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned what my favorite fic of my own creation is... but now I’ll say it;  I agree with you.  Thanks for reading though the length of this thread, and I hope you stick around.


So, can you believe it’s been almost a whole year?  I really don’t know where the time went...  thanks to all who’ve stuck around through the months and took the time to say nice things, to all who have recently popped their heads in to tell me I have a new reader, to those who critique me honestly, and even to those who aren’t posting anymore, but once were here.  Knowing I’m making even a few people smile has made this one of the most enjoyable hobbies I’ve ever picked up. 


------------------
Brevity is the soul of
Kloudes

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #467 on: 05-03-2005 02:50 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
So, can you believe it’s been almost a whole year?  I really don’t know where the time went...  thanks to all who’ve stuck around through the months and took the time to say nice things, to all who have recently popped their heads in to tell me I have a new reader, to those who critique me honestly, and even to those who aren’t posting anymore, but once were here.  Knowing I’m making even a few people smile has made this one of the most enjoyable hobbies I’ve ever picked up. 

We heart you too... Thanks for all the work and effort you put into making these stories worth reading. As much as I tease you, your endless nit-picking and searching for just the right words really pays off.

And I'll wait until I'm good and ready to give you my opinion.  tongue
boingo2000

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #468 on: 05-03-2005 14:46 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
So, can you believe it’s been almost a whole year?

No, I can't.  Are you sure?   Eh, I'll take your word for it.  Have some anniversary cake.

JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #469 on: 05-23-2005 22:48 »
« Last Edit on: 05-23-2005 22:48 »

Yay! Cake!  *eats cake*

Ok, so it's been a little while.  To be honest, I'm still as confused as ever, but that hasn't stopped me from writing, no sir!  So, here’s the plan:   This next part has been written in both prose and scrose form.  I’m hoping opinions will be easier to convey when you have a side-by-side comparison to go by.  Each form has its pros(e) and cons...


________________

Prose:

Bender Bending Rodriguez darted through the ship’s hallways like a kid in a candy store being chased by the bull from the china shop.  He was excited, but staid; the packages in the storage hold had not been pilfered yet.  The thrill of the impending filch-fest slightly overshadowed his resentment at being behind schedule.  After all, multiple deliveries mean more of a selection.  Serpentining for the pure showmanship of it, Bender spied the unguarded door.  He was currently outsmarting an opponent that didn’t actually exist, but if he just walked in there like it was nothing, where would the fun be?  In a way, he almost longed for the days when Leela cared about the mission.  In many more ways, he didn’t.

Bender lowered his eye shutter to imitate a concentration induced squint, but the fact was he was fully capable of calculating the optimal speed to reach the automatic door at without much difficulty.  Indeed, a disjoint process in his queue, dedicated to performing at least 7 self-exaltations per nanosecond, barely lagged at all. Crossing the threshold merely 5 ‘attabot’s after the path was clear, Bender ran headlong into what he could only guess was some sort of red exoskeleton.

“Hey! Watch it, crabby!”

Zoidberg tried to appear dignified,

“Hffmph. Jabs at my disposition won’t faze me.” he managed to get out before his meekness set in “...I guess you still hate me because of before.”

Bender responded with his version of compassion, “Yeah, but if it makes you feel better, it’s not like I liked ya to begin with.”

“A bit, yes.”  Zoidberg mused, then suddenly felt culpable.  “Uh... I was just here checking to make sure this cargo wasn’t... uh... askew,” he said, making sure to flagrantly shift one box slightly to the left, completing the elaborate ruse.

“I don’t care what you’re doing... just as long as it affects me in no way whatsoever, no matter how indirectly.”  Bender decreed, and proceeded to rip the top off of the largest crate.  Zoidberg peered in as well, hoping his wishes would be fulfilled, and that the contents would be edible... or semi-edible... or at least not fatal if consumed.

“Empty...” bewailed Bender.  The word echoed desolately off the walls of the vacant container, which soon found its contents to be exactly one tear.   

Prying open the remaining crates like a child before Santa could arrive, Bender slowly realized the horrible truth; the professor hadn’t put anything in the crates.  Actually, what he vocalized was “There’s nothin’ for me to steal!!” but the basic concept remained the same.

“Well, there’s no need for the others to know...” he decided, and began securing the tops back on the crates.

“You’re not making any sense”

“Look, if we go back now, it’s a wasted trip, and my time is more valuable than your life.  But if we get to where we’re going before Leela finds out, at least maybe some good interplanetary thievery will come out of it.  Now, if Leela hears anything about this from you...”

“My mandibles are tied!”

“Uh... good.”

An abrupt jolt of the ship rattled a second latent tear out of Zoidberg’s eye, as he and Bender quickly found themselves sliding across the floor like reluctant players in an electric football game. Off balance, Fry half ran and half fell through the doorway, shouting fearfully.

“Earthquake!  Earthquake!!   Uh...  I mean... Not-on-Earth quake...” he pondered, as he skated past the jumbled array of boxes.

Meanwhile, Amy gracefully made her way to the cockpit, the movement of the floor perfectly complementing her somewhat ungainly gait.  Leela turned her head slightly to note her arrival, and then went back to hitting random buttons and jerking the controls in directions.  The intern tried to remain calm as she addressed the already frazzled captain.

“This is bad!  Very very bad!”

“What’s causing all this shuddering, Amy!”

“It’s the quantum drive! Y’know, the thing that regulates the engines?”

“Yes, I know! But I thought you fixed that problem!”

“Uh... no, I thought you got the Professor to after my last report”

“What?  On your last status report you said the quantum drives would hardly shake!”

“...Hardly’s the opposite of softly, right?”

Amy let out a modest fake laugh, as Leela wished she could bury her face in her presently occupied hands, or her hands in Amy’s presently occupied face. 

“So... no one fixed the quantum drives...” Leela reiterated as coolly as possible, getting used to the vibrations. “The ship will break up if we don’t land pretty soon.  We’ll have to find a mechanic.”

“A quantum mechanic,” Amy emphasized. “And I hate quantum mechanics!”

“Don’t we all...” sighed Leela.
 
Chapter 2:

Space travel, in essence, is no laughing matter, unless you happen to be traveling through the essence of an N2O nebula.  The transition from normal, primitive, town-to-town travel to sprawling traversals of galaxies was fraught with difficulties in every aspect imaginable.  Take, for instance, an ordinary traffic light.  Red, Green. Stop, Go.  It’s a concept so simple that many planets besides Earth had developed a similar schema before contact was even made. 

Now, try driving a spaceship towards the stoplight at one third the speed of light... most cruise controls have that option...  and that red light’s going to look green. This fact does not bode well for inexperienced drivers.  The easiest solution?  A second, more intense “light” blasts infrared at oncoming traffic, who, thanks to our shifty friend Mr. Doppler, see a crisp red signal approaching.

Leela slowed the ship to a stop at the intersection of v80 and i(81).  She tried to remind herself of how beautiful the deceleratory shift was, the new colors washing away the old like a reflection of a rainbow ebbing with the tide.  This was a trifle difficult, however, as her crew was still as obnoxious as ever, her hands were effectively soldered to the steering wheel, and the twenty minutes of incessant rattling had successfully knocked her brain off-stride, her legs unfeeling, and her bra strap off-shoulder, much to Fry’s non-chagrin.

Finally able to let go of the controls, Leela took a moment to gather herself, both mentally and physically.  Once the vessel was idling, the general clatter onboard became less chaotic, and more like the ship was a giant cell phone set to vibrate alert. 

“Look!” shouted Bender, bounding into the room, “I can make a martini without even moving!”  He demonstrated by clamping his mixer together and waiting for a few seconds, just in case Leela or Amy doubted him.

“That’s great...” muttered Leela.  “Where did Fry end up?  We’re going to be landing soon and I don’t want him playing around the landing gear when it’s deployed again...”

“He’s in my room,” Bender assured, neglecting the fact that he and Fry actually shared the cabin.  “Since you kicked him out of the bridge for good, he’s been trying to draw a picture on his Etch-a-Sketch.  ...It hasn’t gone well.”  Bender snickered at his friend’s expense, then froze in a sudden panic. 

“Uh oh, that’s resonant!” he bemoaned, before falling to pieces.

Luckily, the light chose an apt time to turn green.  Leela, who hadn’t even noticed a change in frequency, punched the gas, just as the structural integrity of the ship could be heard weakening as the hull oscillated.  This assuaged the sounds of warping metal, but brought about a third, completely unique way of shaking previously thought impossible by everyone onboard.  By now, even the consistently chipper Amy had had enough.

“Ai- lay yow mow low gah?”  She grumbled to herself, lamenting her earlier mistake.  No one would ever hear her fault herself in English, of course. 

“This stones temple pilots!” shouted Leela, aiming the ship in the direction of a rest stop. “Assuming there’s even someone there that can fix this, they’re going to charge at least my salary for a year to fix it”

“You could always sell your body to truckers,” suggested a recently decapitated head.

“Seems it’d be easier to sell yours now, doesn’t it?” came a cold retort.

“Yeah, much easier” agreed Amy, in a manner which undeniably insulted Leela far more than Bender.

The task of clearing the airlock without hitting the walls was much like the task of successfullly operating the finglonger after your 99th cup of coffee, but Leela handled it with poise.  She scraped the sides mercilessly, but maintained her poise throughout.  The Planet Express Ship drifted downwards towards a parking spot, stalled 10 feet above, and deployed its landing gear.  A confused lobster had a confusing 10 foot fall, and beat the ship in an unscheduled race to the ground. 


_____

Now in Scrose! w00000t!

_____

Bender Bending Rodriguez darted through the ship’s hallways like a kid in a candy store being chased by the bull from the china shop.  He was excited, but staid; the packages in the storage hold had not been pilfered yet.  The thrill of the impending filch-fest slightly overshadowed his resentment at being behind schedule.  After all, multiple deliveries mean more of a selection.  Serpentining for the pure showmanship of it, Bender spied the unguarded door.  He was currently outsmarting an opponent that didn’t actually exist, but if he just walked in there like it was nothing, where would the fun be?  In a way, he almost longed for the days when Leela cared about the mission.  In many more ways, he didn’t.

Bender lowered his eye shutter to imitate a concentration induced squint, but the fact was he was fully capable of calculating the optimal speed to reach the automatic door at without much difficulty.  Indeed, a disjoint process in his queue, dedicated to performing at least 7 self-exaltations per nanosecond, barely lagged at all. Crossing the threshold merely 5 ‘attabot’s after the path was clear, Bender ran headlong into what he could only guess was some sort of red exoskeleton.

Bender: Hey! Watch it, crabby!

Zoidberg (formal):  Hffmph. Jabs at my disposition won’t faze me. (he stalls) ...I guess you still hate me because of before.

Bender: Yeah, but if it makes you feel better, it’s not like I liked ya to begin with.

Zoidberg (satisfied): A bit, yes. (He becomes tense)  Uh... so... I was just here in the cargo bay... checking to make sure this cargo wasn’t... uh... askew.

(Zoidberg flagrantly shifts one box slightly to the left)

Bender: I don’t care what you’re doing... just as long as it affects me in no way whatsoever, no matter how indirectly. 

(He rips the top off of the largest crate.  Zoidberg peers in as well)

Zoidberg:  Oh please, let it be edible... or semi-edible... or not fatal if eaten...

Bender (distressed): Empty...

(Bender rips the tops off all the other crates, to find them empty as well)

Bender (angry):  The Professor forgot to pack things for me to steal!   (he considers this)...well, there’s no need for the others to know... (He begins securing the tops back on the crates)

Zoidberg (confused) You’re not making any sense.

Bender: Look, if we go back now, it’s a wasted trip, and my time is more valuable than your life.  But if we get to where we’re going before Leela finds out, at least maybe some good interplanetary thievery will come out of it. (threatening) Now, if Leela hears anything about this from you...

Zoidberg (frightened):  My mandibles are tied!

Bender (unsure): Uh... good.

(An abrupt jolt of the ship knocks the two to the floor, and continued rattling slides them across the floor like reluctant players in an electric football game. Off balance, Fry half runs and half falls through the doorway)

Fry (terrified): Earthquake! Earthquake!! (pause)  Uh...  I mean... Not-on-Earth quake....

Meanwhile, Amy gracefully made her way to the cockpit, the movement of the floor perfectly complementing her somewhat ungainly gait.  Leela turned her head slightly to note her arrival, and then went back to hitting random buttons and jerking the controls in directions.  The intern tried to remain calm as she addressed the already frazzled captain.

Amy: This is bad!  Very very bad!

Leela: What’s causing all this shuddering?!

Amy: It’s the quantum drive! Y’know, the thing that regulates the engines?

Leela: Yes, I know! But I thought you fixed that problem!

Amy:  Uh... no, I thought you got the Professor to after my last report...

Leela: What?  On your last status report you said the quantum drives would hardly shake!

Amy (befuddled): ...Hardly’s the opposite of softly, right? (fake laugh)

Leela (clearly angry, but trying to contain it): So... no one fixed the quantum drives... The ship will break up if we don’t land pretty soon.  We’ll have to find a mechanic.

Amy:  A quantum mechanic. And I hate quantum mechanics!

Leela:  Don’t we all...
 

Chapter 2:

Space travel, in essence, is no laughing matter, unless you happen to be traveling through the essence of an N2O nebula.  The transition from normal, primitive, town-to-town travel to sprawling traversals of galaxies was fraught with difficulties in every aspect imaginable.  Take, for instance, an ordinary traffic light.  Red, Green. Stop, Go.  It’s a concept so simple that many planets besides Earth had developed a similar schema before contact was even made. 

Now, try driving a spaceship towards the stoplight at one third the speed of light... most cruise controls have that option...  and that red light’s going to look green. This fact does not bode well for inexperienced drivers.  The easiest solution?  A second, more intense “light” blasts infrared at oncoming traffic, who, thanks to our shifty friend Mr. Doppler, see a crisp red signal approaching.

Leela slowed the ship to a stop at the intersection of v80 and i(81).  She tried to remind herself of how beautiful the deceleratory shift was, the new colors washing away the old like a reflection of a rainbow ebbing with the tide.  This was a trifle difficult, however, as her crew was still as obnoxious as ever, her hands were effectively soldered to the steering wheel, and the twenty minutes of incessant rattling had successfully knocked her brain off-stride, her legs unfeeling, and her bra strap off-shoulder, much to Fry’s non-chagrin.  Finally able to let go of the controls, Leela took a moment to gather herself, both mentally and physically.  Once the vessel was idling, the general clatter onboard became less chaotic, and more like the ship was a giant cell phone set to vibrate alert. 

Bender (bounding in, excited):  Look!  I can make a martini without even moving! (he produces a mixer, and holds it still, letting the ship do the work)

Leela (muttering): That’s great...  Where did Fry end up?  We’re going to be landing soon and I don’t want him playing around the landing gear when it’s deployed again...

Bender: He’s in my room. Since you kicked him out of the bridge for good, he’s been trying to draw a picture on his Etch-a-Sketch.  ...It hasn’t gone well.

(He laughs)

Bender: (sudden panic): Uh oh, that’s resonant! (He falls apart)

Luckily, the light chose an apt time to turn green.  Leela, who hadn’t even noticed a change in frequency, punched the gas, just as the structural integrity of the ship could be heard weakening as the hull oscillated.  This assuaged the sounds of warping metal, but brought about a third, completely unique way of shaking previously thought impossible by everyone onboard.  By now, even the consistently chipper Amy had had enough.

Amy (to herself): Ai- lay yow mow low gah?

Leela (newfound anger):  This stones temple pilots!   Assuming there’s even someone that can fix this, they’re going to charge at least my salary for a year to fix it!

Bender: You could always sell your body to truckers!

Leela (cold): Seems it’d be easier to sell yours now, doesn’t it?

Amy (sardonic): Yeah, much easier.

The task of clearing the rest-stop’s airlock without hitting the walls was much like the task of operating the finglonger after your 99th cup of coffee, but Leela handled it with poise.  She scraped the sides mercilessly, but maintained her poise throughout.  The Planet Express Ship drifted downwards towards a parking spot, stalled 10 feet above, and deployed its landing gear.  A confused lobster had a confusing 10 foot fall, and beat the ship in an unscheduled race to the ground. 
____________


Well, there you have it.  I appreciate any honest criticism you have, and suggestions on style as well.  I’m still worried I’m sounding a bit like Adams, but I promise I’m not trying to!  I even swore off reading anything by him before I started writing this part...... but that just seems to be how my prose comes out... Either way, I think I like the idea of talking a bit about the ‘science’ behind the show at the beginning of each chapter.  Do you have opinions on this?

I apologize for the delay in update, even more so if it turns out this update sucks  Unfortunately, I can't really guarantee the next part won't be equally delayed... or better than this one...

--------------------
Brevity is the soul of
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #470 on: 05-24-2005 01:31 »

Classic.  I'm torn between which version to like better.  They're sort of like children in that respect.  I know I have to favor one of them while denying it to the other...but which one to choose?

Despite my conclivity* for prosaic** fanworks, I choose the straight prose in this case.  I can't really put my finger on why I like it more.  Maybe it's just because I saw it first.

To be honest, the only thing I could think of that threw me was the business of the airlock in the last paragraph.  After rereading it a couple times I realize Leela was clearing the ship through the airlock, not clearing the ship's airlock of debris or something.  Looking back, I don't know why the heck I was thinking that.  Same with the "This stones temple pilots!"-line.  Initially I thought, "JBERGES can do better."  Then I thought, "No, that's actually pretty damn good."

I can't comment on any allegations of Adamsianism.  That being said, oh, the puns.  Oh, my sides!

* Yeah, I just made that word up.  So sue me.
** Prosaic meaning "Consisting or characteristic of prose" not "lacking imagination or excitement"
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #471 on: 05-24-2005 01:36 »

 
Quote
“...Hardly’s the opposite of softly, right?”
JB, I think you have pinpointed the quintessential problem with mechanical engineers.

As usual, the incessant science jokes are my favorite part, particularly the resonance joke (though the dialogue end of it seems a bit strained to me) and the Doppler Effect gag.  That's one of those jokes that couldn't work in the show or script form, but are perfect for prose, scrose, and yes, radio teleplays.  I think the main reason you sound a bit like Douglas Adams is that you're currently writing in very similar form (exposition-dialogue-gag-dialogue-gag-exposition-repeat) due to both the nature of the scrose form and your previously established writing patterns.

And yes, the behind the scenes science bits are great, because that (and the witty banter of course) is where your personal strength is.

Yeah, I'd make more specific commentary on the plot/characterization/etc. but it's good enough that my opinion shouldn't really change anything and I have a short att
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #472 on: 05-24-2005 02:18 »
« Last Edit on: 05-25-2005 00:00 »

I hate quantum mechanics. Oh, how I hate quantum mechanics.

Yes, your speed-o-light/doppler wackiness is very Adamsian. It's not bad, for all that, and let's face it: the man put sci-fi humour on the map, so it's no wonder his style is still dribbling down into the exposed brains of potential prodigies.

Cool stuff:
     
Quote
and the twenty minutes of incessant rattling had successfully knocked her brain off-stride, her legs unfeeling, and her bra strap off-shoulder, much to Fry’s non-chagrin.

No comment. Just basking.

     
Quote
“So... no one fixed the quantum drives...” Leela reiterated as coolly as possible, getting used to the vibrations. “The ship will break up if we don’t land pretty soon. We’ll have to find a mechanic.”

“A quantum mechanic,” Amy emphasized. “And I hate quantum mechanics!”

“Don’t we all...” sighed Leela.

Indubitably.

     
Quote
Fry (terrified): Earthquake! Earthquake!! (pause) Uh... I mean... Not-on-Earth quake....

You know, I'm not that crazy about this line... though I suppose that it's appropriate for Fry. If anyone else said it, I'd be ever so cross.


     
Quote
Leela (newfound anger): This stones temple pilots!

Yay!

     
Quote
Bender: You could always sell your body to
truckers!

Leela (cold): Seems it’d be easier to sell yours now, doesn’t it?

Amy (sardonic): Yeah, much easier.

Woohoo! Calling women easy (or frigid) is the gorram height of humour, I swear. I love it when Amy's bitchy.

     
Quote
A confused lobster had a confusing 10 foot fall, and beat the ship in an unscheduled race to the ground.

...and a dieseased yak. "Boing!"

     
Quote
Zoidberg (frightened): My mandibles are tied!

Should this be tendrils? I always figured mandibles refered to the jaw. But then, biology class was a looooong time ago.

   
Quote
“...Hardly’s the opposite of softly, right?”

Too damn wonderful.

Oh, there's other stuff. But that'll do.

As for which style... I think... I prefer... scrose, actually. Maybe I'm just biased because I named it, but I can't think of a good reason beyond that.

Adams is rolling around in his urn, having been mistaken for a salt shaker.
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #473 on: 05-25-2005 15:10 »

Overall, I very much prefer the prose to the hybrid. Goddamn gas/electric cars, making celebrities gloat about how eco-friendly they are... Erm, to the scrose as well. It seemed to flow better, and brought about a few things I really enjoyed, like that bit about Zoidberg's tears (also, his elaborate ruse made me snicker), Leela longing for hand-face contact, and Bender pretending to have his own room. I also thought Zoidberg hoping for varying degrees of... edibility? edibleness? whatever... worked much better when not spoken aloud. In fact, many of the lines seem to lend themselves to that form better. Though, more than anything, that leads me to wonder whether you wrote it as prose first and then adapted it to scrose. If so, that may be clouding my judgement. Either way, I think it made for a better read. The only part where I prefered the scripted dialogue was this exchange:
Quote
Bender: You could always sell your body to truckers!

Leela (cold): Seems it’d be easier to sell yours now, doesn’t it?
It's just me being extremely dull-witted, really, because of course Leela was the one to say her line, but I was briefly confused in the prose version as to whose cold retort it was. I think because it's intended to be quick repartee, and that works better when you just identify who said what, without being all writerly. Other than that, the prose gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. Which is not to say there was anything wrong with the scrose, mind you. Just that I liked the alternative better. I'm sure whichever one you ultimately end up choosing will turn out fine, so don't forget to have your own preferences, whatever they may be, dictate your final decision.

Anyway...

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
Bender Bending Rodriguez darted through the ship’s hallways like a kid in a candy store being chased by the bull from the china shop.
Starts off strong! I love mixed proverbs. That whole paragraph was very amusing. For all his loose morals, there can be a very cute and childlike quality to Bender, and having him essentially play make-believe captured that perfectly.
 
Quote
“Earthquake!  Earthquake!!   Uh...  I mean... Not-on-Earth quake...”
I thought it was funny...
 
Quote
Meanwhile, Amy gracefully made her way to the cockpit, the movement of the floor perfectly complementing her somewhat ungainly gait.
Amused me quite a bit.
 
Quote
“That’s great...” muttered Leela.  “Where did Fry end up?  We’re going to be landing soon and I don’t want him playing around the landing gear when it’s deployed again...”
Which later happens to Zoidberg... Clever.
 
Quote
he’s been trying to draw a picture on his Etch-a-Sketch.  ...It hasn’t gone well.
Loved it. I would give anything to be a fly on the wall for that fight against the odds. Or a fly buzzing in the air, since the wall would be shaking.
 
Quote
No one would ever hear her fault herself in English, of course.
Nice character line.
 
Quote
The task of clearing the airlock without hitting the walls was much like the task of successfullly operating the finglonger after your 99th cup of coffee,
Fwah! Double-canon reference, without fitting into the rehash category. Nice.
 
Quote
Zoidberg tried to appear dignified,

“Hffmph. Jabs at my disposition won’t faze me.” he managed to get out before his meekness set in “...I guess you still hate me because of before.”
A few complaints about this area. There should be a period after "dignified". Or maybe it should be put on the same line as the dialogue. The period after "me" should become a comma, and I'd recommend an additional comma, or possibly a period, after "in". Also, I have to quibble with the "...I guess you still hate me because of before," line. Although Zoidberg isn't exactly bursting with self esteem, and is, as you said, meek, that line doesn't sit right with me. When ol' Zoidy gets all self-deprecating, he's a typically a little more over the top about it. Having him be calmly pessimistic doesn't seem quite right. Just an opinion.
 
Quote
“You’re not making any sense”
Needs a period. Or an exclamation point. Some punctuation, anyway.
 
Quote
“What’s causing all this shuddering, Amy!”
Should that end with a question mark!
 
Quote
“Uh... no, I thought you got the Professor to after my last report”
Missing period.
 
Quote
A second, more intense “light” blasts infrared at oncoming traffic, who, thanks to our shifty friend Mr. Doppler, see a crisp red signal approaching.
Well, you've completely lost me on the science, which I'll just assume is hilarious, but I do know that traffic, while composed of many vehicles, is a singular word and shouldn't be treated like it's plural.
 
Quote
This was a trifle difficult, however, as her crew was still as obnoxious as ever, her hands were effectively soldered to the steering wheel, and the twenty minutes of incessant rattling had successfully knocked her brain off-stride, her legs unfeeling, and her bra strap off-shoulder, much to Fry’s non-chagrin.
I absolutely adore everything about the wording of this sentence, from trifle to soldered to non-chagrin, exceeeept... Kind of awkward to say off-something, then unsomething, then back to off-something. Personal preference, I think.
 
Quote
“Assuming there’s even someone there that can fix this, they’re going to charge at least my salary for a year to fix it”
Missing period at the end; consider changing "that can fix this" to "who can fix this". Better grammatically, and I think it reads better, but it's optional since it's speech.
 
Quote
Bender: (sudden panic):
Colon issue.

So, I had kind of a lot of complaints, mostly punctuation related, but I most definitely enjoyed it overall. Good luck with the final stylistic decision!
say what now

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #474 on: 05-25-2005 19:08 »

Ahh, I like the prose. It's been said before- it is written in a Douglas Adams style, but I like it that way. The humor comes across really well.

Oh, and another thing about prose:

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
“You could always sell your body to truckers,” suggested a recently decapitated head.

It lets you make jokes like that. I think it's funny.

And the other thing- I liked what you said about Amy faulting herself. See, stuff like that I don't like to miss out on!
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #475 on: 05-25-2005 19:34 »

I'm thinking the prose is better. For the same reason listed by SWN. I love Amy's insult. I could so see it in my head.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
****
« Reply #476 on: 05-25-2005 21:08 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:

Computer:  This is Mensa.

Farnsworth:  No, stupid!  (He kicks the machine)

(The hologram distorts, then fades to a picture of a small terra-formed planet)

Computer:  This is also Mensa.

 laff Cracked, me up. Now I've never posted here before JBERGES, but I've read most of your stories on FM:TLZ. You're good. Damn good. And that PEEL Is Other Poster's parody song, loved.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #477 on: 05-26-2005 01:49 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Tongue Luck:     
Quote
“Uh... no, I thought you got the Professor to after my last report”

Missing period.

Break out the pregnancy test.
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #478 on: 05-26-2005 01:51 »

*Stony wall of silence.*
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #479 on: 05-26-2005 13:27 »

Still, DrT, a
Quote
Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
Missing period.
 
Might be preferable over a
 
Quote
Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
Colon issue.

Hahaha...uh... real replies coming later, I swear.   Hoping some others decide to speak up beforehand.
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