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Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


In.

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

And that's signupw closed. Looking forward to seeing up to 33 l'il stories come in. Still seeking co-judges.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Thranguy posted:

Still seeking co-judges.

I got you

Who else is a RAD ENOUGH DUDE to judge???

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



kayfaaAAAAAAABE

gently caress you it's LAST WEEK'S CRITS

Since everyone's stories were actually lovely reddit posts in disguise I have listed the reddit post you actually meant to write with each story.

The most common crime against good writing this week was assuming that the judges are interested or going to bother reading seven hundred words of worldbuilding about genies or mountains or poison or whatever the gently caress. Anyway get your butthandles ready for THE CRITS

BIG SCARY MONSTERS - AND THE CURE

I felt like I was trapped in Poison rear end in a top hat's shop and to be honest if I was stuck there and he/she/they started telling me all about how cool and good they are and how they're super prepared for all these things I'd just start chugging everything that looked vaguely sinister and rubbing my face against the seat cushions to try to find some escape. Some of my co-judges liked this because of the amount of worldbuilding there was but frankly they are idiot babies who poop colors because they ate their crayons. At least your actual prose is above par for Thunderdome, so I was just bored and not actively trying to poison myself to escape having to judge this week.

Your Reddit post is: a post explaining how Batman could beat Goku if he had enough time to prepare

MRENDA - THE PARENT

Alright so I've got this reputation for being all about ACTION and ROBOTS and HORROR because I'm a cool and exciting dude which means I've got to put the pink puffy boxing gloves on when it comes to contemplative realism.

I still didn't like this, and not just because a dragon or two would have improved it. Now, I can't sympathize with being awkward and out of place at a party, because I have a cool rad party every morning before I even get out of bed. But okay, that's a starting point. And for like a thousand words, it doesn't go anywhere from there, it's just that she feels old and is like "wow irresponsible" and at the end she finds out that this woman is also a mom and she's like "wow responsible". She might as well be a ghost (another thing that would have made this story better) because she barely has any effect on the plot.

Your Reddit post is: some e/n rambling about this party you went to last night

SOKOBAN - FIRE & ICE

Don't think I didn't see you trying to dull my reaction to stupid names early on so I'd accept that FIRE and ICE are actual names here. The first paragraph pissed me off enough that it sent me into the rest of your story with a bad mood. Don't spend an entire paragraph repeating the same thing especially when that thing is "oh no bad ". There's other stuff that's sloppy about this but it whizzes by so fast, like diarrhea on a subway wall, that I didn't have a lot of time to be bothered by any individual thing. It's a bunch of strung-together Hollywood moments that happen because it'd be cool to have a chase or a rooftop scene This was dumb fun, but it was also dumb, which was the problem.

Your Reddit post is: a plot synopsis for someone's screenplay posted on r/cyberpunk

THRANGUY - THE THINGS DORA FINCHER DOESN'T WISH FOR

You rear end in a top hat. This is a story structure that shouldn't work. I was getting bored about halfway through because seeing people be smart enough to avoid common pitfalls is cool the first couple times but quickly gets boring. The editorializing from the genie also makes it feel like a big exercise in worldbuilding which I already had one of this week. I'm also just personally tired of genies because the stories they're in are always so mechanical and rules-focused. It's like trying to consume any media about time-travel written in the last thirty years. It's the last two paragraphs that turn this into something I was willing to call the winner this week.

Your reddit post is: What wishes doesn't a genie grant? (self.writingprompts)

ZEBOURGEOISIE - THERE ARE NO ZOMBIES IN THIS STORY

Oh boy.

Number one, your characters are about as three-dimensional and appealing as grease-stained week-old pizza box cardboard. Edward is a poo poo. Not a loveable rear end in a top hat where he teases or a passionate guy who has trouble understanding his partner's feelings. Clara is a generic girlfriend to do the girlfriend things. Their relationship feels like what a fifteen year old who grew up on sitcoms thinks a relationship is like.

Number two, the plot is meandering nonsense. They're walking in a graveyard and get caught by demons and then the demons cackle at them a bit and it turns out they've got to gently caress each other because the demons want to breed humans. It ends with them both laughing in the gently caress Room where they're going to breed so Clara's kids can be sold as pets. Ha ha ha. Freeze frame, roll credits. What was the god drat point? At least I have you, rear end in a top hat Boyfriend. And at least I have you, Girlfriend-Shaped-Human.

Number three, the tone is garbage. I can tell you're trying for something goofy, but then your descriptions of the demons are super basic (purple guy with fangs!!!) and you put slavery and forced sex into goofy comedy story because uhhh you got a boner at that part in Slaughterhouse Five I guess??? You made your story about two people being coerced into sex and then it ends with a sort of goofy mushy ending that makes it seem gross and horrifying and not in the ha ha gross-out way you were going for.

If you're going to jerk off in my face and call it a Thunderdome story, at least put some effort into it.

Your reddit post is: the gestalt of reddit dot com

URANIUM PHOENIX - WE ARE THE FIRST

This is another one of those good ones that made me really upset because everyone else poo poo the bed so hard that a story with no protagonists made it into my top picks. Okay yeah technically "humanity" is the protagonist but they don't have any traits beyond curiosity. There's a better story like this I read told from the PoV of paternalistic aliens trying to kill humanity because they think we're dangerous, and there the aliens had hubris and were defensive about their choices and all this good stuff that wasn't in your story. It was just space feels. Thanks for the space feels.

Your reddit post is: a short story cross-posted to r/fuckyeahscience

PHOBIA - TAP TAP

Great job you wrote a story! Unfortunately this story is so generic that I'm sure I've read it before even though I have no idea what the original thing I read was. You forgot to add anything beyond the stock "ghost gets killer to unwittingly confess" but you know what? It's entirely possible that she could know he was pounding on the door and still have been asleep. Like, I dunno, if he died on the doorstep she might have put two and two together. I hate that I'm poking at plot holes cause that's what loving nerds do but guess what there's nothing else in this story to actually talk about because it's just a ghost story.

Your reddit post is: a bad r/nosleep story

FLERP - I DIDN'T SIGN UP TO BE MARRIED TO A TREE

Woah gently caress someone didn't do a ton of worldbuilding this week?? I have no idea what collective insanity Thunderdome had that made them think word vomit was good this week but hey you had an immunity to that at least. There's this thing I think about a lot and I call it "emotional reality" which is like do I believe that these characters have an emotional world of their own beyond what's immediately happening. It's not something a story needs but in this one you banked like entirely on it and it turned out well. You weren't in any of the judges' first picks because we're all pretty used to loving trees here in Thunderdome but one someone brought it up we were all like "woah hey yeah".

Your reddit post is: this isn't a reddit post good job

CHILI - MATCH

I wanted to like this more than I did because the surreal stuff is great but then there's a whole load of soggy stuff about their relationship. Maybe it adds up to something a bit more in your head but with only the bit that I saw, I couldn't quite figure out what was going on or what they were doing. That's the trouble with surrealism, unless you make the goals clear it's going to end up feeling like a whole bunch of dreamy bullshit. But you did dreamy bullshit well enough to get an HM so good job I guess. You do the ungulate idiot blood queen proud.

Your reddit post is: also not a reddit post

THIRDEMPEROR - THIS TOWN AIN'T BIG ENOUGH

This story is the reason why I'm never going to give you idiots more than five hundred words to work with again. Check it out, there's like one line of worldbuilding and then it's gone before it gets boring. "But Djeser this doesn't have like a conflict and resolution and buh buh buh." It's got an arc, which is all I need. There's a beginning and middle and end and things change and it feels meaningful and realistic.

Your reddit post is: a teenager posting about how they're going to get out of their hometown

SUPER SWEET BEST PAL - A DIVIDE

My eyes literally refused to read this the first time and I'm not making that up for kayfabe. I put them on the page and around the first line they just went whooop and I was staring at my wall instead. I think you know why this one is bad so I won't belabor the point but I do want to point out that I meet the protagonist halfway through the story and the protagonist only does something at the very end. This isn't a bad idea, but you farted this out to keep from failing so whatever.

Your reddit post is: Hey does anyone think this is a good idea for a story? (self.worldbuilding)

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Gorda
Words: 467
Gorda was dry and had been for months. Air conditioning and Andy’s parents were the only memories he held onto. His parents were swept away traversing the first landslide that had cut Gorda off from the world. They were rendezvousing with CalTrans rescue robots when the loose scree gave way and Andy watched them plunge into the ocean. The air conditioning went out some years later when the 8th landslide demolished the Pacific Coast Highway, and the diesel generator died from hunger.

“They want to finish what they started,” Andy’s uncle said when the rescue workers never came. “They want us off this land.” Andy’s family did not own any land, they were staying at the hotel when the first landslide happened, and he and his uncle just never left.

Andy knocked on room 8. It was an upstairs room an old man was in. He drove a chocolate brown MGB with a convertible roof. Loved to drive up and down the 1 on the weekend, but when the rainstorm came he was stuck like everyone else. There was no answer.

Andy’s uncle had devised a contraption using a rolling chair and many extension cords. Andy wheeled the old man to as far towards the edge of the cliff as he could and rolled the chair down the particle board path. The chair toppled over and spilled the old man onto the rocks before he made it over the cliff. Andy hauled the chair back with the extension cords and went back to the hotel. It was hot.

In the lobby, Andy’s uncle slumped over the front desk. He was perspiring. Andy hung key 8 back on the pegboard. In three weeks the pegboard would be full again.

Andy hung key 1 and 2 onto the pegboard and loaded his uncle into the chair.

“I miss them,” his uncle said. Andy nodded.

This time the chair traversed the wooden plank path, avoiding the scattered hotel guests, and pitched over the side of the cliff. Andy hauled the empty chair back up over the lip and prepared to reset the chair. He untied the extension cords and sat in the chair at the top of the ramp and something caught his eye.

A neon green speck appeared around the corner of the highway. It grew until finally Andy could see that it was a bicyclist. The bicyclist was loaded for bear with panniers and rucksack. With a wave and a smile the cyclist ambled by with the slow and steady pace of someone unhindered by worry. After few more minutes the cyclist was gone. He stared back at the empty road from which the person had come. Cheap casters on wood and churning ocean breaking against the rocks swelled in his ears until he could hear nothing else.

Sokoban
Feb 16, 2011


Thranguy posted:

One: Time Is out of Joint


No Time

489 words


One.

I’m dying forwards.

Seven.

Yes, now I know, this is the seventh second and I’m now dying backwards.

Two.

Now I’m in-between seconds; I’m younger by five of them. I remember five seconds of thought in the past and future. I know what I will think next. But my thoughts cha-

Ten.

I die.

Nine.

The bullet retreats – it spins backwards from my forehead, back to death, that dark forest. I don’t think we can make it. I have doubt in of this work, my work. Perhaps it’s best if I die, the experiment will have new data.

Three.

One second intervals of time. One-by-one. Blow-by-blow. Hammering my mind; shaping my thoughts. It’s an odd feeling to know that you knew what you were thinking of in the future, which is behind the past. I can’t grasp at the abstract concepts quick enough before I –

Five.

I change again. They’ve fired the bullet from the gun; I can see it spinning, suspended, unsure of itself, physics kneeling before time. We’ve done it. We’ve broken a fundamental law.

Six.

We are gods now, forever and ever. Endless energy, endless time. No more mistakes, no more death for people. We will make Earth into Elysium and challenge the stars themselves.

Eight.

The bullet is two seconds from my brain; it turns and twists, bites and punches the air with all of its violence. I am not afraid. This will work, it must.

Four.

I hear the click of the trigger, the grimace of my colleague behind his plate-glass. She wears an expression of sorrow. Do not be afraid of killing me Dani. It all serves a purpose; I will live on in the work, in the data.

Zero.

The bullet and smoke and noise all fall back into the barrel of the rifle and the investors and scientists and military advisors all clap. They look on, pleased. We can reverse time. We can do it. I look down: I’ve wet myself and gesture at my crotch, which brings laughs beyond the observation window. I stand up. Something is wrong. There are gasps and looks of horror. We are gods now, what do we have to be afraid of?

I look into the plate-glass. It’s me. My face is young, my hair is young. I have acne I do not remember. My leg breaks on its own; the bone ruptures from my skin and blood flies up in a spray. It stays there, frozen in time. I swallow. I can feel cold sweat build across my brow. I had a car accident when I was a teenager; a bad one. It’s repeating now, slowly, effortlessly. Every break, every scratch, every bruise. One-by-one. Blow-by-blow.

I know now that I am a fool. We are not gods, we will never be. I smile, and let time move forwards, and the phantom car hit me with all its fury.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Thranguy posted:

Word Counts
Two: Between 150 and 250 words.

Prompts
One: Time Is out of Joint

Another Life That Mattered
249 words

He was born in the wrong time, in the wrong place. Another time, another era they might have called him Einstein, though more likely Newton or Tesla since he was slightly off. Never really stood a chance. He was born in Detroit on its last breath. He spent his childhood in old libraries, or pretending like he was in school, though they’d shut down all those places years back. Riots were like static and bird songs to him. Background noise.

He was fourteen when the politicians decided to shut down the power to the whole city. He never saw the talking heads on the news trying to justify it, never understood what it was all about. But when all the light died in the city, he saw it for the first time. The Milky Way, splayed out. He’d never seen it before, never even imagined there were so many stars. After that, all he could think about was all that light.

When the riots erupted again, he didn’t notice; that was just how things were. When the cops came in, APCs roaring, clattering about in plastic armor, he didn’t get out of the way fast enough. Too busy looking up. A microwave gun sent him screaming to the pavement. A cop called him a dirty animal, and launched a tear gas canister into his face.

His father found him the next day, hand still reaching for the stars. But he was in the wrong place, and out of time.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Thranguy posted:

Word Counts
One: 100 words, exactly.

Prompts
Three: Genre Blind Spots

Violation
100 words

There was a worm that burrowed into her synthetic body, and then there was another person intruding, sifting through her thoughts, trying out her body.

To the hacker, she was an abstraction; not real. He enjoyed the thrill, the power. But to her, it was everything.

Long after her autonomy was restored, she found herself looking at her own thoughts, trying to decide if they were hers. She reflexively checked her firewalls. She shined her plastic and chrome finish, air-blasted her circuits clean of dust, but there was grime in her. She lived with it, but it never left her.

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


Thranguy posted:

Word Counts
One: 100 words, exactly.

Prompts
One: Time Is out of Joint

Strobe
100 words

I slosh sideways across the room, lurching between bodies. Somewhere in this sweaty, thumping mess, she’s here.

The floor heaves as the beat builds, I steady myself against a tower of cloth and muscle -

///

Silent slow words erupt like a glacier from the giant’s face. Something hostile, rhetorical. His arm tensed and risi-

///

A fist suspended in light, drifting across the gulf between him and my fa -

///

My teeth and his hand meet in a hot sneer, force rolling out across my lips to my cheek. Then I’m floati -

///

From the ground, I lock eyes with her. She looks away.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


The Man Who Screams at the Sun
100 words, exactly

There's a man who stands on top of a mountain and screams at the sun. His mountain is so high that from where he stands the sun never goes down, so he screams all the time.

In summer he screams among the rocks in a furnace glare. In the winter he screams at a weak, wavering sun through flurries of dry, glittering snow. If he ever had a word it's long gone now; his voice an endless, senseless roar.

Stand in the valley's evening shadow and you can see him high above: a last, golden pinnacle, aflame in the sunlight.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Please include your prompt in your post. If it's too late, then to make another post clarifying your choice would be jolly considerate of you.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Prompt: Time out of joint, 100 words

Slowdown

100 words

The sound came first, loud, screeching. Filling his ears before his mind realized what had happened.

Next, his body, lifting in slowmotion from its seat, defying the laws of gravity, moved up and forward on its own.

A new sound reached his ears, and he looked at his wife floating in the air next to him. Her mouth bellowed, a mask of terror on her face.

His seatbelt strained, and his body came to a stop, suspended in air. His wife, who wore no belt, were not so lucky.

Time regained its regular pace, and his life was changed.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Prompt: Time out of joint, 100 words

Cursed Spite

I told her I was out of time.

She tore away from me, pale and consumed, until she stares with a different face.

I tell her I am out of time and she avoids my gaze, drained and wan, until she will look at me with another face.

I will tell her I am out of time and she will tell me she has heard that story before, from other men so lost to history that she has forgotten all their names.

"Who are you again?" she will ask.

I tell her, as delicious colour poured from her ancient face.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Noah posted:

Gorda
Words: 467


Prompt 3, wordcount 3.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014


Prompt: Slipstream fiction, 350-500 words.

Unformed
491 words

(Yoink!)

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2017 around 20:15

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

prompt: Nonsense, 500 words

Unfumbling

"How goes the armada?" asked the emperor, anticipation twitching his gilded whiskers.

"It does not, my liege, the worms have turned," said the janglemouse, trying to stand quietly but with many bells of office nervously tinkling .

"Traitorous worms," cursed the emperor, angrily nibbling at the aromatic Camembert Throne. "They would deny Us? Bring Us their representative."

The janglemouse produced and jangled a small bell, its tone drowned out by all the other jangling bells along his sleeve. The worm ambassador wriggled under the vast door to the audience chamber and past the assembled mousely court, sweat bubbling beneath his silk and diamond collar.

"Explain!" the emperor demanded. "We have a million fumblemice, clumsy and adorable. They await Our word to depart for the greater glory of Us."

"Well," said the worm, "you see…"

"Who are you to tell Us to see, blindest of worms? The janglemouse has assured Us Our plans are precise to the nunth degree,"

The janglemouse's nervous jangling increased.

"...and yet you worms seek to thwart Us, on this, Our finest hour?"

"Not really us, per se, your Emperoritude, the wormholes…"

"Do not tell Us about wormholes. We know about wormholes. These ingenious tunnels will bend the world to permit instantaneous travel everywhere for Our glorious fumblemice. All will fall before them and say "Squee!" Is that not correct?"

"Well, technically, yes, that's sort of how wormholes work."

"Then," said the emperor, standing amid camembert strands as his wrath grew meltingly hot. "What. Is. The. PROBLEM?"

The worm embassador wriggled uncomfortably, his collar of office uncomfortably damp. "We tried, honestly we did, but we don't have the knack for wormholes. We end up with wormcaves and half-buried fumblemice waving their tails in the air. The problem is, your Empericiousness, we're silkworms, not earthworms."

The emperor stared for a long, long time, then turned to the janglemouse. "There's a difference?"

The janglemouse shringled, "They looked wormy, my Liege. Who knew?"

"This is a disaster!" cried the emperor. "The adorkable antics of a million fumblemice, trapped and wasted." He glared at the janglemouse, who simultaneously withered in size and shook louder and louder until the throne room sounded like christmas. "This is your fault, janglemouse. I will have your bells!"

"Er. Wait a mo," said the ambassador, horrified. "We do have an idea for your empirical evidencement."

The Emperor paused mid-disembelling. "Yeeees?"

"Observe," said the ambassador. He wriggled toward the janglemouse and began to spiral around him, excreting a single gossamer thread as he went. After several hundred revolutions, the janglemouse was finally silent, completely covered in, and muffled by, silken string.

The ambassador sliced through the wrap with one diamond edge of his collar. It fell to the throne room floor, utterly empty of janglemice.

At that moment, the janglemouse burst through the doors of the audience chamber, jangling confusedly in a ringing endorsement of transportational success.

"It's based on silk theory, and eleven-dimensional connective silk vibrations." said the ambassador, but nobody heard him above the applause.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014


Prompt: Time is out of joint, 150-250 words
Eternity in an Hour
208 words

(There was a story here. It's gone now.)

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2017 around 20:20

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

One Last Kiss
(100 words)

Mike was halfway through his latest punch when everything stopped. I moved my head to the right. His face, gnarled with frozen rage, was like a gargoyle’s. After I was done looking, I left.

The world outside was a tableau, bees frozen-winged, cars with grey cotton wool stuck to exhausts. I could feel the trigger inside, a strand of wire holding back the world. A nod could let it go.

I looked, indecisive, at a couple caught mid-kiss. Their eyes were closed on the frozen world. Her hand, tender on his back like a butterfly on a sun-warmed rock.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Thranguy posted:

Word Counts

One: 100 words, exactly. What some call a ‘drabble’, and others less imaginatively call a hundred-word story. (The title doesn’t count, but please don’t go crazy.) It’s a difficult format, in some of the same ways poetry can be difficult but hopefully not as intimidating. It’s also an editing test. I’d advise double-checking your count with the old mark I eyeball.

Prompts

Magic Realism
Homecoming (100 words)

My brother came back from the war a changed man. No one mentioned the hole in his head. A great and terrible gaping maw. You could see straight through him. Still, he smiled. He'd always laughed off misfortune.

The village afforded him every courtesy. They poured him wine and asked about the men he'd killed. I sat in silence.

I'd been sent home a month earlier, but I still remembered the smell of gunpowder and burning fat. I remembered the woman's cries, my brother's laughter.

I stared at the hole. I couldn't bear to tell them I'd killed their hero.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

And that's submissions closed.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



all quiet on the dome front

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

Results

This was, overall, a good week. My biggest disappointment (apart from the one failure, you know who you are) is that nobody wound up choosing the second prompt and, relatedly, that nobody did a full set of three stories. But the stories themselves were strong.

Some weeks the winner is a story that isn't spectacular, but just manages to be a bit better than everything else. Other weeks, like this one, the losing story isn't particularly bad, but just not as good as the others. This week's loss goes to Fuubi's Slowdown, for a piece of prose that might have worked as part of a larger story but didn't quite do enough standing alone. (Which also had a couple of typos, one of which caused it to miss the wordcount, but that wasn't decisive.)

On to the better news. In a week of good stories three stood out as particularly good. Honorable mentions go to Noah's Gorda for its compelling post-apocalyptic weirdness and Fumblemouse's Cursed Spite for finding room to play with language and show emotion in the most constricting format available.

The winning story also was in the 100 word class. It managed to fit a powerful story in a difficult genre into that little box, and even made it look easy at the same time. Congratulations, Bad Seafood: Homecoming has, appropriately enough, brought you back to the Blood Throne!

Thranguy fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2017 around 19:02

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

Crits of Some Very Short Stories

Gorda

Decently atmospheric start, although there are a couple of unpleasant comma splices. Narrative starts getting a bit jarringly disconnected, one sentence to the next, and starts to get downright psychologically detached, so I think that’s being done for effect, to some success.
Not sure which prompt is being aimed for just now, but all in all an interesting piece of postapocalyptica. (Slipstream,maybe?) Initial grade: 6/10

No Time

This one sort of sits there, doing mostly what it set out to do but nothing more. Actually, a little less, because, you know, he obviously survived his car accident and is probably closer to a better hospital this time around, so this overshoot seems more like ‘major inconvenience’ than ‘utter disaster’, which it really needs to be to do the whole ironic scientific hubris ending cliche bit that I’d rather not have see done. On the prose level, it’s competent. I’d want a bit more character development at the expense of losing some of the second-by-second detail, I think. Initial grade: 4/10

Another Life That Mattered

I’d sort of call this one an almost beautiful failure. I like the prose and the ideas, but they’re (the ideas at least) a bit too heavy to fit into the wordcount you’ve picked for them. There’s too much you weren’t able to sell: You imply that the subject was not merely a potential genius but an actual one, so it would have added a lot to at least hint at what it was that he’d discovered. And I’m not sure I quite buy the coexistence of a total abandonment that shutting off the power represented with anyone bothering to do riot policing. The title is a little heavy-handed over-egging of the pudding, too.
Initial grade: 7/10

Violation

So, it’s not that I exactly have a problem with the central idea here, hacking a robot mind as surprise sex at a level somewhere on the metaphor/literal spectrum. But I do have a problem with the fact that you’ve only done the most boring and obvious things possible with that central idea. Also not at all a fan of doing a point-of-view shift in a piece this short (or even in a piece ten times this length.) That section doesn’t add much and the words could have been used to drive in some specifics and make this story as visceral as its subject matter deserves.
Initial grade: 2/10

Strobe

I sort of misread this my first time through, which is a risk you run doing what you’re doing: a deliberately disjoint narrative will have readers filling in the blanks, sometimes incorrectly. Anyhow, you’ve found an interesting approach to drunkenness, action, and confusion, weakened a bit by a character whose only defined traits are sort of unpleasant but not enough so to be interesting.
Good, effective prose, though.
Initial grade: 5/10

The Man Who Screams at the Sun

A pile of pretty words that doesn’t amount to very much. I’m not sure if it’s aiming at Magical Realism or Nonsense, but it doesn’t really succeed as either. There’s no emotional content behind it that I can discern. (I feel like finding five or six words on the subject of why he’s screaming could have done a whole lot to give it one.) Also, mountains don’t work that way, and they don’t not work that way in a manner that’s interesting enough in either of those genre contexts.

Initial grade: 4/10

Slowdown

First off, you’re short a word. And with ‘slowmotion’ just sitting there, too. Also, a ‘were’ for ‘was’ typo in there. This story is sharing some problems with some of the others: these are a fine 100 words. They’d be an efficient, streamlined chunk of prose in service to a larger story. But when they’re all you’ve got, you can’t just be efficient, you can’t just squeeze in as much bare plot into those words and be done. When you’ve got this small of a canvas you’ve got to make room for flourishes, make room for punch.

Also, “And his life was changed” is a waste of words, doing nothing but make the already excessively flat-affected narration even more so.
Initial grade: 3/10

Cursed Spite

This one I liked. Makes good use of all of its words, finding enough space for varied repetition and some good description. I’m not entirely sure exactly what’s going on when you unfold this, but, yeah, there’s enough there to carry over any questions. There’s an emotional core.

Initial grade: 8/10

Unformed

A perfect tense is almost never a good choice for an opening line. Overall, though, pretty good. Feels a bit more New Weird than Slipstream, but sure, genres boundaries are porous. And I think that a second character who does nothing but affirm this guy’s decision, whatever it’s going to be, doesn’t do very much for the story. (Would someone in opposition to the ‘right’ choices do more? Maybe, but can there be someone whose opinion they would care about while still keeping them as alienated as they need to be?

Initial grade: 8/10

Unfumbling

The word for this story is ‘amusing’. Fortunately, it remains so through the entire length. Unfortunately, it never rises much higher, again, over the length of the story. Usually I’m not so much in favor of ending a story with a punchline, but this really could have used a stronger close. It could probably have used a faster pace, with more nonsense-isms per word, possibly attained by assuming the reader is familiar with wormholes and such, but since there’s really not enough plot, structurally, to get to a satisfying story ending you could have done better with some kind of punchline, callback, or reversal to close on rather than everyone’s problems just neatly solving themselves.

Initial grade: 5/10

Eternity in an Hour

Interesting idea, with good use of detail. Doesn’t really conclude, though, and doesn’t even fail to conclude in a thematically appropriate manner. The protagonist seems oddly resigned, not apparently even attempting to unwish her eternity, and also oddly incurious about the nature of the loop, whether it is the entire universe now aware and stuck in a short loop or her and her partner or just her. If it’s just her, does that turn Janet into essentially an automoton? Is there anything to on-rails time-loop Janet to love? A story of this length that raises questions that interesting isn’t bad, although one that was a bit more aware of some of them, did more to address some would have been better.

Initial grade: 6/10

One Last Kiss

A fairly straightforward approach to the timestop piece here, with three well-constructed moments/images and an interesting hint of this being something the protagonist had done and can undo (but, if the title is to be believed, may not?) But does the middle segment do all that much to define the character or move things along? I sort of wish those words had gone to getting a bit deeper into their motivation or reactions to what’s happening.

Initial grade: 7/10

Homecoming

drat. Now this, this is what I’m talking about. There’s just a ton packed into these hundred words, including some extremely deft use of the tools of magic realism to make some old war story tropes feel new. In a longer story you probably couldn’t get away with everything this does-things that are economy of character at this length would be excessive coincidence done longer.

Initial grade: 10/10

Wizgot
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


I'm not sure if this thread is the place to discuss the stories so I would like to apologize beforehand if I'm not following the guidelines.

I would like to know how to interpret the last paragraph of the story Homecoming.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



PROMPT I am reborn and wish to dome.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Wizgot posted:

I'm not sure if this thread is the place to discuss the stories so I would like to apologize beforehand if I'm not following the guidelines.

I would like to know how to interpret the last paragraph of the story Homecoming.

Though generally there isn't a whole lot of discussion in the thread about the stories, there's not really anything wrong with it. If you'd like to actually have a conversation about it though, your best bet will probably be to jump into the IRC. BadSeafood hangs out there a fair bit and would likely be happy to chat with you about his story.

#Thunderdome on SynIRC

also prompt wtf

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Wizgot posted:

I'm not sure if this thread is the place to discuss the stories so I would like to apologize beforehand if I'm not following the guidelines.

I would like to know how to interpret the last paragraph of the story Homecoming.

Generally what I do when I interpret stories is I read the story and then I think about the story. Hope this helps!

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Wizgot posted:

I'm not sure if this thread is the place to discuss the stories so I would like to apologize beforehand if I'm not following the guidelines.

I would like to know how to interpret the last paragraph of the story Homecoming.

I'm not the author, but my read of it is that the narrator shot his brother to stop him from torturing a woman, and he doesn't want to tell anyone both because he doesn't want to be blamed for his brother's (non)death and he doesn't want to disillusion the villagers about his brother's heroism.

It may be that other people read it differently, or that I totally missed Seafood's intentions there. That's especially easy to do with very short stories and magical realism, soooooooo.... Do swing by the IRC channel if you want to chat about that or any other Thunderdome stuff, we are mostly very nice people >:-]

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

i have no prompt and i must dome

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

I'm not the author, but my read of it is that the narrator shot his brother to stop him from torturing a woman, and he doesn't want to tell anyone both because he doesn't want to be blamed for his brother's (non)death and he doesn't want to disillusion the villagers about his brother's heroism.

It may be that other people read it differently, or that I totally missed Seafood's intentions there. That's especially easy to do with very short stories and magical realism, soooooooo.... Do swing by the IRC channel if you want to chat about that or any other Thunderdome stuff, we are mostly very nice people >:-]

im not

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016



yes u are, don't lie

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


steeltoedsneakers posted:

yes u are, don't lie

u suck and r bad and ur farts smell significantly worse than regular farts

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


flerp posted:

u suck and r bad and ur farts smell significantly worse than regular farts

See, flerp's lovely

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Prompt's ready but I'mma gonna wait for the new page to post it because I wasn't loved enough as a child.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


wow

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Everyone shitpost so the blood throne can have the privilege of receiving seafood's backside sometime this week

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqrGEZwZ60E

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


For real though I think this prompt will do better if everything's all on one page so people don't have to flip back and forth a bunch.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

ok

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Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Okay here we go.

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