An Alphabet for Middle-earth
2007 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: This is an anthology of ficlets, drabbles, dribbles, vignettes and poetry, created for the LJ community "There 'n' Back" using a prompt for each letter of the alphabet.
Reviewed by: Inkling ✧ Score: 9
[spoilers] Dreamflower's response to a difficult alphabet challenge has produced this highly creative and entertaining anthology, covering an impressive variety of forms, styles and subjects. The prompts are often taken in unexpected directions, as in ["D: Like a Very Dirty Dragon"], which had me picturing Smaug in a tub (even before reading Raksha's humorous take on the same prompt). Instead, Dreamflower presents a sad and yet hopeful picture of the vandalized Green Dragon Inn after the Battle of Bywater. Likewise, I assumed that ["T: Like a Turgid Turgon"] would concern the Elven king of Gondolin, not a steward of Gondor whose statue in the Citadel is being contemplated by four curious hobbits. I was especially taken with ["W: Like a Wet Warg"]. The idea of a Warg desiring the Ring is one I haven't encountered before in fanfiction. Dreamflower does an excellent job of imagining lupine visions of power: [He would have become the mightiest of Wargs, and the pack could go ravening over the lands of Men and Orcs alike devouring all, mighty in power as long-ago Warg-kind had been when their chief had been the One Who Sits in Darkness in the South. Blood and bone would be theirs; none would escape their maws.] Another gem is ["X: Like Excruciating Exertions on the Way to That Crucial X on the Mouldering Map"]. I dont know of another fanfic writer who can capture the style and spirit of "The Hobbit" as well as Dreamflower, and she proves it once again in this piece, an ingenious response to the prompt and a very nice bit of "Hobbit" gapfiller from Bombur's POV. All 26 ficlets are delightful and well worth the read!
Reviewed by: pippinfan88 ✧ Score: 5
This is an amazing take that Dreamflower used in that each letter of the alphabet is used to create a title for story. As a result, this "volume" contains 26 individuall stories that portray an array of characters, from Eru to Elves to Men, Dwarves, and finally the Hobbits. She doesn't limit herself to only one genre or Race, and nearly every conceivable type of story is offered; vignette, drabbles, poetry, and a fulll variety of wonderful short stories. I looked forward to reading the next chapter, as the title is what usually tickled my fancy. My favourites Letters, naturally, were M and P. And I was never disappointed with any tale and Dreamflower's talent never wavers. An absolute delight to read.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
A daunting challenge most elegantly and thoroughly answered. Here, Dreamflower goes through an alphabet of unusual challenge prompts, and runs the gamut from romance to spirituality, wargs to Valar, hobbits and princes and Dunedain and dwarves...The story of Bombur's difficulties while climbing the Lonely Mountain is one of the most innovative pieces of fanfic I've seen (and a great reply to a difficult prompt); and Frodo's beautiful sestina the most moving. A comprehensive and engaging tour of Arda...
Reviewed by: Linda hoyland ✧ Score: 4
A very imaginative and well written response to a challenge on Live Journal in which participants were required to write a drabble of ficlet for every letter of the alphabet. Few writers managed to complete the challenge but Dreamflower magnificently rises to the occasion with a a well written series of stories of varying lengths. I especially enjoyed Arwen dealing with nastiness towards Elanor and Thorongil's adventures with the Corsairs. A great and enjoyable acheivement.
Reviewed by: Garnet Took ✧ Score: 3
The prompts for these short stories were quite challenging. Dreamflower handled each one with great creativity. I especially liked the one for the letter "T". That once was very clever indeed.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 3
A kaleidoscope of very different and varied views of Middle-earth, giving insight into both familiar characters and situations and exploring "nooks and crannies" or unusual viewpoints. All are intriguing (even if I think some miss some inner tension), and I especially enjoyed the prompts for F, Q, W, and X.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 2
Dreamflower's response to last year's HASA Advent calendar challenge was so marvelous! A wonderful collection of shorts on each letter of the alphabet.