Note that this chapter was originally done in two separate bits, but I mushed it together for your reading convenience. That’s why the Failcount resets after Bant’s scene.

Chapter 1:

We open with Bant, in the middle of a wood. Of course, I know it’s Bant, but for some reason, the prose insists on referring to him as “the hunter”. This worked in DO, because at that moment RuGaard didn’t have a name and it was specifically meant to point out the fact that said not having a name would scar him for life (or at least, according to Mr. Knight), but here, I don’t see any reason for witholding Bant’s name, except perhaps in an attempt to be mysterious. I mean, come on, don’t you think “hunter” is deep and mysterious? Like “raven” or “wolf”?

Ahahaha. In any case, it’s merely causing confusion and making Bant less of a character that the reader can immediately identify as the PoV character. Congratulations. Anyways, Bant’s all pleased with himself over having brought down a sky-dragon, and we get a whole page of unbroken description right three pages into the introductory chapter. Holy shit, Batman! Before I have any reason whatsoever to care about how these dragons look like!

I’m being serious here. Eyes glazing over serious. Pointless infodumping is one of the cardinial sins of contemporary fantasy fiction, and while it might be information you need to get across, one unbroken page of solid description is not the way to do it. Because, y’know, INCLUING is impossible, or even giving the information in broken dribs and drabs. As much as Mr. Maxey is desperate to get the message across, we don’t need to know everything about sky dragons right now, thank you very much. How about introducing it naturally a little while before it’s actually needed, so while it doesn’t seem like a pointless throwaway reference, it doesn’t seem like something made up on the spot to justify something, either?

Blah blah, more exposition on how the sky dragons consider themselves artists, blah blah, feathered scales, blah blah, how they think it’s beneath them to hunt, blah blah. In any case, Bant picks off the dragon’s backpack (yes, it is a “leather satchel”) and rifles through its contents:

Bant receives items:

-Bottle of wine x 1
-Peasant loaf x1
-Eel jerky x1
-Horch, which is a paste made from sardines, olives and chillies, all fermented. x1
-Book of nature studies, beautifully illustrated x1
-Writing materials x1

…Where’s the Captain Picard facepalm when you need it? Given the way the sky dragon was described, half the shit in its backpack would be wildly inappropriate. First up: bottle of wine. By all means, this bottle is what we humans on Earth would recognise as a bottle, since there is no information to the contrary. Now, bottle. “Crocodilian jaws”. Bottle. “Crocodilian jaws”. Do they fit? Of course not. Unless they were dumping it in their mouths, and then there’d be no way to control the flow (which these oh-so-civilised and refined sky dragons wouldn’t like), there is no way one is getting wine from bottle into “crocodilian jaws” without a LOT of spilling. Necks of bottles were designed for people with LIPS. Fail x1.

Next up, hard peasant loaf. Requires sopping and chewing. A LOT of both sopping and chewing. “Crocodilian jaws” are NOT made for chewing, which is why they can regrow the odd tooth when one gets knocked out—biting precision isn’t important for such a jaw model, which also explains why we humans and plenty of other mammals only grow limited sets of teeth. Crocs use their teeth for grabbing prey, killing them and biting chunks off whole. Fail x2.

Eel jerky. Fine. No problems. Ditto horch. Now it’s time for book of nature studies. In linen paper. By people with sharp, two-inch claws.

Can you see the problem here? Fact of life: people handle objects roughly. Maybe they’re tired, or they slipped, or an accident happened. Whatever the case, even amongst us humans who keep our nails fairly neat and trimmed, books get damaged, books get torn. Now imagine people with two-inch-long sharp claws. Parchment and paper ain’t going to last long. Fail x3.

Writing materials. I’m having trouble figuring out how people with two-inch claws on each digit would conventionally hold a pen in a fashion that approximates us humans, since the pen is described as a quill pen, but I’m willing to give this a pass. For now.

Already, I can tell from this the amount of care and thought which Mr. Maxey put into his worldbuilding, which is absolutely none at all. He just took humans, stuck on wings and all the other bits, and declared them done when as I’ve mentioned before, merely changing the physical alone has a massive ripple effect into the social, mental, spiritual and other worlds. Mr. Maxey didn’t stop to consider how the differences in physical attributes would affect his dragons, even if they’re more on the lines of humanoid furries rather than the traditional hexapod quadrupeds. Even Limyaael points out clearly in this rant that the simple addition of wings to humans will require plenty of thought and change from what we know and think of as “human”.

But evidently, someone didn’t care. Fail x4.

Anyways, Bant is all cold and dark and gloomy, and he slices out the sky dragon’s tongue and goes om nom nom on it after having built up a fire, then he goes and burns the nature studies book, but not before contemplating writing a letter home:

Opening the bottle of ink, he dipped the quill and drew a jagged, uneven line upon the page. He tried again, drawing a circle, the line flowing more evenly this time. Across the top of the page he began to write “A B C D E…” and it all came back to him. (Pg. 28)

Congratulations. Thank you for ruining what pathetically little immersion I had, if I had any remaining. Thank you for dragging me out of your conworld and plonking me right down into the real one. Thank you, Mr. Maxey, for completely neglecting and ruining any sort of linguistic evolution, if you’re going to go the route of “this is really post-apocalyptic earth!” People in the early 1900s spoke very much differently from how we do today, and that’s within the same language. Just imagine…ugh. I don’t even care. You hear me? I don’t care anymore. LALALALALALALA.

Fail x5.

We get more glimpses of Mr. Maxey’s wonderful methods of characterising his anti-hero protagonist:

Here the hunter stopped. If only. These were weak words, regretful. They had no room in his heart. This was not a night to lose himself in memory and melancholy. Tomorrow was an important day.(Pg. 28)

Thank you for telling me all that, instead of showing it. Would it have been too much to ask to let me interpret his emotions for myself? And really, there’s wanting your protagonist to be a cool antihero, and there’s trying too hard. Mr. Maxey is definitely trying too hard. You see, no matter how un-heroic your character is, you still have to have some measure of em-and sympathy for your character. You can’t make your character completely unlikable—I’m very sorry, but trying to get the readers to read on by making them hope something terrible will happen to your protagonist generally isn’t a good idea, and that’s what seems to be happening here.

Coming back to the point of DO, RuGaard is very definitely an anti-hero, given his whole life is built on lies, his complete misanthropy and bouts of pure, unadulterated hate and in the end, deep suspicion of even his own wife. Yet he’s likable. There are good traits that are played up, not-so-good-but-not-bad traits that form the crux, and most importantly, we’re given to understand why he does what he does.

Second example: Rocky and Freckle from Lackadaisy Cats. Rocky is clearly crazy and has dome some not-very-nice things in his time, while Freckle is a cute little mild-mannered kitten-face who happens to go batshit insane in the presence of firearms. Both of them happen to be morally dysfunctional at least part of the time and certainly qualify as being anti-heroes (being rumrunners would probably have done the trick alone), but they’re likable to some degree.

Let’s say I’m a reader who hasn’t read the book blurb; right up to page 29, I have not seen a single redeeming quality about Bant. Oh, Mr. Maxey tried to arm-twist me with Jomath all right, but that does NOT work on me, and this impression of Bant is not going to go away quickly. Fail at properly introducing anti-hero. Fail x6.

Anyways, Bant watches the rest of the book burn.

In any case, we leave Bant behind and get a scene change to the great hall of King Albekizan. However, from now on I shall refer to him as Evil King, since that’s as far as his characterisation goes. Of course, the PoV character happens to be a human woman by the name of Jandra, who happens to be the apprentice of Evil King’s court magician, Vendevorex. Apparently, this is allowed because Vendevorex is SMRT, but of course, up to this point I have nothing to base this on except for Mr. Maxey’s word for it, and you think I’m going to believe that something in a story is so just because the author says it is, rather than on how the character actually behaves? Minor fail x1.

Fat chance.

Besides, historically, one class that relies on the subjugation of another was nautrally very jittery about the subjugated class getting their hands on education and positions of power, for obvious reasons. And given the way the Evil King is characterised as we’ll see shortly, I doubt Jandra would be given the chance to even survive, let alone appear at his court, even as someone’s pet. But what do I know? I’m just a guy who cares about logic. At least the courtiers have the sense to disdain her.

In any case, there’s some description of the great hall. Jandra’s wearing a satin gown with an elaborate peacock headdress…yadda yadda…dragons lounging around on silk mats…yadda yadda…description of sun-dragons…yadda yadda…drummers, choir…golden cushions for Evil King and pillows for the Queen…

Wait, what?

I’m not even sure what fabrics are doing in the same place as a room full of people with rough scales, sharp feathers and talons. You asking me why the fabrics aren’t already ripped and torn all over? You really asking me? Well, my theory is that there was a mass happenstance of Solids Toughening Under Pre-Induced Duress, or STUPID for short, which allowed the fabrics to escape unharmed. Of course, it’s just a theory, although there’s already been substential evidence to back it up. Fail x1.

More pointless description (hey, you get the idea) flows by, and then the Evil King’s High Biologian (no! The correct term is “biologist”! “Biologian” isn’t even a word! Minor fail x2!) comes out, and we get the following snippet, which sadly, is rather characteristic of how Mr. Maxey likes to write his prose regarding his characters:

He hobbled forward, supporting himself with a gnarled staff. Despite his stooped, crooked body, Metron commanded respect. Everyone present lowered their eyes in reverence. (Pg. 31)

Holy redundancy, Batman! Not only does Mr. Maxey tell, he shows AND tells, therefore making one of them redundant! You see, if everyone lowers their eyes, especially in reverence, I can INFER that they respect him and so don’t need to be TOLD as well that they do so! If I’m TOLD that they respect him, under the right circumstances I would accept it, but you don’t need to SHOW at the same time! It’s almost as if Mr. Maxey thinks readers are retards and can’t figure the simplest of things for themselves. Minor fail x3.

And a cane? A CANE? This is quite possibly our first suggestion that we’re dealing with more “anthro-furry” dragons, rather than your conventional quadruped hexapods. Upon reading this for the first time, I had to stop and think about why the hell a quadruped creature would fucking need a cane for, and that dragged me once again from my pathetic attempts to immerse myself in the—oh, who am I kidding. The thing is, if Mr. Maxey had bothered to make it clearer in his lavish descriptions of sky and sun-dragons that they differed from the typical portrayals, there wouldn’t have been this problem.

And don’t give me that shit of “aren’t you the one who complains about cliches?” Because I’m not arguing against the subversion, but rather, on how Mr. Maxey handled it—by saying “elf”, “dwarf”, “goblin”, or anything else, you ARE going to evoke pre-conceived notions and templates about said species in the minds of your readers, and it is vital to establish how YOUR interpretation of these so-called stock fantasy races differs from the templates before you actually put them in action. Fail x2.

More description of Metron being presented before Evil King. Particularly egregious excerpt:

The strength in Metron’s eyes allayed her fears. (Pg. 31)

Telling and a pathetic attempt to use physical description in lieu of actual characterisation, but I already covered that. THE EYES DO NOT HAVE IT. By now, it’s best to completely avoid using eyes to make any sort of “deep” statement about a character. Minor fail x4.

Anyways, directly after that, we get a full-half page of description regarding Bodiel, Evil King’s younger son. Blah blah, arrival, flowery prose, blah blah, I don’t care any more. Note that after three pages of this scene, we still have no idea what this ceremony is supposed to be about, nor has anything happened, considering all three pages were almost chock-full of description of the scene in Evil King’s great hall. Great pacing. I feel no connection for Jandra or any of the characters introduced here; it seems as if Jandra’s only here to provide a pair of eyes for the—oh, wait, that’s probably the ONLY reason she’s here. But that’s not the worst thing. After the Obnoxiously long and pointless description of Bodiel, we get this kicker:

Jandra’s heart fluttered at Bodiel’s beauty. (Pg. 31)

…Getting back memories of Touched By Venom.

…Oh god.

DO NOT WANT. Fail x3.

Anyways, Metron begins the ceremony proper with the ritual greeting, which seems like a whole lot of sycophantry, but hey, I guess he’s not to blame for the way it’s worded. At last, we manage to learn what all this hoo-hah is about, even if it takes us a bit of head-hopping. Ready for the great reveal? Apparently there’s a ritual in which the sons of the Evil King compete to see which has the honour of being banished from the kingdom. Yes, really. Supposedly, the hope of this is that the banished sons will return to overthrow their fathers, and hence rule with even greater strength, and supposedly this practice has kept the Evil King’s line in power since time immemorial.

Facepalm Let’s pick this apart one problem at a time, shall we? 1. Learning proper statesmanship and the ins and outs of running a country isn’t very well done when you’ve BEEN BANISHED. (Where to, though? The way things are set up, it seems as if the whole world is this kingdom, anyway) 2. It never states how the son is supposed to do the overthrowing against a whole kingdom, which them would be a pointless quest if he had to go solo. 3. Having no clear line of succession is obviously not good for the stability of any country, and 4. What if a king fails to produce male, or indeed, any issue at all?

This is one of the things which sounds like a great idea, until you dig a little deeper and realise the only place where it could be taken seriously would be in a parody. Fail x4.

More wonderful characterisation by Mr. Maxey:

The king’s youngest son, Bodiel was universally recognised as the dragon most likely to best his father. He was strong, fast and charming, a master of politics as well as combat. Shandrazel was larger and, most agreed, smarted, but few believed he could previal. bodies possessed the will the win at all costs. The lust for victory boiling in his blood rivaled Albekizan’s and perhaps even surpassed it. (Pg. 33)

(Gets out sandvich) Nom nom nom, om nom. I don’t think I have to repeat myself as to why this is bad. Fail x5. Finally, we learn what the competition consists of; two slaves are going to be released into the woods, and the kiddies have to hunt them down and presumably kill them. Hurrah hurrah. So the cages are opened, and the slaves run into a tunnel which leads into the forest, but not before Mr. Maxey shows off his excellent ability to convey characters’ emotions:

Jandra again felt a stirring of guilt. She was in awe of the ritual she was witnessing, swept up in the grandeur. Shouldn’t she feel some remorse over the fates of the slaves? (Pg. 34)

I rest my case, and will only point out the worst violations of this bit of general writing knowledge. Or perhaps not. Heh. Minor fail x5. At least what we’ve had so far hasn’t been TOO bad, but Evil King opens his bloody mouth for the first time and perfectly justifies why I’m calling him little more than Evil King:

“Humans these days are worthless,” Albekizan said, addressing the High Biologian. “In my youth the humans had more spirit. They were alwyas finding sharp rocks to wield as weapons, or hiding in tiny caves. I remember how one doubled back and hid within the palace for two days before being captured. Now, the slaves run blindly, leaving a trail of excretement any fool could follow. Why can’t we find good prey anymore, Metron?” (Pg. 34)

(Takes another bite of sandvich) Nom nom nom, om nom. I don’t know about you, but after reading this paragraph, I can’t help but be reminded of the worst of caricatures. Is it too much to ask for an antagonist who isn’t a gloating idiot? Again, Mr. Maxey’s determined to arm-twist me into hating Evil King by placing him so far on the scale of conventional western morality that I have no choice but to dislike him, because god forbid someone be affably evil, if they have to be evil in the first place. Well, guess what? I’m equally determined to say “fuck you” to such cheap tactics. Fail x6.

Of course, the High Biologian points out that humans have been systematically culled for a long time, and that “the breed must inevitably decline”. Vendexorex, of course, putters along and suggest the hunting of humans be temporarily stopped to “let the stock recover”. Uh. Whatever. Of course, this provokes another over-the-top response from Evil King:

“Bah!” Albekizan snorted, raising his bejeweled right talon dismissively. “You and your softness for humans. They make fine pets and adequate game, but you would let them breed like rabbits. The stench of their villages already sullies my kingdom.”

“Their villages fill your larders with food and your coffer with gold,” Vendevorex said. “Allow the humans to keep more of the fruits of their labours, and they will improve the conditions in which they live. They dwell in squalor only because of your policies.” (Pg. 35)

Ah, yes. Whoever could forget the number one evil tool of any evil regent: taxes, taxes, taxes. Perhaps I could be persuaded to care more if I actually knew what evil policies were in place beyond the absolutely generic ones and saw them in action; at least the Generic Little Village which gets destroyed by the Dark Lord’s legions of terror happens to show them in action. If this turns out to be another Inheritance with everyone (everyone who is good, anyway) talking about how evil the Evil King is without actually seeing some of the bloody repression of the common man in action, I have nothing to say.

Of course, in a typical Evil King fashion, Evil King gets pissed at advice of advisor that doesn’t match his preconceived notions. How exactly someone who happens to be so much of a bloody idiot happens to have held power centuries is beyond me; authorial intervention, probably. I’ll just quote Limyaael on this:

“It doesn’t make much sense to have stupid people conquering the world. Either villains are really secretly intelligent until the hero comes along, at which point their wits drain away, or everyone else who tried to resist evil in the past was monumentally idiotic. The hero always seems to be not only more intelligent than his nemesis, but supremely more intelligent than his nemesis.

How did the nemesis become a nemesis, then?

Think about it. If the dark lords in fantasy really failed as badly most of the time as they do when confronting the heroes, their reigns should have ended centuries ago when they did something like leave a large and obvious loophole in their plans that their enemies could slip through. Lack of intelligence turns them cartoonish.”

Fail x7.

In response to that, Vendevorex pulls the “you commanded me to speak freely in the past and haven’t rescinded that order” stunt. In any case, Evil King swallows what he was about to say and orders the hunt to begin. Bodiel’s off in a flash, but the other son, Shandrazel, refuses to take part:

“You know my feelings. I do not desire your throne. I will not hunt Tulk. This ceremony is archaic and cruel. There is no need for blood to be shed. Simply appoint Bodiel as your successor. Your word is law.” (Pg. 36)

Stilted language aside (I mean it. Try saying this out loud. Do you think it feels natural at all?), it’s interesting to note that in a supposedly non-anthrocentric world, morality is still defined by who likes humans and who doesn’t. Wonderful, isn’t it? Vendevorex and Shandrazel are Good because they like humans, and reversely, anyone who doesn’t like and looks down on humans are portrayed as utterly horrible and evil.

It’s also interesting to note that Shandrazel also shrugs—which even if it’s technically possible due to a bipedal humanoid body structure (which I still have problems accepting, considering that body structure can only support so much size and weight before the leg bones, no matter how dense and strong they are, and note that most flying creatures often have hollow bones to reduce weight—oh, why am I even bothering? Remember that the heaviest flying bird on Earth is 10 kilograms? But—but this isn’t Earth, and physics doesn’t apply here—but they’re using English, and Christianity’s around, even if it’s only an Evil Robot, and…and…does not compute. Does not compute!), the shrug is very particular to modern western symbolism. Why non-humans should blindly adopt it—oh wait, these dragons are really people with parts glued on. Silly me. Fail x8.

Someday we’ll look back at this and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Ooh boy.

So Evil King and his elder son have a staring-down contest, but not before this particularly horrible outburst:

“And you are breaking that law!” Albekizan shouted, spittle spraying the floor before him. “I command you to hunt!” (Pg. 36)

Oh noes, oh noes. Spluttering villain, which brings in a whole bunch of ugly connotations. Fail x9. Anyways, the staring match goes on for a while, which doesn’t really make sense if Evil King was willing to kill off the previous two sons who got banished. Why spare this one and go against what little characterisation Evil King has been given? It doesn’t make sense, really—oh wait, if Shandrazel died, the resolution at the end would be impossible, so Evil King must be an idiot and let him off.

This, my friends, is what we call an idiot plot—where the characters must act like idiots to keep it on the rails. Fail x10. So the staring match continues, when the Queen suddenly leaps up and shrieks that her son’s dead.

(Yet another bite from sandvich) Nom nom nom, om nom. Evil King breaks the staring contest to comfort her, and we get a prime, overmelodramatic example of what I personally call “the pathetic fallacy” and some others call “sadrain”. In short, it’s the manipulation of the weather to heavy-handedly set the mood:

Almost as if his saying had made it so, the night fell quiet. The thunder faded and the wind shifted, silencing the rain for an instant. At this moment, a mournful, anguished howl rose from the distant forest. Lightning flashed and thunder washed away the voice. The wind twisted, whipping back into the hall with a harsh blast of cold rain, sending the torch flames dancing wildly. Tanthia gasped as one of the torches extinguished, a soul forever lost.

“He’s dead!” Tanthia cried. “My son is dead!” (Pg. 37-38)

(Finishes the sandvich) Nom nom nom, om nom. Well, that certainly was melodramatic. Since I mostly share Limyaael’s thoughts on this, I’ll just quote her:

_“I tend to distrust this technique. As you said, it can be done well, but it’s very hard. It’s even worse when the author takes note of it (as in one of the DragonLance Chronicles, where Weis and Hickman actually note the rain is like weeping). When it doesn’t work, it’s another heavy-handed way of the author telling you how to feel about her characters.

I think it can work when the author’s already established that a particular weather pattern is normal- someone weeping in what you’ve already been told is a monsoon season, for example- or when it’s used as irony, such as a bright and cheerful day on which a battle happens.”_

Well, I can safely say that in my opinion, it damn well didn’t work. Minor fail x6. Noting that things are going pear-shaped all of a sudden, Vendevorex and Jandra make a hasty retreat, the former sprinking magic powder over them both to make them INVISIBIBLE. I know that Mr. Maxey really wants to show off his character’s skills, but this seems hardly an appropriate time for such a trick, and the courtiers seem to have the attention span of a gnat, since they’re all immediately in awe of said trick instead of, y’know, being concerned about the drama, especially in the presence of an plot-convenience horribly contrived insane king.

So they’re gone, and Shandrazel flaps off in search of his brother. We get a whole page’s worth of Mr. Maxey’s Wonderful Characterisation Format, by now which I’m sure you’re familiar with, so I won’t elaborate. The only bit I want to point out is that his mother eats baskets of white kittens by the truckload. Yes, really.

Despite his father’s keenness for the sport of hunting humans, Shandrazel saw no more challenge in it that he did in his mother’s appetite for devouring baskets of white kittens. (Pg. 39)

All fucking right, they’re fucking evil, fuck it. You don’t have to fucking make them EAT FUCKING KITTENS to TELL ME HOW FUCKING EVIL THEY ARE. Stop it, stop it, STOP IT. Fail x11. Anyways, he putters around to come across the sky-dragon’s body we saw just now. Some pointless blahs about how this guy used to be his old teacher, blah blah, more pointless blahs, and then he and Evil King do some more searching until the come across Bodiel’s body. Let’s take a look at his reactions:

Albekizan’s eyes burned with fury, fury and something more, an emotion he’d not seen in his father’s eyes for many years: passion. Albekizan, cradling Bodiel’s dead body, was filled with frightening, fiery life. (Pg. 40)

Lightning struck nearby, again and again, shaking the ground. Fire spouted from the tops of the tallest, most ancient trees. Albekizan didn’t flinch. Shandrazel couldn’t move. As the thunder faded from their ringing ears, Albekizan held the arrow to the sky and shouted a single, bone-chilling word.

“Bitterwood!” (Pg. 41)

There are so many problems with this that I don’t know where to start. Again, overly melodramatic, making it completely cheesy, and the pathetic fallacy only makes it worse. Minor fail x7. Now for the important part. Evil King has been characterised as evil. Doesn’t care about subjects, both draconic and human. Kills own sons. Does lots of evil and bad things which we haven’t seen yet. And we’re supposed to believe that he’s the type to love this particular son all of a sudden? Are you kidding me? You don’t just mangle your characters’ characterisation like that just to further the…oh, wait, this is an IDIOT PLOT. What was I expecting? I could have seen Evil King taking this as an insult to him, but his actions suggest otherwise, and it’s explicitly stated in the book blurb that he’s supposedly avenging Bodiel. So, no. Mangled characterisation. Fail x12.

Then we get on to the bigger problem: WHY WERE THERE NO GUARDS AROUND THE PALACE? You know, traditionally, most palaces, even summer/winter ones, were very well-guarded—heck, it’s where the bloody head of state lives. You’d expect there to be a patrol at all times. Forest? Most royal forests, or the equivalent thereof, had a forester or two—people whose job was to live in the forest, know its ins and outs, keep out trespassers and poachers, and make sure it was fit for use whenever the nobility fancied a bit of sport. Oh, there’s one we’ll see in the next chapter—a buger by the name of Zanzeroth. WHAT THE FUCK WAS HE DOING? HOW WAS BITTERWOOD ALLOWED TO GET SO CLOSE—oh, wait, SHEER INCOMPETENCE ON THE PART OF THE ANTAGONISTS TO ADVANCE PLOT. You know, I wonder why he didn’t just lie in wait and smack Evil King with an arrow as they searched for Bodiel. Oh, wait. If he did that, there’d be no story. Stupid me. Fail x13.

One more point: How did Evil King know conclusively it was Bitterwood? It could have been the fletching on the arrow perhaps, since it was studied for a bit, but it’s never conclusively explained. Besides, it could dang well have been someone else impersonating him. There’s some ambiguity here, so I’ll give our dear friend the benefit of the doubt here, but a few WORDS to make it clearer wouldn’t have hurt.

And so we end this disgusting tripe which is an excuse for a chapter. End of round: minor fail x7, fail x13, epic fail x0. Total fail score: 7 + 13*3 + 0 = 46.

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  1. Golcondio on 10 April 2009, 07:57 said:

    Good spork all in all, I commend you for enduring this much pain…
    May I suggest you revise your grammar?
    Also, please, could you explain what all the less universally known acronyms mean? “DO”, for example… I’m sure it would make it easier to understand your point.

  2. OverlordDan on 10 April 2009, 09:09 said:

    Great job, once again. Explaining the acronyms would be great, feel like I’m not getting all the jokes :(

    I hate ‘stupid evil’ villains (with the exception of parodies) as main antagonists. A surplus of malice will not make up for a deficiency of intellect!

    Derf derf end complaining.

    Anyways, can’t wait to read the next part.

  3. Juniper on 10 April 2009, 15:11 said:

    May I suggest you revise your grammar?

    Nopt if you know this, but English is not her first language. Anyhoo….I would also like to know what DO stands for. Thanks!

  4. sansafro on 10 April 2009, 15:22 said:

    Was this pile vanity-published or published-published? If it’s the latter… ugh.

  5. Matthew Lee on 10 April 2009, 16:59 said:

    DO stands for Dragon Outcast by E. E. Knight, the sporker did a review of it (It was semi-favorable).

  6. Juniper on 10 April 2009, 17:03 said:

    oh, my bad. I thought I read that this article was by the falconempress. Haha, oops. Anyway, it looks like the spork/rant she did on the Paolini book. Sorry!

  7. Artimaeus on 10 April 2009, 17:08 said:

    Judging from the cover art, I’d say it’s published-published. Gives us aspiring writers hope, eh?

  8. lccorp2 on 10 April 2009, 17:25 said:

    Oh it’s formally published all right. Medium-small press, but still formally so and requiring agented submissions.

    …The role of an acquisitions editor is not to buy what’s good. It’s to buy what sells. It’s a free market, and Adam Smith hates your guts.

  9. SlyShy on 10 April 2009, 20:01 said:

    In a better world, what was good would sell.

  10. sansafro on 10 April 2009, 23:34 said:

    I don’t understand why they have to good and marketable need to be mutually exclusive :/

  11. sansafro on 11 April 2009, 00:32 said:

    Also fail grammar is fail. WTB edit button for comments.

  12. lccorp2 on 11 April 2009, 04:00 said:


    Oh, and English technically isn’t my first language. Han Chinese is, although I personally believe the “not my first language” excuse is just that—an excuse.

  13. falconempress on 11 April 2009, 07:44 said:

    oh, my bad. I thought I read that this article was by the falconempress. Haha, oops. Anyway, it looks like the spork/rant she did on the Paolini book.

    hahaha, do I really sound like that?

    anyways – interesting read, lccorp2, am curious to read more

  14. Puppet on 11 April 2009, 07:49 said:

    Uhg, this is like Dragons and Legzigon thingy all over again, really I don’t see how you can do this.

  15. Dan Locke on 11 April 2009, 18:04 said:

    Whatever happened to the Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate sporking, anyway?

  16. CGilga on 11 April 2009, 18:07 said:

    All sporkers committed suicide. It wasn’t pretty. Their clones have taken their place, and their copies of the books, burned.

  17. The Drunk Fox on 11 April 2009, 23:57 said:

    Oh, we did not commit suicide*…the next spork is just waiting in line like a good little article.

    *Although I do think the current chapter might be breaking our brains…

  18. Aquanaut on 12 April 2009, 13:45 said:

    Not only she eats several kittens, but … baskets of kittens ?

    This is my actual reaction on it :

    Good sporking, by the way. You’d made me laugh.

  19. Proserpina FC on 26 April 2009, 21:45 said:



    Man, stuff like this curbs my publishing anxiety.

  20. Loni on 19 April 2010, 07:51 said:

    Congratulations, you just introduced me to Lackadaisy, started me on an archive binge, and deprived my chemistry assignment of about 2 days.

    Having read it, as an example of an antihero, I would say Victor fits the bill more than Freckle does.

  21. Tim on 19 June 2012, 03:11 said:

    Remember that the heaviest flying bird on Earth is 10 kilograms?

    Um, no? Some species of bustard can reach 21 and still fly, and the largest known flying bird was Argentavis magnificens which had a 23-foot wingspan and is estimated to have weighed 70-78 kilograms.