LNH/REVIEW: The Tribuations of Kid Review #6

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Apr 5 06:30:09 PDT 2011

Formless sands, each grain a comma, whipped about Kid Review as he walked
the trackless wastes.

His first trip out had landed him in a desolate area of the Letters Page
Dimension.  Guided by a handly arrow projected over his vision, he trekked
toward a castle he could not see.  Feedback energies trickled from his
projected form, shaping the land; behind him, the sands had settled down
into salt flats, cacti of strange and beautiful form sprouting from them.
But the energy was ebbing; he needed another review.

"Sylvia, bring up new subject lines in RACC," his real body spoke.  The
display sprung up, translucent in his otherworldly vision.  He scrolled
through thoughtfully and landed on one. "...you know, I wonder what would
happen if..."




The Tribulations of KID REVIEW, Issue #6

Reviewing: [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #86 - February 2011

Written by Andrew Perron



"Saxon's monthly review series is a highlight of the day whenever it's
posted.  Despite pervasive schedule slip, he's managed to post once per
month consistently for years on end."


Kid Review looked at himself.  The trickle of energy had increased to a
steady stream of glowing blue motes.  Excellent; he would press ahead.


"I have a theory that a big reason RACC is still going strong is because of
EoMR.  Note that the year before it started, 2003, had some of the lowest
posting numbers in the group's history; things started improving in the
latter half of 2004, and April 2006 was the highest month since February
1998.  Feedback improves communities."


The swirling winds around him had quieted.  The salt flats were beginning
to flourish with color, and the dunes were carving themselves into
near-recognizable shapes that danced on the edge of memory.


"I'll be 'reviewing' this in a far more direct fashion, since there's no
story.  Instead, I'll be using the power of the Review Force to quote
selectively and reply directly to the post.  Thus..."

>      Okay, yes, this is even later that usual.  I left things until the 
> last moment (as usual) - and then the 'edible books' cake decorating 
> project at work got in the way.  (And as things turned out I think I 
> should have put more gelatine into my cheesecake to keep it from sagging 
> the way it did...)

"You know, you could skip a month, combine two months' reviews into one
post, and probably catch up handily..."


A flicker in Kid Review's peripheral vision drew his eye.  An electrical
arc was sparking along his arm; there was no pain, just flickering light.
Curious.  He checked with Sylvia and confirmed that it wasn't a result of a
physical-world malfuction.  Just an interesting visual side-effect, then.

Around him, the sand grew into a rich golden hue, dunes collapsing into
tiny pyramids, cacti, and Foreign Legion outposts.  Kid Review chuckled.


> Modern Zombies  
> A HCC [High Concept Challenge] and probably also Miscellaneous [Misc] 
>      posting  {high concept 17}
> by Tim Munn

>      I liked this as a character piece.  One way (but by no means only 
> way) of using a disaster situation is to examine how people react in 
> extreme circumstances.

"It's often the best way; certainly, I can't think of any truly good
disaster movies that didn't get into this to some degree."

> As a result there 
> are reactions all over the place, from the denial exhibited by Reilly's 
> superiors, through Betsey's horrified denial of being dead at all, 
> through to Throckmartin's emotion need for a hug ("I'm sorry, but you're 
> the only person that didn't want to shoot me in the head!").

"These were great - indeed, the best part of the issue. Quirky
characterization in unexpected places is a major selling point of Tim's

> So even if Zellig and General 
> Offerman didn't believe the serum could restore a zombie's intelligence, 
> why didn't they nevertheless take the stuff to test their initial beliefs 
> that it could be used to stop the zombie apocalypse?

"...hey, yeah. What the hell."


Kid Review looked up from the editing window and rubbed his eyes.  The
landscape had gone from golden to ochre, sky turning a bright blue with a
blazing sun and puffy clouds.  The pyramids had grown into a highway of
obelisks, carved from marble and obsidian and inlaid with runes.  A
confused forest sprung from the ground, saguaro rubbing shoulders with a
Douglas fir covered in water vines.  Creatures made of words rustled in the
underbrush, baby polynomes quandry fiddle hunting jejune beetles.  And
everything was tinged slightly blue...

He realized the tinge was the energy seeping from his form.  His entire
body glowed bright blue, lightning arcing from limb to limb.  Around his
feet grew a fairy ring with actual fairies.

"Hmmmm," he pondered. If reviewing reviews was this potent, he'd have to do
it more often...


> SW10: Deputy Ambassador to Another World  ; 
> Superhuman World 2011: Zombies vs. Vice-President Corrigan!  {HCC17}  ;
> SW10: December 2010 #1:  Cauldron Book II, Part 1  ;
> SW10: December 2010 #1a: Cauldron Book II, Part 1 'The Obama Spiel'  ;  
> SW10: December 2010 #2:  Cauldron Book II, Part 2  and 
> A Superhuman World [SW10 and SW11] series
> by Scott Eiler

> To a casual 
> reader it could almost look like an anthology series, were it not for the 
> fact that there's only one writer.

"Really, it *is* an anthology series, one writer or not."

>      Now, I have to admit that I have a liking for these partly because 
> they take the form of stories rather than reports.  Often the posting 
> for Superhuman World have taken the form of reports from one agency or 
> another.  And while these have been excellent for overviews of the 
> situation (whether on a state, national or even planetary scale), and 
> have also the delight of being able to drop in brief, off-handed comments 
> about some weird and intriguing sounding event or thing, the fact remains 
> that often they make for dry reading.

"Indeed!  This was the biggest problem with Scott's early work, and he's
made great strides in working infodumps in with actual narrative."

>      There are a number of instances in these stories that particularly 
> struck me.  The Vice President going on a fact finding mission simply 
> because he was feeling cranky was amusing.

"That was one of my favorite bits of characterization, and indeed, one of
my favorite SW** narrators period."


Something tapped Kid Review on the shoulder.  He spun around. "What

It was a strange, greeny-orangey-purpley *thing*.  It had gelatinous skin,
oozing tentacles, and a single, huge eyestalk.  It quivered in place,
moving sinuously back and forth.

It looked at him inquisitively.  One tentacle lifted up and tapped another
a hand's length down.

"Er..." Then it clicked. "Oh, yes, it's about... 5:42 PM."

The thing bobbed its eye, then slithered off.  Kid Review shook his head
and turned back to the review.


> Zombies Don't Eat Living Flesh
> A StarFall [StarFall] story  {high concept 17}
> by Ted Brock

> Meanwhile Gheda is someone who seems to have watched too 
> many Romero-style carnivorous zombie apocalypse movies, and can't seem to 
> get it into his head that zombies animated by the loa Papa Legba don't 
> have the craving - or apparently even the ability - to eat people.  In 
> other words he's probably the type of angry nerd who's easily influenced 
> by pop culture and who is using that as the template for his actions when 
> he lashes out.

"A classic character archetype for when you need someone for your hero to

>     And on a more meta level, he's the type of flashy and overt super-
> villain who's got a shtick and uses in a direct and non-subtle way 
> without thinking laterally.  Now, in a short story written in stream of 
> consciousness style that's the type of villain you need.  He represents a 
> direct and easy to grok threat that can be dealt with relatively quickly. 

"Quite welcome to have a hero get a simple, complete victory once in a

> Mage characters frequently have a wide range of abilities, and a character 
> with a title like 'Voodoo Queen of New Orleans' would be reasonably 
> expected to do so.  Yet the brief nature of the story meant that Miss 
> Cleo walked through events, displaying one ability after another without 
> giving an indication of what - if any - limitations she might have.

"In short: More Miss Cleo, please!"


Kid Review stretched and looked around... and realized he had kind of a
tendency not to pay attention to what was happening around him when he

The sands and soils had become a crazy kaleidoscopic whirlwind of color,
blue and magenta and chartreuse and paisley.  He watched as a plant made of
living bubbles sprouted out of the soil, grew ten feet tall, then drifted
away in the breeze.  Random ideas popped in and out of existence.  A stream
of consciousness thundered through the memory banks.

And yet it all looked oddly... *small*.  He looked straight down.  Ah,
there was the trouble; he was suspended on a column of coruscating energy,
earthing itself in twisted coils through the bubbling ground.

He closed his eyes and concentrated.  The seething column folded down,
energies flowing back into his body.  He could feel them snapping, wild,
whipped into a frenzy of making, remaking and unmaking.  He landed on the
giant marshmallow and let out a careful breath.

Okay.  Finish the review, finish the review...


> The Tribulations of Kid Review #5  
> A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] and Review [Review] series
> by Andrew Perron

> I reasoned that if it was written from an 
> in-universe perspective then it had enough elements of being a story to 
> be eligible to be reviewed.  It only just occurs to me that the framing 
> sequences of _The Tribulations of Kid Review_ mean that it deserves the 
> same treatment - at the very least being listed as having been posted if 
> not necessarily being discussed.

"Certainly works for me!"

>        So, here's the premise of the series.  The Andrew Perron of 
> Looniverse-A has been chosen by the RACCelestials to be Kid Review, and 
> act as their agent.  He has been empowered with the Review Force to do 
> reviews of various stories posted to rec.arts.comics.creative.  But 
> complications keep getting in the way: the attacks by the Apathy Beast 
> and then the Cardoid, or even the presence of the cloud of Chartreuse 
> Retcon Hour Story, are all examples.

"Of course, now we've moved from simply 'reacting to threats' to 'seeking
out new conflicts'."

>      In this episode the RACCelestials warn of a crisis that is 
> unbalancing the forces of communication.  They send Kid Review a device 
> by which he may travel into the Letters Page Dimension



Kid Review doubled over.  The energies could no longer be contained.
Curling, crazed coils erupted from his body.  His eyes opened, blazing blue
beams shooting into the sky.  His mouth let out a soundless scream, and
power, raw and naked erupted from his body...

A minute later, it was all over.  Gray dust puffed into the sky again,
rising out of the blast crater, a glassy bowl one hundred feet in diameter.
At the lip, a form stirred; a hand rose and pulled the body it was attached
to onto solid ground.  Kid Review raised a finger feebly into the air.

"Never... do... another... meta-review." He fell over.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, strange enough for ya?

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