Read and Review
2011 Award Category: Humor: Featuring Merry or Pippin - First Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Sometimes a writer just can't please everyone, as Frodo discovers... Readers familiar with the long tradition of Eriador gapfillers will notice that this piece cites a good deal of fan fiction that did not originate with the authors.
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 10
Dear Celeritas, dear Dreamflower, this story is so original and so amusing, and it is one of those stories that makes you wonder why it hasnââ¬â¢t been written ages ago. The gapfiller is a worthy genre of fanfiction, but it is quite possible to imagine that the gaps have been, well, a little overfilled. Actually, the volume of fanfiction is far, far bigger than the volume of Tolkienââ¬â¢s original work and in some cases it has begun to dominate our perception of Middle-earth. Yet all of it only makes sense individually, and if we add it all together, we are confronted with a very odd mixture of events that cannot all fit, or can they? Of course, if we wanted to account for any period of several years, we would have to leave out a huge amount of things, even of interesting and relevant things. So, could it all be squeezed in somehow? Or are those ââ¬Åleft-outââ¬Â parts in their sum perhaps a little too dramatic? But then, the original was full of dramatic events. Still, if Tolkien, or presumably Frodo, found space for jotting down poetry recited by Sam or describing in detail the food served by Tom Bombadil, then one would expect him not to leave out such life-threatening situations as brought up here. A delightful tongue-in-cheek look at just what fanfiction does to a fandom.
Author response: Yes, a good many of those gaps have been filled over and over and over-- especially that two weeks out from Rivendell! And yet, I don't suppose any of us who have enjoyed the stories involved would be content to have missed reading any of them! It does make for a very funny picture to imagine that all of those things actually happened...er, well, not actually actually, but I think you know what I mean! We had a blast writing it, too!
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 9
Absolute brilliance! It's always fun to see something of yours show up elsewhere, but the sheer volume of authors Celeritas and Dreamflower manage to include is overwhelming. Nor is this merely a contest of "how many other fanfics can we include and still keep to the realm of the reasonably sane." This story itself is extremely well written; I love the way we follow Frodo's thoughts as he becomes more and more frustrated. His musings on what Pippin might constitute as important provoked several guffaws on my part. And Celeritas and Dreamflower really summarize the zaniness of fanfiction with this: [Yule. He hadnââ¬â¢t even thought of Yule, though now that he was thinking of it it appeared to have gone on for at least six days...] It's a concise, hilarious explanation of everything both wrong and right in fanfiction. If all fanfic authors who'd ever written about the Fellowship's journey got together and compiled their work, we would probably find that the quest actually lasted two decades in order to fit in all the adventures, mishaps, and (to quote Pippin) ["character development"]. And since we love those adventures and mishaps, we're more than willing to squeeze just one more into the Fellowship's finite amount of time. A wonderfully direct look at a crazy hobby coupled with excellent, side-splitting commentary.
Author response: Thanks so much, Thundera!! The "sheer volume" work was all Dreamflower's part, so she deserves the bulk of the honors for this fic! The "Yule" quip was a bit of meta-humor, as I noticed on my last readthrough of the appendices that apparently Shire Yule was, in fact, celebrated for six days even though only two of them were officially on the calendar, even though *nobody* (myself included, to my chagrin) writes it that way. It only seemed right for Frodo to notice. Anyway, I'm very glad you enjoyed the fic--it was certainly a hoot to write!
Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel ✧ Score: 8
I think I was about halfway through this piece before I understood exactly what was going on. Hobbit-fiction has never been a particular obsession of mine, though I do enjoy reading a well-written fic when it's been recommended. But to be entirely honest, I thought this was a brilliant piece of writing, even though I didn't completely immediately get all of the references to outside stories. The authors managed to make fun of fanfiction without giving offense, and the end result was intensely funny. I loved the sort of unspoken and understated jesting--nearly an inside joke, but not quite that exclusive. Frodo's reaction was purely comical, and I loved the classic take on 'what the characters think of us fanfiction writers', especially as it was given a new twist with its real-life references. On the whole, I was very impressed with this (a great deal of research had to have gone into the planning of this), and I couldn't help but laugh when I imagined what the piece would have looked like had Frodo allowed all the members of the Fellowship to give input into the books.
Author response: We had so much fun writing this piece! It was a hoot to imagine Frodo's reaction every time Pippin came up with something else that "also" happened! And remembering all of the fics that inspired it was also a lot of fun!
Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty ✧ Score: 7
Gosh, who knew a collaboration could turn out so well (I say that because I've never read one before)? This was delightful. Before I even realised that there >was< a reference list, I recognised some of the fanfics which were being referred to (particularly Indigo Bunting's wonderful fic 'The River'). I'm telling you, reading this was akin to star-spotting the first time I saw the original Band Aid video ... Ah, happy days! It made me feel quite warm and fuzzy and sentimental! As much as I enjoyed the three hobbits harrassment of poor Frodo (with whom - as an author - I really sympathised with. Frodo, my lad, you just can't please everyone all the time) it was the image of Frodo worrying his stump with his thumb that really struck me. It never occurred to me before that that would be an issue. Silly of me, in hindsight, because it's fairly obvious, now that you've collectively pointed it out! A lovely tale which made me think, laugh, and reminisce for a bygone age! Good work, Kara's Aunty ;)
Author response: The part with Frodo worrying at his stump came right from Celeritas, and I thought it was brilliant!
Reviewed by: Darkover ✧ Score: 4
A hilarious story--and a reminder that sometimes fanon is repeated so often that we fan authors risk becoming cliches of ourselves! Ideas we want to read about sometimes are redone by so many authors that it is not surprising that after awhile, fanon becomes mixed in with canon. Besides, as Frodo reminds everyone in this story, if you don't like what someone else has written, write it yourself! This was an interesting and unusual idea, nicely written.
Author response: We had a great deal of fun and a lot of laughs writing this little tribute to some of the more well-known fan favorites, as well as a gentle skewering of fanon, LOL! Poor Frodo, everyone's a critic.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
LOL! Beware of beta-readers who know more than you do. I recognized some of the references. Frodo is right. If he includes all those incidents, he would never finish the book. I love the way that everyone had some other events to be included, dependent on the role they played except for Sam.
Author response: And even Sam had to put his two-cents in of behalf of his beloved Bill the Pony, LOL! We had loads of fun writing this!
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 3
This was a delightfully funny read and I had great fun trying to work out which stories were being referred to. Poor Frodo! Would he ever have written his book with so many extra stories to choose from?