The Absinthe Heart

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Star Trek DS9 Fanfiction
Title: The Absinthe Heart
Author(s): Seema
Date(s): 2002
Length:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
External Links: Read at the author's website

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The Absinthe Heart is a Star Trek: DS9 story by Seema.

It was nominated for a 2002 ASC Award.

Reactions and Reviews

Seema took two characters, neither of whom I feel particularly sympathetic toward, and yet managed to make me care about them and their interaction. And she did it by showing each of them *exactly* as they are, not a varnished or enhanced version, but with all their flaws on display. Ezri's confusion, her 'little girlness' and bafflement as she's confronted with yet another situation way out of her depth, coupled with Quark's hard-headed business sense, his observations emanating not from a pool of sympathy for his customers or their circumstances, but with only an eye of what's in it for him. I can just see Quark standing there, his shrewd little eyes fixed on the scene unfolding itself before him, not missing a trick, as Ezri sits there staring at her glass in bewilderment, as if it were a clue to her own identity. This bar scene exists in a very particular place and time, and Seema conjurs it up so masterfully. Another thing about this story is how the use of second person POV is done so well it's not even noticeable, and it is the perfect vehicle with which to convey Quark's distancing himself from his observations, from his own feelings, toward both the woman sitting there before him and 'the other one' who is gone and yet far from forgotten. [1]
"The Absinthe Heart" was a lovely Seema story--absolutely lovely. We don't get enough Deep Space Nine fan fiction in my opinion--especially ones not centered in some way on Bashir or Garak. I must admit--for some strange reason I have a fondness for Quark--maybe because it was the first time Trek gave us a Ferengi that wasn't a caricature. Seema has a wonderful way with the second person--it's not at all clunky or pretentious as it can sound when not used skillfully but instead lends lyricism and poignancy. It seems so fitting here when we're following a Quark trying to deny the softer side of his soul. The second person has an intimate sound and yet allows a feeling of distance from a character's emotions. Seema's Ezri is beautifully rendered too--I can really hear her early uncertainly and confusion. "The Absinthe Heart" is a fairly short vignette but that doesn't diminish its power and I remembered it vividly months later. This was one of my very favorite Deep Space Nine stories this year. This is simply beautiful writing in every way. [2]
There really isn't enough Quark fic around, and Seema fills the void in such a unique way with this one. She gets Quark's voice just right, the perfect combination of snark, nostalgia, and Ferengi. She also does a great job at providing a different perspective on the host/symbiont interaction. [3]
In this story, Seema has me sympathizing with Quark and not finding Ezri irritating -- quite an accomplishment! I like the second-person pov, too. [4]
Second person pov is so hard to pull off, and Seema puts it to very good use. She manages to simultaneously pull off an introspective look at Quark, Ezri's hosting troubles, and even a glimpse of Morn's love life. Wonderful look into the bar at DS9. [5]
A touching image of Quark trying to comfort Ezri, although he doesn't know what to say. The second-person perspective works well to show how distant Quark is from his own emotions. Nicely done. [6]

References

  1. Rocky This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story
  2. Rabble Rouser This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story
  3. Sara This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story
  4. Kelly Chambliss This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story
  5. Lori This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story
  6. Ventura33 This is the Digest from 2002 for the Category of: Deep Space Nine General Story