I'm sure Jax has said something like this a few times before too. =p
Indeed she has.
In fact, Jax is a grad student who has barely had any time whatsoever for the past six months to write her own fanfiction, and this is her ballot, which she is now posting to get people to stop complaining about how little time they have to read fics. :| For serious, guys, all you need to do is read the first couple of lines. If they don't catch your attention, move on to the next fic until you find something that does. There are quite a few nominations on this list I didn't even know about until this past week; I just happened across them via skimming their first paragraphs, putting their URLs down on a document, and coming back to them later for a closer look. At most, the whole process might've taken me a few hours. Sure, that means you'd have to spend a few hours, but keep in mind that you don't need to have your nominations in right now. :/
(And, well, you had weeks to go look through fics as well. Just sayin'.)
Sorry for the rant. It's just, seriously, guys, every time you complain that the limit's unfair, you propose shutting out a ton of fics that are absolutely fantastic, just because they're not written by your friends or because they were written by newbies. Come on, guys. Don't be like that.
On a more positive note, my nominations sheet, which is full of, "Yes, I was stalking half of you while I was on hiatus." Also, let me know if I miscounted; I can totally do math apparently. (Scaldiver's fic nearly had seven nominations here.)
Overall Fiction Awards Best Pokémon Chaptered Fic First nomination: The Legend's End by Scaldiver. Easily one of my favorite review requests I've gotten. The suspense is palpable, and it's hard not to like the characters. Every one of them is very real, especially the Pokémon (something not a lot of people have been able to pull off in fanfic). The twist in one of the latest chapters (the one involving who the chosen one is) just emphasizes how new and different this is. It's a trainer fic that reads like something new and more intense.
Second nomination: Requiem by Sidewinder.
However, this is my favorite fic of this year that I haven't commented on (but really should). Everything about this fic is amazing. Its premise is new and different, its characters are well-built, and it presents just the right amount of suspense to keep me reading. Not to mention if you're looking for well-written description, this is a good example of how to be awesome.
Best Pokémon One-Shot First nomination: Butterfree by Dragonfree. While make-the-player-feel-bad fics aren't entirely new, Dragonfree finds a way to make our decision to box that Butterfree we caught in Viridian Forest sound realistically terrible. The amount of emotion that the narrator maintains throughout this story makes this fic utterly heartbreaking.
Second nomination: The Motionless Journey of Youngster Ian by Psychic. SPEAKING OF THINGS THAT MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT BEING A TERRIBLE PERSON. Psychic takes that trainer who constantly abuses your Pokégear number and gives you a reason not to want to punch them in the face pre-battle. She's successfully captured that feeling of hero-worship in this trainer while also developing him towards having an ounce of stability in his life. It really ends beautifully for that too.
Best Non-Pokémon Chaptered Fic First nomination: Deus X Machina by Deadly.Braviary. It's a robot uprising described in short, very powerful bursts. For that reason, from the very start, it catches your attention and holds it like a vice.
Best Non-Pokémon One-Shot Dragonborn by pepperedfox. Now, I will freely admit I know nothing about Skyrim. I still found this awesome. What makes it really is Arian herself. This is definitely her story, her struggle to be brave and live up to the greatness people apparently think she has, and all of that self-doubt careens into the final, incredibly powerful line. One can't help but root for Arian, and that's pretty amazing for a fic that gets its story across in so few words.
Other Fic Awards Best Plot Requiem by Sidewinder. Slacker and adoptive sister go off on a journey to bring a killer to justice? Chosen one trainer who's batshit insane and apparently working for a bunch of questionable gods? Yes please.
Most Original Overall First nomination: Stranger Than Fiction by Cutlerine. Do you like shenanigans with your meta humor? Cutlerine delivers with a rarity in the Pokémon fandom: a character breaking out of one fanfic to wreak havoc on others. Oh, sure, parodies, fourth-wall leaning, and dimension hopping is nothing new, but how many fics involve a character messing around with other fics that weren't even written by the same author? That's how brilliant this idea is. Also, it's illustrated. Because **** the rules.
Second nomination: Clash by Silent--Protagonist. Silent, meanwhile, comes right the eff out of nowhere with a battle fic told in free verse poetry. Well-written free verse poetry at that.
Best Writing Style First nomination: Clash by Silent--Protagonist. No, seriously, it's really good free verse poetry.
Second nomination: The Fall to Redemption by Cypher DS. It starts off with a rather powerful description of total darkness, and it just gets better from there. It's hard not to like Virgil's voice, and because of the narrator's… uniqueness, it's just a fascinating retelling of Emerald. It's rather silly that the author's forcing folks to read the fic elsewhere, but hey, what can you do?
Best Description The Legendarian Chronicles by Chibi Pika. While I have to admit I haven't read everything in this fic, one thing I have noticed by reading the first couple of chapters and skimming the rest (orz) is that Chibi Pika knows how to do description without delving into the purple side of things. Everything in this fic is very vivid and, might I add, actually pretty beautiful.
Best Setting Colony 9.0 by Treecko's Awesomeness. Because SPAAAAAAAACE. Sure, you get a bit of Earth too, but c'mon. Effing space guys. This fic is dealing with aliens.
Second nomination: Weak by Ememew. Em gives us a rather beautiful look at Bianca's character, Iris's character, and the latter's reason for wanting so badly to take the former on as an apprentice. It culminates into adding a reason why Iris backed off in the end as well as a rather nice snapshot of her relationship with Drayden. Tl;dr? Em knows how to do characters right.
Best Character Development
Dorian Dvakna, Requiem by Sidewinder. I'm going to reach the max limit of nominations for this fic, aren't I? :. But for serious, Dorian's most of the reason why you should read this fic. He starts off as an aimless slacker (even a bit of a jerk), but oh my God does he become fantastically motivated and loyal to the people he cares most about after more than one encounter with death. It's amazing how much he develops after only a short period of time.
Best Characterization in a Short Story Butterfree by Dragonfree. The characterization is practically the reason why it made my nomination list for best one-shot. It's really the narrator's personality that makes this whole story so powerful and emotional. If the narrator didn't have that perfect balance of passion or that very human way of speaking, this fic would've come off as overdramatic or trite.
Best Romantic Relationship
Cynthia/Dawn, Negative Edge by Diddy. Okay, so maybe I'm a sucker for Cynthia/Dawn to begin with (because it's pretty much one of the few Sinnoh-based romantic relationships I actually sort of like thanks to the whole mentor-mentee thing), but Diddy forces Dawn to go through Hell for it. And it shows, and it makes the ending all the more adorable.
Best Non-Romantic Relationship/Interaction
Dorian Dvakna and Shelton Street, Requiem by Sidewinder. Yes, again, but the characters are really the strongest point of this fic. Dorian and Sheridan see each other as brother and sister, and it shows. From their bickering to how much they support each other through disasters (or at least get ripped apart inside over how their counterparts react to them), it's easy to tell that their relationship goes well beyond the cliché "we're the male and female main character so why not." It's even well beyond the "we're in love" kind of relationship. It's powerful, and it's clear that these characters need each other because they're family.
Best Original Species
Most Suspenseful Fic The Fall to Redemption by Cypher DS. When your fic starts off with a description of total darkness and includes dead characters, horrifying monsters, and all kinds of other fun eldritch abominations, you know you've got a rollercoaster of oh god what. Cypher pulls you in and plops you beside Virgil, who wakes up with only his name in a pretty terrifying version of Hoenn, in order to send you both on a journey into a deep, dark world in search of the answer to whatever the hell is going on. It's just that beautiful.
Most Heartbreaking Fic Butterfree by Dragonfree. If you don't tear up as a result of this fic, you have no soul.
Pokémon Genre Awards Best Trainer Fic First nomination: Survival Project by diamondpearl876. If you ever thought that a trainer fic would be more powerful if told from the perspective of the creatures trainers catch and order to battle… the answer is yes. Yes, it is. Also? This is an example of alternating POVs done well. Each new switch maintains the freshness of the story, but diamond understands that alternating POVs are meant to offer readers different perspectives on a story, rather than a redundant view of events or -- even worse -- just a means of reaching scenes that one character wasn't present for. In short, each point of view adds something significant to the plot, gives readers a wonderful view of each character, and presents a new means of telling a trainer fic.
Second nomination: Mama's Boy by An-chan. Normally, I wouldn't nominate an abandoned fic like this, but I love the premise here. A trainer tries to have a perfectly ordinary start, only to have his mother decide to go along with him. Shenanigans ensue. It's beautiful.
Best Horror Fic First nomination: Pokémon Nightmare by Ocean Soul. Zombies. That is all.
Second nomination: Invisible by diamondpearl876. Welp. I'm never owning a Ghost-type ever again, and this fic is why. Just oh my God, the narrator's creep factor is unbelievable. It also shies away from telling you straight-out what's going on, so your imagination has plenty of room to fill in some terrifying blanks.
Best Comedy Fic The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum by bobandbill. No, really, he is not sorry for what he did to Orre. (And if you want to see the world's best Quagsire, this is the fic to read.)
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fic TRINITY by Shrike Flamestar. Hard to argue against Pokémon IN SPACE WITH CYBERPUNK. The amount of thought Shrike puts into the details that create his world is utterly remarkable. Of course, he also gets points for creating an interesting story as well, but what really does it for me is the background, seriously.
Best Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Fic First nomination: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Silverveil by Koridojo_Blaziken. It's a beautifully written PMD fic that goes off the beaten path. As such, it reads so much more like a fantasy RPG than a PMD story, but that's okay because that means it focuses a lot on doing some amazing things with world-building.
Second nomination: Til Death by Glover. If anything, read this for the character interactions and the absolutely fabulous theory concerning the relationship between Dream World and PMD. Which is to say, read it for everything.
Best Pokémon-Centric First nomination: The Itty Bitty Story of Ichabod by Silent--Protagonist. It's an adorable story about an Unown trying to be useful. Read that sentence again and let it sink in for a second.
Second nomination: A Quick One While She's Away by jstinftw! Or, as I like to call it, "why you should never leave starters unattended ever." It's brief, but it's hilarious thanks to how the starters interact with each other. And by that, I mean destroy Professor Juniper's lab.
Best Canon Character-Centric First nomination: Weak by Ememew. Like I said earlier, it does an amazing job delving into the characters of Bianca and Iris and examines their in-game motivations thoroughly… while, might I add, bringing up more than one excellent point along the way.
Second nomination: The Motionless Journey of Youngster Ian by Psychic. It's pretty difficult not to respect a fic that revolves around a game NPC who's mostly rematch fodder. Yet Psychic does an excellent job not only bringing that exact character to life but also making a reader feel for him.
Character Awards Best Human Main Character First nomination:
Mark, Bridging Dimensions by Cyn. One of the things that make this piece particularly entertaining is how casual and natural Mark is. You can tell he's a perfectly ordinary guy -- maybe even a bit of a slacker. That's why it gets a little hilarious (and by that I mean interesting) when Eevee pops up and throws him for a loop.
Edward, The Legend's End by Scaldiver. He's weak (compared to his best friend), he's extremely creative and intelligent, and… he is caught up in legendary shenanigans purely due to their politics. It's just amazing to watch him and wait to see what he's going to do next, just because it's definitely clear he's nowhere near his element.
Best Non-Human Main Character
Rosco, Just A Dog by SerenadeSP. If you magically gave a dog the ability to speak, everything out of Rosco's mouth would be exactly the kind of thing it would say. …Which is why the story is a massive tearjerker, by the by.
Best Human Supporting Character
Nuria, The Legend's End by Scaldiver. At first, she seems like a self-centered ***** and the designated traveling companion… but then it turns out that's most of what makes her interesting. It's clear that she's got a lot to learn about Pokémon and about… pretty much everything else, and let's just say the twist that the plot throws at her? Makes her even better.
Best Non-Human Supporting Character
Bayleef, The Legend's End by Scaldiver. While the other Pokémon (besides Ralts) are perfectly happy serving Edward and Nuria, Bayleef most certainly isn't, and she alone provides a lot of the delicious, delicious conflict (as well as some interesting points) in the story.
Best Human Villain
Ethan, Requiem by Sidewinder. Only villain that managed to give me chills this year.
Best Non-Human Villain First nomination:
The Machines, Deus X Machina by Deadly.Braviary. Oh God, all of them are chill-inducing. From the calm and calculating 4242 to S.H.A.W.'s chilling message to humanity, all of the Machines are positively terrifying as well as completely and beautifully alien.
The ghost, Invisible by diamondpearl876. What makes this villain so incredible is that you have no idea what it's doing to the trainer. All you know is that it's something terrible, and all the while, it's gleefully describing every last detail.
Best Minor Character
Sherles, The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum by bobandbill. Sherles is, hands-down, a breath of fresh air in the insanity and stupidity that seems to infest bobandbill's version of Orre. That may be why he seems to shine the brightest, but honestly, in my opinion, it's like a reverse comic relief. His timing is so brilliant and his parts so carefully written that it's just really hard not to like him because he seems like exactly what you want to see at any given time.
Tom, The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum by bobandbill. I applaud bobandbill's ability to write a drunk person narrating multiple chapters and have it still make some sort of sense. Also, Tom pops up in the worst ways possible, and it's always funny. Always.
Fic Moments Awards Funniest Scene
Spoiler:- Umbreon uses Mean Look. It's super-effective!:
“But how…” Wes mused. “Well… Umbreon! Try a Mean Look attack!”
“Umb…” (I’ll try…) Umbreon said uncertainly, reluctantly moving forward towards the Raikou who was now trying to remove Tom by bucking wildly.
“Bah, this ridiculousness might as well end quickly,” Nascour muttered to Es Cade. “Let’s send out all our Pokémon and end this quickly. Relax for now, Metagross!” he ordered.
“Yes, I think that will be in our best interest,” the mayor agreed, reaching for his Poké Balls. “I’ll send out five of mine and you send out your whole team!”
“Quickly, Umbreon!” Wes urged as the Raikou continued another loop and rushed past them.
“Tomsy wil buy yous…busies a dollars!” Tom added desperately.
“Umb!” (Fine!) Umbreon shouted. He then shouted loudly at the Raikou to grab its attention and then breathed deeply in before contorting his face into the most terrifying facial expression he could possibly muster.
Most Frightening Scene
Spoiler:- Really most of the fic but especially the part where the Ghost-type goes into detail about how creepy it actually is.:
Your blonde hair is so pretty, baby. It’s so bright, much too bright for a place like this. I rip it out. You hold on to your head, though your hair is the least of your worries. Your eyes goes next. You’re crashing into walls and bleeding everywhere, so lost when trying to escape. Oh, how wonderful it must be to run into the solid walls, a sure sign of the reality around you. I wish that I could figure out if I’m real or not. Does being real bother you, baby? I will find out. I make you beg and scream. For your mother. For your father. For your doctor. I make you beg and scream for the person that you had hoped to be at this point in your life. Does it bother you, baby, to know that you have been waiting for the best day of your life, all the while never considering that it may have already happened?
Scream your pokemon’s name, now, baby. They were waiting for that day with you, I’m sure. How disappointed they will be. Your pokemon’s move are powerless against me; they move right through my body. They are screaming, too. So loud. I want to hear you, not them. Does that bother you, baby? But I don’t mind, really. Teach them young, I say… I’ll teach them how to fear and cry while they’re still young. I wish that I could have joined your team, even if just for a short while. I could have observed them and learned so much. Likewise, I could have taught them many things.
I could have taught them how there are many ways to end a life, making such a sacred concept even more fragile than expected and desired.
There could be a simple snap of the neck. A disease whose only desire is to determine the day that you die. A pokémon attack gone awry and fired in all the wrong directions at all the wrong people. There could be the pull of a trigger and bullets that move faster than air itself, the same air that goes through so much trouble to place people in the gun's path, only to abandon them and watch them rot.
Let it not be forgotten that your current pokémon are causing the same kind of mayhem as I am, the same kind of carnage—and perhaps even more, though you will never know or dare to ask—as you yearn for their touch, their voices, any sign of propinquity.
Let it not be forgotten that blood—though you despise me for wanting it so much—is exactly what keeps both of you alive and breathing and together.
Let it not be forgotten that you are trying to live in a world that can offer you nothing but misery not meant for someone so young, a constant fight against insanity, and a skeptical view on what it means to be happy.
Let it not be forgotten that you made me this way.
Does that bother you, baby?
Why aren’t you screaming anymore?
Your pokémon have run. Aren’t they supposed to be loyal? I would have been loyal to you.
Most Heartbreaking Scene
Spoiler:- Butterfree's reaction to seeing its trainer for the first time in six years. Tears ensue.:
Your face can’t form expressions like a human can, but I can see anyway in the slight tilt of your head, the twitching of your antennae, the slight slowing of your wing flaps, that it takes you a moment to recognize me. That wrenches at my heart more than anything; suddenly it occurs to me that your sense of time on the PC was muddled, that your first realization of how long it’s been is seeing me suddenly a teenager in place of the child that you knew. You hover there silently for a second, just staring at me with those unblinking red compound eyes; I don’t know if the accusation I see in them is real or just a projection of my own guilt. I try to imagine what must be going through your mind, what it might feel like to realize you’ve been in stasis for years, that everyone you knew has moved on without you – but I can’t even begin to comprehend it.
“I’m sorry, Butterfree,” I whisper; my voice is hoarse, and as I say it, as that pathetic apology escapes my lips as if it could ever make up for it, tears start pricking at the corners of my eyes. “I should have done this so long ago.”
It’s painful to speak, so I point the ball back at you and press the button, showing you that nothing happens, that I’ve deactivated the Pokéball. I throw it away; it bounces off the ground and comes to a rest by the roadside. You stare at it for a second, then look back at me.
“I kept telling myself I’d keep training you,” I say, fighting the urge to avert my eyes, the feeling that I don’t have any right to look at you anymore (I don’t, but this whole time I’ve been refusing to face you, and I can’t do that anymore). “And I never did. I released the others I couldn’t get the chance to continue training, so they could move on and have a life, but not you. I could never accept that you’d be better off without me. But you would.”
You look at me for a moment more, and then you flutter upwards, circling a few times in the sky for the first time in six years – six years that you never even knew. I try to swallow the lump in my throat, but I can’t; my mind is full of every time I avoided using you, every time I put off training you, every time I remembered you and realized I hadn’t thought about you for weeks. It’s an aching, suffocating feeling of opportunities lost, potential wasted and friendship neglected.
Best Action Scene
Spoiler:- A battle between a legendary and the killer, plus some battle transformation magic. And death.:
Less than a second before entering the haze, an atom-splitting, savage impact sent the killer crashing toward the ocean below with more force than a meteor.
The murderer slowed as it approached the water, the friction of its power vaporising some of the liquid beneath. It did not experience pain, merely dissatisfaction at this unscheduled delay. It began to turn its gaze skyward but was blasted downward by the invisible force again, crashing deep below the ocean surface. It aligned itself and looked toward the surface venomously. This disruption was only giving its quarry more time to escape.
The murderer closed its eyes, sensing the world around it. Suddenly it felt a massive power speeding towards it, almost as fast as light. It opened its eyes, allowing power to surge through it, and an explosion of pure power enveloped the killer's frame, atomising the water into its base components. It could sense its foe flying away rapidly to avoid the deadly energy.
The killer rose to avoid the resurgence of the water, looking skyward to its aggressor. The murderer's eye's widened slightly in surprise. The killer's attacker saw this minute shift in facial expression and changed shape.
Orange skin started to crawl over its grey legs and body, causing them to grow thicker and leaving only a small, spiked, blue strip on each of its knees. The large, turquoise and orange oblong melted into its head, the flesh reworking itself like wax to form a three-pronged mask. As well as this each thin tentacle split at the tip, the two sides peeling down the tentacle until there were two formed, one turquoise and one orange on each side. The only space left unchanged was the dark purple orb in its chest, twinkling even in the lack of sunlight.
In the split second this transformation took place, the creature lunged toward the killer, wasting no time in executing blows which could have levelled a continent. But this time the killer was ready. With each attack the air shook and thunder rolled, but the killer stayed motionless, absorbing the onslaught without so much as a blink.
Most Memorable Quote I am not your chosen one.
- Chosen One by Little Miss Sunshine
Author Awards Best Established Writer First nomination:
Dragonfree. Without a doubt, her one-shots are consistently extremely powerful and excellent, and her longer fics, albeit not updated that frequently, are definitely enjoyable to get into. Dragonfree knows how to write a good character for certain, and she's amazing at world-building and cooking up gripping prose.
Cutlerine. Yes, I know my nominations sheet is rather sparse in terms of words about Cutlerine this year, but I give him props for creating some of the most fascinating premises and amusing characters on the forum. His fics always have an interesting balance of action and humor (even when he's not trying to be funny), and with the way he describes things, it's very easy to get into his worlds.
Best New Writer First nomination:
Sidewinder. He posted his first shot at a fic, and it blew my mind. That is literally something that does not happen that frequently.
Silent--Protagonist. One of the underdogs of the fanfic forum, Silent was here briefly for the summer, and every fic she did was amazing. She really knows how to get emotion across, even in a short amount of space, and her prose was so carefully worded with amazingly beautiful detail. She's definitely worth a look.
Most Dedicated Writer
Cutlerine. One of the bits of credit I have to give him is that Cutlerine posts high quality work on an incredibly reliable schedule. Even when the rest of us were being murdered by real life, Cutlerine was there to put up something new for us to read. Respect, man. Nothing but respect.
Most Improved Writer
Deadly.Braviary. Okay, yes, another author I didn't talk about that much here, but I have to say this anyway. Last year, I didn't really give Deadly much of a second glance. This year? Suddenly deep, interesting plots and well-written prose. Probably helps that Deus X Machina is a really well-written fic.
Reviewer Awards Most Helpful Reviewer First nomination:
Ememew. I give her props for so many reasons. She's very patient, even when a lot of us on the forum aren't, and she has a knack for not only knowing what to point out but also how to phrase things in a way that's easy to understand and tactful to the writer.
Psychic. Similar reasons, actually! Psychic's always been patient and sweet to everyone she reviews, and she's not one to get frustrated that easily. When you see her drop by a story to say a few words, you know it's going to be a good conversation.
Most Dedicated Reviewer
Shadow Lucario. While I have to say I wish his reviews were more substantial (i.e., did more than point out grammatical errors, especially without explaining them), I give him props for reviewing practically every story with something that's a bit more than one-liner reviews.
Soooo... yeah. For those of you who are about to complain that you don't have time to read any other fics, just remember. A grad student with a day job managed to do this. *thumbs towards the above list*
That said, all I've got to say is I've got no problem with the rule. It gives more writers a chance in the competition. Otherwise, it'd be just people voting for their friends, and we'd only have a handful of people getting on the ballot. This way definitely makes things more interesting.
Last edited by JX Valentine; 16th February 2013 at 5:50 PM.
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