DISCLAIMER: This post actually bares no mention of anything related to Tecmo's Dead or Alive series... Okay, that's a lie. I might have mentioned "bouncing boobs" once or twice in the following article. Also, in something that I have to reiterate MANY times, this post is also longer that most other posts and chances are it'll be the longest of the bunch. So scroll downwards if you don't like long-ass posts.

Hello, citizens of Crappy Land.

So yeah, here's Post 275. If I'm lucky, I'll hit 300 posts before the end of spring so you'll expect another sprawning classic from me in a couple months. For this post however, I've decided to dwell on the wonderful realm of fanfiction... MY fanfiction, that is (although don't worry; I have thoughts on other people's fanfics too.) So let's begin this incredible crusade of with some progress reports, followed by dabbling of ideas and upcoming works, as well as some quick reviews of other fanfiction works. And before I go off on the tangent, this sucker's pretty long and chances are you'll have to scroll down some bits. So let's get this show rolling before I decide to change my mind.

Before we do, however, I'd just like to get some random thoughts out of the way if you don't mind:

Prologue: Random Bits With Nothing To Do With Fanfiction

Despite there already being a new series and a prequel coming up, there are those who are still petitioning for a revival of the original Battlestar Galactica series from the late 1970s. Can't we just do a revival of the A-Team and be done with it? Seriously, every time someone makes mention of this, I get seriously painful flashbacks of every time a Trekkie would declare "Bring Back Kirk" as the only possible solution to saving Star Trek. Let's face facts, people. These efforts are for naught. The original might be loved more and remembered more by people, but it only last one year (and the spin-off lasted even less). And if anything were to get revived, it would just HAVE to be a remake. But hey, if people could convince Universal to actually pull off a classic Galactica reunion and continue where the series left off, more power to them... as long as the pilot episode of this new continuation tells the story of how these guys have aged 20+ years since their last adventure. Look, I didn't post this up to offend anyone who has a love for the oldies. I have love for certain franchises that I wish were brought back or continued where they left off, but those franchises are dead and get reborn either as a remake or on DVD or whatever the medium of the day is.

So yeah, while we're on the Random Tangent bit, let's talk about some other recent thing: namely the recent PPV by McWrestling. Suffice it to say, the quality of matches isn't quite up there and there are times when you wondered why they needed PPVs to begin with.

There. I feel much better about getting that off my chest. Let's talk fanfics now...

Chapter 1: Current Works In Progress

Updates to the fanfics are gonna be slow, especially with the upcoming work-study period . So each fanfic (either in progress or on hold) will have detailed details on what's going on... Not much to spoil, but just to get done.

Progress on Turbo - Malevolence:
Malevolence is going to get updated as soon as I find the time to divide the story up even further. Originally it was going to be a quick one-shot, but then I relented and posted the first of what was going to be three parts. I might relent again and go farther... hence the delays. Truthfully, the story that's shaping now is turning out quite different from what was intended, so expect some delays. Part of the challenge in doing this story is too veer away from the all-out action sequences that have dominated the last few fics and try to stick with suspenseful/dramatic moments. Of course, this is Power Rangers, home of the wacky martial arts superheroes and rubber monsters, so there will be a fight involved. It just won't be a big deal... or will it?

Progress on Power Rangers Evilution Duology:
I've written at least five new scenes for Volume 2 (tentatively titled
Divine Intervention), most of which are quick fight scenes and plot developments. From the looks of things, I might even turn this into a possible trilogy if I felt like it. But I'm jumping ahead here; in order to "finalize" Volume 2 and think of adding a third volume, I have to get past Volume 1 (Ascension). Fortunately for you folks, I'm almost done the second chapter. Now, in advance, this isn't going to be a 20+ part storyline, but each chapter is very meaty (partly due to included interludes that open each chapter). In fact, thanks to a "true" word processor, I managed somewhere between eight to twelve pages per chapter for this story (or at least should - as the Epilogue is almost completely finished).

Progress on Enterprise - Machine's Reckoning:
What was originally touted as a Star Trek: The Next Generation storyline has now been turned into an Enterprise fic and the first chapter should see release some time in June. There's a few reasons behind this change, but I'll stick with three:

  1. The obvious answer: Enterprise takes place in the 22nd century while Next Generation takes place in the 24th. You can easily fit a new species into TNG without much problem, but you can't really do that with Enterprise... unless you make them into the second coming of the Xindi.

  2. With a name like Machine's Reckoning for a TNG fic, you'll assume it's the Borg or some subspecies that we've conveniently never heard of before. And before you ask, no it isn't - in fact, it's another one of those "ancient empires" directly inspired by an empire of machines from another franchise altogether. If you really need a hint as to what I'm talking about, you probably haven't read enough of my fanfics, which is dedicated to said fandom. Now if you DO know what I'm talking about, then chances are you're wondering how to fit the franchise's timeline with that of Trek when the two are realistically incompatible. You'll have to wait and see.

  3. The series just got canned (has it really been over a year since we suffered from post-Star Trek syndrome?) and Enterprise is still fresh in people's minds while TNG is only available through DVD and on-again, off-again syndication. It's easier for me to recall certain things because it's still a fresh thing. (Of course, some will say that the fact the series sucked is also fresh in their minds).

Progress on Castlevania - Simon's Final Quest:
For anyone who hasn't read the news on FF.Net, I've pretty much put this story on hold. I might get back on it in a couple months, but the truth is that despite an early best effort, I am at a loss as to where to go with this story. I know this will upset people who are anxiously awaiting the follow-up chapter (and I'm being extremely generous here), but hopefully when I get back to this, I'll come up with something better than Simon Belmont versus the giant King Kong wannabe... that chapter will see the light of day soon enough...

Chapter 2: Works On The Horizon

So yeah, for the second part of this opus, I'll jot down some ideas that are either in the works, in my mind, or on the backburner. Anyway, for anyone remotely interested, I have a couple of original works on the horizon, which will get mentioned first before getting to the fanfic-ing part. These will either be exclusive to the Webstation or might the occasional light of day on the Blog too. I also have several ideas up that I'll post here: either to have others entertain the thought or to see what might be coming up. Now don't go on and ask how I'm gonna get this stuff out in the next year considering my half-assed updating attempts: like I said, these are being considered or being worked on or the thought is being entertained. Who knows?

Before getting into it, I'd like to point out that this will probably be the most definite "What's Next?" response I'll get. This particular posting will probably get linked on the FF.Net profile.

Rainbow Task Force (original release)
Summary:
In the year 19XX, the mysterious and extremely deadly VILE Empire emerges from their realm to take control of Earth. To combat this supernatural threat, a secret military force selects five unlikely (and unwilling) candidates to form a group of super-powered soldiers with powers beyond those of normal conventions.

Overview: An original series of prose stories inspired by the Super Sentai/Power Rangers series of action shows, Rainbow Task Force will be my first serious attempt to create a serial series. I'm currently planning on thirteen episodes (length of each episode is currently up in the air) along with a multi-chapter story. The series will try to balance drama with action, but will mostly be action. There aren't any mechas/zords in this series, but there are the usual cliches of Sentai/Power Rangers as well as additional stuff those shows wouldn't have.

On a side note to a friend who helped brainstorm some ideas with me the other night; Yes, Ralphie. There is a character named Kasumi in the series. Unfortunately, she doesn't have bouncing boobs but I promise to make it a running joke if I can.

Expected Release: Fall 2006

The Keonoke Chronicles (original release)
Summary:
A journeyman family, descended from a long line of shadow warriors, is mercilessly slain by a rising gangster, leaving only a 9-year-old girl alive. Ten years later, the gangster becomes a notorious crimelord and the girl fulfills her destiny to take revenge...

Overview: The Keonoke Chronicles is fleshed out from an older (unfinished – only four chapters) novella I wrote WAY back in 2000, but the reality is that this idea had been floating in my head since my teen years. Now after having tested the fields with some fanfics, I'm pretty much ready to get this on writing. The story follows the journeys of Gillian Keonoke, a orphan who trains in the ancient arts of her ancestors and travels to learn more about her mysterious bloodline as well as to fulfill her desire for revenge. The character was seen in a Power Rangers fanfic called "The Eighth Coin" and was mentioned in a couple other fics as well, including one of the Evilution fics. This might go about 13 episodes too, in additional to another sidestory featuring a former Power Ranger.

Expected Release: Fall 2006... maybe earlier

And speaking of which...

Power Rangers: The Eighth Coin II
Summary:
For the holder of the Eighth Power Coin, life is

Overview: There's good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a sequel to my Eighth Coin story from last year. The bad news is that it's gonna be awhile before it comes out. Story details are minimal at the moment – I'm still working the kinks off the outline – but I can tell you a few details about it. The major focus is on Kimberly (the original Pink Ranger who's still a Ranger at this time) and new girl Gillian (the coinbearer and protagonist of Keonoke Chronicles), although you can expect other Rangers in here too.

Expected Release: TBD 2006

Power Rangers: Earth-1995
Summary:
In an alternate universe, a Ranger legend reflects back on his career. An expanded history of the universe established by the MMPR movie.

Overview: This is, for all intents and purposes, a lookback at various points in history of a universe whose only representation was the MMPR movie. This movie attempts to rectify that by fleshing out that universe's history a bit, expanding to include the MMPR pilot episode as well as the Wraith fanfic I wrote. Some events are exactly the same, while others are completely different. It's also my opportunity to infuse several years worth of ideas into a story that I wouldn't have otherwise bothered to put up with.

Expected Release: TBD 2006

Castlevania: Modern Day Catastrophe
Summary:
Count Dracula is reborn in 1996 and goes after... video game geek Tim Bradley?!

Overview: Yes, kids. It's a sequel to that horrendous WORLDS OF POWER novel! For the uninformed, Worlds of Power is a series of kids novels which adapts fairly popular video games of the time into prose form. Some of these have had various degrees of accuracy; in the case of Castlevania II, the book was so ridiculously bad that most people (myself included) had ridiculed it. Now if a sequel had been written by a fan out there, please let me know... but naturally, I haven't found one and thus have decided to write one. Good news: The sequel will have better writing than the novel (heck, anything's an improvement!). Bad news: The story doesn't follow the established continuity as depicted by recent games... so none of the later characters will appear in any shape or form. However, the good news is that Simon Belmont will make an appearance... might even explain the cliffhanger of the other 'Vania fic on hold.

Expected Release: TBD 2006

Chapter 3: Other People's Stuff

So let's meet the ends. I've talked about my stuff for the majority of this post, now let's talk about other people's stuff. I've picked out six fics (three from FF.Net, three from that Rangerboard place, and a couple other pieces)

Let's look at a couple of fics from that dreaded Rangerboard place:

Ultimate Power Rangers by Ryuranger
UPR is a reboot series; essentially, it wipes the slate clean and rewrites it with a darker slant and more Sentai-inspired storylines. Since this is one of the older series, there's already a shitload of stories to get into with seven "seasons" worth of episodes. While you can read each of these stories individually, they are really meant to be read as one continuous piece.

Now I like this series, but hardly find it to be the masterpiece everyone clamors it to be. Like I said, there are multiple series to read from under the UPR banner, but they all have to be read in order to fully appreciated. Some series are very intriguing and interesting, while others can be a real bore, although this can be attributed to the fact that these series are left unfinished so that the author can progress through his main storyline, which is Tommy versus the dark fellow who pesters him throughout the series. It's a damn shame that, even in this reimagined world, other characters' development are sacrificed for the progressive storyline of the egomaniac Power Ranger and his melodramatic angst. But I digress. UPR is a good story if you can stand the Sentai influence and Tommy worship. I just hope the author gets back to finishing the "unfinished" works before jumping onto the sequel.

On a sidenote, Ryuranger has authored a few other fics, including the great Thunderstrike series.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: A New Interpretation by Tsoldier
As the title suggests, MMPR: ANI is a new interpretation of the original MMPR. While there have been several "reboots" before it, this is one of the few that closely follows (although deviates from) the original series timeline. As I'm writing this, the series is currently running its "Green Ranger" saga and looks to be fairly different from the TV show's "Green With Evil" miniseries and yet still feels somewhat similar.

This is actually pretty good; one of the better re-imaginings I've read thus far. The plots are similar to what you'd see on the TV show, but are different enough that they don't come off as episodic rewrites of a campy show. I do find that the angst is a little overbearing at times and simply depresses me to no end, but it suits the tone of the series quite well. But if there's one thing I need to suggest, though, it would be to change the title. God, it's awful.

MMPR: Season 3 by BobbyDrake2000
Another MMPR reboot, this one wipes the slate from the series' third season and rewrites it to include new characters, a death, movie-style armor and weapons, and some cameos by future PR characters.

Here's my quarrel with this series: as much as I enjoy the humor and wit, I found that it really gets to a point where it diminishes the gravity of a situation. Then again, it would have been a little too dark without it, so it balances it all out. Otherwise, it's a fairly good series with a healthy following. If you wanna follow it, go right ahead and do it.

Now, generally you'd find a couple good fics on a messageboard, but what about FF.Net? Now, I haven't posted any reviews out there because of time constraints and whatnot, although I am getting into the habit of it. Now I've got a few favorites in my profile, so I'll pick out a couple of those and give my take on them.

SOS AKA Save Our Ship by anotherweasley
The Enterprise crew contemplate their fate after getting cancelled by UPN. A direct influence for my own storyline that unceremoniously got dumped by FF.Net and yet this thing is still around (and gets a sequel on top of that?!). It's a funny read the first time around, but as you read it later on, it loses its luster.

An Evil Shade of Pink by sweetgordon
Kim arrives in Reefside, returns to Tommy's life, becomes a Pink Ranger under evil influence, and a reunion of many former Rangers happen. This is a very long story, but there are times when I felt the whole could have been told in about 20 chapters as opposed to the 40+ chapters it makes up. Still, it's a poorly-disguised Tommy/Kim lovefest, which seems to be as common as a cold. Worth reading if you can stand that sort of thing.

Out of Reach/Out of Time by Fateless Wanderer
Two one-shots dealing with a tragedy. Now I'm not too keen on the emotional stuff, but I have to make an exception for this one. It was done in such a realistic fashion that I couldn't help but shed a tear or two – not much has done that so that'll earn you some points. And the sequel is pretty good too. Worthwhile reads that will really touch you.

And um... that's it for this post.

"What?" I hear you screaming. "What about the other fics?"

Oh right. That. Let's get this going then...

When I first browsed the net, there used to be this site called the Power Rangers Online Archive or something similarly named. On the site was some fan-written stories. I think the first one I've read ever was a story called the Clone War, written by Stephanie Moffet (I believe). I thought it was a well-written suspense story, although the stories which followed it were less than great.

Then I stumbled across a couple fics by Brian Rowe called "Return To Evil" and "Green Legacy". These stories show Tommy returning to the dark side of things and the consequences that follow. Other than the overreliance on pop culture references and cussing, they're pretty good reads that I still pull out from time to time. At one point, I had even considered penning a sequel to round out the trilogy, although that would be overdoing it.

So there... I'm done with this post and can move on to other things. Boy, was this sucker long.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Later.