Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fanfiction: The Geek Trifecta

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to, oh, early 2008, give or take a couple of months.



I stumbled upon an online writer’s group, with a weekly challenge--the Friday Challenge (although, back then, the website was The Ranting Room).  The premise was simple; every Friday, a new challenge would be posted, while the entries in the previous contest would be discussed, debated, and judged through the weekend.

I lurked for weeks...maybe even months...before I decided this was a contest I wanted to enter.  And finally, I decided that I would definitely write for the next Challenge, no matter what the subject, no matter how many other things conspired to keep me from writing...Friday Challenge or Bust.

That was when Bruce posted the first part of The Geek Trifecta (that would be Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings), with his challenge to “write the Hollywood treatment for a sequel to The Lord of the Rings.”

Here is how he phrased it:


In one of those horrible, hideous, tragic twists of fate that can only happen when a gigantic multinational media conglomerate gets its grubby mitts on a well-loved literary property, The Lord of The Rings II has just been given the greenlight. Tolkien's ending was too darn final to be overcome — but wait, here's a new idea! How about if the One Ring was not destroyed, but merely encased in lava for a few millennia, while the seas rose, and the land fell, and the slopes of Mount Doom became a peaceful tropical island known for its papayas and black-sand beaches. And there, at the edge of the sea, the One Ring waits…
That's this week's challenge. Three sections: beginning, middle, and end; I want you to sketch out a rough outline for the screenplay of The Lord of The Rings II: The Return of The One Ring.


Yes, the first Friday Challenge I ever declare that I would most definitely enter, and it’s...well...huge.  I mean, a freaking SEQUEL to Lord of the Rings?  Really?  For that, you would need...let’s see...reincarnated characters, repeated themes, general quest plotline...hmm…

I started brainstorming, scribbling out notes...three or four pages of ideas...and then started writing it.  And amazingly enough, it was fun.

Oh, it’s an awful story, as such things go.  Instead of plain old orcs, the villain has cybernetically-enhanced laser-wielding Neo-Orc Borg.  The reincarnated Fellowship sneaks into Island Mount Doom by hacking the security system with a wifi-enabled laptop.  And I just couldn’t resist throwing in snarky comments every few sentences.

It’s meant to be awful.  It’s meant to poke fun at how awful a Hollywood sequel to Lord of the Rings would really be.

It was also the start of a theme in the Friday Challenge--fanfiction in the Geek Trifecta.  And it left me with a small collection of unpublishable stories.  Well...almost unpublishable, anyway.  There’s really only one place on the ‘net to share fanfiction.

So, I would like to invite everyone to drop by Fanfiction.net, and check out the three Geek Trifecta stories that are currently online there:  Arfour’s Complaint (Star Wars), The Naked Never (Star Trek), and Lord of the Rings 2.

There’s a fourth story posted there, also; quite possibly one of my top three favorite Friday Challenge entries.  All of the Friday Challenge regulars agreed, if I remember correctly, that the remake of “The Day The Earth Stood Still” was awful--even more awful than any imaginary Lord of the Rings sequel could possibly be.

So, of course, Bruce turned it into a Challenge.

Imagine the humans at the end of the movie.  They’ve been attacked by aliens.  They’ve had their technology base completely destroyed, and they’re going to have to claw their way back up to civilization again.  Once they get there, what will they do?

Emissary takes place thirty years later, as the humans make second contact with the aliens that sent Keanu Reeves to Earth in the movie.  It also won that week’s Friday Challenge; Bruce described it as “a great, kick-ass hard SF story.”

So...thank you for perusing my meager collection of fanfiction; I hope you enjoy my take on the Geek Trifecta, so far at least.

Until “The Naked Never 2:  Q To The Rescue…”

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