Reader's Rave #2

Greetings, gentle readers. Yet another offering by the ever so insightful and humble Dex, written with his usual charm, wit, verve, empathy and above all, Dex-terity. I have a group of stories which go above and beyond, skirting dangerously close to realm of literature. Mirage, that astonishingly auspicious archivist informed your favorite writer that she was not at all unwilling to post Raves about non-GenX stories. Imagine my delight to have licence to ramble about the entire spectrum of Fan Fiction. As it is the wee hours of St. Valentine’s Day, I shall do the various aspects of love, whether it be between friends, soul-mates, lovers, parents or even sinful liaisons. Ah, l’amour!

Dr. Benway is one of the older fan fiction writers, having a job and the other such trappings of responsibility. However, he has a uniquely empathic manner with the one person consciousness of a child. Douglas Ramsey's Diary is engaging, authentic and honestly horrifying. It shows the flip side of the price of mutant abilities, especially those which are relatively unnoticeable. Doug, after the severe illness of his mother, for which he blames himself, is eventually institutionalized in a children’s ward. There, he discovers the horror of the mentally unbalanced, and the price of his power. There are unpleasant scenes related to the reader through the first person of Doug himself, his writings in a journal he considered childish. Abuse, both mental and emotional scars the writings, hauntingly real and vivid. Even his ‘rescue’ of sorts leaves the readers with doubts, that one sort of abuse has been replaced with another. A piece which draws the reader into a world of a child’s pain.

Stories You Hear Down The Pub is one of the highly acclaimed Common People series, initiated by Laersyn. The writer is another of Fan Fiction’s brightest, Ian Phil Foster, and he shows with deft precision why he holds his position. Stories... is the tale of friends down at the pub on a Saturday afternoon, like many of us spend them, recouping from Friday’s excesses and preparing for Saturday’s. However, a fight and a critical injury forces the narrator to reveal his mutant ability. It is a rough story, both in language and setting. The Estuary English of the narrator pervades the piece, bringing the writing into a startlingly clear focus. One can almost taste the Guinness and smell the scent of old wood, cigarette smoke and sour beer which is the comfort of the local pub. The most important thing is that all of us could imagine the situation, could see our friends react like the characters and can use the same lines without feeling the slightest bit odd. It is a real story, which hits at the heart and the brain and the stomach, driving home its message with simple and honest power.

And Happily Ever After is the work of Maelstrom, who is likely to become a much watched writer very soon. The story is one of the few believable works about Monet, the icy and distant enigma of Generation X. Much like Cyclops, she is oft misrepresented as a caricature of herself, but Maelstrom shows us a little of what lies under the surface of her cold persona. Paired with an unlikely but extremely well written Jono, Monet gains a certain softness, an unpretentious representation of the puzzles which form her life. Jono loses the typified angst, actually holding a reasonable set of mood shifts and changes. It doesn’t dwell on the problems and horrors facing them, but rather the protection of an egg, and a wistful look at the future. The connection made between Jono and Monet serves to augment their already carefully written personas. Over Ice Cream, though far rougher and less refined then this one, contains the shell of ideas which bloom beautifully in this piece.

Da Bum's V-Day Story is one of those delightful little pieces which gives a reader a quick smile while reading. It is short, terse and to the point. It is also predictable in the extreme. Do you know what? It doesn’t matter. The piece is so elegantly handled with the characters that never does it pass into the realm of trite or cliche. A touching jaunt into the beautiful world of young love, something lost or trivialized to often in writing and, sadly, adulthood. Obviously, Bum is the source of this tale of charming romance with the Generation X class, and has again shown us what the comic falls to; The characters as believable teens.

Hearts And Diamonds is the Valentine’s offering by the Scribe herself, Kielle. This story is innocent and bawdy at the same time, light tinged with darkness, love and lust intermixed. The nervousness of the characters, and the fondness of the surroundings so artfully portrayed gives it a living, breathing quality. Mrs. Grey-Summers, the victim of too many saccharine situations comes through as a wonderfully sensuous and vibrant woman, expectant and unsure all at the same time. She is a woman in love, and reaches to the reader. The story contains a wonderful twist, which must be read and appreciated to give the story all the impact needed. That won’t be spoiled here...

My last offering is a piece which has pulled out all the stops in showing the reader what loves gives and demands; Pain, comfort, betrayal, trust, affection and hatred. Release by Tangerine holds back nothing in it’s stunning portrayal of Angel and Psylocke. The two protagonists, perhaps the most hated couple after Scott and Jean, are written with heart wrenching passion and sensitivity which pulls the readers deep into the work. The writing is superb, polished and effective in invoking the emotions needed to create the deep empathy with the two leads. Warren, usually arrogant and *ahem* flighty, becomes a rich and fascinating web of emotions and passions. His strength is drawn to the breaking point and past, and still he holds resolutely to his core. He is astonishingly human, a creature of nobility at his end, even his death showing his love of life and Betsy. Betsy is another treat in this work, a mass of contradictions and opposites meshing into a beautiful whole. Even the side characters are portrayed strongly, though altered slightly at points to drive the story. The thoughts of the characters are achingly poignant, deep with meaning and passion. The tenderness of the love, with it’s pain and pleasure becomes the underlying strength of the piece. It has been written with such deft understanding of the connection between the two lovers, that it reaches out to teach, and charm, and remind the reader exactly what love is about. And to show how precious that the commodity is, and how it gives us the strength to do that which transcends our individual power. It is written from the heart and the soul, and hits in those exact places. Even with it’s intensity, it still manages to catch the lighter side of love, with the lover’s quips and jokes, the quiet joy and tenderness, and the happiness which comes even in great pain and grief. Ah, to be in love...

Well, at risk of running on, he says six hundred words later, I gift you with Dex’s unique view of life, love and excellence, all bound in a neat package of fan fiction. Feedback is always most welcome and of course, if any writer happens to feel a need to give a nod of thanks, my work is always available for review. Not that I’m hinting outrageously or anything. Valentines at three in the morning, alone in my tiny writer’s garret... *sigh* To the lovers, the feelings, the amorous heroes who seek the prizes of the greater world, I give you my best.


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