No Man's Land

Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)

Nominator: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)

2008 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Drabbles - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Set during WW1, a drabble about what might have been. (Written for the Alternate Universe Challenge at Tolkien_Weekly)

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

Of all the might-have-beens I have ever read, in ways this is the most chilling of all, considering the climate in which the victim of this story found himself. Where would WE as fanfiction writers be had this happened? Who else might have stepped into the gap to give us the raw materials on which we thrive? Definitely heart-stopping, as well as poignant as we appreciate the device this young soldier had inscribed onto his notebook (a bit of a difference from the backs of sheets of orders truly put to use) while those who deal with the casualty aren't even certain he's one of theirs. What a world of thought is conveyed in these hundred words.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A sad little tale; imagine if Tolkien's life had been one of the millions cut down too soon in World War I. The quiet sorrow of the discovery of another dead soldier is written well, and with the weary nonchalance of wartime; only the reader knows what the world has lost with this one more life. Well done, a sobering look at what could have so easily happened, and what doubtless happens in every war, poets and scholars and other young men with seeds of greatness who are all taken from the world before their time.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 4

Now this is one AU I'm fervently grateful did not come to pass, although it does invite deep reflection on the great potential cut down in every deadly conflict. Very nice dialogue sets the stage clearly, and places us right with the men making this discovery. I wonder if the notebook contents might find their way into influencing some writer to follow the thoughts of their original author, and what differences would spring from them seeding another imagination? Definitely a drabble that invites reflection!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

A sobering possibility - writers like Wilfred Owen remind us by their work, fortunately saved, that there must have been so many young artists devoured by war before they could ever give birth to their creations. We can't even miss them, since we don't know who they were or what they had in mind. A thoughtful drabble that makes you think about the fact that you are here, electronically among others, writing reviews for work that came of one man's story.

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat  ✧  Score: 4

I had lost track of this drabble awhile back due to not remembering the title. I was very glad when it showed up here, as I have wanted to recommend it repeatedly to those who haven't read it. I'm not usually one who either reads or writes drabbles, but this one had me completely captivated with the sheer chilling possibility it presented. A resounding well done for this little jewel!

Reviewed by: Angelica  ✧  Score: 3

After reading this drabble, the reader can't help wondering why not? this was a very likely scenario considering the terrible waste of the trenches. A very powerful reflection on the meaninglessness of war

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

I think of all of the AUs I've ever read, this one is the scariest ever. It makes me shudder to contemplate how the entire history of the last century--including my personal history--would have been changed for the worse. And what makes it so cold-bloodedly frightening is just how likely an AU it is. One tiny little change... *shudder*

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, thank goodness this alternative universe didn't come to pass! Branwyn has put together a very clever drabble about how Tolkien's experiences during the Great War might have turned out. I especially like the deft touch of the mispronunciation of his name. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 3

A very skilfully crafted AU drabble. I am even scared to think what might have been if... this scenario had come to pass. This little story gives me chills. Very well done, in so few words. Bravo!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

*shivers* Given how many of his close friends died in that war and his Germanic name, this seems all too likely. A not-so-pleasant possibility, but a fine look at what might have been.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 2

Thank Goodness this did not happen!What a chilling prospect for we would have no Middle-Earth to enjoy.