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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Thranguy posted:

Also still looking for two more judges.

me please

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


gently caress it i'm IN

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Six Questions About the Death of Greta Mandelbrot
994 words

removed

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 17:05

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Super On-Time Judge Crits: Week 282, Part 1

“Brad Hennessey” by Aesclepia
First impression: This seems fine, albeit unimportant and slight. Not inclined to give it any special treatment, but I’ll see how the other stories go. You work in the opening sentence decently, except for the fact that the narrator’s time-traveling ability slipped his mind somehow. The stuff about guvmint sp00ks monitoring him also seems superfluous, since his concerns for the appointment turn out to be whether his powers are giving him cancer?
Reread: Other than a generalized sense of anxiety and mundanity to contrast with his abilities, there’s not much here to grab onto.

“Vampire’s Night Out” by Exmond
First impression: Alright, I’m up for some cheesy as gently caress urban fantasy. You’re stringing it together with emotions that flow well and are easy for me to understand, even if the set dressing is ridiculous. Then you had to leave some egregious typos in there, like “allright,” and “stuffing there were-Manx”. Still might give this an HM, though.
Reread: So the first time I read this I was being really nice to you because you were making efforts to go outside your comfort zone and try new things, and I got a kick out of the vibe you got where you put trashy Dresden Files urban fantasy with this chick flick pick-me-up thing. You still have a ways to go, though. Fun as it was, the happenstances of the story still have this tropey, unreal quality to them, plus the supernatural aspect of the story is only interesting in conjunction with the relationship drama, and vice versa. That HM I talked about didn't even come close to happening, but I still look forward to seeing where you go from here.

“Letter from a concerned colleague” by Jay W. Friks
First impression: Honestly kind of dull and uninteresting until the ending, where we get a really good answer for what all this is. It’s a good twist, like something I’d see on a better pulp story or SCP Foundation page. Rest of the story unfortunately remains basic. May not be HM.
Reread:

“In the Blood” by Tyrannosaurus
First impression: Excellent except for a few typos. There wasn’t a moment where my mind wandered or I found it difficult to pay attention. First winner candidate.
Reread: Other than the typo in “Do you think God will angry?” or the debatable necessity of the bomb metaphor, I don’t see any problems with this story. The other judges weren’t sure about giving this the win, but I’m glad it did; you deserve it.

“Gobolinks” by apophenium
First impression: Works pretty well with no objective errors, and it feels visceral, but there’s not a whole lot to this story other than visceral self-harm. Possible HM.
Reread: The story does well at explaining the perspective of someone trapped in his own head, essentially fighting himself. Personally, though, I would prefer something more grounded in the outside world, which is the main reason why I pushed T-Rex’s story over yours. It’s also possible that I would better enjoy this one if it had more words to it. Nothing you need to fix; it’s just not entirely for me.

“Hope Springs Eternal” by Yoruichi
First impression: Another potential favorite that’s being held back by creakily-written sentences. Just because the first sentence is creaky doesn’t mean you have to follow suit with the rest of them. But yeah, I dig the frustration inherent with someone who just doesn’t understand what other people want, or who thinks that he has it figured out better than everyone else when the reverse is true. Worldbuilding feels a little shallow, though. Conjuration appears to be the only thing that’s changed about this world. Also, why that ending? Maybe you’re trying to swerve but having him accept his mistake would make it better, I think.
Reread: I take back what I said about the ending. I just finished reading a book that’s all about somebody who doesn’t learn the correct lesson even when it’s staring him in the face, so I can appreciate a story about incurable myopia now. The sentences don’t seem that creaky to me now, either.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


okaaaaaaay i'm in

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Super On-Time Judge Crits: Week 282, Part 2

“Distance” by flerp
First impression: Stiff and dull and nothing happens. I’m not feeling the whimsy in “what if we just KEPT SWIMMING” at all. Potential loss or DM
Reread: This is one of the most nothingburger stories I’ve ever read on Thunderdome.* Neither character is interesting; the guy’s a whiner and the girl’s a manic pixie. What really gets to me is how you have the girl express whimsy. “I think there’d be something out there, you know. Something no one’s ever seen before,” she says, but that’s a particularly stupid variety of magical thinking. Does she think she’s going to swim to Narnia if she tries hard enough? I think I’m the only reader whose suspension of disbelief was broken in this particular way, but the fact that this story ends up being inconsequential farting around, two people going “c’moooooon” at each other, means that nobody disagreed with giving this the loss.

*I have only read a tiny fraction of stories on the archive.

“From Below” by Benny Profane
First impression: First sentence seems surprisingly not-poo poo. Good sense of place and atmosphere. I had to look up what that spoiler-tagged flash rule meant. Win/HM candidate.
Reread: This had the best worldbuilding out of the whole week by a pretty wide margin. Problem is, it reads a lot like the setup for something bigger and better. The Mongoose’s story itself isn’t that great, but when paired with Asa’s thoughts and perspective and what we learn of the world around them all, it becomes something more than the sum of its parts. This story works well as a vignette, but I wouldn’t mind some more of it.

“Beautiful and Terrible As The Dawn” by Thranguy
First impression: Is this like that Netflix movie with the seven sisters? What the gently caress is this world? What the gently caress are these character names? This is borderline bizarro fiction; I get the gist of it and I like the vibe, but I don’t think it functions that well as a story. I’m also confused about the nature of the main character(s). Will they become just one individual or nine separate ones?
Reread: I mean, there’s some interesting ideas in here. I wouldn’t mind reading a flashfic about either a voluntary hivemind like Arsenic Scorpio, or about an advancement that gives anybody the ability to make a nuclear weapon. Those are both interesting premises. When you combine both at once, though, the story loses its focus and it just comes across like you’re throwing poo poo at the wall.

““Waste”” by The Saddest Rhino
First impression: This is hilarious, and not in a good way. Maybe this was intentionally a dumb, tasteless joke, but this reads like you’re trying to lose on purpose. Who am I to deny you that goal?
Reread: Unlike the other judges, I was not tricked into thinking this was a real entry. I smelled some kind of stupid bullshit coming my way almost immediately. Unlike the other judges, I was not privy to whatever the gently caress inside joke you’re referencing here, and I don’t care enough to find out. I wanted to give you the loss at first because this story aggressively wasted my time, but once I knew that was your goal I was willing to settle for a DM, plus flerp’s story was almost as much of a waste by accident. Unless you’re in a prompt where you’re racing to the bottom like Week 295, it takes much more effort to bomb entertainingly, on purpose, than it does to make a good story. Remember this.

“Floodplain” by Sham bam bamina!
First impression: So this is a story about a guy who fucks up, and none of the gestures he does in response can lessen the fact that he hosed up big time, and he just has to live with it. You tease a moment of redemption only to have it slam in his face and cost him even more dearly. I kind of like that, but I think your story’s pretty dry, which does a lot to hold it back.
Reread: Now this guy comes off as a self-pitying whiner, so that’s another strike against it. Mostly it’s just boring, though.

“In Veritas” by sebmojo
First impression: Stupid dragon name. You appear to be trying to hold to a kind of storybook for little kids quality but you shatter it as soon as you have the kid use swear words. Irritating and a waste of time.
Reread: Take note of this passage here:

quote:

“You don’t understand, you loving lizard. I don’t want an apprenticeship, I don’t want to do your bullshit merchant nonsense.”
This is the part where you annihilate the tone that your story had held up until now. If it’s meant to be funny, it’s a weak joke, and I can’t think of another reason that you’d do it on purpose. That’s why this story irritates me so, and I was surprised that my co-judges didn’t think it was a big deal. It’s a bad move and you should feel bad.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!




Ready Prayer One
850 Words

cHAPATER tWELVE

Than Christian found himself nude and floating in the space, his hand scovering his dongle to preserve his modesty from the peepers of the galaxy. He not need have feered, however, as the only eyes beholding him were his lard and savoir, Jeez.

“I am not worthy!” he said, howing to the Lard. “Why has you ruptered me?”

“sALIENCE!” the Lard Jeez sayd. “I hast ruptured thou to participate in the New God Program! I’m retiring next week and I need one of my faithful to take up the mantle of the New God. But there can be only one, so I have made Ark 2: Ecclesiastic Boogaloo, to be your last battlefield. Fear not however! Thou wilt be given powers!”

“Like X-Man?” Christian asked.

“bETTER THAN x-mAN!” Jeez boomed boomingly. “From this day foreword, thou aret a Cross-Man!I have righted the wicked X so it stands proper! Now away with thee, and the ods be aver in thine favor”

Christopher woke up next in a massif bote, the likes of witch hath never been seen by mankind. A floating nation of wood and gilded splinders, he wandered forty days and nights feasting on mana be four he found another sacred soul. They dolt him the tale of how they had been fecimated by dreidelmancers and ramadancers, making him shiversweat about who else had ben ruptured. Whyyyy-eeeee-aiiiii-eee-aaaaaiii had mine sect not been the only chosen?

Oru confusion was mutual and we decided to team up and eliminate the false paths to Jeez even if he brougt them here (who did he think he was anyway(even if he was Jeez(and not acting particularly lardly___ so we brought our battle plans and coordinated our abilities to use our powers but not reveal too much sinec we new we had to fight each other after the hereticks were eliminated. Thus declared our leader Simon and it was good.

The pilgrimage crusade continued anon, wracking up points after points and shooting them up the leader bored. For a time we could actually njoy the holy act of worship games without a worry ‘bout who would win. Siblings in solidarity were we, and the good times lasted but we knew they could not last and at one point we new the times ended.

“What cha eating” said Jude to Matthiew at supper not dinner that was another time get it right please.

“Ummm”

“That dont look lik e mannna t o me bro”

“Ummm”

“Are you gonna confess??” Judes smile gleamed like a sharp thing and it was thin like a sharp thing too. “Or doo you knead… A BOOTH!”

tHE GANG TACLKED mATTHIAS AND HELD HIM DOWN TO GIVE HIM NOOGIES AND INSPCET HIS LAST MEAL.

“jUST AS i THOUGHT! oUR DEAR mATTHIES POSSESSES communion waifs and whine!”

“Gasp!” the congregegation gasped.

“Check his bible!” said a voice I couldn’t see.

And lo did Judas give Mathhew the old patdown, finding a the Good Book, or in this case tHE bAD bOOK (DUN DUN DUN!)

“iT’S THE nEW iNTERNATIONAL vERSION!”

Gasp, the sequel! “tHAT’S EVEN VERSE!” said the crowd. lol

“Neigh!” said a horse I guess. “We have bowed and scraped to you lutheran ar should I say lOOSERAN motherf-

“Quit!” his fellow papist shooshed. “Jeez will frown on you if you say the naughty word.”

“Oh quite right old chap,” she whinnied. “Let’s just killl them.”

And this becan the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny. Power unleashed everywhere, with holy water torrents blasting people down like firehose, burning kaballah bushes incinerating fools, plaques of locusts devouring teeth, naughty spanking scantily clad nuns, tulpas of the most sacred mascot, Saint Sonic, and one man taking golden plates as seen in the Book of Norman and whizzing them about like shoorikin.

Power corrupts and abolute power corrpts absolutely and soon our battle cracked the firmament and browught in the rush of water from below the Ark 2 and those of us who once fought started to drown. Christina was blind, but now she saw.

But if I can't swim after 40 days
And my mind is crushed
By the crashing waves
Lift me up so high
That I cannot fall
Lift me up


“Woe! Oh woe! Our pride caused us to destroy the unity of those who worship lard or whatever! Now please, save us!”

Lift me up when I'm falling

“Save us!” cried the survivors clinging to an aisleland of wood on top other wood.

Lift me up I'm weak and I'm dying

“Save us!” cried the other groups on the jumbotron who coulnd’t beeleeve what the other accursed idiots had wrought on the holy land.

Lift me up I need you to hold me

“Save them!” cried the authro who besseched the kind generous and uncynical forums of something awful to come up with a better ending

Lift me up and keep me from drowning again

And then Chris woke up. He blunk and rubbed eyes holding head like cracking egg.

“Aw man, that’s the last time I eat a food before bed!” Wacka Wacka! Everypony laughed.

THEEND

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Interprompt

So making live-action movies out of anime is all the rage these days, right? They're beloved by audiences and critics alike, obviously.

Well there's this anime where people have superpowers based on their fetishes...

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Super on Time Judge Crits for Week 284 (Leonard Cohen week)
“Yellow Light” by sparksbloom
Holy poo poo, Leonard’s voice actually sounds good in this one. Story’s pretty good, too. I like the touch that this isolated life has kept the narrator so stunted that even though they’re dissatisfied with their job, they can’t imagine anything better, and they just make the smallest change in the end. It’s subtly wrong, and fits well together. It may or may not be Kafkaesque; I haven’t read enough Kafka to actually tell, but this seems like it’s close enough without being completely beholden to that attitude. 7/10.

“Fleeting Moments of Comfort” by Exmond
You’re getting better. Still pulpy, but that’s what you like, and it’s working out to be a more functional story, an actual store as opposed to a cardboard front with the word “STOR” painted on the side. Still got some typos here and there, though, especially when the narrator recounts the first thing said to him. I don’t think that was how he phrased it, like he was quoting someone else. More typos. Okay, I guess it’s not actually pulp because you’re focusing on this woman’s emotional distress. Good job overall. This isn’t getting an HM or winning, but I don’t want it to DM or lose, not unless everything else this week is a gem. 5/10.

“Three Days” by flerp
First story so far to tie in to the imagery of the song so explicitly, possibly because it’s the first featured song to have tangible, physical details. Your sentences so far are short, and it’s having a positive effect on the story that I can’t quite put my finger on. You used “costed” instead of “cost,” which is either a regional choice or a mistake. This is a well-executed mood piece about dying love, I think, with some ambiguity about the days counted in scars mixed in. Not my thing per se, but still a contender. 7/10.

“A Choice” by Guiness13
Competent, but nothing I haven’t seen before. Aside from a few pretty phrases here and there this is a pretty plain story to read. I can’t say I knew where this was going, but that’s only because I’m distracted and in a hurry right now. Not bad, but not that good either, and considering the cool song you got that’s a shame in its own right. 6/10.

“Obsidian Rain” by CascadeBeta
The whole Ashwalker thing you came up with could be an interesting idea in another context, but here there’s not a whole lot to go on. I don’t know and didn’t gleam anything about this world other than that some guys are part lava and can control obsidian through magic. I don’t know what Cyn was doing or why those other people were beating him. This plays like a sliver of a whole, much like that other story I liked a couple weeks ago, but that story drew a convincing world and you stopped with one superpower. Some might disagree with me, but you should have taken better advantage of the wordcount limit. Also, no idea how this ties in with the song you got. 3/10.

“The Porter” by Crain
Okay, starting out very literally from the first sentence. “Another slice of Turkey” oh I get it hahahahaha. This story comes off like it’s trying to be a joke; not a comedy, but like the author is having a laugh at/with Thunderdome (but you’re new here so I doubt that’s true). I don’t usually like stories like that. But I can’t be sure. Reading through your story a second time now just so I can understand what happened in it. The “out. Side. Outside.” thing isn’t funny and doesn’t really match the tone of the rest of the story, much like the Turkey thing above. Was the Turkey thing even intentional? I know you meant to use a lyric from the song at the end, which is right up the nose. This was an annoying one. 2/10.

“By Nature” by Sitting Here
This song sounds like there are twanging rubber bands in the background. Not one of his best afaik. The attached story is better. See, CascadeBeta, this is how you use your words to make me believe I’m seeing another world. It feels like if Neil Gaiman tried his hand at writing a constructed world fantasy like that Ken Liu book I read once. It’s interesting how this trickster god is trying to grapple with his own nature once it starts actively getting in the way of what he wants from life. I’d like to see more of him, not that this will ever be a guarantee in Thunderdome. As this stands, I don’t think I’ll give it the win, but it’ll probably HM. 8/10.

“Spirit of Ceremony” by Jay W. Friks
Oh, I know this song. I forgot I listened to the Songs of Leonard Cohen album a few years back. Good times. Anyway, two comma splices in the first two paragraphs isn’t a good sign. Much like Exmond, your ability to proofread your stories needs work, but also like Exmond you had a pretty good idea that you should definitely revise and tinker with at some point. Maybe immerse us deeper into the work of morticians if you want to add more flavor? You have a good start with that paragraph on body preparation; maybe there’s room to expand on it. I think you have the better concept this week but Exmond has better prose. 6/10.

“Solstice” by Djeser
So this reminds me of that one Philip Seymour Hoffman movie, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, and that’s not a bad thing even though they’re not that similar beyond someone killing a family member in a hospital. Good job focusing on the ambivalent, shameful emotions that the main character feels in this situation instead of the obvious, expected outpouring of grief. I mean, this is kind of obvious in its own way, but if there’s a more ingenious way to handle the comatose/dead family member event I haven’t thought of it. 7/10.

“The Sisters” by Fleta McGurn
I think I have a soft spot for relationships like this, that are abrasive on the surface but tender otherwise. “Baby bird noises of strangled delight” is a nice phrase. Wait, no, the relationship actually is that abrasive and I only thought it was tender. Nice. What a bummer. Sometimes things don’t work out and it’s so disappointing. I can relate, and this might be a bit too real for me. Better cut myself off now before I get personal. 8/10.

“A Newcomer’s Guide to Afanasi” by Antivehicular
drat this song’s good. The situation you describe sounds too good to be true. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never does, at least not explicitly. I don’t have a problem with this, having thought the same thing about the setting of Terra Ignota for similar reasons, but Terra Ignota has a plot and conflict. This doesn’t, and thus I can’t exactly call it a story, now can I? If I’m going to voluntarily read a piece where nothing happens, it’ll probably be an impression of a mood and a moment, and that mood will probably be negative. You write that everything in Afanasi is great(?), and I think “Okay? So?” 5/10.

“A Scarf’s Life” by sandnavyguy
I like it. Flows well, touches on a bunch of clear sentiments, doesn’t waste time, neat premise. In terms of downsides, the situations depicted in the scarf’s life lean on the melodramatic side, and they’d be so much less interesting if they weren’t linked by the framing device of being framed in terms of an inanimate object. I also think that being able to read the thoughts of the orphan who imagines stuff about the scarf is a misstep; I liked not being able to read the thoughts of the scarf’s previous owners, having to imagine what they thought of it and of their own lives, but you couldn’t sustain it the whole way through. 7/10.

“The Hated Enemy” by Uranium Phoenix
I’m noticing that the conflation of love and espionage is a running theme in Leonard Cohen songs. Another good worldbuilding piece in service of an old plot. This one I actually did predict as I was reading it. Despite that, the names used are interesting, and I’d like to know what the logic behind them is. I’m mildly curious about why there’s a place called Tangshan in the Americas. 6/10.

“With Apologies to Some Guy in Montreal” by Sham bam bamina!
Okay gently caress off guy for blaming everybody else when you’re dumb enough to spend all of your savings on lottery tickets. Good job provoking that visceral reaction out of me. You’re starting to win me back now that you’re making GBS threads on jazz, though. Piano guy hogging the spotlight is kind of tapping in to why jazz keeps bouncing off me. If narrator guy wasn’t prepared for wild, attention-hogging improvisation, why did he think he could be a jazz musician in the first place? I would have liked this piece better if you committed to making GBS threads on jazz instead of succumbing to clichéd romanticism at the end, but this is still a pretty good comedy piece. 8/10.
(yeah I completely misread what you were going for here whoops)

“In mortal chains” by sebmojo
What’s the point of this? This seems like you’re not even trying, but you still have ingrained talent and experience that makes it close to passable anyway. Once again, it bothers me that a writer isn’t even close to using the wordcount they’re allowed to use. A thing happened, and I’m supposed to feel something, but the account of it happening is too cursory for me to care. 4/10.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


I can't resist JoJo. In with a flash rule.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!



Bent Out of Shape
(2106 words)

REMOVED

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 17:21

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


If chair recognize my rear end, I volunteer my services as judge.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Actually On Time For Real Judge Crits: Week 298
“Fire in the Hole” by Chili
So I’m in a pretty anxious mood where this story hits pretty close to home, bringing shape to fears of mine that are baseless in reality but realized here. I like how the specific circumstances of Treimar’s incarceration are left to the imagination, but the feelings between him and his father are easy to imagine. The character you assigned to Elba reminds me both of Stringer Bell (still my favorite Elba performance) and Avon Barksdale from The Wire. You didn’t seem to sacrifice anything in submitting early, though I’m not sure I want to give the win to an idea this simple. Good work.

“I Met My Father During the Zombie Apocalypse” by Yoruichi
I had to look up your meaning of the word “bach” to make sure it wasn’t a typo. I noticed one or two iffy uses of commas, but I like that the general survival scenario conflicts with the father’s implied mental illness. He was, or wanted people to think he was, prepared for such an outlandish scenario, only for it to get taken away from him. In the big picture, that’s for the best, and if he wants to improve his life, he’ll need to find a different, less melodramatic way. Unfortunately, my co-judges didn't agree, but if it were up to me you'd have HM'd or even won.

“A Mother and a Father” by derp
Quite a horrific picture you paint here, but it feels like it’s missing something. A conclusion, perhaps? There are also a few wonky word choices that distract me, keep me from really getting into the atmosphere you’re trying to convey. Lastly, the emotions on display here aren’t the deepest; I’m not convinced at the idea of Zednia being a mother to anything except her boat, and the stranger is more mystery than character. Maybe in another time and place I’d look at it more favorably, but this time the competition beats it out.

“Memories of You, Hovering in the Sky” by Exmond
As I read this, I’m noticing some quibbles with the proofreading. The biggest one comes after the preacher downs his cup of water. It’s unclear who asks the question afterwards. On the other hand, I can tell who’s speaking because of the characters’ different attitudes. One’s fatalistic and defeated, the other energized and alarmed. Overall, you should be willing to go over your story once or twice before you read it, and make sure you’ve put a period, comma or apostrophe in every place that needs one. The story itself is predictable and cheesy, but I didn’t hate it, at least not the non-Umaru version you actually submitted.

“Finnt Visits the Potion Master” by Bubble Bobby
Okay, so at first glance this wears the atmosphere and worldbuilding of a cozy, escapist fantasy story the likes of which you’d see published in a book my dad might have read as a kid, and it wears it well. Unfortunately, it also reads like a Piers Anthony book, or another author whose work has declined in popularity for very good reason. First, I’m having trouble imagining Idris Elba playing this kind of shameless womanizer, though I haven’t watched all of his roles and I could be wrong. More importantly, this whole piece has a gross feel to it. The entire story revolves around men wanting to gently caress women, and women’s opinions don’t seem to matter all that much. When a woman does have an opinion, our supposed hero wants to put a stop to it. He enlists someone to help him who wants this woman as essentially property, and our supposed hero agrees to this term. But wait! It’s supposedly okay, because the woman in question is trans and hence undesirable, a nasty surprise and a way to swindle Idris Elba’s character. I don’t know where you came from, Bubble Bobby, but it probably involved sleeping for a few decades a la Rip van Winkle. Please read up on the social politics of our era and maybe some new ideas from modern fantasy writers before you try your hand at this genre again. Until then, enjoy your losertar.

“You just keep on going” by SurreptitiousMuffin
Not bad. I feel for this guy, and I especially like that even with the melancholy mood suffusing this piece, we still get time to crack jokes about free verse poetry. The guy still ribs his lover, even though he wants them to be together and knows that it probably can’t happen. Not much else to say other than it’s good, and I felt for a moment like I was at sea too.

“No Bite” by Sparksbloom
Kind of a bog-standard crime gone wrong story without that much to distinguish it. I know Elba was in two shows where crime was a prominent feature, but this feels like it was written by somebody who didn’t know any more about those shows than that. It’s functional, like the endtable I use without thinking about it too much.

“The Rock” by Thranguy
Oh boy another story with pop-Biblical characters let’s see if this one can be more interesting. It definitely was, but it left me wanting more at first. Then I realized that the more I would get wouldn’t be that much more than an action movie. Interesting premise, not sure you could have done it more justice in its format. As it is this feels like little more than a sugar high.

“Decision Matrix” by sebmojo
I agree, it would have been awesome if Idris Elba was in one of Guy Ritchie’s good movies. I’m not sure you managed to capture whatever’s good about them in text—that might not translate well between media for all I know—but I felt a bit of pity for these poor souls because you told their life stories in reverse. Just a smidge. Could have used more details, though.

“Sunbeam” by Flesnolk
I’m mostly, but not entirely, sure that this is a superhero deconstruction story. I wasn’t clear on what happened in it, though. Reading this story made me feel like I was skipping lines of dialogue or even whole scenes by accident. I’m not sure what it all adds up to, honestly. Even if this wasn’t disqualified, it wouldn’t have added up to anything. It might have gotten a DM, actually, if I and the other judges hadn’t decided to skip doing those this week.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Much better. IN, , flash, please.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Flash rule:

Exmond posted:

Ya know, it got really awkward when the ghost of my dead parents would conjure up and explain puberty to me.

(Inspired by Sabriel, by Garth Nix)

Not Enough Voices
1,400 words

REMOVED

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 17:24

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Alright, sure. I'm IN, taking Door #1.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


A Little God in My Hands (1,198 words)
Flash rule from Door #1: "A Transgression" by BabyRyoga

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Also, thanks for the crit, Chili!

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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also thanks sh

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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i'ma judge toweek

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Also in. Flash me.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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JUDGE CRITS: THE NEXT GENERATION (WEEK 301)

“Come With Me” by Yoruichi
What it is: A teenage (?) girl assumes her best friend is leaving her behind to go on an exchange to Vancouver. She has a bad time at a party because of this assumption.
How it works: Emphasis on Sophie’s viewpoint and assumption on the issues, as well as things that feel gross and off-putting like the vodka gelatin and the burning couch to reflect her internal state. There are also progression points where Sophie learns things that contradict her assumptions and break her out of her funk.
Does it succeed: It’s alright. Not much in the way of frills, but it gets the point across.

“The Unrevealed” by Djeser
What it is: A pilgrim travels to the site of something that cannot be known. He finds what he looks for… or does he?
How it works: Much of the story is spent providing a layman’s outline of the pilgrim’s goal and the competing ideas in his order about that which cannot be known. The actual communion is mostly absent from the text in a blunt, literal sense, with scraps spaced out to suggest the remains of paragraphs. The first and last paragraphs are identical, reflecting the lack of an endpoint for this philosophical journey (and all philosophy).
Does it succeed: It’s a neat thought exercise combined with a simple but effective gimmick, which counts for a lot with me. It doesn’t have much in the way of character, but I don’t think it needs to. I liked it, but sparksbloom disliked it, so our opinions cancelled each other out and left you with no mention. This week looks like it'll be the week for you.

“Signs of Life” by Tayacan
What it is: Some folks go out in a spaceship to find sapient life on another planet. They probably should have taken more precautions.
How it works: There’s some decent tension-building in here, and an okay alien design. Not much else going on that I can see.
Does it succeed: You might need something else in here if you want to make a decent sci-fi yarn that stands out from the crowd. Some kind of hook would be nice. I’m ambivalent about the abrupt ending, too.

“Patronage” by Hug in a Can
What it is: An artist relies on an older man to get funding for her work, only to discover that their expectations of what that work is are different. She continues the arrangement anyway, though she considers this a lie now.
How it works: The awkwardness with which the story portrays Vincent got most of my attention. There’s the analogy made about his appearance, which is unique and telling, plus the way they awkwardly shuffle around each other until he just drops the dumb goal he has for her work like it’s less than it is. It also brings in a strained relationship with the protagonist’s mother to foreshadow and reinforce the sense of disappointment she feels.
Does it succeed: Yeah, though it doesn’t feel fully alive. Much like those branches painted blue, it feels like some parts of the artist’s life are more lively and given more attention than others, and not just because of the economy necessary for flash fiction. You’re still doing good for a first-timer, though.

“After the Sundering” by Antivehicular
What it is: Two nonverbal people were once conjoined, but are now separate. They still travel together, but one worries that because they are no longer connected physically, their mental connection will weaken. Despite this, No-Longer-Me helps Me with a broken leg and foraging, reassuring them in the process.
How it works: There is no dialogue, only gestures and actions and thoughts. Everything is deliberate and feels like a relic of the most bygone age. Considering that nothing much is happening except the voicing (not literally) and addressing of a concern, the pace feels more or less perfect.
Does it succeed: Sure does. Though the lack of names and the almost feral nature of the characters is an obstacle to sympathizing with them, the writing and emotions on display make up for it.

“19 Minutes in Dubai” by Hawklad
What it is: A jewel thief gets careless and fucks up the heist, but it’s already hosed because one of his teammates betrayed him, and it turns out his earlier fuckup saves his life.
How it works: The minute-to-minute title cards and fast pace work to emphasize the fast pace and tight schedule Nash is working under. There are a bunch of moving parts here, too, which helps the piece go by faster.
Does it succeed: It’s very efficient. I’ll give it that. While I read it, I felt engrossed, but the effect soon fades once it’s done and I’ve thought about it. It was fun while it lasted, though.

“Learned Helplessness” by QuoProQuid
What it is: An elderly man has trouble taking care of himself, so his daughter and son-in-law get him a robot to take care of him. The robot oversteps its boundaries and makes Arthur happier but less healthy, so he finds a way to get rid of it.
How it works: The repetition of “Hmm, sorry. I didn’t get that,” is great and taps me into the vein I need to empathize with Arthur’s annoyance with this newfangled gizmo, plus it’s pretty integral to the joke at the end.
Does it succeed: That’s about all that stuck out to me about this one, though. The rest of it is meh.

“Unsolicited Silence” by Lazy Beggar
What it is: A space guy finds a space hotel to rest at. Nobody will talk to him. He just gets serviced automatically. His frustration builds until he forces someone to get him cryptic hints, then I guess he’s trapped in the hotel forever? I dunno?
How it works: Um, let’s see. There’s plenty of time given to demonstrate how pissy the guy is, and he stays pissy throughout the whole story, so there’s no sense of escalation. That counts as a technique, right?
Does it succeed: No. The guy we follow is annoying and there’s never any real explanation given for everything that happened. It’s just weirdness for its own sake. Remember when sparksbloom requested no contrived rom-com poo poo? I’m counting this as a violation.

“Babble” by Thranguy
What it is: The narrator shoots another man dead after having a conversation with him. Prior, some kind of worldwide phenomenon robs everybody but the narrator of comprehensible language. He finds another man who can speak, but when that man unveils a eugenics plan involving their children, the narrator decides to kill him instead of going through with the plan.
How it works: Emphasizing the ways society changes after all verbal communication stops was a good idea. Slipping a fakeout “oooh, how did this happen?” thing in the beginning, maybe not so much. The payoff wasn’t quite worth it.
Does it succeed: Mostly not. For something so earthshaking as the inciting incident of the story, I felt underwhelmed.

“Skin Diving” by Bad Seafood
What it is: When growing up, Baek was teased for being tall, and for cutting her hair short. As an adult, a friend invites her to a mixer, where she meets a kindred spirit. They talk about diving without an oxygen canister on their backs, and then Baek and her friend leave, though only Baek is satisfied in the evening.
How it works: This is one of the most subtle stories I’ve read on TD. Baek and Yong-joon’s conversation doesn’t make much sense on the surface, so at first I was bored, but then I asked myself what was really going on. I’m going to assume that Baek is trans, or at least has some gender issues, as does Yong-joon. Whatever they’re talking about, it’s so taboo that they can’t speak of it outright at this mixer, and the signals they give each other are more effective than whatever gesture Ae-jong was trying for.
Does it succeed: I think so? I might have to confer with the other judges on this. It might be too subtle for this contest, but I can’t think of how to make it better right now.

“Ponytail boy” by sebmojo
What it is: An ugly man with a speech disability who lives in the seediest part of England decides to abstain from conversation entirely. This goes well for him until a lady at work is nice to him, at which point he’s physically unable to go back on his plan. Then he sets an occupied bar on fire and bam, he’s a terrorist.
How it works: First it does the “three weeks earlier” thing, with added snark, just so that I can have a bad first impression of it. Once we get into the grime and the filth of Guy Ritchie’s England, though, the tone of the story, from the main character’s disgusting appearance to everyone else’s disgusting names, I find it easier to get into the misanthropic mood of the story. It’s like if Edward Gorey wore a hoodie and would slice yer froat, mate.
Does it succeed: Ending’s rushed (not convinced on the leap to arson, which isn't terrorism unless the main character has dark skin ), and it took me a while to warm up to it, but it has potential. Give it another rewrite or two, see what happens.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Trompe-l'œil
1,249 words

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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In, flash.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
1,194 words
Flash: Nebra sky disc

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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word

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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In for Team Corvid


"TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWKS"

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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The Gleam
1494 words
Team Corvid

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Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 18:03

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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I'd like to judge, please.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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IN with SHE

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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We Can Forget It for You Wholesale
1,482 words

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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oh and i wrote about SHE btw

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Which one are you, Sham Bam Bamina!?

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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In with a flash, please!

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Tender Prey
1,453 words
Flash rule: Brother, My Cup Is Empty by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

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Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 21:57

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Sham Bam Bamina was TOO SCURRED so I'ma fight mockingquantum instead.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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MockingQuantum posted:

I will draw and quarter you with a blunt letter opener, then fill your body with wordbees, then freeze your skull in carbonite and use it to top my writerly skullthrone

TLDR BRING THE HEAT

you are the jonathan franzen of thunderdome

which is to say you are not a particularly good writer at all

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Oh right, I forgot to .

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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IN as a were-creature. Vampires suck.

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Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

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Brawl vs. mockingquantum entry:
Henshin Blues
3,011 words

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