Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«79 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Garnish
893 words

One minute into the phone call with her mother, and Sam already had her customary headache.

“You’re what? Picking weed? Jack! Have you heard what your pothead daughter is up to now?” Her mother’s voice, scratchy at the best of times, broke up into incoherent robotic static as her parents had a yelling conversation across their house.

“No, Ma…” Sam rubbed her head—of course she didn’t get it— “There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s not picking, it’s cultivating—”

“Did you leave that Steven?”

“Stefan. No, Ma…” She had sent her mother the engagement notice in January. The app said she had opened it. But her father was the only one of the two who ever talked talk about it with her.

“I just think you can do better than him, that’s all. If you trusted yourself better. Those artists, you know, they’re shiftless, it’s a problem with them. I wish you would have more respect and stand up for yourself…”

Stefan gave her a half-wave of his controller after she hung up. “That go well?” he asked, his eyes still locked on the TV.

“Don’t start, Stef.”

“Is your mom doing well? She’s such a nice woman—”

He dodged the wad of paper that went sailing at his head. “Hey! Watch it, you’re going to get me killed.” He giggled.



As the days grew longer, it seemed to Sam that the sun was exerting a stronger force, as if it was going to pull her to float off into space.

She was crouched over a plant at the edge of the greenhouse, delivering precise cuts with a pair of hand shears. Her supervisor was the next row over, inspecting her last work.

His head appeared over the greens. “Hey, Sam. Can I see you in my office?”

She blinked and bit her lip. Then she took off her gloves and followed him back to towards the entrance. Heads looked up and followed them back to the office. Her supervisor shut the door behind them.

“What is it, Brian? Did I miss something?”

“No… we’re coming up on the stretch, though. Cut a bit closer to the stalk.” He waved his arm. “It’s not a big deal. Just look out for it.”

“I will.” Sam was looking out of the window at the forest past the parking lot. She rubbed her arm absently.

“Are you all right, Sam? You seem out of it lately. Am I losing you?”

She looked at him, then. Straight at him. “No.” She blinked. “I don’t think so.”

“Well… try to figure it out, all right?”

He opened the door for her and watched her walk back down the aisle.



“Stefan… I’ve been thinking.”

“Mmph.” She didn’t let up, and he eventually rolled over to look at the clock. “It’s after midnight, Sam.”

“I know.” She turned on the light.

Stefan sighed and sat up. “What’s this about, Sammy?” he said, a note of irritation in his voice.

“About the future… everything. How are things at the firm?”

He looked at her. “It’s fine. I think. See there’s a lot of projects coming in right now, I like one of them especially—it’s really interesting design work we’re doing on their branding and they’re taking a really innovative new approach to the mobile space—”

Stefan droned on and Sam felt her interest waning. She tried not to show it. She failed.

“You’re not listening.” He sounded resigned.

“No. I mean, yes, I mean… I…”

Right now she wanted to get away—just a pause—get away from him—from this apartment—this landlord—this city—get out of the Northwest all together.

She tried to put it into words, but there were none. “I don’t know. I don’t know about being here. What are we really doing—”

“No, what are you doing, Sam? You have a job I thought you liked, for maybe the first time in your life, someplace you can work with your hands, something that’s changing all the time. You told me last week the business was growing and buying new space. You could be manager or something there in a few years. What is it? You getting restless? You want us to pick up and move again? Lose these good paying jobs—give up these friends—and we finally have a group of friends now—I’d have to give away my heirloom tomato plants cause it’s too early to harvest—and for what?”

“I…” Tears stung her eyes, blurred her vision.

“For what?”

She had no answer.

“I’m going back to sleep.”

Sam felt herself plummeting towards the same fate as her mother. A house full of cats, walls covered in embroidered pictures, shouted conversations through the hallways. She was not going to let that happen.

She put a hand on her fiancée’s shoulder. “Stefan.”

He rolled over. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry. I think it’s this wedding. The date coming up. Why don’t we… scale back. I think we can self-fund, you’re great at design, your friends can pitch in, Lacey's studio has a great yard with an amazing view—we don’t need to go to my parents for money. It’s too far for most of the extended family to come out here, anyway.”

He smiled. “I think that’s the best thing you’ve said all week.”

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Submissions for Week CCXCIII: These Sainted Days of Spring are now CLOSED!

Eight people honored their saints with offerings of words, and to them I give thanks. Six--Unfunny Poster, Flesnolk, newtestleper, CascadeBeta, starr, and crabrock--stiffed their patrons and may want to beware of vengeful bees, firefighters, or numismatists for the next little while. CascadeBeta and starr in particular have an immediate concern: if Heaven doesn't strike them down, the may. Only submitting something within two hours can guarantee their safety.

Chili, BeefSupreme, and I will gather in the judge chamber no sooner than Monday evening. Look for results that night if all goes well.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

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

imo

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Interprompt

Poetry is dumb. 100 words or less. Go.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


Poems, Poems, the Musical Fruit
17 syllables

This is my haiku
There are others like it, but
かめはめ波

Lazy Beggar
Dec 9, 2011


I wrote some crits for the Week #290 entries. They come with an obvious caveat. Having read all of these, my shame is deepened because I'm much more aware of the judges' misery and my contribution towards it. I read them blind and tried to randomize the order to minimize the chance I'd know which had got a DM or HM.

Holes
Oh I thought she was a prostitute. The names Jake and Zak are too similar for me. Hmm. So incest RP?
All in all, I didn't hate this. Geneva's got some character and sort of wants something? To be a journalist? No just rich? Recognition? The other two characters aren't much of anything. Buddy seems to be something more, but I'm sure that's just because he's a corrupt mayor trope and I'm reminded of Buddy Cianci which fleshes him out. Some of the writing wasn't overly clear for me. But stuff happened and there was a character. I liked the opening, but was disappointed that she wasn't comparing prostitution with the clergy.

As the Storm Groaned Low
Confusing opening. But sort of makes sense because Bobbi is all confused? But why has the car/tornado carnage caused her husband to be chopped up and not her? Uhm "She sighed, stretched out her legs. I must be in shock." The last part should be dialogue right? Or is it meant to be a thought? "All I want is for you to apologize to us for killing Todd." A thought? I don't think that is how you report inner dialogue. "Gregory did his best to melt the back of Monte’s head with an irate glare." From whose perspective are we seeing things? White noise is meant to be calming. “I’m gonna stick around ‘til they put Monte away, then I’m moving the gently caress out of Kansas.” Who did she say this to? I think the opening needs to be clearer. I didn't enjoy reading this very much. Gregory was like some wailing, angry animal and then stock teenager? I didn't really get much about Monte's character.

Three hours in Riyadh
This had some momentum and a plot. Aslan was a character and I like that something you showed of his character actually mattered later on in the story. I smiled at the wandering Bulgar at the end. I'm not entirely sure Katarina was doing though? She just wanted to slaughter them all? Because Guenther got the antiques she left behind? I don't feel upset having spent time reading this.

The Second City o' a Deid Empire
Instantly the dialogue seems unnecessary. Oh my god there is so much dialogue. I'm sure it is very convincing. The accent. But there's so much of it. "Isa didn’t notice Jimmy open and close his mouth multiple times without uttering a word." If we're in Isa's perspective, how do we get to notice something she didn't? Is that allowed? Dialogue. "Her mum’s laughter was so loud. It stopped her while she suppressed her rage." - what does that mean? If the making GBS threads was going to upset their plan, it might not have been so galling if it hadn't just come out of nowhere. Maybe not the best idea to have a character called Elaine and another called Elaine's maw. "Isa, is this yer problem?" - why would she think that? Not fun to read.

A Dust Mote in Sunlight
I'm struggling with the first section. Shining dully is odd to me. Going back to this "the Rynn’s body", I thought Rynns were a species or something, but Rynn is the name of a character? Ok some conflict between Earthers and Lunars. Something unknown and mysterious to gather. And Petra is hiding something. Giggling makes Voight seem annoying and weird. Right, I found it hard to keep focused on this, but I think that's more on me. Why did Petra kill Rynn? What was Petra all about? I don't get it. Sure a fair bit happens and I have some idea about Petra's character and Voight's. Argia not so much and almost nothing for Rynn. This could be worked into something more clear and coherent. But without really drastically changing the piece, you could have easily got it down to the word limit.

How To Dispose Of A Body At The Bottom Of The World.
"do it hard way." "Porfiro rand after the two" "with body in a place where every " - I'm not looking for errors like these, so could be more. Is "melt water" a technical term? This wasn't terrible despite the mistakes and some questionable prose (e.g. "Porfiro kept trying to make small talk as Silas and Merrill ignored him, or tried too at least since you’re not able to mute the pilot on the headsets they had to wear.") But there was plenty of dark mishaps and it wasn't a chore to read. Some momentum in the plot. The characters weren't much, felt sort of like they were copy-pasted from something like Bill and Ted.

Scrag
"merely service to the Lord." - just your life, mate, that'll be enough. This feels like the start of a story. A lot of the dialogue is just exposition. I think Theo fancies the rugged fisherman, but this isn't really explored. And it seems nice of Brother Jo to organize a package-holiday for Theo, but I don't believe he would do it. But that's because there isn't much characterization, so I'm filling in the gaps with my preconceived ideas of monks. I'm not upset I read this, but it doesn't seem remotely finished. Maybe the point of it is too subtle for me. But one last thing, Theo ends up gaining autonomy right? But has none in the story really? And does nothing to earn it?

<I took a break here and came back with some pasteles de Belem at this point. And more coffee.>

Call-Con 40
Jonathan Black is one degree above John Smith. Is the full name necessary? Am I being petty? It took me out of the story. Ok. There's something at stake. Not a bad opening. Could maybe make the prose better by using stronger words rather than "sat down heavily" which is quite weak. This is a lot of dialogue. Could maybe justify the Colonel giving this prized thing away a bit better. I'm not convinced he would donate it. Ahh. Ok. He's getting paid. Not a very satisfying ending. If JB passed out after stabbing a man to death, I think he'd be a bit more shaken up than he seems to be. It was shame that turned to rage, right? But shame about what? Not being good enough to win the pen? But he had no chance of winning it from what I know from the story. So where'd the shame come from that was so strong? The Colonel didn't seem that bad. Yeah, laughing at someone because there dog has apparently been kidnapped isn't that outlandish. Anyway, I think the rage needs to be earned more and the dog not forgotten. Maybe you could have him go on some Taken revenge adventure to get his dog. Or actually that's more the K. Reeves one. Wick.

Tip Line
After the toe credit whine, I wouldn't have even considered hiring them. What's the boss wowed by that Annie said? If it was worthy of wow, wouldn't it be something worthwhile? Why wouldn't Annie have said this to their boss? Unless it is a lie! Well that was what it was. At least this was quite short. This story would have been a lot more interesting if there was Toys-R-Us drug peddling scheme. I don't know much about the characters other than they want a job. And that the protagonist is pretty dumb.

Monkeyland
So he went from being gulpably nervous to swaggeringly confident awfully fast without any justification for the change. I'm guessing he's pretending to be confident. Yes, the abrupt freeze suggests the confidence doesn't run deep. Is this a criminal act "con" or someone on an interview for a job at a monkey-focused zoo? Oh. I guess I should have waited to ask. But that dump wasn't much fun to read. Are the families a collective and they are one of the parties? Or are the families the only parties interested? And so the families all collectively waited so they could compete with one another? '"If everything worked out accordingly, the diamond should have gone down the pipe just around this bend," he thought distractedly to himself' - is that thought a distraction or actually quite pertinent to his current task? Not a fan of the costume hilarity. I get that the apes are pissed that the ant is being a dick to something that looks like one of their own and that might have been ok. But the osprey? Why? And why a dinosaur other than to revisit your earlier joke? Also, none of the characters are distinct beyond their costumes.

The Covenant
"Doesn’t even have to be the Lord’s Prayer, really. Could be anything." - the transition from olde-timey chat to something more modern is on purpose, right? It isn't. It happened a few times, the dialogue tone shift. "I’m going to light him on fire." Is that just to make it easier to digest than if all the dialogue had been archaic? So they're to summon the devil to kill him. But that doesn't sit well with the God-fearing girls. And the witch. And that the ceremony brought the minister to them, so he was the manifest of the devil? Well anyway, I guess the fact there are things to unpack is good thing. And I enjoyed reading it. Only the few shifts in tone in the dialogue disturbed my reading. There were characters, all though I'm not sure what most of them really wanted. Not sure that matters.

Boat Trouble
I wasn't expecting him to rat on his friend. I'm fatiguing a bit after reading all the others. Spud changes to Sput at one point. "My great grandfather had a set himself from a brother who missed the boat stateside, which my grandfather sold for a small fortune to collectors before he passed, and then my dad took the money when he skipped out." - what? "I let go of a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding. " - it's hard to speak while holding your breath. This was ok to read for me. I don't get the weight of the halfway to Houston framing?

Boomtown, or the Resurrection of Sheriff Dunn
I've read this already in an attempt to unearth the key to TD by reading winning entries. I enjoyed reading it well enough. It had a couple of characters and clear motivation. Although I wonder if anyone would have really thought the plan would work. "Certain chemicals became dangerous if overused." - read that originally as dangerous to the practitioner as in inhaling carcinogens or something like that. But then the bomb made it clear. And maybe that's better because if it was too blatant, the bomb wouldn't be a surprise. I liked how William's response to the corpse was professional and it introduced the gruesome scene clearly.

Promises
"Jaimie looked so much like his brother, and when mind drifted back to that promise he'd made Jeb in that damned trench, he couldn't help but see his old friend reflected in this boy's eyes." - this confuses me. Jaimie looks like his brother, which reminds him of Jeb, who could be his brother or his old friend, and he sees that old friend reflected in Jaimie's eyes because he himself looks like the old friend? Ok so Alfie is looking after his friend's brother. But is he wanting to get back to the States with him or just get J back there? A unit doesn't belong to a staff sergeant? In fact, I think a staff sergeant is in charge of ... never mind. "drug him out" drug isn't the past form of to drag, right? Or any form of that verb? hmmm. It's too small a space for a dead not-dead emotional roller-coaster. But it's not bad.

<There are still 3 more stories.>

There's No Place Like Home
Madness. This was fine to read. But I didn't like it. Especially the quick decline passage. Is Duane meant to be blinded by envy? If that's the angle, I think it needs to be the focus. If it is a literal alien invasion, I think that needs to be more obvious and built up better. Because it just comes out of nowhere as the *cause* of all the bad things in the neighborhood and in Duane's life. I didn't get much from this.

Not a Musical Bone in Their Body
"and yes, Shirley could tell, because she had exceptional eyesight" - oh. "they were greeted by an army of skeleton warriors." - hmm "200 metres from the stage" - eh, I think they're hosed then? '“this crowd is kind of dead.”' - no thanks. '“That’s amazing."' I'm impressed too. "I mean, I guess I’m straying a little bit from simile now, and more towards a completely literal description." - I sighed at this. I don't know what this was. Very least it wasn't the most tiring thing to read. And it's the second last one.

Moonshine
I'm guessing this is a Tartan Noir prompt, so it's whisky in Scotland. "spit out" - spat? Erika started off sounding like a pompous Londoner, "Bit of a fix, I’d say." And then a pompous Londoner spouting some overt Scotticism, "Crivens." To someone trying to suppress a Scottish accent, "Had a look already fore I shook ya awake. I think." Anyway, apparently having dialogue with a convincing accent isn't going to help you. A bit a'Burns, eh? "Still, it wasn’t anything serious." - well, if it isn't serious. "He swung ago, only to meet Ned’s forehead in a righteous headbutt. Bones’ eyes rolled backward. He slumped to the ground. He foot knocked..." - these are just errors right? This was fine. I'm struggling to engage with the entries now. But yeah, I guess it was fine. Not sure what Bones was up to. Or why the police officer was out and about. Someone had seen folk running around naked in the Highlands? Seems unlikely to me. Less likely that anyone out there would have called it in.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Poems are Dumb

So, Poems
What do you know, Poems?
Not a lot, that's what, Poems
That's why you are dumb

Hey, Poems
What do you say, Poems?
Not a word I've heard, Poems
That's why you are dumb

Or could it be
You're really just shy
Hiding in the pages of my notebook
Like teenage angst
Bleeding onto the page
Bleeding, Bleeding
Bleeeeeeeeeeeeding
Because it's the one thing you can do
Freely

Well, Poems
Just go to Hell, Poems!
Die by fire you liar, Poems
Because you are

Effulgent

--By Fumblemouse age 67 and a half

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Lazy Beggar posted:

I wrote some crits for the Week #290 entries. They come with an obvious caveat. Having read all of these, my shame is deepened because I'm much more aware of the judges' misery and my contribution towards it. I read them blind and tried to randomize the order to minimize the chance I'd know which had got a DM or HM.
Thanks!

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Results for Week CCXCIII: These Sainted Days of Spring

Someday, we may look back on this week and feel we were blessed. Maybe. Possibly. No entry was without merit, and none made more than one soul weep in despair. Alas that if the faults were of little weight, so too were the virtues; in the words of the honorable Chili, every single one of these stories was like a spring picnic so overcast that even the ants stayed in the dirt. I can only assume some of your saints heard your prayers for help and threw up their hands, asking, "You want me to make them like that ending? Do I look like God?"

THE WINNER was a contentious question, but the crown ultimately goes to Fumblemouse for his story of a man who puts his heart's voice into a bell. While this piece has very real flaws, it was one of the few to inspire strong partisanship from any judge. Congratulations! Good luck next week!

An HONORABLE MENTION is awarded to flerp for a tale that may have tread familiar thematic ground but did so in a way that touched a cold, black judge heart.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS are hereby bestowed upon Thranguy, the pacing of whose entry--particularly the turbo-rushed ending--was ruinous; and Tyrannosaurus, whose interesting/godawful (depending on whom you ask) narrative experiment couldn't disguise what was, in our estimation, a rather weak story.

THE LOSER: Sorry, Fuschia tude--none of us hated Sam or her conflicted life, but none of us understood how scaling back her wedding was supposed to solve all the problems you'd introduced. Fudging the prompt with a major character who wasn't one of St. Rose's charges was just the cherry on the sundae.

Critiques will take some time, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, Fumblemouse, the prompt bell tolls for thee!

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

If only, THUNDERDOME


In

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Prompt up when I get home from pub quiz. Watch this space.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

I don’t know anything about saints. So, in the spirit of fun, I’m going to try to guess your saint’s patronage based off what you wrote.

Anthony of Padua; patron saint of unnecessary apostrophes in names, spacemen, archaeologists, insects
Something I disliked: This is an interesting story for me to start off with because I like and dislike so many of the same things simultaneously. I think maybe the best way of describing this story is... you're like a figure skater who does a sick loving spin but wobbles on the come down. "He was followed by Pope Celestine VI, then Celestine VII, then Celest’urk I." This is cool and subtle and good. And one of the two mandible inclusions would have been nice but two was overkill, especially so close together. Your opening has some beautiful imagery ("their panels still extended like the tattered wings of angels") but for some reason I had a difficult time figuring out what was important/going on. I think because you cram so much information in there at the same time-- the existence of a mission but not its purpose, a complicated character name, an ominous sounding "age,: a series of fancy adjective+noun sciency items. It takes until mandibles for it be clear that a character isn't human but even then I'm unaware for a bit that Dyz is also a bugperson. Milky eyes could be human -- perhaps make it multiple eyes or something? I dunno. And I didn't like all the apostrophes until we got down to the pope and I realized it was a naming convention and then I was like, oh tight that's cool. There's something you could do to clean all that up but I'm not sure exactly what without doing a really, really deep rearranging. I don't know if "hiding" the fact that they were aliens did you anything. The interesting thing about this story is that they ARE aliens, yeah? Also, the map thing was way unclear. The way you wrote it I was expecting it to be a CD and there to be some silly song -- probably John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads -- that the bugpeople are amazed by, close their eyes, sway to, enjoy, listen, take as Gospel. Let them keep searching for Earth.
Something I liked: ah gently caress poo poo I hosed up my own self-imposed crit format. whatever. see above

Saint Veronica; patron saint of photographers, funerals, teenage pregnancy
Something I disliked: I used a metaphor when I was talking about the last story so maybe I'll do that again here. This was like coming back from study abroad and driving your old car that your brother borrowed while you were gone but little do you know that he took a turn too fast trying to go to Dairy Queen and barely missed a stopsign but absolutely nailed the curb and blew a tire and bent the wheel just enough that even though he replaced the tire there is still some pretty significant problems that you don't discover until you hit 55+ on the highway and the whole car starts to shake and then you hit 60 and the new tire blows. You know what I mean? This is a beautiful opening. I mean, really, most every I look there is this... something infused in your writing. Something engaging. But the sum is not as great as the parts. Helpfully labeled stuff, driving with the handbrake, reheating the casserole, all of this is great individually. But it bogs you down with a lack of agency. And while I enjoyed what I was reading, I could help but think: get to the point already. And then at the end a stranger shows up, I don't know who he is, and suddenly the main character knows this thing but everything has been so unclear and meandering that precisely what she knows isn't... interesting? I guess? I don't know why I should care. Then bam teen pregnancy bam adoption bam suicide bam dead kid-who-is-now-an-adult-I-think bam there's no ending bam I'm spinning out on the highway bam I’m
Something I liked: I don't know. I'm probably being overally harsh. I liked most everything really. Is this Thranguy?

Edward the Confessor; patron saint of office workers, kings, lists, colors,
Something I disliked: You've received the crit before that "thunderdome isn't the place for these kinds of stories" -- specifically from this head judge. Maybe try sticking to a more traditional narrative arc?
Something I liked: Easy to read. Great voice -- quirky and weird but fun. Same with the imagery. Interesting toying around with ideas of importance, kingship, power through a dystopian (?) lens. I loved this, honestly. Fav of the bunch.

Mary Magdalene; patron saint of hairdressers, salon workers, gardeners
Something I disliked: I don't really have anything to say about this without getting tremendously. It was short and sweet.
Something I liked: See above. Good, easy read.

Gottschalk; patron saint of Hungarians, booklovers, dementia
Something I disliked: Man, you corrected yourself two sentences in. “My father left me a gravestone and a box full of books.” Aight, interesting. “It took me a couple of weeks to put the money in my bank account, and then a couple more weeks to finally open the box.” What? This fucks up the thing you literally just set up because now he left you a gravestone, some money, and a box of books. Bad start. Also, this takes too long to really get going in my opinion. We meander for a long time.
Something I liked: Multiple layers which color the story over and over, Hungarian, English, Google translate, the journal, the spoken words, the visual inspection of the father, the memories of the experiences

Agatha; patron saint of bellmakers
Something I disliked: I don't know enough about medieval (?) bellmakers but giving the dude the surname "Bellfounder" feels wrong. Like, amateruishly on the nose and I hate it. But it could be age appropriate and I'm wrong! Regardless, I would have just dropped the whole surname thing. Small poo poo tho and this will probs win
Something I liked: Helluva reveal goddamn powerful poo poo

Barbara; patron saint of sealife, lumberjacks, interior designers
Something I disliked: the coolest part of this whole loving story shows up at the end! The description of the inside, the colorful shell snails, the “he appreciated it, from a professional standpoint,” that’s all really great stuff. You complete the “circle” so to speak really, really well. Connecting the beginning and the ending. This needs more… something in the middle. I don’t know what exactly. But I want more of a personal stake to the story. That’s why your ending hits really well. It gets personal. The whole middle section though is just, like, observation. Rawley isn’t particularly doing anything. He isn’t interacting with anything. He isn’t challenging or changing his world. He needs to be.
Something I liked: loving cool world. Cool creature. I dig it.

Rosa of Lime; patron saint of marijuana, angry mothers, gardners
Something I dislike: Your characters all sound the same. The dialogue isn’t distinct. And you add little thing (he giggled, a note of irritation in his voice) that don’t really fit. Also, Stefan works for a firm? That’s a legit job and a bit of a stretch to be called an “artist.” Real talk, he’d have some fancy title that would be easy to sell to a parent. Money being the root of their problems, of needing it for the wedding, of it indepting her to her parents and that being such a source of anxiety, is revealed way too late. Needs to be foreshadowed (at minimum) early on.
Something I like: Super legit settings. Dude is playing video games while she talks to her mom? Yup. Weird midnight convo in bed? Yup. Weed greenhouse? Cool.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Thunderdome Week CCXCIV: Rush, Rush, Hurry Cybernetic Entity Enter me.

I don't think we've done one of these for a while, and I've certainly never run one, so what could possibly go wrong?

The aim of the game this week is to create an entry for an actual writing competition. The Competition is the James White Award - you can find out more here: http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/enter and here http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/rules and also here http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/advice. It has cash and publication in Interzone as a prize - plus no entry fee, you broke-arse writers, you. The organisers strongly recommend you read, in full, the rules before entering the competition. If you've already published more than 3 short stories or a novel, this comp isn't for you, but you can still enter Thunderdome this week.

The prompt for the competition is Science Fiction, and by the sounds of it, a fairly broad interpretation thereof. So we'll stick with that for Thunderdome: Prompt - SF, broadly.

The word count of the competition is 1-6 thousand words. I'm not, however, going to read that fracking much of your deathless prose because I want to live. For the purposes of this ThunderDome round the word count will be 2000 words - more than enough to enter the comp should you feel it sufficient to tell your tale, and enough to provide the bones of a story if you wish to expand later. This week in TD, however, what you provide must be satisfying unto itself.

Thunderdome will be judged, as normal. After the judgement, we'll set up a thread (mods willing) for entrants to crit, proof or otherwise assist each other. I have no idea how that will work, I'm just saying it seems like a good idea to me right now and I'm happy to spend time making it happen. There has, admittedly, been alcohol in my recent past.

Flash rules will be provided for those who want a kick-start. Just ask in-thread. They are likely to be pretty random, under the circumstances.

There's probably a whole bunch of stuff I haven't considered , and if I've missed something blatant I'll post as quickly as I can with updates. The rules don't seem to disallow what we do here [EDIT: This has been confirmed - stories posted here can be entered]. Stay tuned, and any questions can either come here or to my username at gmail.

One Final Thing: For the Thunderdome judging, I am not requiring a 'traditional' narrative arc (blame Muffin) . Sure, no erotica, nonfiction, poetry, quote tags or other horribleness, but if you want to play with the medium and think you can make it an enjoyable reading experience and win either competition, it won't be held against you. If you think you're skilled enough to ride without training wheels, go you! Just don't be wrong.

'Traditional' story? That's more than fine, too. It's the pleasure of reading your words that you'll be judged on.

Sign-up deadline: Friday, March 23, 11:59pm PST
Submission deadline: Sunday, March 25, 11:59pm PST
External Competition Submission Deadline: Midnight GMT Friday 27 April, 2018 - a whole month away - think of all the procrastination you can do!
Maximum word count: 2000

Judges:
Fimblesmoosh
SteeltoedSneakers
Flerp

Travelling Beyond Thunderdome:
Sebmojo
apophenium
Unfunny Poster
Jay W. Friks
Flesnolk
SurreptitiousMuffin
Benny Profane
ThirdEmperor
Djeser
Uranium Phoenix
Thranguy
Fuubi
Tyrannosaurus
Ironic Twist
cptn_dr
svenkatesh
Obliterati
Yoriuchi
Feedmyleg

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2018 around 08:26

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

in, comme un motherfucker

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

And yeah, thread, let's do it.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


I'm in. Thanks.

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



In on this.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

In with a flash rule please (EDIT: the HOW TO ENTER website says the contest closing date is January 2017. Did they just not update it?)

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2018 around 18:17

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

If only, THUNDERDOME


In, flash rule I guess

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I am In Mr Mouse.

(I'm DQd from entering James White but I'll TD)

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Jay W. Friks posted:

In with a flash rule please (EDIT: the HOW TO ENTER website says the contest closing date is January 2017. Did they just not update it?)

http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/news posted:


This year’s James White Award has opened to submissions.

The competition will accept entries until midnight (GMT) on Friday 27 April, 2018 and the winner will be announced in July 2018 (date to be confirmed).

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Jay W. Friks posted:

In with a flash rule please (EDIT: the HOW TO ENTER website says the contest closing date is January 2017. Did they just not update it?)

I'm guessing that they just missed that date at the bottom from last year - it's correct at the top.

flashrule:
"There a belief that wherever your Ancestors took shape from the sticks and stones that formed them, that's home. "
--Kate Wilhelm

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Flesnolk posted:

In, flash rule I guess

"To light a candle is to cast a shadow"

-Ursula K LeGuin

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

update: The competition confirmed there's no problem with having posted a story here. Yay!

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


I’d like to participate.

Benny Profane
Feb 23, 2012



In.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


In flash rule me please.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

ThirdEmperor posted:

In flash rule me please.

“Were the seeds of next things always there, in the circle of the year, and was that how the world worked its miracles?”

--C J Cherryh

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



[i tut severely about genre fiction until i suffocate underneath my seventeen turtleneck sweaters]

in

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


gently caress it, in and flash rule

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Uranium Phoenix posted:

gently caress it, in and flash rule

"Technology is Darwinian. It spreads. It evolves. It adapts. The most dangerous wipes out the less fit."
-- Nancy Kress

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

In and flash.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Thranguy posted:

In and flash.

“You funny thing! So selfish, so practical. Never mind. I will not ask you to kill me, for you would surely find it an annoying task.”

--Nisi Shawl

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

It's been a while. In, and flash!

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Fuubi posted:

It's been a while. In, and flash!


“When the reasoning mind is forced to confront the impossible again and again, it has no choice but to adapt.”
-- N K Jemisin

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

James White Award posted:

Don't write about :
robots (or computers or monsters) that turn on their creators
time-travelling assassins
virtual reality
dragons
abductions by UFOs
vampires
alien invasions
quests for magical items
god/s as alien/s or alien/s as god/s
ultimate weapons
stories about Elvis Presley, Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein or Jesus
retelling Adam and Eve in space…

oh great so we're not allowed to have FUN what the gently caress is the POINT then uggghhh GAAAHHHH

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

In with a flash, please.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Tyrannosaurus posted:

In with a flash, please.

"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos."
--Mary Shelly

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

here are some opening sentences you can use for your scifi story, free of charge.

The whole world did a collective shudder when we learned that dark matter was actually a tongue.

"The Sun Eaters" cult members photosynthesized as well as other humans--which is to say not at all--but their genetically modified green skin did make them look ironically delicious to vegans.

The fancy-pants number elitists said I was crazy when I told them my plan to steal pi, but when I blasted off with it in the cargohold of my spaceship, leaving only squares in my wake, they had to admit I were smart.

I stared into the octopus tank and suddenly realized that my primitive fingers would no longer do.

The self-driving car worked flawlessly.

The moon is only a third the size of Earth, but twice as sassy, once you get to know it.

The greatest time-prank I ever pulled was bringing all those really big wheels back into the past and convincing people that the penny-farthing was a real thing.

Some people were upset that 3d-printed food tech had stopped at the hot dog, but gosh darn did I love hotdogs!

"I think I'll go into computers," I'd said as a child, and sure some stuff happened in between then and now, but I thought of that particular moment as my AI robot strangled me in a Chuck-E-Cheese.

Matt Damon was trapped on mars AGAIN.

I wanted to be a smoke alarm when I grew up, and as I screamed at the top of my lungs as my fiery spaceship plunged back toward the planet, I marveled at how close I'd come.

"I am sorry Terry, but I cannot have sex with you, as you are gross and meaty and I have perfect robot memory and would have to relive it for an eternity."

A billion years in the future nature had gotten real weird with the evolution, but birds were still jerks.

The worst part about getting my brain transplanted into a shark was that there was this one itch right behind my dorsal fin that was impossible to get.

Dorian Gray's facebook profile picture always made his mom smile, and he just prayed she never got onto tinder.

It wasn't long after the singularity that we were informed we'd gotten doors 100% wrong, and the robots never let us hear the end of it.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



in

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«79 »