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Complete Lost In The Woods by Ardwolf - M - Firefly/Star Trek

Discussion in 'Television and Movies' started by Nuit, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Nuit

    Nuit Dark Lord

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    Location:
    The Peach State
    Title: Lost In The Woods
    Author: Ardwolf
    Rating: M
    Genre: Sci-Fi
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Firefly
    Pairings: n/a
    Summary: Captain Picard’s bad day just got a lot worse, courtesy of Q. Which is nothing compared to the day Malcolm Reynolds is about to have when River starts babbling about the kindly t’ien lung and his curious bunny rabbit… ST:TNG/Firefly crossover.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4603570/1/Lost-In-The-Woods

    I accidentally used my review for the sequel instead of the first one, but I'd say the same for both.
     
  2. Otters

    Otters Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    High Score:
    2005
    I rather enjoyed this.

    From the outset, we know what the technological difference is going to be. A martial conflict would be utterly devoid of tension unless the situation was incredibly unlikely and overengineered by the author. Instead the conflict here comes from choice; the morality of deciding whether or not to act. I felt like this was handled particularly well, with the appropriate weight given to the decisions made.

    It's obvious where things are going as soon as the choice is presented, but I enjoyed going on that journey nonetheless. Also applauding the author's choice to stick to binary choices instead of handwaving a technological third path.

    The crews of both ships felt in character, so far as I can tell. I especially enjoyed the interactions between the two captains. They're very different people - one an educated, highly professional officer, and the other a rough-and-tumble space cowboy with authority issues and violent tendencies. There's a little bit of friction there which I enjoyed, buried very deeply beneath a mask of civility which quickly turns into mutual respect.

    This wasn't long. It didn't need to be long. Honestly, the story, all in all, seems like a fairly coherent fit for a single episode of either show. It has the right feel to it for a good standalone episode which isn't part of the wider plot arc.

    4/5
     
  3. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    Not bad.

    I'm not overly familiar with Star Trek, enough to get by and recognise the events referred to here, so I can't dissect the characters on that side of things, but they seemed fine to my limited knowledge. On the Firefly side of things, it was definitely in character. The plot was fine, my only real issue being that the crew of Serenity seemed to adjust very well to the idea of alternate dimensions, which is much weirder than anything they've come across in canon. It plays out logically, without anything massively exciting either way; it's all about the character drama, which is reasonably well done, rather than the action.

    On a technical level, it's written fairly well. Nothing particularly impressive, but fine. Some funny bits, some nice character and emotional beats (I liked Mal and Kaylee meeting Data) but nothing much that's going to linger in the memory.

    Does what it needs to pretty well, doesn't outstay its welcome. I wavered between 3 or 4, but it is better than the sequel which I'd put at about a 3, so...4 out of 5, I guess.
     
  4. DarthBill

    DarthBill The Chosen One

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    Huh. It is surprising to me that this wasn't already on DLP; I read this a decade ago.

    I'll have to re-read it to be sure it stands up to my memories of it, but I'm pretty sure it was good.
     
  5. pbluekan

    pbluekan Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    This was a nice easy read. Everyone is who they need to be and everything is in its place. The author didn’t go anywhere we didn’t need and confined themselves to the format they’d chosen. It reads like a Star Trek episode: An interesting meeting, a moral quandary, a little bit of action.

    Beyond that, the writing is decent and technically sound.

    4/5
     
  6. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Death Eater

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    I couldn't get through this story. Which is a shame, because I like the concept. The portion of the story that was focused on Star Trek was alright, but once I got to the Firefly portion I couldn't stand it.

    My main problem: Way too much talking. It worked on the TNG portion, because that was about 95% of the runtime of the original show: constant ethical debates, dialogue and diplomacy, and technobabble made up what each episode was about. Firefly on the other hand was much more of a 'show, don't tell' type of show. It knew brevity, how to make each line count. Take this exchange in chapter 5:

    Now, the details of that exchange are fitting with the characters, so I have no problems with that. (Apart from the fact that they even know about Jubal's rape threat. The only people who would have known about it would have been Kaylee and maybe River, and I can't imagine that either would have talked about it. Firefly was pretty good at having what one person knew not be what every person knew.) The problem I have is how they are saying it. If it would have been in the show, it would have been more like this:

    It just feels like it flows better, more true to the show. In fact, a lot of the story feels like that. Like it has fallen into the trap that a lot of stories with lots of characters do: feeling like they need to have all the characters have their say in the conversation. To me, it comes across as the other characters basically saying "I am also here and have an opinion," if they don't have anything important to contribute to the conversation.

    Then there's things like Mal having to give out long orders and tolerating backtalk, making way too many references to past episodes, having people be at places where the plot wants them to be instead of where they would/should be, not keeping in mind that River wasn't considered a (functional) part of the crew until after the Serenity movie (set about two years after this story, IIRC)... there was just too many things I couldn't stand.

    I'll give it a 2.5/5. Not terrible, but too average and too similar to other bad stories for me to enjoy.
     
  7. Othalan

    Othalan Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    I got most of the way through this (read up through chapter 12) before I finally just couldn't continue. The idea had real promise, but the author's execution was just god-awful. His/her writing and grammar is technically fine, but the way the plotline and character interaction are handled made this a frustrating slog for me.

    Trek characters are largely done well (or at least accurately, since I've always thought most of TNG's characters sucked). The Firefly side is where it falls apart.

    First of all, a little technological pet peeve of mine: The Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) does not "dwarf" an Alliance cruiser. A Tohoku-class Cruiser is actually bigger than a Galaxy-class Starship, and the Alliance's Crete-class Carrier is even bigger than a Tohoku, with nearly double the tonnage. Also, the Alliance does in fact have FTL communication: the Cortex is consistently portrayed as being unaffected by light-speed lag in both the show and the movie. Normally I could overlook these technical inaccuracies in a decently written story, but in this one they came as part of an irksome pattern of Trek-wank that is a major reason I couldn't continue with this fic.

    We are constantly reminded of how deeply flawed the Firefly verse is, without a single solitary mention of any corresponding problems in the Federation - or between the Federation and its neighbors. They don't have to be portrayed as equally fucked up, since the Federation of the TNG time period was created as an exercise in technological utopianism, but I feel like at least one mention that the Federation is not 100% sunshine and daisies is warranted, as a token expression of humility by a Trek character if nothing else.

    Characterization-wise, Mal pisses me off in this one. On top of the author going a little overboard on the rusticisms in his speech, Mal spends most of the story as a fawning lackey, whose entire purpose seems to be: 1) To occasionally advise Picard on just how fucked up the Firefly verse is, and 2) to serve as a POV through which the author can frantically masturbate at the altar of Picard.

    The "real" Malcolm Reynolds could appreciate that Picard and his crew are decent sorts, but he has no patience or respect for the kind of endless ethical debates that are the ever-tedious hallmark of TNG. He knows what he believes is right, and he is decisive in acting on that. Picard and co.'s wishy-washy hand-wringing would elicit contempt from Mal more than anything else, especially when
    the Enterprise crew have to hold one of their infamous conferences to decide as a fucking committee that they shouldn't just stand aside and let the Reavers massacre a planet when the Enterprise outclasses the Reavers so badly that it could stop them with virtually zero risk to the ship. They come to the proper conclusion in the end, but that scene encapsulated so much of what I hate about TNG that my disgust was a nearly physical thing.

    Setting aside my personal dislike for TNG, the story consistently fails to deliver on sub-plots and character interactions for everyone except Mal and Picard. The author goes to some lengths to set the stage for interesting character interactions between the crews of the Enterprise and Serenity (which is, like, 90% of the point of a crossover story), then mysteriously fails to deliver, again and again. Examples:
    1) The almost gleefully anticipated (by characters discussing it) meeting of Kaylee and LaForge as they work to patch up Serenity, which fizzles into nothing as the author gives it all of two sentences of exposition after a time skip.

    2) Mal's flirtation with the Enterprise's flight control officer, which results in the officer inviting Mal to drinks with her in Ten Forward. This could have been an interesting sub-plot, maybe where Inara re-evaluates her relationship with Mal as he enjoys another woman's company or some such. Lots of potential for interesting interaction there, but the author squanders it all by apparently forgetting all about it (it's never addressed again, despite the set-up).

    3) Riker hitting on Inara. The author tosses out a throwaway line about Riker unsuccessfully propositioning Inara in his post-time-skip exposition, but shows us nothing of what could have been an entertaining scene.

    4) Zoe, Wash, Jayne and Simon all have essentially zero interaction with the Enterprise's crew (and Shepherd Book isn't much better off). They might as well not even exist as far as the story is concerned.

    5) The time-skip itself was a ham-handed bullshit way of skipping to what I'm sure the author fondly imagines is "the good stuff", completely flushing character interaction and development down the toilet for the sake of - wait for it - the idiotic moral/ethical non-dilemma of how the Star Trek bunch should handle the Reavers. Seriously, the author devotes pages of dialogue to this horseshit, instead of doing literally anything with the cast of characters that might have kept my interest.

    TL;DR: I give it a 2/5, and the only reason it does that well is that the author has a decent command of the English language and of the TNG characters' personalities.
     
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