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Mass Effect "Tales"

Discussion in 'Story Search' started by MonkeyEpoxy, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Odran

    Odran Prisoner

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    I think I've come across only one tolerable Mass Effect SI fic, but even that one wasn't particularly good, because holy hell, the author/SI fetishized female Batarians to a disturbing level. @VanRopen, what was its name again?

    Anyway, here's something fantastic instead:

    Sudden Terminus

    As the summary itself says, this is the third and final part of the Sudden series, which we already have in the library, but I figured it was worth bringing up here, since the topic livened up a bit lately. Anyway, it's one of the best crossover fics in general that I've ever come across, which actually combines two settings in an unexpected and exceptional way. It's a fusion of Starcraft and Mass Effect, to put it simply, but I'm not sure I could do justice to the setting, so I'll just leave you to read the fics if you haven't done so already. Here's links for the first two:

    Sudden Contact

    Sudden Supremacy

    The UED is here. Magnificent and relentless, they march forward in defiance of the watching darkness. On the edges, the only person with both the knowledge and means to stop what's coming remains wracked with doubt, at war with her nature. Jim Raynor, meanwhile, struggles onward in a galaxy that has outgrown him.
     
  2. VanRopen

    VanRopen Unspeakable

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    This person's Another Realm series.

    It's...hmm. I'm of two minds. There's a bunch of tropes in there I don't like early on. The early romance is pretty dumb, and I've never liked the idea of other people being aware of an SI. On the other hand, it plays them straight in a way I've never seen before. Relying too heavily on one species' cultural elements has always irritated me too, but that both fades over time and ended up feeding into a plot point of it's own. Even the power-armor thing, which has all the hallmarks of a shitty special snowflake SI, doesn't go down that road.

    Also, there is a lot of story. That's either a plus or a minus for some. Let's see...

    Part 1: 220,922
    Part 2: 182,511
    Part 3: 235,612
    Part 4: 289,571
    Part 5: 277,242
    Part 6: 220,043
    Part 7 (in progress): 164,220
    Part 8/9 - planned.

    That's 1.6 million words, plus another ~50k in various reference (though always written from an in-universe perspective) type things.

    The strong point is definitely in terms of the worldbuilding in the background - I really enjoy this conception of the Terminus, how the region's history fits into the canon timeline, and how the current political setup stands. The author has put in some work there that ties in to canon fluff well and manages to be interesting without getting too grimdark or too technical. Later installments haven't featured all the early stuff I didn't like. The fight scenes start decent and get better. Despite an OC cast the canon characters haven't been shafted, and the scope of the story expands from "street level" to "galactic" rather smoothly. I always find myself looking forward to updates, so I'd say it's at least a 3.5.
     
  3. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    Another Realm is absolutely fucking fantastic. i've been reading it obsessively the past week and a half. The first book and a half are thoroughly decent if unspectacular, but from the end of Terminus/beginning of Ronin onwards... I'm halfway through Chevalier now, and utterly in love. I'm reading easily a hundred thousand words a day of this series.

    The author is absolutely masterful about getting me to care incredibly, incredibly deeply about the characters. I've literally been shipping two characters for three books now to the point I was desperately scouring the internet to find any and all discussion on the series. I almost never do that for fanfic, certainly not for OCs! I haven't been this invested in the outcome of anything since I don't even know when.

    It's fantastic, I guess is what I'm saying. The action is brilliantly written, the worldbuilding tied up there with OSABC, and the characterization simply stellar and without compare.

    5/5, easily. It may not be the absolute best fanfic I've ever read, but it's up there. And it's without a doubt my unquestioned favourite, and after a decade and a half of voracious fanfiction consumption, that's no small thing.
     
  4. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    @The Iron Rose

    Does it compare to OSABC in other ways than just worldbuilding? OSABC is terribly overblown and action is overwrought with unnecessary detail.
    --- Post automerged ---
    I decided to give it a shot. It's not bad, but the m'ladying is fucking cringe. Jesus.
     
  5. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    It gets muuuuuuuch better.

    Seriously the first story is throughly standard fair. Books two and on are where it starts getting good, because that's when it starts really deconstructing the SI genre. I nearly put the series down after 1, since it was just "eh", but I'm very, very glad that I continued.

    If it makes you feel any better, have a spoiler that will mollify that particular criticism.

    Cieran and Nynsi break up sometime in book two ish, IIRC. Cieran being shit at relationships is kinda an ongoing theme.

    As for comparison to OSABC... they're both really good, but very different if you exclude the worldbuilding/AU aspect. While I like OSABC, this series generally keeps things a bit more grounded, and when it departs from that, it feels earned.

    Otherwise, combat scenes are generally very well done. Evocative, but not generally over-written.

    There's a fair bit of relationships, both romantic and not, and a big focus on mental health and dealing with the aftermath of war. Which, personally, I ate all up, but might not be for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  6. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Finished the first book of the Another Realm series. It's thoroughly average, but nothing in there made me quit (although reading "leg actuators" has begun to make me wince). Plotting was rather uninspired in how straightforward it was, could have used some more subplot dressing instead of the MC getting pounded into jelly for the 12th time.

    The way Aethyta is written is just... it may be reflective of canon (I don't remember much of her from the games), but I don't like her here, she's grating, like nails on a chalkboard. And no matter how many times the author writes "goddess damned [insert object]", it's never going to sound well. But it's a respectable 3/5 and I'll be moving onto the sequel.
     
  7. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    Yep, that matches my opinion on the first book pretty well. It's the second and third where it starts getting going. The plot starts getting a bit more complex, the numbers of characters it focuses on is a bit scaled down and the level of characterization shoots way up. The fourth book just straight up stellar, and it keeps going strong.

    Hellhounds, the 7th book, isn't quite up to the same level in all honesty, but it's also not yet complete so perhaps it's a bit unfair. Less of a focus on characterization, but perhaps it was time for that after several books with

    Ultimately what I'll say is the beauty of this series is how it thoroughly deconstructs the SI genre, and generally treats its world extremely realistically. Sadly, due to the weak opening, it's not really super evident when you're just getting into it, but there's a reason this is probably my favourite Mass Effect series, alongside OSABC.

    Then again there aren't a ton of good Mass Effect series in general other than those two, but my point stands nonetheless!
     
  8. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I need some more Humans Fuck Yeah fics. I've read everything in this thread that had anything about it. Anyone else been able to find anything?
     
  9. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    I don’t think this one been recommended, but searching on my phone is a bitch so I might’ve over looked it.

    https://m.fanfiction.net/s/11868723/1/The-Human-War The Human War by Generatedname is a Mass Effect/XCOM crossover. Very much Humanity, fuck yeah!
     
  10. Methos

    Methos Seventh Year

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    Kill them all and lets god sort them is interesting approach, but on extinction level?
    It seems humanity is on a race to become the Etheral.
     
  11. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Grrrrr. Another Realm suffers from what I consider to be the most fundamental problem of writing. If I can skip an entire chapter and not be lost in the next chapter, then the chapter I skipped was unnecessary. The entire chapter 4 of the sequel is literally just planning for what I was already told in chapter 3 was going to happen anyway. What's the point? I skimmed chapter 4. It's all inconsequential talk.

    There's way too much banter. I know, weird comment, right? Banter is character development, team building, right? There's such a thing as too much filler. Banter is filler.
     
  12. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    Yeah. The author gets a bit better about that, but there's still plenty of bantar. He does improve a bit when it comes to redundant chapters for planning and the like, but the planning chapters aren't going away wholesale anytime soon.

    If I had to give ratings, I'd give the first book a 3/5, second a 3.5 or 4/5, and then the rest are all somewhere between 4 and 5.
     
  13. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    @The Iron Rose @VanRopen, is it possible to skip the first book in Another Realm entirely? I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and it is becoming a slog.
     
  14. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    honestly, yeah. the first book is really not great. If you've read the first third of it, you'll get basically most everything important, and the sequels all have a (very small) bit of recap.

    I did a quick re-skim and it's actually worse than I remembered.
     
  15. Odran

    Odran Prisoner

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    Now I remember another reason why I dislike Another Realm: the author's repeated attempts at banter. It just fails so hard, yet they keep on going on and on about it. The whole "scales" and "ape" exchange was overdone by the third time I came across it. Three books in, it's still going.
     
  16. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Yeah, that's cringe as fuck. I'm going on the strength of @The Iron Rose's recommendation, but she also likes OSABC and I don't, so now I'm not sure I'm going to keep reading.
     
  17. VanRopen

    VanRopen Unspeakable

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    For the record, I could never get through OSABC. I always found it...too much? Hard to put into words.

    The comparisons between them are about effort being put into world building and having a political aspect to actors’ decisions and the storylines, not any specific comparisons.

    It’s more a verisimilitude thing.
     
  18. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    Honestly fair then! It may not be to your guys' tastes and that's totally fine. Don't read it if you're not enjoying it.

    I found that it got much better once the Omega arc starts... But the banter doesn't really change. The scales and ape bit stop for plot reasons, but other things (albeit ones significantly less annoying) take their place.

    I still say there's some definite gems in there... But the problem is that the series is fucking massive, and at well over a million words in the whole series, asking people to slog through that is a bit much. Especially because, like most fanfics it could really serve to have its length cut by a third.

    So I'll actually rescind my recommendation, on the caveat that if you've a tolerance for extremely long fics it's great if you can get through it.


    Final thoughts and then I'll shut up about itB

    Another Realm is easily the most original mass effect fanfic out there other than that one weird Deus Ex Crossover that got really stupid. I really liked how AR subverted SI genre tropes without being a fic about subverting the tropes of the genre. The plotlines felt - to a degree I didn't really feel was the case in OSABC - very organic and well developed. Forget a Canon rehash, the entire series is entirely original - half the series takes place before Eden Prime. The action was really well written, and the author has a great flair for large scale combat. And then most of all, the author isn't in love with his OCs and both amazing and shitty things happen to them. I loved the main four characters throughout books three onwards, and I loved how the relationships got developed slowly and over time... But two of them aren't even introduced until book two and the third is a minor character only. The original Illium cast of characters other than Ghai are all pretty lame in my opinion, and I liked that their roles diminished as the series went on. And finally, and this is my favourite part - the author actually writes about relationships ending. It honestly isn't like anything I've read in a fanfic before. Almost every story that ships it's characters has them all pair off with their one true love/harem. The events that happen and the relationships that end feel real, and honestly I haven't seen that before. With one notable exception that kinda redeems itself:

    Cieran and Shaaryak was just awful, which ironically made reading about it slowly crashing and burning was super satisfying.

    The banter can definitely get annoying, some chapters can get filler-y, and everything up until Omega is incredibly fucking boring.

    I think above all else it's interesting, and the biggest flaws are ones I don't really mind. I like fanfics that know when to show themselves out, but sometimes you're just in the mood to read a hell of a lot of words.
     
  19. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Have there been any good Mass Effect: Andromeda fics?
     
  20. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    MEA is kind of like the Cursed Child of ME, isn't it? I wonder if anyone gives enough of a shit to write something that would get 3/5 here.
     
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