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  • Locked thread
sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

repitch:

twice-sit, sit-inside, inside-head, head-twice. A riddle: there is less as it grows.
Ivy through broken windows, a man sits at a piano; it constructs him.

I played that on ps3 it was pretty good though Joel should probably have picked humanity over his surrogate daughter imo

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

repitch:

twice-sit, sit-inside, inside-head, head-twice. A riddle: there is less as it grows.
Ivy through broken windows, a man sits at a piano; it constructs him.

kinda

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!


sebmojo posted:

I played that on ps3 it was pretty good though Joel should probably have picked humanity over his surrogate daughter imo

jfc

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk



its just a little thing I call having a brain florp

e: flash rule for anyone who wants it, mushroom zombie apocalypse, no zombies

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 23:19 on Apr 10, 2017

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!


thats flarp 2 u

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


The format for these crits is:
-Story
-Prompt/Music: How well did it evoke the music?
-Bottom line: Quick summary, then anything else I feel like ranting about that I didn’t cover.

I wrote most of the crits after doing an anonymous read, then maybe changed a few things based on the noticings of the other judges. I also based some of my comments on how you captured the feel of your music. I don’t actually know how to talk about music, but assume my word-salad rantings are super profound anyways. You should remember to base all your self worth on the

Week #242 – Resonance of Words CRITS

***
Blood and death and all that fun stuff
-Story: The story seems to be going for a mix of humor and a message about purpose. I felt the “arc” of the characters existed, but that was it. The story has a resolution that solves the plot problem, but I felt like the narrator gained nothing and neither did the other characters. I also felt like the hook and title were misleading, and a poor introduction to the rest of the story.
-Prompt/Music: I feel like you saw the word “metal” in the genre and just assumed it had to do with blood, death, and skeletons without actually listening to and capturing the feel of the music. Alternatively, maybe you looked at the title (“Iron Cemetery”). Either way, I felt the story and characters were nothing like the music.
-Bottom line: Evoked feelings of “meh” in me. The story seemed rather pointless.

***
Did he who Made the Lamb Make Thee?
-Story: Immediately, the choice of voice for the tiger hurt this story. It felt too modern and western with the tiger calling everyone “bro.” The story does have a genuinely funny moment where the elephant puts the guy gently in the trashcan. But other than that, it just felt shallow and lazy. It seemed to be trying to emulate a folktale, but the dialogue and description don’t lend themselves to that. And it doesn’t say anything particularly interesting. If the message is “tiger’s can’t escape their nature,” fine, but the “Frog and the Scorpion” was already done. I was left feeling like the story had no point.
-Prompt/Music: This had a lighthearted tone that went fairly well with the music, but again, clashed with the character voices.
-Bottom line: I think this story has potential if it changes the voice and tries to convey a more profound message. It could also be funny with some work.

***
Nourishment and Fuel
-Story: Basically, this story needed to have its length cut in half. The conflict to me was “character deals with depression,” (in the colloquial, not clinical sense). The prose needs some work, as near the start I had to reread twice to make sure I knew what the heck was going on because I was confused as to how the characters related to each other. Some people hate second person, I didn’t mind it here. “His passion for cooking was the same passion he showed for you” is I think the symbol and core of the story, and why it is so important for the narrator to help the other character. The problem is solved by the narrator knowing the other character well enough to find something to motivate them. If you focus on that, I think there’s just a ton of dead weight around it that needs to be pruned.
-Prompt/Music: To me, the music felt like a mix of sorrow and an uplifting, fast beat. I felt like the story captured the former well, and could have captured the latter if we’d seen more of the results of the cook’s change.
-Bottom line: The core of the story is decent enough, but lose the extraneous bits and clean up the prose near the start especially.

***
Sable
-Story: I guess the story is about the ethical choice of peaceful or violent revolution, plus a spin on martyrdom. The big problem I had was the story lacked tension. I wasn’t surprised by the narrator’s choice, and since the conflict was all in the distant past, no characters are in danger. I think the story could have benefited from some context or worldbuilding to make it clear when this is happening and what kind of future resulted (one with problems still, of course). I had a real hard time figuring out the setting. Where and when is it? We have rifles and bayonets, but also surgically implanted gut-bombs and mass surveillance, senators literally wanking themselves to torture (without scandal?). The story also lacked the nuance required of one trying to discuss ethics. Revolutions are messy things, but if you have big-bad evil senators masturbating to torture and the plucky revolutionaries, there’s no tension in the ethical choice the narrator needs to make because it’s obvious. Also, you have the line “that much of a Christian” but no other religious ideas presented, so I wasn’t sure what to make of that.
-Prompt/Music: The music was a somber, chill jazz that makes me think of cities and life and streets. An old guy rambling sort of hits on remembrance, as does the dance scene.
-Bottom line: Again, I think there’s a lot of potential in the story, but it needs to establish a clearer setting, introduce tension to the story, and give some gravitas to the narrator’s choice by perhaps making it difficult, or showing why it might be termed controversial.

***
Behind Closed Doors
-Story: The story is about a dad trying to reconcile with his kid and leave behind the life of crime and drugs he had. He’s already changed at the start of the story because instead of easy money, he’s trying to do the right think, but to an outsider (like his kid) he ends up looking the same because of the fight. I don’t think the conflict is well resolved, and with 1000 words left, I don’t think there’s an excuse for not going farther into it. There’s also the conflict of what-happened-to-the-woman-next-door which is left hanging. I also don’t know why he didn’t just call the cops—presumably, he’s clean these days. Had some nice symbolism and good prose.
-Prompt/Music: The music seemed very chaotic, and the story captured that with the ruckus next door, as well as the tumult of indecision in the narrator.
-Bottom line: The protagonist has already changed at the start of the story, and the plot is just so-so, so the story doesn’t really shine in the conflict/resolution area, which I think is the biggest weakness.

***
Shredding
-Story: The biggest problem with this story was that it wasn’t funny, which it needed to be to succeed. You introduce too late that the narrator is a literal lion. I think evangelical lion could make a fun story, but this didn’t do it for me, because the lion just rambles about music, threatens to eat him, roars, then leaves. I have no idea what the story is about.
-Prompt/Music: Again, this is a story that I felt did not capture the music at all. The prompt explicitly said not to use the words or title of the music, but I’m pretty sure that’s all this went for. Christian rock as a genre goes for an upbeat feeling of inspiration and awe, and none of that is in this story. Instead, you have a spazzy narrator ranting at some dude.
-Bottom line: Needs comedic improvements to work.


***
अतीत से (Out of the Past)
-Story: Crappy hook, I’m bored 5 paragraphs in. The songstress is antagonistic to the guru because ???. Then, you have her sing a song to a kid. The problem is, you didn’t write a song. Try singing what you wrote. I did. Those do not work as lyrics. Basically, she’s just talking to music, which is not singing. The song is also bad. Alright, so in the plot has to do with some ancestor spirit who was turned to stone when her spirit left, and somehow the songstress and guru are connected and when they realize that they reconcile. Except, I don’t know why they were mad at each other to begin with, and at the end I’m left as confused as the villagers. What was the point of the setting, or story? I couldn’t tell. The resolution was empty, since it holds so little meaning to the reader. What’s more, the entire story seemed to lack the same meaning, and had no tension. The prose also needs a lot of work.
-Prompt/Music: The music has a cinematic, upbeat feel, with back-and-forths. I’m pretty sure you just googled the genre and tried to pick a setting that mimicked Hinduism, but the prompt wasn’t “do research on a genre and then write about the words you read about it.” This was another story I felt did not hit the music at all.
-Bottom line: Prose needs work, song needs to be a song, conflict needs to be clear to the reader and so does the resolution.

***
There’s a Little Beauty, Here and There
-Story: This is mostly a story about life, in general. It seems to go without a strong conflict or hook. It’s about the dad and his three kids, with okay characterization and a mix of some good and some confusing descriptions (“taxiing” after mentioning airplanes—we talking a taxi cab or the airplane taxiing on the runway?). Mom abandons the family, but this doesn’t feel very hard hitting. Neither does dad’s death. I was confused somewhat on the chronology and age of characters. How old are they when he dies? All grown up? Then you have “on the third day”—what? I also don’t know what MoMA is. With the end, you have one kid coming to terms with her dad’s death, but I didn’t get enough of her in the beginning. I guess the dad raised them okay. The end.
-Prompt/Music: I was kinda mad when you start out with the dad having a guitar, but in the end the story seemed to match the music.
-Bottom line: I think parts of this story need to be more hard hitting, and you need to clear up some confusing bits.

***
Austrian Acrobatics
-Story: Two agents infiltrate a Russian drug ring or whatever. The point of the story is the action, I think, so I’m going to focus on the action. I didn’t like it. It’s too general in areas, with things like “They exchanged blows, dancing around the animal, throwing their fists and using the goat as a shield from each other's kicks” when what we want to know in an action sequence is the specifics. Use the goat once in a dramatic, memorable way, not a general sense. The action seemed very Hollywood, like when Beatrix ducks under a bunch of mobsters just outside the granary and one of the mobsters shoots another one. It seems contrived, and like it’s only good luck that the protagonist isn’t hit, like James Bond running away from a bunch of evil minions holding AK-47s by the magazine while spraying and all the little poofs land by his feet.
-Prompt/Music: Again, the point of the prompt was not to do loving research. Yes, Google “Zillertal” and you get “Austria” but that is not a good reason for making Austria your setting. The example song itself is upbeat, fast, and light. I guess you tried to capture that with a “cheerful, goofy” partner, but we’re merely told he’s that; we don’t really see him enough to actually get that. His dialogue at the start doesn’t line up with that description either, imo. The only way this lines up with the music is with the goat that takes out Russian mobsters.
-Bottom line: The goat was the true protagonist of your story. Anyways, use specifics with the action and make the character succeed because of their own strengths, not because of the incompetence of the villains.

***
All the Future Behind You
-Story: A cross-dressing old man dances/sings in the park while people record to commemorate his wife, who they don’t understand. This memory of love inspires, according to the narrator, two lovebirds gawking to get closer to each other, I guess. I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator’s voice, in the sense that I didn’t like his pretentiousness; you do establish his character well enough.
-Prompt/Music: The music was upbeat and opera-y. The narrator was very angry as they danced, but I guess over-the-top dramatic emotions and display fit opera and performance.
-Bottom line: I can’t find a ton to say about this. It has a nice message—memories of love inspiring more love—but the story itself doesn’t resonate with me.

***
Violet Fire
-Story: First, cool setting. It’s established well in minimal time. It also quickly uses shortcuts to get the reader to figure out there’s this rite of passage. I felt the siblings and their relationship was done well and felt genuine. The descriptions and visuals the story presents were great, lines like “The sun, when it fell, turned the clouds to opals. Red and gold. Orange and blue. Violet, on an enormous scale” captured the sunset well while also reinforcing the setting. The reversal—of the sibling everyone thought was gone coming home, and the younger one wanting to venture out further—felt a satisfying way to resolve the story, in the way that someone finding an interest they didn’t know they had is both a beginning and an ending, and in the way that people can go separate ways but life still moves on.
-Prompt/Music: Of all the stories, this one nailed the feel of the music. I thought the caves (with their echo-y nature), colors, and surreal/alien feel of the setting matched up perfectly to the didgeridoo.
-Bottom line: Great setting and descriptions, defined characters, and a satisfying resolution.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


In

Pitch: An grandfather tells his grandson what life was like before mycelial network computers and bioprinting came about, and the boy goes on to explores the implications of the technology.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In.

Pitch:

A new resident to a foreign country buys a bag of mushrooms at an outdoor market, not realizing that a psychoactive specimen also made its way into the bag.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Uranium Phoenix posted:

In

Pitch: An grandfather tells his grandson what life was like before mycelial network computers and bioprinting came about, and the boy goes on to explores the implications of the technology.

kinda


Fleta Mcgurn posted:

In.

Pitch:

A new resident to a foreign country buys a bag of mushrooms at an outdoor market, not realizing that a psychoactive specimen also made its way into the bag.

yes

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


writers should not be afraid of thunderdome
THUNDERDOME SHOULD BE AFRAID OF WRITERS


In

Pitch: In a biopunk near future, a pair of youngsters stumble across a fairy ring of mushrooms, tailor-engineered by an unliscenced, underground mycologist, and are swept away to a place hidden in the shadows of their town, at once unfamiliar, dangerous, and tempting.

Avshalom
Feb 14, 2012

by Lowtax


my breasts

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Avshalom posted:

my breasts

Entry noted.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


Avshalom posted:

my breasts

kinda

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

In


Pitch: In the near future two scientists sent to investigate an unusual Near Earth Object discover a mycelic alien life form; one wants to worship it and gain fame; the other wants to destroy it and save humanity.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Thranguy posted:

In

Pitch: In a biopunk near future, a pair of youngsters stumble across a fairy ring of mushrooms, tailor-engineered by an unliscenced, underground mycologist, and are swept away to a place hidden in the shadows of their town, at once unfamiliar, dangerous, and tempting.

kinda


Avshalom posted:

my breasts

yes


Hawklad posted:

In


Pitch: In the near future two scientists sent to investigate an unusual Near Earth Object discover a mycelic alien life form; one wants to worship it and gain fame; the other wants to destroy it and save humanity.

kinda

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


pitch: a mountain in a relationship with a fungal colony that is expanding into its core, threatening to kill it but also they are in love

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


crabrock posted:

pitch: a mountain in a relationship with a fungal colony that is expanding into its core, threatening to kill it but also they are in love

Q before I answer: are you in?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Sitting Here posted:

Q before I answer: are you in?

i thought it was mandatory

Sitting Here posted:

Because someone asked, yes you have to sign up to do a pitch.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


to be fair it's better to expect TDers not to read and be pleasantly surprised

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


crabrock posted:

pitch: a mountain in a relationship with a fungal colony that is expanding into its core, threatening to kill it but also they are in love

yes

You just didn't specify 'in' so i wanted to make sure all the i's were crossed and the t's were dotted

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


oh yeah I'm in I guess

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In

Pitch: A paranoid architect squats in the decrepit wing of a children's hospital he designed. The police try to remove him with disturbing results.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Jay W. Friks posted:

In

Pitch: A paranoid architect squats in the decrepit wing of a children's hospital he designed. The police try to remove him with disturbing results.

yes

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


A now-homeless man is compelled to burrow intricate tunnels deep into the earthquake-shattered rock beneath his city. We found his tunnels, mapped them, and tried to understand him.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006




Grimey Drawer

In

A husband's dreams of his wife, their next morning, and their future together.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


newtestleper posted:

A now-homeless man is compelled to burrow intricate tunnels deep into the earthquake-shattered rock beneath his city. We found his tunnels, mapped them, and tried to understand him.

yes

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


newtestleper posted:

A now-homeless man is compelled to burrow intricate tunnels deep into the earthquake-shattered rock beneath his city. We found his tunnels, mapped them, and tried to understand him.

yes

RandomPauI posted:

In

A husband's dreams of his wife, their next morning, and their future together.

mmmm....no

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006




Grimey Drawer

Revised pitch

A husband works on understanding his marriage in his sleep.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


RandomPauI posted:

Revised pitch

A husband works on understanding his marriage in his sleep.

yes

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


An elderly woman succumbs to paranoid superstition as a fungus that emits hallucinogenic spores slowly takes over her house.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Pitch: In a near future world with basic minimum income and high unemployment, heavily regulated means of allocating resources including private transport, and high wealth for a few individuals an isolated woman must decide if she goes to the effort of travelling the hundred or so miles to be with her father as he dies.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Entenzahn posted:

An elderly woman succumbs to paranoid superstition as a fungus that emits hallucinogenic spores slowly takes over her house.

kinda


Mrenda posted:

Pitch: In a near future world with basic minimum income and high unemployment, heavily regulated means of allocating resources including private transport, and high wealth for a few individuals an isolated woman must decide if she goes to the effort of travelling the hundred or so miles to be with her father as he dies.

yes

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


t h u n d e r d o m e
We can talk about it
Or we could get gully, I'll size up your body
And put some white chalk around it


in & might do a pitch tomorrow idk

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Ceighk posted:

in & might do a pitch tomorrow idk

cool, pitches are just an optional way to get 300 more words

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


The Crits That Time Forgot
Week #25: What They Deserve (Part 1)


“Thunderdome XXV Entry” by supermikhail

There are two main problems I have with this story: chronology and motive. This is the story of how this guy Sherrek quickly gains and loses full dominion over Hynasia, but the beginning makes it look like he’s making a desperate last stand… and is already emperor? My best guess is that he’s already a conqueror who’s about to lose his war, but then he makes a bargain with an enigmatic figure who turns things around for him, and then they both betray each other for some reason. The sequence of events is unclear, and so are the characters’ motives, especially Marshall. I got a chuckle out of there being an entire legion of Marshalls out there, but that doesn’t work as anything other than comedy. Ultimately, this story just raises a whole bunch of questions, but in a way that’s more annoying than intriguing.

“Solve for X” by V for Vegas

This is a much better story. A good sense of pacing and suspense make up for the well-worn subject of the plot. Unfortunately, there are some glaring issues with the punctuation that really should have been smoothed over before submission. Also, the framing device of Trelawney doing noir-ish gestures as he tells the story doesn’t add much. Since it’s mentioned that he’s telling the story to a detective, I’m wondering why that detective never interjected with a question. Trelawney must have one hell of a stage presence.

“Power Lies” by STONE OF MADNESS

No problems here. It’s spooky, it’s atmospheric, the language is on point, and I have just enough context to . As far as I know this is as good as horror gets in a thousand words or so. Read it.

“A Hobson’s Choice” by SC Bracer

Aside from one instance where the author forgot to separate two paragraphs, I can’t think of much technically wrong with this one. It’s just that I feel disappointed at the end. This story doesn’t grab my focus as hard as “Power Lies” did, probably because we’re splitting the difference between the faculty office in the present and the bleacher assault in the past. I never really believed that the faculty would openly rebuke the narrator for telling them about what he saw, and the narrator’s relief in the moment seems short-sighted. There’s no guarantee they’ll do anything or effectively protect him, so I thought he’d still be on the verge of making GBS threads his pants when the meeting ended. I guess he trusts people running schools to do the right thing more than I do.

”An Apocalypse of Peters” by CancerCakes

This story is loving hilarious and I don’t know how much of it the author intended it to be. The dialogue is somehow even cornier and less natural than in the Cixin Liu collection I’m reading, there’s a clumsy reference to Doctor Who and (I think) Lost, and there’s a whole bunch other little touches of dumbassery I lost count of. Then the author pulls the veil from our eyes and reveals an apocalypse that is somehow more ludicrous than the one I imagined from the title. I’m also going to recommend that you read the hell out of it right now. It’s like the Reefer Madness of Thunderdome, unappreciated in its time by a philistine judge who wouldn’t know quality shitposting if it snatched a golden bean off his genitals. Holy poo poo.

“Welcome Back” by Steriletom

Here’s an important lesson you can learn from this story: In a conversation, you really ought to make a new paragraph every time there’s a new speaker. It’s one of those rules that you break only when you know what the hell you’re doing. When Thomas Pynchon did it, it fit the chaotic atmosphere of Against the Day, and even then he only did it once. How is this technique apropos for a ho-hum scene of some schmoes catching up on old times to no apparent effect? I posit that it is not. Whatever Steriletom was hinting at underneath the surface here, he needed to drop a few more hints, and learn to use the enter key while he was at it.

“COLORADO MANEATER” by twinkle cave

I don’t mind phonetic accents and dialect in the dialogue, except when it obscures grammatical and spelling mistakes like it does here. What I do mind is when a story spoils itself. Gasp! The man the introductory paragraphs hinted at committing cannibalism ends up committing cannibalism! The characters are so flat that I’m surprised they don’t turn to tortillas in Packer’s pan. Overall, this strikes me as a story that needs to be expanded beyond the limits of what Thunderdome would allow if it wants to invest a reader into caring when people get turned into trail mix.

“Family Night” by Beezle Bug

Decent, but the unexplained circumstances behind why this guy has to wear a mask and full body suit are distracting.

”Look at you, sport” by GorfZaplen

So many goddamn comma splices, and the way the story is written makes the kid look whiny. I know it’s a harsh thing for me to say, considering he’s that way because of his father being an alcoholic, but the story didn’t sell me on his pain at all. I’m not saying the father’s in the right and his ungrateful family should get off his back or anything, but the situation is a flat facsimile of what should be biting pathos.

Solitair fucked around with this message at 14:26 on Apr 14, 2017

Killer-of-Lawyers
Apr 22, 2008


In.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Just over 12 hours to sign up!

I will also accept pitches and re-pitches for the next 12 hours

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED



Repitch: Symbiotic genetically engineered fungi are now routinely bonded with people to help with life in general; our protagonist's is quirky, and seems to be communicating through dreams

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Uranium Phoenix posted:

Repitch: Symbiotic genetically engineered fungi are now routinely bonded with people to help with life in general; our protagonist's is quirky, and seems to be communicating through dreams

yes

  • Locked thread