Prolific if inconsistent Fanfic author active on the Net since the middle 1990s. Initially known for the adventures of his wide-ranging Self-Insert character, the interdimensional superspy/adventurer Skysaber, Ornstead has since the middle 2000s become better known for his wildly extreme (and polarizing) fics which liberally mix Author Filibusters with "heroes" who sometimes seem as bad as the villains they fight.
Ornstead first appeared on what was at the time called the Anime Fanfic Mailing List (known as the "FFML"), quickly joined the clique of writers that orbited Gregg "Metroanime" Sharp and participated in the metacontinuities spawned by Sharp's work. He started off mainly writing Ranma ½ fanfic but quickly branched out into into a dozen or more other fandoms, including Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Bubblegum Crisis, Harry Potter and Naruto. He is responsible for some early anime fanfiction which is now considered "classic", and helped codify a number of fanfic tropes. However he is also iconoclastic and thin-skinned, given to rants and Author Tracts, and seems to suffer from a persecution complex which interprets even friendly advice about his writing as the work of a band of haters who seek to drive him from the Internet.
In between Creator Breakdowns, Author Filibusters and Take Thats flung at his presumed tormentors, though, Ornstead has frequently managed to write enjoyable over-the-top fics that are usually well-constructed and entertaining Guilty Pleasures. His later work has tended to be darker and more inclined to venture into Hate Fic territory, and sadly whatever he writes has a tendency to run off the rails after a while and either die or head into seriously dark territory. But before it does, it is very often a fun and entertaining ride, driven by a powerful imagination willing to go all-out to tell a story.
Much of his work can be found on Fanfiction.net under the names Skysaber and Perfect Lionheart, including his most polarizing stories. Earlier works can also be found on the Wayback Machine copy of his page at the defunct Studio Asynjor website.
- Achilles in His Tent: As noted below, Ornstead is known for his frequent "permanent" departures from the Net due to "persecution" from a (possibly mythical) group of haters.
- Alternate Universes: A key element of the "Skysaber" stories, as Skysaber is deployed by the mysterious Agency to universe after universe to address their problems.
- Employed with a vengeance in one of his earliest (and best-known) fics, Mirrors Multiplied.
- Otaku Three, Robot Revolution traipses across at least three, and has an entertaing sequence where forces from the Neon Genesis Evangelion universe that Skysaber turned into a classic Super Robot setting briefly invade a canon Evangelion universe.
- Artist Disillusionment Farewell: Performs one every few years, almost like clockwork.
- Author Appeal: Especially in his later stories, women are easily won over by the hero with either material possessions or simple courtesies, to the point of completely abandoning their previous moral and ethical beliefs to embrace the hero's own.
- In the earlier Skysaber stories, Skysaber has an Unwanted Harem of anime heroines who have fallen for him and who follow him from world to world.
- Author Avatar: "Interdimensional superspy/adventurer Skysaber".
- Author Filibuster: A frequent feature of his stories. They often fill entire chapters and sometimes appear as frequently as every other chapter.
- Bat Signal: Anyone in any universe can request the help of interdimensional superspy/adventurer Skysaber by simply picking up a telephone and telling the dial tone, "An emergency situation has arisen. As of now, xxxx hours, we need the Skysaber." A voice will reply "Acknowledged", and Skysaber will arrive shortly afterward, often via Dynamic Entry. (How those who live in eras and civilizations that lack land-line telephones with dial tones request his help has yet to be explained.)
- The Cameo: His character Skysaber frequently made appearances in other authors' fics during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Creator Breakdown: Ornstead has a history of regarding all criticism, even friendly and constructive advice, as proof that he is being persecuted by a cadre of people who hate his work and are conspiring to suppress his creative freedom. He regularly responds with a Creator Breakdown and a "permanent" departure from the Net. Since he first appeared in the anime fanfic community in the middle 90s, he's left the Internet in a huff at least four times.
- Dead Fic: Unfortunately the vast majority of his work. What makes it worse is that he will often reach an epic length and a moment of major awesome before abandoning a story.
- Dear Negative Reader: Ornstead is infamous for author's notes in which he castigates anyone who has recently upset him by maliciously correcting his grammar or logic. The closer he gets to a Creator Breakdown, the longer and more elaborate these missives become.
- Department of Redundancy Department: He has a tendency to repeat the same thing multiple times with similar but different wording, leading to chapters of 5,000+ words that could easily be 500 or fewer.
- Did Not Do the Research: An occasional and sometimes puzzling fault of his. At times he can demonstrate a remarkable grasp of an obscure or complex subject key to the plot at hand. At other times it seems like he just made up whatever he needed.
- Fixer Sue: A common plot for his Skysaber character, nowhere demonstrated better than Otaku Three, Robot Revolution.
- Fuku Fic: Some of his earliest works include Ranma ½/Sailor Moon crossovers which helped codify this trope.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Skysaber possesses a book which is actually a sophisticated digital communications device allowing The Agency to provide him with any and all information he needs to complete his missions.
- Guilty Pleasure: Whenever he manages to avoid Hate Fic and Did Not Do the Research, Ornstead actually is a very talented worldbuilder. He just can't do characterization or plot worth a damn. Catch him at the right point, though, and his work is still a lot of fun -- for as long as it lasts. The problem is, it rarely lasts.
- Hate Fic: Too many of his stories stray into this territory, particularly Chunin Exam Day and Partially-Kissed Hero.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: A frequent element, particularly in his earlier fics.
- Jumping the Shark: The sadly inevitable fate of most if not all later fics by Ornstead. Those that don't usually end up Dead Fics.
- Love It or Hate It: The generalized summation of reader response to his fics. Sometimes the same fic can produce both responses in the same reader.
- Marty Stu: Skysaber, plain and simple.
- Mutually Fictional: Ornstead has used this trope to invert the Self-Insert trope of Author Avatars knowing everything about the worlds they visit; there's always a Show Within a Show based on his avatar Skysaber in each one, and at least one of the native characters is guaranteed to be a fan.
- Mysterious Employer: The Agency which responds to Bat Signals and dispatches Skysaber to the various universes which need his help. Skysaber himself knows next to nothing about them, but they appear to be a Big Good, and seem to have limitless resources which they can dispense as needed for his missions.
- Physical God: As part of the Myth Arc of the Bet series, Skysaber underwent an apotheosis that turned him from a merely mortal (though polycompetent) adventurer to an actual god.
- Possession Sue: Literally -- in many of his insert fics, particularly the early "Skysaber" epics, Ornstead's Author Avatar would take over the life of a prominent character. A (relatively) recent example would be his 2007 fic My Gilded Life, a Harry Potter fic in which his avatar finds himself inserted into Gilderoy Lockhart and promptly goes about trying to turn him into everything he claims to be.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Very often his protagonists get to define what is "good" and "evil", and get away with horrendous deeds because they are the "heroes".
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Although for the most part Ornstead can actually spell, he doubled down on an early error ("Pheonix Mage") and refused to acknowledge that it was an error.
- Same Face, Different Name: Ornstead did not reveal his identity as Perfect Lionheart until several years after he began Partially Kissed Hero. At that time he explained that his motive for publishing using the Lionheart name was to prove that the alleged cabal of haters whom he believes live to denigrate his work would not find fault with Partially Kissed Hero because the "Skysaber" name wasn't on it. Naturally, Perfect Lionheart's identity was debated strongly in many fora before this announcement (starting shortly after the first chapter was posted), with the two main camps settling out as "Oh, yeah, it's Skysaber" and "Nah, it's a Skysaber tribute band".
- Self-Insert Fic: An early trademark of his work: Ornstead is known for his deliberately over-the-top self-insert character Skysaber, an interdimensional superspy-troubleshooter who was actually apotheosized into a literal god during the course of the notorious late-1990s fanfic cycle called The Bet.
- Show, Don't Tell: A common criticism of his work, for the frequent Author Tracts in particular.
- Show Within a Show: Almost every world to which Skysaber is dispatched already has an insanely popular TV show, movie, oral tradition or other fictional work depicting him.
- Small Name, Big Ego: One way of characterizing his usually-hostile response to any criticism or suggestions made by readers of his stories.
- Sock Puppet: Ornstead, who has long claimed problems with hatemail and other shenanigans from people who do not like his work or style, used a second online identity, "Perfect Lionheart" for over three years starting in 2007 in order to escape them. Lionheart and Skysaber favorited each other on Fanfiction.net, and for several years Lionheart denied claims that he was Skysaber made by readers who found their styles virtually identical.
- Take That: His later works often have a boatload of Take Thats, aimed not only at characters he feels deserve it (whether or not they actually do), but also at any readers whose criticism has annoyed him sufficiently.
- Take That, Critics!: He often will write turns of plot specifically to spite critics or reviewers (and then crow about it in an author's note just to make sure they get the point).
- The "Unicorn In The Garden" Rule: Has been known to violate it to the detriment of the story he's trying to write. In fact, one such story, Shampoo's Revenge, is used as an example on that page.
- Unwanted Harem: Skysaber is followed across the universes by an ever-increasing mob of girls in love with or actually married to him, most of whom actually can act as a support team on his various missions.
- Viewers are Morons: His stories are frequently filled to the brim with the characters explaining everything going on as though the readers were idiots, and multiple Author Filibusters wherein the author waxes long and repetitively about everything going on to the point that there is little actual action to be found. With most of it barely even related to the story itself...
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In Otaku Three, Robot Revolution, when he's dispatched to the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion his avatar Skysaber weaponizes Wrong Genre Savvy in order to reconstruct the Super Robot genre even as it's being deconstructed around him.