Review: "A Day at the Mall"

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Gulliver63
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Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Gulliver63 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:19 pm

Although I've always been interested in doing a Futurama version of Tron, I first saw this same concept on a tv show around 1974. This story is actually several different ideas slammed together, and thanks have to be given to several different individuals. I actually created the MallStar, the largest shopping mall in the universe, back in 1994 for a GURPS:Space game I wrote. Nuclear Ned's is based on Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati, where you can literally get any grocery item in the world. You'll see gobs of Star Wars homages, and several Dr. Who ones as well (from my favorite episode, "At Warrior's Gate"). As usual, I have to thank Kaspired and my work associate Robert Stewart for their imput and ideas. I also dug out some of my old cyberpunk books for ideas on the anti-virus workings. While it's a fun adventure, I tried to stick with the siliness of the show. So, sit back and enjoy a day of shopping at the biggest mall in the universe.

rated PG for mild violence, and several naughty words.
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"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman

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Re: Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Lisabella » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:46 pm

Downloading for later reading!
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Re: Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Lisabella » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:51 pm

Really good stuff, Gulliver - it's funny, overall, and I really liked how you wove the Tron-themed nods into the narrative!
Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"

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Gulliver63
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Re: Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Gulliver63 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:56 am

Thank you so much...this one in particular was a ton of fun to write. This started as a goofball story with nothing but gags, and then morphed into an adventure story. It was also good to get a big part for Bender - I know that he and Zoidy get the short shrift in my stories. And it's always kind of nice for Fry to come off as somewhat of a hero. That great ending scene with Mom hit me while I was getting a continental breakfast at my hotel in Washington DC; like Zapp Brannigan, she's a great character to write lines for.
"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman

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Just Chris
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Re: Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Just Chris » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:03 pm

Typoes: "garbage shoot" (I guess it could be some sort of pun, but then you say "chute" immediately afterwards); "Xmas" doesn't need a hyphen; in ""What do you think it means?" She asked him", "she" shouldn't be capitalised; same with: ""Do you have any weapons on you?" The human security officer said in a gruff voice"; "Fry stood where Leela told him too" should be "to"; "rap this up" should be "wrap";

"How cute. You'd better get Marcie fixed," Mom demanded, or I'll stick a size 8 boot in her virtual ass."
This paragraph is missing a quotation mark. Same with "In a frazzled voice, she asked, "What do you want?" later (needs a quotation mark at the end).

Also, not a technical problem, but you say "Leela swore under her breath", when what she said was just "little brat", not a swearword. I also have a bit of a problem with "Another beeping sound popped up on the panel" (can a sound do that?).

This is a truly solid offering. The opening, with the characters just hanging out enjoying the surroundings, is exactly like something I'd expect on the show. In fact, the whole thing is. The MallStar makes for a great setting, and the plot is very good. (Granted, I've never seen the original "Tron", so I probably missed a lot of references.) The ending is hilarious and nicely written.

In fact, the whole story is full of brilliant jokes.

Everyone is in character. I particularly like Bender, but no-one's bad. Mom gets a lot of excellent lines. In fact, Mom is just about perfect, and
Spoiler
The little girl is a very good new character: she may be the best of your original characters, or at least among the best. The other original characters aren't particularly deep, but reasonably memorable, and fill their roles well. I love Tewksbury's name.

My only real problem with this story is that the descriptions are sometimes a bit too terse. In some cases they are perfectly good (such as the monster battles, or what happens to Tewksbury at the end), but there are points when there is so little description of the surroundings, it's almost hard to figure out what's going on. (Also, at one point, you have the sentence "Leela held up her wrist thingee defiantly and pointed to it", which makes no sense, since Leela isn't in that scene.)

Also, while I love the drawn-out "Star Wars" joke on the first page, I think it would be funnier if it ended before Fry starts talking about launching torpedoes. That's a very minor nitpick, though.

One of your best fics so far, with a fun plot, a very good use of Mom's character, and plenty of great jokes. Strongly recommended. My score: A-

EDIT: Responding to the post below (I don't like cluttering up fic review threads with lots of responses): the girl's dialogue didn't seem particularly British to me (or American, for that matter). That said, I'm an immigrant, and English isn't my native language. A native Englishman might have a more informed opinion. Either way, it's great that you do your research for this type of thing. Every writer should.
Last edited by Just Chris on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gulliver63
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Re: Review: "A Day at the Mall"

Postby Gulliver63 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:31 pm

Thanks so much for that...I get such a kick out of others enjoying the humor. I think the girl was partially inspired by the computer voice on "Resident Evil," which was also a very thick English accent (and was spooky to a fault). Her avatar was literally the way that the computer would communicate with the characters. I did some homework (watched lots of British television) to try and develop a realistic speech pattern for the girl; I wanted her to use British expressions, and not American ones. I was hoping some of you good folks across the pond would comment on her, good or bad, so I could know how well I did with her. I'm quite an anglophile, and I try to get it right. My favorite scene with her was
Spoiler
"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman


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