Vignettes of Beleriand - The Giant Vampire Bat Problem

Author: Anna Wing

Nominator: Ithilwen

2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: The Silmarillion

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Celegorm and Curufin work on a military problem.

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Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

This was simple brilliance. Anna Wing has a gift for understated humor. As Curufin concedes, the problem he and Celegorm face is a genuine problem and it puts them at a military disadvantage. That much is certainly in keeping with the general tone of the Silmarillion. But then Anna Wing starts slipping in phrases and observations that quirk the story just enough to throw a reader off kilter. I was particularly fond of the [tentacled thing from Nan Gorgoroth] and the concept of [aerial intelligence] as provided (or not provided, since it seems to be a complaint) by the eagles. And having rocked the solid foundations of Silmarillion canon just enough, Anna Wing starts to unveil Celegorm's plan. And again, it starts innocuously: they need to get the enemy bats in range. But the method Celegorm wants to employ isn't one that will endear him to his people. Curufin's gentle dismissal of the idea is nothing short of hilarious, and Celegorm's counter proposal had me clutching my sides. I loved even more that Curufin accepted, with the added qualification that Finrod be kept in the dark. Sheer genius!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 7

Oh my! Oh dear - this is, um, well, it reminds me of another Silmfic whose race relations were... disconcerting, let's say. Salsify, I'm sure, would love this. The entry into this latest scheme by Celegorm to bag himself a few of the Enemy's creepy and winged monstrosities isn't spelled out until the end. That delay builds some great, and comic tension, as we follow Celegorm's exploits through Curufin's eyes. Barbarian tastes, animal-like behavior - Curufin's prejudice is on display, but so also through his eyes is a certain unsavory something about Celegorm, who is a little too able to get sucked into the thrill of the hunt and the kill, and a little too eager to have a trophycase. Civilization seems to be something at issue here. We get to the end, and discover just exactly how far these two have fallen in their estimation of fellow speaking beings. It's a hysterical denouement, one that puts the horrific up for a laugh, but also draws attention to the nastiness. Well written in a short space - very clever!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Well, what would you suggest doing to take down some of the vampire bats being sent by the Enemy to perform reconaissance on your fortress? That's the problem Celegorm and Curufin are considering, although so far suggestions are not proving too practicable. From Celegorm's desire to mount trophies from his monster hunts all over the place to suggestions as to what might serve as bait to attract the bats into range, this one is a hoot! Definitely to be enjoyed!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A great conversation between Celegorm and Curufin; two very clever and amusingly (in this ficlet) ethically challenged Feanorians. I loved Curufin's viewpoint, especially about Celegorm's extreme enthusiasm for the hunt.

Reviewed by: Elfique  ✧  Score: 3

Ehe this is a little gem of a ficlet - I almost sprayed out my lunchtime soup in with laughter at the last few lines. A very light hearted and comical, yet unnervingly accurate look at two tenacious brothers. A highly recommended read!

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 1

Oh, dear, very tongue-in-cheek, or should I say, cheeky?