Pakled: "Work Is Hard" (Sloth)
Another delight. Such a perfect distillation of the TNG standard. Even the Enterprise sections seemed to feed into the comedy. When you've got Geordi's first line being an entire paragraph of impenetrable technobabble, Worf saying "They have no honour!" about eight times and Troi's hilariously, brilliantly lame "Captain, we have to do something!," how can you not take that as making gentle joshing fun of some of TNG's worst cliches? We've all gotten used to these characters being much more fleshed out thanks to the Lit, but it was great fun to roll that back to when they were pointless and predictable exposition machines. (I just hope all of this was deliberate, or else I've just insulted the author horribly.) I do have to wonder how the Pakled culture can possibly work like that, but that's not Greg Cox's fault - it's "Samaritan Snare"'s.
Hah! I confess that I wasn't deliberately trying to do a parody of TNG, but I did sit down and rewatch lots of old TNG eps before writing that story, so I probably reabsorbed all the old cliches as well! I'm always trying to capture the tone of whatever I'm adapting. Maybe this time I succeeded too well!
Fortunately, it was
supposed to be a humorous story . . . .