Originally Posted by Selrahc
There can only ever be drama if people die?
The conflict here is clear. The Culture want to make things better, but they're in a horrific universe. How much are they willing to bend their morals to coipe with the circumstances? Is this even a problem they can solve? What will they do to materially improve the lot of the people of the galaxy? There doesn't need to be a threat to their physical existence to make that an interesting situation. Thinking that the only way to run a story is if the protagonist is in mortal danger is just reductive.
EDIT: And it's a good point as well, that this is a mostly not-so-serious comic short story fuelled by the juxtaposition of opposing themes.
There can only be drama if something is at stake in any reasonable way.
The Culture doesn't have to bend their morals, and they haven't.
I'm not seeing this "moral" conflict as The Culture has had a dandy answer to ever problem that's shown up so far the moment the problem shows up, with no need for the culture to discuss the issues at hand before acting upon them, nor have they gone into any situation genuinely needing anything from any party but themselves.
That means there's no conflict, because conflict implies struggle.
There is no conflict, in any way. This includes the very means which this was intended to be approached by via "Conversion" in the sense that they are simply answering with brute force the problems that aren't immediately settled within the span of a few days. There is no "Drama" in the sense that there is no conflict for the story to move upon from this position, and it's why I can understand Jseah wouldn't write this for Nanowrimo.
Ergo, there is no drama, in anyway. No compelling movement to the story.
Also, this seriously can't be called a comedy. I'm not seeing a single thing even so much as played for laughs. The ship names are silly, but that's a given of the culture.
What I see is an attempt to write a story about converting a tyrannical monotheological society that imposes not only atrocities beyond measure, but mandates extreme xenophobia, and the races which have caused said Xenophobia to be justified, to a more peaceful and utopian society through means that cause the least harm possible. In a story. There are no moments where so much as a joke is uttered, to call this a comedy is not only fallacious, it also speaks of a complete lack of understanding as to what "Comedy" is in all but the blackest sense of some grand cosmic joke. Revolving around the pitiable nature of man's fears, and I can say that unless you're specifically for that type of comedy, it certainly isn't going to strike any positive notes.
I certainly do not see a comedy here.