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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  March 23, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Vickie Tern

Ariel Davidson

I feel a bit strange writing this column. The purpose of this series is to help introduce readers to authors whom they might have missed, and I find it almost impossible to imagine anyone missing Vickie Tern. Before there was a Storysite or Fictionmania, Vickie was already an established name in TG fiction, her stories devoured with relish by those of us who combed the Internet (both the World Wide Web and Usenet) for any TG stories we could possibly find. Finding one of Vickie's stories was always a special treat for me.

Only two of Vickie's stories are archived on Storysite. To read the others (and I think you should!), you'll need to try Fictionmania or Nifty. But the two stories here are gems, and one of them, JayCee, may be the best she has ever written.

Vickie is a marvelous storyteller. Much of her work, including JayCee, is written in the first person, which just about any writer will tell you is a very challenging form. Vickie handles it with a style that demonstrates why it is worth the effort. In this case, she writes it from the point of view of someone other that the transgendered character.

JayCee, the point-of-view character, is a plucky little semi-tom-boy who is enlisted by a mother to help guide the transformation of her son into the daughter she always wanted. JayCee's vivacious personality infuses the story with a delightful energy and charm while the somewhat reluctant feminization of her friend Marion/Marianne provides plenty of transformation content.

Both of Vickie's stories on Storysite date from 1997, making them true TG classics that should not be overlooked by anyone. If you have never read JayCee, read it. If you have read it before, read it again. You won't regret it.

Jennifer Jane Pope        

There are only two Vicki Tern stories currently posted on Storysite and I found both of them an intriguing contrast to some of the offerings that she has posted elsewhere on the net, in that the control exercised by her main female character in each of these tales is more cerebral than physical.

In Flowers a transvestite husband gradually discovers that the neighbours have known about his other self for some time and that his scheming wife has been steadily manipulating behind the scenes in order to give him what she believes he really wants and, more importantly to her, if we read between the lines, give her what she wants. A clever woman and not one to be trifled with, I suspect.

Then, in Jaycee, a much longer offering, the eponymous and youthful heroine is at one and the same time innocent and quite delightfully nasty, as she cunningly wraps her young male protagonists around her decidedly crooked little finger, until she has each and every one of them eating out of her hand, among other places.

Some might think that, for one so young, Jaycee exhibits a rather startling grasp of psychology and she is certainly more than a match for any of the poor lads involved, as well as managing to exert her unholy influence on the mother of one of them, herself somewhat a brick short of a chimney stack, but insight and devilry are best practised from a young age, and an older Jaycee, in a few years time, just doesn't bear thinking about!

There is none of the often stringent physical pressures and bondage I've seen elsewhere in Vicki's work, but the feeling of a young female exerting some sort of revenge on the opposite sex is still very much there for me and the two female Svengalis are as believable as any other characters to be found in TG fiction and a lot more compelling than most.

Vicki Tern writes fluently, with good use of dialogue and her stories move along at a pleasant pace; if I have one criticism, then it would apply mostly to Jaycee, where some of the paragraph lengths had me itching to put my editorial hat on and slice them into two, three and even four smaller sections, but that is possibly a personal taste and probably not totally unconnected with the fact that these poor old eyes were starting to turn inwards after a long day in front of the VDU.

Well worth downloading and reading, if you haven't already done so.

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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