MEFA Awards for Saturday, November 1, 2008
- Title: The Otters of Imladris · Author: chaotic_binky · Genres: Humor:
Elven Lands · ID: 491
Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-11-01 02:58:42
Binky's stories are usually layered and subversive and this is no
exception. What you expect to see is not always what you will get.
There is a lot more going on there than is immediately evident. In
this case, the title, and the categorization of humor, might lead one
to believe that this is short, fluffy throw-away piece that will bring
a smile and perhaps a laugh. But actually it has a great deal to say
about the characters involved, their individual and often conflicting
ways of considering and approaching a problem. It is very much a story
of a relationship, as well as a story about respect and lack of
respect for nature and the necessity of merging of practicality and
sentiment to arrive at the best result for how to care for a
vulnerable creature. And it has a happy ending.
Title: Another Prometheus · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 85
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-01 08:14:15
A very interesting interpretation of one of the most fascinating and
complicated characters in the Tolkien universe -- Feanor, cleverly
associated with Greek mythology. Well crafted!
Title: Of Cake and Crumbs and Distant Dreams · Author: Lindelea ·
Races: Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 688
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-01 09:29:52
For those who have been forced to grow up too quickly as happened with
Peregrin Took, sometimes they just need the reassurance that they are
indeed young and deserve to enjoy innocence. So it is with Pippin this
day as he sits in a tower in the Citadel of Minas Tirith and wishes he
was at home
Here Frodo is at his best as he seeks to recall the feeling of
stability and comfort Pippin needs at the moment, and I think the
story told is excellent therapy for both him and Pippin. For a moment
they aren't heroes in the King's City who've somehow managed to do
things too large to understand, but just the Hobbits of the Shire they
were born to be.
Oh, Lindelea, how I love this story, one I appear to have missed when
it was posted--but then I was rather young in the craft myself. It is
the kind of tale within a tale that we all have told our children--or
nieces and nephews or younger cousins--at one time or another. It's a
tale of home and the simple desires of children with just enough
prosaic stuff to be comfortable and fantasy to be interesting. I feel
I'm sitting on the stair with the two Hobbits considering the
appetites of Hobbits of various sizes myself!
Thank you indeed for this one, one I'll possibly read to small
children one day.
Title: BRIDGE: Pá Valaraucar ar Námier · Author: Fiondil · Races:
Other Beings · ID: 415
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-01 09:38:20
In Fiondil's-verse, it was the suggestion of Olorin that those sent to
Middle Earth be invested in Hroa similar to that of Men, able to know
pain, injury, exhaustion, even death. Or maybe that last experience
was more than Olorin truly wanted, for after throwing down the Balrog,
therefore, Gandalf found himself within the Halls of Mandos as would
any slain Elf. And as happens with many slain Elves and Men who enters
Namo's halls, he is convinced he HAS to return--that somehow only if
he is present can all things work out properly for those, particularly
within the Fellowship, who struggle to see Sauron properly opposed and
the Ring destroyed.
["What part of being dead do you not understand?"] has to be one of
the funniest yet most profound lines in the whole story. And when
Gandalf finds he WILL be sent back after all....
Very thought-provoking and poignant as well as humorous. It appears
that Olorin, as happens with most folks, had lost the ability to
accept that death could happen to him as easily as to any other. That
the Creator as well as the Valar in this case agree he's needed back
in Middle Earth comes almost as a surprise to him; and he does help
the various members of the Fellowship to do what is necessary, after
all, and does manage to find and rescue Frodo and Sam.
A good, satisfying read.
Title: The Farmer's Son · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 509
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-01 09:45:49
This is a marked divergence from Lindelea's usual story arc; Paladin
Took is not critical of his son, but instead is calm and aware. Plus
even though he is Thain, Paladin and his family continue to live in
the Farm at Whitwell rather than within the Great Smials. And Pippin,
as he prepares to leave to help Frodo move to Crickhollow--and for the
journey out into the wilds he knows will follow--hesitates to leave
his home and his family.
In it we see the Time of Troubles beginning, as well as the awareness
hit the Thain's family that their youngest has disappeared with Frodo
and Merry and Sam out into the unknown outer world. Why is Lotho after
particular property within the Tooklands, and is he doing similarly
elsewhere within the Shire? Where have their four gone and why, and
who are the black riders reported by the Bounders? And what is the
meaning of the recent influx of Big Men into the Shire? Why are they
congregating about Bag End in Hobbiton?
This look at the Time of Troubles as seen through the eyes of the
Thain's family promises to be fascinating, and I hope it is added to
soon. It is wonderful to see Lindelea breaking with her usual story
arc to experiment with quite a different Paladin Took, one she has
often regretted she hadn't written. I say, Go, girl!
Title: An Autumn Fair in Halabor · Author: Soledad · Times: Mid Third
Age · ID: 165
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-01 09:52:36
Many stories are told of the kings and queens of the lands of Middle
Earth--stories of royalty amongst Men, Elves, and Dwarves; but not
enough stories are told of simple villagers and those who visit them.
This about the visit of Elves to the Gondorian town of Halabor is
fascinating particularly because it's not about Denethor or Aragorn as
Lord of Gondor, but primarily about the traders and craftsmen among
Halabor's citizens and their counterparts who visit from the Elven lands.
Wonderful look at day-to-day life for Men and Elves. Highly recommended!
Title: Answers · Author: Armariel · Genres: Poetry: Drama · ID: 458
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-01 10:01:24
Frodo heals, and as he heals he seeks to reassure Sam as to how much
he loves him, and how much what Sam was able to do has contributed to
the healing he knows.
As is always true of Armariel\\\'s poetry, this is poignant and speaks
as much to us as it does Tolkien\\\'s characters. How much we depend
on one another as we find our wounds healed and our lives fulfilled!
Beautiful and filled with an aching brilliance.
Title: Utúlie'n Aurë · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 163
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 14:54:41
A great, poignant view at the impact the final downfall of Sauron and
of evil in the Third Age must have had on one who was there to see the
bitter defeats of the First Age. Also, I like the unobtrusive way you
bring those things that matter fighting for, and for which evil needed
to be defeated, into this. Friendship and caring, raising toddlers,
all those things life matters for - effectively brought in here with a
few, small strokes. Elegant and lovely. I like!
Title: The Stranger · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Drama: Featuring
the Noldor · ID: 560
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 15:36:24
What a powerful short story, hinting at so much more. There are very
different ideas about Macalaure's final fate, and this one is a good
take. I lI feel sad for your choice of the only way for him to find
home, in this tale, especially since there is still that oath looming
in the background. However, the way you bring his fate to our
attention, and confront it with the friendly curiosity of the boy,
here, is very effective. Very well done. Love it.
Oh, and now I really want to read the poem the intro lines are taken from!
Title: Fulfilling Oaths · Author: Nieriel Raina · Times: Multi-Age ·
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 16:09:52
This is a powerful and compelling tale about the history and the
meaning of the Ring of Barahir, and what inmpact it may have had to be
passed along. The short vignettes along the stations of the ring are
very poignant, and work very well. I loved the end, too. Full circle,
indeed! And the title of the story is fitting, too.
Very well done! Thank you for writing and sharing.
Title: Silver Blossoms Blown · Author: Ignoble Bard · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 646
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 16:25:29
This is a beautiful short piece bringing across the perception of one
of the Valar of the new Children of Illuvatar, and their coming into
their maturity. I love the poetic language, and also the very distant
and different perspective. There are few tales giving us the possible
look of events out of the perspective of the Valar, and even less
which take into accountv that this perspective is bound to be very
different from that of mere incarnates. This one brings across this
fact, in spades.
Very well done, and well worth reading. Thank you for writing and sharing!
Title: The Making of Werewolves · Author: Ignoble Bard · Races:
Villains · ID: 42
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 16:31:11
As I have said elsewhere, already, I love the powerful language of
this short vignette, and also the deeper view it gives us at a part of
the backstory of the Silmarillion that is mentioned there with only a
few words. The style is very much like the Sil itself, more history
recounting than direct tale, but the tale is still very compelling.
Enhancing indeed! I like, and very much so!
Thank you for writing and sharing. :)
Title: On Canon and Fanfic · Author: Marta · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 123
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 16:54:34
Very good essay on what constitutes an AU and what is canon, and why
even a complete AU should at least make sense and be related to the
canon in the original universe. I like the author's stance, although I
do not agree with every part of it. Still, kudos for writing such a
good and clearly stated defense to that most beloved of my reading and
writings genres: the alternative universe. :)
Very well done!
Title: They Also Serve · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age · ID: 365
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 17:03:50
An usual approach, giving a small insight in to what had to go on in
Rivendell behind the scenes to keep the whole valley going. The view
into Arwen's longing and worries about her betrothed work also. Nice idea!
Title: Creation Myths · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: General
Drabbles · ID: 300
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-11-01 17:28:10
A powerful comparison of two very different ways to handle one's own
creations, and poignantly showing the difference between the
generosity given by love, and the jealousy and pettiness generated by
pride. Gripping despite its shortness!
Title: A Taste of Home · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 138
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-01 18:02:56
Moving story, told with a light and humorous touch. Pearl Took shows
Merry and Pippin convincingly as old, but still retaining their
The dialogue was especially engaging and lively. And the climax of the
story was hilarious - and thanks for that yummy recipe!
Title: Rude Awakening · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 692
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-01 18:06:42
Strangely unsettling; I didn't quite know whether to be creeped out or
to laugh at the odd situation Pippin found himself in - which goes to
show how well-written the story is to be so ambiguous and effective.
Title: Dark Dreams · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 550
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-01 18:11:13
Very evocative and atmospheric descriptions. I could feel Pippin's
panic building and building. Merry's sleepwalking and -talking was
eerie, and I can very well imagine that he suffered from such and
similar nightmares after his experiences - and that Pippin can
sympathise because he suffered those or similar ones, too.
Well-paced; the tension keeps mounting up and then slowly eases out at
Title: O Merry Mine · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort ·
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-01 18:27:13
Touching insights into the relationship between Frodo and Merry
throughout their lives. I liked how the basic premise of each vignette
changed and adapted itself to the various circumstances, sometimes
showing some random event, sometimes pivotal events in LotR.
Title: Denial · Author: Oshun · Races: Elves: House of Finwe · ID: 80
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-01 18:50:51
This ficlet is another great character study by Oshun where nothing
very dramatic seems to be happening and yet by the end of the story
much has been said about the characters.
Here the contrast is between bohemian Makalaure and [picture perfect]
Maitimo. Makalaure's shrewd -and sarcastic- observations and Maitimo's
vulnerability despite his apparent strength tell a lot about these
characters beyond the quick scene that we are given to witness. The
author also makes the depth of affection between the two of them
unmistakably clear (how else could they have reached the end of the
First Age together?).
Title: King Stag · Author: Jael · Races: Elves: Mirkwood Elves · ID: 86
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 · 2008-11-01 21:58:07
In [King Stag], Jael takes the reader deep into the wild and perilous
realm of Faerie through the eyes of Thranduil as he strives to prove
his worth to his new wife's parents and their tribe. Although solidly
set in Tolkien's Middle-earth, Jael's Avorren truly echo the ancient
forest-spirits of Northern Europe, the deep mythology from which
Tolkien derived his legendarium. This gifted writer, with her solid
knowledge of literature and history, takes shamanism (the ritual of
fly agaric - delightful to this reader/reviewer who had entertained
the notion of becoming an ethnobotanist at one time) and primeval
symbolism (running with the stags) and interweaves them seamlessly
into Tolkien's world, thereby enriching it.
Jael bolsters the different elven cultures by the use of Primitive
Elvish sprinkled throughout the story. The use of Primitive Elvish and
Sindarin phrases is not ever gratuitous, but adds a level of detail
that further enhances the story. The culture of the Avari is
beautifully realized in [King Stag] and delves into Tolkien's brief
writings of the Sindar who moved into the Greenwood, wishing to return
to a simpler life.
Then there is the characterization. Jael's Thranduil is such a
well-crafted protagonist that he practically leaps off the page.
Lalaithiel, his wife, is a very satisfying character, again one of
Tolkien's sub-textual women we know had to have existed and who Jael
brings to full and passionate life here and most fortunately for this
reader, in other works of the Jael-verse, too. Likewise, Tûron, her
father and Thranduil's guide in the ceremony, is nicely realized: the
The story is bracketed by bittersweet bookends in the form of the
prologue and the epilogue, especially the epilogue. Heartwrenching
without stooping to the maudlin, this is a sad coda for the King of
the Greenwood, but there is hope and endurance, too, for the son of
the tall beech.
Thanks to this story, whenever I walk in the local woods (which harbor
black squirrels - really!) and see the tall beeches or scare up a
deer, I think of [King Stag] and let my imagination conjure up Avorren
among the trees.
Title: Early Winter at Himring Hill · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance:
Elven Lands · ID: 79
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 · 2008-11-01 22:33:57
[Early Winter at Himring Hill] is welcome ray of light amidst the
sturm und drang of The Silmarillion. Here Oshun uses my favorite
descriptor of her version of Fingon: irrepressible. Throughout her
story arc of Maedhros and Fingon, that is how I see Fingon, who often
seizes the day and seeks joy in his life, even in the face of
darkness. In this vignette, Fingon's devil-may-care exuberance shines
through Oshun's description of his approach to the fortress on Himring
Hill: banners flying and hooves thundering. The setting is cold --
even grim -- but Fingon's joie-de-vivre (as Raksha so aptly put it)
and Maedhros' warmth melt the frost of this chilly scene of winter.
One would like to think these two fellows returned to the keep of the
fortress and drank wine by a roaring fire in the hearth.
I find Oshun's style to be fresh and therefore immensely appealing,
and I'm in awe of her knack for dialog. Through Maedhros and Fingon's
expressions and conversation, their personalities are distinctive and
fully reflect their natures in her larger works. I also greatly
appreciate the humanity that she imbues in her Firstborn, and this
also shows in [Early Winter] with the fierce embrace and ear-to-ear grins.
This story, set in the grey cold of winter, always warms my heart.