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Literature / Mediochre Q Seth Series

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The Mediochre Q Seth series, otherwise "The Mediochreverse" or just "The Mediochre Series" - although that last sounds unfortunate – is an in-progress five-part Urban Fantasy series by Calum P Cameron. He started writing it while in high school, primarily out of boredom, but also out of a desire to see if he could write a story about a unique and powerful Doctor-like individual while having them remain realistically human and fallible.


Also, he really likes dragons.

Charlotte Johnson is an Ordinary High-School Student from the USA whose parents have forced her to move to Edinburgh, Scotland – with predictably resentful results on her part. So far, so normal. Then, one day, she is almost run over by a lorry.

The driver of this lorry is one Professor Doctor Laird Sir Mediochre Quirinius Seth, PhD MusD MSc CBE OBE MIMC VC-Bar – although he prefers just 'Mediochre' or 'Dr Seth' – an eccentric 'dracologist' from the parallel society that has existed for generations hidden from Charlotte’s own world by a government-enforced Masquerade. A society very much like her own, but with a few important differences – most obviously: magic.

The world turns out to be a lot more dangerous and interesting than Charlotte had initially assumed, full of giant dragons, emotionless half-vampires, powerful magic-users (or 'mancers', to use the correct term) and, of course, Mediochre himself, who's never been the same since an accident in his past left him immortal, trapped in a fifteen-year-old body and able to calculate probabilities exactly at the drop of a hat. And those are the people on her side. Or at least, she's pretty sure they are. It's hard to tell, sometimes...


For more information, visit the series's website.

When complete, the series will consist of:

  • The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre (Available now) – in which Charlotte pretty-much forces her way into Mediochre’s ongoing adventure in returning a rare dragon egg to its mother and thwarting the dragon-slaying attempts of an international smuggling ring. But things are never that simple around Mediochre, and it starts to look like there may be a grander conspiracy at work here...
  • Black, White and Shades of Mediochre (Ditto) - in which a mancy-related murder practically on Charlotte's doorstep gives her a way back into the Mantically Aware world and Mediochre's life, just in time for them to get uncomfortably caught up in the increasingly-murky issue of Undead-human relations. Naturally, it soon turns out that something even worse than murder is going down here, and if someone doesn't stop it then the consequences will be world-changing...
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  • Caught Mediochre-Handed - (Also ditto) - in which Maccabeus Fervour's inability to run the country and a risky Batman Gambit by Queen MAB to get rid of him before he starts a war leads to a mass prison escape at the Stygian Secure Unit, leaving Charlotte and Mediochre with a quarantined country and a whole bunch of Unsealed Evils Previously In A Can to deal with while Joseph and Dhampinella become Sealed Good in a Can through the actions of an increasingly paranoid Fervour...
  • Sent into Mediochre-drive
  • Mediochrity

In addition, it has become customary for the author to write a "Christmas Special" short story every December - seemingly working his way through the main party of characters and focusing one story on each. Thus far, these include:

To date, two non-Christmas short stories have also been released:

For those wondering, the name 'Mediochre' is an intentional pun on 'mediocre' – although in-universe, Mediochre insists it’s a shade of red between pale ochre and dark ochre.

The author is a troper, so expect a lot of tropes.

The main series provides examples of:

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     Series as a Whole 

     The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre 
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Freudian Excuse: Maelstrom's hatred of dragons stems from the destruction of his home village.
  • Friendly Enemy: Mediochre and Queen MAB. Lampshaded via Sam and Ralph reference.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Given to Mediochre and Joseph by the tempomancer.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Combined with Megaton Punch by Joseph to snap Mediochre out of it when he goes psycho.
  • Guns Akimbo: One of the SSS thugs.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Oscar and Stephanie abandon their role as Mooks for the SSS in order to help Mediochre stop Maelstrom
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Danny stays behind in the SSS's hideout to buy Mediochre et al the time they need to escape. Subverted when it turns out he was never a hero, and was never planning to sacrifice himself.
  • I Have Your Wife: The SSS try to pull a "we have your many-times-great aunt" on Rowan to make her comply.
  • I Know You Know I Know:
    Mr Antler was not a stupid man. Mediochre knew this. A stupid man would not have noticed that running in with weapons was not Mediochre’s style, and would have assumed that he had foiled the plan once he stopped this. A man of average intelligence would realise that this was probably a distraction or a trap, and so would have killed him straight off rather than risk a renewed attack from within. A clever man would reach the conclusion that Mediochre was deliberately doing something which was not his style in an attempt to surprise his enemies and, having foiled this plot, would assume they had beaten him and would have no reason not to keep him alive to gloat. It took a very clever man to factor in the possibility that Mediochre already knew which of the above three you were, and had tailored his plan to fit. Mediochre knew himself to be a very clever man, and as such he had correctly identified Antler as a clever man.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Kiwi Mashuga, for lulz.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Maelstrom's Blood Iron sword.
  • Ironic Echo: "You have something of mine", and later, " It is all in the wrist!".
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Charlotte is less affronted by Mediochre's leaving than by his inability to use a door like a normal person.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Dhampinella's name is pronounced "Vamp-in-ella".
    Joseph: "Spelt with a D-H, pronounced with a V. Don't ask me why; her parents were weird."
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The relationship of greatest enmity in the book is that between Mediochre and Maelstrom, the man who very nearly killed him centuries ago, directly led to his current condition, and who literally kills Mediochre's favourite animals for a living. Plot-wise, however, Maelstrom is at best a Dragon with an Agenda to Sapphire and Unwitting Pawn of the tempomancer.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: How they get both in and out of the Sapphire Storage Facility.

     Black, White and Shades of Mediochre 
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The necromancer, by binding himself to a body, ensures his eventual death.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Joseph thinks so.
    Humanist: (after getting punched) Resorting to the Neanderthal now, are we?
    Joseph: No. That was pure Homo Sapiens.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Vampires can regenerate their bodies after drinking enough blood. Drinking Mediochre's blood makes it happen all the faster.

     Caught Mediochre-Handed 
  • Adult Fear: The Pied Piper and the Scissorman's targeting of children.
  • Affably Evil Simultaneous Velocity Carnage is just as likely to have a casual conversation with you as she is to kill you. Plus, she actually manages to out-snark Mediochre.
  • Angrish: Carnage descends into it when Mediochre tricks her.
  • Arch-Enemy: Only a year after he finally offed Maelstrom, Mediochre gains another one in Carnage.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Springheel's rapsheet - thirty-three counts of theft, twenty-two of arson, twenty-five of GBH, at least twenty-nine of rape and eleven of murder. And one hundred and seventy-seven counts of property damage, mostly to roofs.
  • Axe-Crazy:
    • Carnage.
    • Springheel.
  • Bald of Evil: Shaven-headed version with Vanadium Steel.
  • Batman Gambit: Queen MAB's plan to turn Mediochre against Fervour by getting him to go Papa Wolf over Aoife - whom he barely even knew beforehand - is pretty impressive, especially considering she wasn't in the country at the time.
  • Be My Valentine: Sort-of inverted. Valentine is sorta romantic on the surface but the real Valentine underneath it all is an asshole.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Mediochre and Joseph. No, it's not what you think. Probably.
  • Big Damn Villains: Mabel Hart saves Mediochre from Vanadium Steel and Springheel Jack saves Rowan, Charlotte and Sam from Thunderbolt Charlie, both by means of murdering the threat.
  • Blatant Lies: Mediochre claims his greatest fear is "lecturers" when asked. Not long after, Carnage is asked where Dhampinella is and decides to answer "Munich."
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Much of Floor Theta, but especially the Scissorman and the Pied Piper.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Piper's children.
  • Break the Haughty: The fate of the Choromancer.
  • Broken Masquerade: Throughout Britain, as the Floor Theta escapees rampage.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The fate of the Choromancer.
  • The Brute: The Choromancer is the biggest and most (physically and mantically) powerful of the villains in the book.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Fervour. Even Rising understands that taking a Dhampir hostage practically counts as assisted suicide.
  • The Caligula: Fervour turns into this post-breakdown.
  • Captain Ersatz: Jonathan Scruff seems to have deliberately modelled himself off Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow from Batman.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Pretty-much by name.
    Rowan gave [Charlotte] a grin more befitting of a feline. From Cheshire.
  • Chrome Champion: Vanadium Steel, eventually. Deconstructed in that it takes extraordinary conscious effort to hold himself together while moving.
  • Colony Drop: The Choromancer wants to destabilise the orbit of the moon.
  • Confusion Fu: Simultaneous Velocity Carnage's main shtick.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Thunderbolt Charlie and Springheel Jack obliterate each other from existence.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Mediochre has to trick Valentine into threatening Charlotte to break his spell. A sort of third-person version of Break Her Heart to Save Her.
  • Curse Cut Short: A mild version from Aoife's mother.
    Mrs Silk: Yes I'm Mrs blo-
  • Damsel in Distress: Aoife, thanks to the Scissorman, and later Charlotte and Edith Bartley, courtesy of the Choromancer.
  • Dance Battler: The Scruffs.

The Christmas specials provide examples of:

     Born to Raise the Sons of Earth (Short Story) 
  • Abnormal Ammo: Up to Eleven. The Depleted Phlebotinum Shells in Joseph's pistol are said to be abnormal even for him.
  • A Day in the Limelight: It focuses on Joseph, rather than Charlotte or Mediochre.
  • Ascended Extra: Mad Lex Gunpowder was mentioned exactly once in The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre. Here, he's much more prominent.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Joseph and Mad Lex Gunpowder spend Christmas Eve and the start of Christmas Day fighting Undead. What's not to love?
  • Awesome Aussie: Mad Lex Gunpowder, Joseph's Mentor, turns out to have been Australian.
  • Bash Brothers: Joseph and Lex.
  • Big Bad: Stormhold Elect, Dreadlord Servant of the Thousand Voices.
  • Bigger Bad: Quite possibly Stormhold's schizophrenia. After all, who else do we know with necromancer powers and a thousand different 'voices' inside them?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literally, with Joseph's pistol. Zig-zagged, however, in that it's not the gun that finally kills Stormhold. Also, of the six bullets, only three are useful and one doesn't even get fired.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: On reflection, Stormhold Elect - or rather, his schizophrenia - quite possibly counts as one given the nature of the necromancer in Black, White and Shades of Mediochre.

     Please to Put a Penny in the Old Man's Hat (Short Story) 
  • Christmas Episode: The second in a row.
  • Evil Redhead: Lark is, at least, a pretty scary and unpleasant one.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Pigeon promises in his letter than Mediochre's gift wasn't stolen - although it may have been bought with money that was "a bit" stolen in the first place.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Exploited by Mediochre. He allows Lark to eat bits of him, to prevent her from hunting down innocent humans for food.
  • Horror Hunger: Whatever Lark is, she seems to be compelled to eat human meat.
  • Hurting Hero: Mediochre's damaged mental state is on full display. He even describes himself as "too introspective" here.
  • Memento Macguffin: Turns out that the cross Mediochre wears around his neck was a gift from Pigeon.
  • Public Domain Character: Mediochre is in London to find Springheel Jack, the famous Urban Legend.
  • Small Steps Hero: This story shows Mediochre to be one.
  • Titled After the Song: Specifically, after a line from "Christmas is Coming", a traditional British Christmas carol.
  • Tragic Keepsake: This is probably why Mediochre is still wearing that cross, many years after Pigeon's death.
  • Victorian London: The entire story is a flashback to the Victorian era. So, naturally, it has to take place in London!

     A Visit from the Yule Goat (Poem) 
  • Bad Santa: The "Saint Nick" turns out to be a goat-like monster using a disguise to sneak into people's houses and plant eggs which will eventually hatch into murderous babies.
  • Enfant Terrible: The Yule goat's species doesn't appear to be sapient enough for true evil, but it does have a life cycle that involves the babies taking the form of the first creature they see and then, uh, disposing of the original.
  • Kill and Replace: Part of the natural life cycle of the titular "Yule goat".

     To You And Your Kin (Short Story) 
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Orcus and Vitus, respectively.
  • Christmas Episode: The third official Mediochreverse "Christmas special".
  • Cool Car: Kind-of subverted. Demetrius owns a classic 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith - but it's almost certainly just for the name.
  • Creepy Child: Dhampinella, aged ten.
  • Dumb Muscle: Orcus. According to Melinoe, he's "dumb as a sack of concrete".
  • Emotionless Girl: Dhampinella, even moreso than usual.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Demetrius vs the Chlodoveches.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As a child, Dhampinella has long hair and a demure Emotionless Girl personality, in contrast to her adult self's Boyish Short Hair and stoic badass personality.
  • Flashback to Catchphrase: The story ends with Dhampinella and Melinoe referring to each other as 'outcast' and 'link' for the first time.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: The Chlodoveches like the half-human Dhampinella even less that they like her father.
  • Last-Name Basis: Demtrius prefers to use his last name (which is all the main book series ever calls him). Turns out, he does have a first name, and it's Albin.
  • Meaningful Name: Melinoe's Viscountess mother is named Erzsébet - also the real name of the historical Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a notoriously blood-obsessed serial killer.
  • Nouveau Riche: Demetrius, in contrast to the more traditional but less smarmy Old Money Chlodovech family.
  • Older Than They Look: Dhampinella was ten years old in 1983, making her somewhat older than Joseph. In fairness, she's not human.
  • Old Money: The Chlodovech family.
  • Opposites Attract/Odd Friendship: Melinoe and Dhampinella, due to being raised by an Old Money crime family and a Nouveau Riche "modern" gangster, respectively.
  • Parental Neglect: Dhampinella and Melinoe bond over their shared experiences of crappy parenting.
  • The Quiet One: Dhampinella was this anyway, but it turns out she was worse as a child. She has exactly one spoken line in the entire story. Oddly, Melinoe is apparently good enough at reading whatever signals Dhampinella does give off to continue the conversation, leading to something like a Newhart Phonecall between two people who are both in the same room.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Demetrius keeps his sunglasses on inside. It's because he intends to set off a light charm if things don't go his way.
  • Teleport Spam: Vitus is so twitchy he can't help doing this. He uses it to his advantage when he fights.
  • Titled After the Song: Named for a line in 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'. The full phrase is "Good tidings we bring/To you and your kin", making this an ironic Complete-the-Quote Title, since the tidings brought between the two families are far from good.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: The Viscountess uses her brother Vitus and her broodchild Orcus as henchmen.
  • Woman Scorned: The Viscountess really does not like her ex-husband.

Other stories provide examples of:

     Trains Run on Time 
  • Muggles Do It Better: In the end, Charlotte manages to foil Winchester St George at the last minute by accusing him of having a bomb (which is almost true) and letting the mantically-unaware security deal with him.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: As referenced by the title. A last-minute platform alteration almost prevents Charlotte from catching up to Winchester St George, while St George himself remains unobstructed by the inefficiencies of the train system.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: The story revolves around preventing an attempted anti-dragon terrorist attack.
  • Western Terrorists: Turns out the Humanist Movement is still producing them. Winchester St George is plotting a terror attack to disrupt a diplomatic event between humans and dragons.

  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Mediochre challenges the Bookwyrm, a creature that hordes stories, to a storytelling competition. He wins by reciting a story he knows the library archive doesn't contain, meaning the creature can't possibly be familiar with it.
  • Brown Note: One of the books in the library can't be read by anyone not pregnant without them losing their sanity. Another one has yet to be translated because the last person who tried to translate it seemingly got absorbed.
  • Deadly Book: Many of the books contained in the library have harmful enchantments, capable of blinding, poisoning, driving to insanity or just killing people who handle them incorrectly.
  • Magical Library: The National Library of Mantically Aware Britain contains both books which reference mancy and books which are themselves enchanted.
  • Mushroom Samba: Bookwyrm venom causes people to hallucinate whatever the Bookwyrm wants them to see.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: It's noted that 'monster' is just the term for a mancy-related pest. The titular Bookwyrm is just a slightly obsessive reading enthusiast who only poses a threat because it doesn't understand the importance of correct book preservation.
  • Punny Name: 'Bookwyrm' is a pun on 'bookworm', as in 'avid reader'. 'Wyrm' is an old word for dragon.

Alternative Title(s): The Good The Bad And The Mediochre, The Mediochreverse, Mediochre Series, Black White And Shades Of Mediochre


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