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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


You people don't deserve j, much less fjgj

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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Judgement is cancelled

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


WEEK 337: THE RESULTS

True to the name of the week, this one ended up a little stormy. The judges sensed that a lot of you were struggling to put stories together with your prompts, which is fair enough given the givens, but the stories we got were a pretty mixed bag.

Let's start with the positive side of the results. Djeser's tale of the Anagramancer prompted much debate about what constitutes a Thunderdome story, but ultimately we concluded that he's no BEAN HOTLINE MORON and deserves an HONORABLE MENTION. The other HMs of the week go to Simply Simon, with a creative and engaging tale, and Pham Nuwen, for a story that made my little suburban heart feel sad about grass.

Your winner this week is a story that took a different direction and tone from most of the week, tackling challenging (and frequently misused) subject matter in a serious and thoughtful way: Lippincott's "Checkers." Victory is everywhere, victory, victory!

On to the negative side! Several stories were shaky this week, but two of the pack stood out. Your loss this week is Rad-Daddio's "Bot Builder", an earnest first effort with a lot of plot and structure problems. Rough start, but we hope to see you again, R-D. The runner-up in problems, and thus your DM for the week, is QM Haversham's "A Picnic with Daedalus," which was more structurally sound but was a limp setup to a limper punchline.

All right, that's it for me. Y'all stop slapfighting and witness Lippincott ascend the throne!

Antivehicular fucked around with this message at 02:32 on Jan 23, 2019

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

prompt

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




Rad-daddio
Apr 25, 2017

100% RAD


Is there a TD Discord group I can join?

I'm trying to write better as part of my 2019 resolutions.

e: congrats to Lippincott : )

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Pretty sure I PMed you or someone but here you go. Good on you being a good sport.

Lippincott
Jun 28, 2018

You weren't born to just pay bills and die.

You must suffer.

A lot.


THUNDERDOME WEEK CCCXXXVIII 338: Places of Power



quote:

In other countries, over the years, people recognized the places of power. Sometimes it would be a natural formation, sometimes it would just be a place that was, somehow, special. They knew that something important was happening there, that there was some focusing point, some channel, some window to the Immanent. And so they would build temples or cathedrals, or erect stone circles, or…well, you get the idea.”

[…] In the USA, people still get the call, or some of them, and they feel themselves being called to from the transcendent void, and they respond to it by building a model out of beer bottles of somewhere they’ve never visited, or by erecting a gigantic bat house in some part of the country that bats have traditionally declined to visit. Roadside attractions: people feel themselves pulled to places where, in other parts of the world, they would recognize that part of themselves that is truly transcendent, and buy a hot dog, and walk around, feeling satisfied on a level they cannot truly describe, and profoundly dissatisfied on a level beneath that.
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

This week our stories will be exploring places of power.

Ley lines, ancient burial grounds, spots where settlers ate one another or giant dinosaur sculptures are all up for grabs. At the center of your story should be the feeling that the fantastical is accessible through a physical place, preferably one that exists in this plane of existence though it may give access to another in your story. Fantastical can be real, imagined or somewhere in between.

As per previous entries "No erotica, fanfic, topical political satire/screeds, archive-breaking formatting, or dick pics. Other standard TD rules apply."

Word Limit: 1000
Flash Rule You may get 500 additional words if you allow the judges to assign your place of power.
Signup Deadline: 11:59 PM Pacific, January 25th, 2019
Submission Deadline: 11:59 PM Pacific, January 27th, 2019

Questions that have arisen:
Q. "I like my Flash Rule but do I have to set the story in the stated location or can it be the same thematic event set somewhere else?"

A. The judges have been working hard to establish USA places of power and not-USA places of power since the 'places of power' narrative gets consolidated in Europe and USA and the judges hoped to spread out the settings a bit more.

We won't be a complete hard rear end about the location being exact for flash rules, though deviation from the flash rule should be weighed against how much the deviation can improve your overall story.
aka don't set the doll forest on a space island and then write me a bad doll forest space island story.

There are some locations where the setting is directly influenced by the location (e.g. The Mug Tree set outside a town of 100 people in the Midwest) and those are more difficult to replicate in a different setting because the oddity of it existing outside that small town makes it a place of power. If you have questions for the judging team, don't hesitate to reach out.

Q. 'My location was assigned as a flash rule, can I write a duplicate?'

A. Please. And write it better.

Judges:
Lippincott
curlingiron
Beezus

Entrants

1. Rad-daddio
2. Tharanguy with Flash The Megaliths of Weris - Belgium
3. onsetOutsider with Flash The Winchester Mystery House - San Jose, CA
4. Sebmojo with Flash The Enchanted Forest - Turner, OR
5. SlipUp with Flash The Mug Tree - Yale, IL
6. Dolash
7. Sham bam bamina!
8. cptn_dr with Flash Dog Suicide Bridge - Dumbarton, Scotland
9. anatomi with Flash Maryhill Stonehedge - Maryhill, WA
10. Devorum with Flash Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, TX
11. Bad Seafood with Flash Salvation Mountain - Niland, CA
12. SurreptitiousMuffin with Flash Prada Marfa - Valentine, TX
13. Pham Nuwen with Flash La Isla de las Munecas - Mexico City, Mexico
14. QM Haversham with Flash Las Pozas - Xilitla, Mexico
15. Saucy_Rodent
16. magnificent7 with Flash North Yungas Road, AKA Death Road, in Bolivia
17. vannevar
18. Flesnolk with Flash Bagh-e Sangi, or the Garden of Stones - Sirjan, Iran
19. CascadeBeta with Flash Angor Wat - Cambodia
20. DJ Dublell with Flash Great Serpent Mound - Peebles, OH
21. BabyRyoga with Flash Singing Oak - New Orleans, LA
22. Tyrannosaurus with Flash Smith Mansion - Cody, WY
23. Simply Simon

Lippincott fucked around with this message at 00:38 on Jan 26, 2019

Rad-daddio
Apr 25, 2017

100% RAD


Flesnolk posted:

Pretty sure I PMed you or someone but here you go. Good on you being a good sport.

Thanks!

Rad-daddio
Apr 25, 2017

100% RAD


I'm in.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


in and flash me.

Mr. Steak
May 8, 2013

T.T.D.D.T.D.D

Thug lyfe.


In, and give me a place worth 400 words.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



In, flash

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

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


in

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Thranguy posted:

in and flash me.

The Megaliths of Weris - Belgium


onsetOutsider posted:

In, and give me a place worth 400 words.

The Winchester Mystery House - San Jose, CA


sebmojo posted:

In, flash

The Enchanted Forest - Turner, OR

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


In.

Give me a place.

Dolash
Oct 23, 2008

aNYWAY,
tHAT'S REALLY ALL THERE IS,
tO REPORT ON THE SUBJECT,
oF ME GETTING HURT,




I'm in!

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




Heck. In.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


SlipUp posted:

In.

Give me a place.

The Mug Tree - Yale, IL

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



I'm in, and I'll take a flash too.

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


cptn_dr posted:

I'm in, and I'll take a flash too.

Dog Suicide Bridge - Dumbarton, Scotland

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016





Pham Nuwen posted:

Saucy_Rodent is currently probated, so he emailed me his story for this brawl.

brawl words

Oi apophenium - I know we said two weeks, but let's not let things fester. Saucy_Rodent's story is in early - and I'm going to assume somewhat accidentally. I think it's because being banned means you lose the ability to check the prompt?

Pretty sure it works like that. Anyway, be a good sport and get some words in soon, yeah? I won't penalise if you decide to ride this out til the 30th (4.30pm NZT) but I'll fuckin' tsk at you again.

Saucy_Rodent, don't you dare retract/edit.

anatomi
Jan 31, 2015


gently caress it, I'm in. Flash me.

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


Probation over.

I didn't enter in that week's prompt, so I only had one week, even though you said you wouldn't check.

I am a man of honor, drat it!

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


In, Flash me.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


I'm in.

Hit me up senpai.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


in and I would like the judges to gently caress me up

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




In and flash me please

QM Haversham
Nov 12, 2018

Postmodern Furniture Enjoyment Society: Where slow is the revolution and apathy is the fuel.


I'm in. Give me a place, too.

Lippincott
Jun 28, 2018

You weren't born to just pay bills and die.

You must suffer.

A lot.


anatomi posted:

gently caress it, I'm in. Flash me.
Maryhill Stonehedge

Devorum posted:

In, Flash me.
Cadillac Ranch

Bad Seafood posted:

I'm in.

Hit me up senpai.
Salvation Mountain

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

in and I would like the judges to gently caress me up
Prada Marfa

Pham Nuwen posted:

In and flash me please
La Isla de las Munecas

QM Haversham posted:

I'm in. Give me a place, too.
Las Pozas

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


In.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


What is UP fart stacks!

I'm in. Flash Rule
to make me think less and write more.

I swear. I'm writing.

Punkreas
May 13, 2013

*chews on head*


Lipstick Apathy

Thunderdome 336 Crits (Part 3)

-----

SlipUp - Man’s Law, God’s Law, and Fishy Law

You used 1000 words in a story with a 800 word limit (as you took no flashrule). You didn’t use the prompt. You didn’t bother to format your post.

After reading this story I still don’t know what actually happened. There’s a ton of needless back-and-forth between characters. The character drops vague hints and describes “playing chess” but they may as well be playing Calvinball with as much as the reader is given to work with. Please write your next story sober. 2/10


Antivehicular - Hungry Birds in Dying Forests

This felt a little bit too expository, especially towards the end. Esther’s fight between the inner human and machine was jarring in how sudden it came on; it needed a little more building up. Also sudden was the language change, becoming much, much stronger than what was used elsewhere: “like the dog I am”, “slaughterhouse”, “guide children into Hell”. It felt weird, like I was reading a different story.

Yet this was a good story with an excellent use of both the prompt and flashrule. I really felt this story was crafted from the core being inspired by each. The world and back history are ripe for exploring, and this was your strong point - I felt very drawn into it. 7/10


Devorum - A Princely Reward

I had a lot of trouble orienting myself to the characters and settings in this. Who are Chrelu and Radyr? Leaders of the villagers? Random child-nappers? Even the ending just produced more questions I wish had been answered. Did the captain slaughter the villagers because they were exposed to Scrag, the prince? Because they mistreated him? Because they were servants of the Steward and knew who Scrag actually was? Another odd point of perspective is that, with the talk of onagers, herds, and being raised by badgers, I thought the characters may actually be anthropomorphic. Hell, I’m still only 80% convinced these are humans. The prompt and flashrule felt a little forced; the story could be told mostly unaltered without them.

You do have a really good story in the making, however. With more room for words, these characters and this world could be really fleshed out into an interesting twist of a post-collapse world. 5/10


Anomalous Blowout - The Heretic’s Fork

Protagonist seeks revenge on an evil character, succeeds with effectively no issue, The End. Despite the descriptive food being served to the inquisitor, there is no flavoring to this story to give it a delicious twist. Where is the character reflection? The unique consequences for their actions, or what lead up to those actions? The food is highlighted, but why? Where does the inquisitor having exotic tastes, specifically mythical beasts, have bearing on the story? (Even your mythical creature prompt, used as a trap, is hidden within a dish that is supposed to be common and mundane, so the inquisitor’s tastes don’t even play into his weakness - that was just base gluttony, which also wasn’t much of a weakness as without it a single “poisoned” dish would have worked all the same.)

The flashrule was still used in a clever way, and clearly the inspiration for the story. I’d also read more of this world, where mystical beasts exist (and are plentiful enough to be cooked up now and then) during the time of the Inquisition. 5/10


apophenium - Red, Blue, and Green

The dialogue between Vale and Jole felt a bit stilted, and there were some odd descriptives, such as “Jole pecked towards his pendant”. The details of your prompt weren’t worked in, simply listed as expository facts. (Living sixty years, eggs hatching in sixty days.) I also wasn’t convinced on Vale’s urgency on her brother’s demise, and the ending of her taking him out felt rushed and without true merit, even if her desires were made known; their prolonged debate about it needed exploring as it felt like an aside rather than the crux of the story as it should have been.

That debate, however, is a really good lead to follow. Fighting fate, and the consequence of doing so, is a fantastic conflict, and then you parallel it to a seemingly endless war? There’s gold to be mined here! 5/10


Flesnolk - Audience

Prompt, flashrule, hellrule. You definitely wrote this suffering several lashes and, unfortunately, the wounds show. The lack of punctuation feels like an afterthought, as if you wrote the story and then took it all out. Without the use of punctuation the dialogue was hard to follow, especially at first (e.g. it required a few more lines of reading to figure out which one was Max). It wasn’t until the very end of the story that I could place the story setting or even what Max looked like; the description of “footpads shielded by dirty leather” put me in mind of a bronze-age adventurer or soldier, so I was surprised when it was a based on modern times (I really thought “UN” was an unfortunately-chosen abbreviation at the time it came up) and Max was a businessman/politician.

And… I don’t get the ending. I think it has something to do with Amazon’s Kindle Fire? So Max is an executive for them, but that’s unclear and contrary to the description of the fire made by the griffin earlier. Without the hellish hellrule you had to suffer this could have been a much more clear and concise story with a more striking (and obvious for dumb-dumbs like me) punchline! 4/10


crabrock - Elephant Stone

The actual lynx in this seemed incredibly forced - if it had been removed entirely the story would be about the same, so it needs significance (outside of being your prompt) for it being in there. Likewise, the hellrule was nonexistent (ha!) as far as I could tell.

Now your flashrule, that’s where you shine in this story. I’ve had the flu so bad once that I was delirious and thought, literally, that my guts had be replaced by machine parts that were causing me all the pain I was feeling. The idea of your character being just as delirious with pain and thinking they were made of sand and dirt is something I can relate to (although I’d have been less flowery in describing my inner physical tormentor than as an “unending sea of shifting dunes” but that could be my lingering memory of that nasty flu). Working up the doctor as being overbearing and tough to deal with as the reason for why they bury their stone was brilliant, too. 6/10


McSlaughter - Bonehouse

While your prompt was a snake, writing a needlessly long and winding story was not necessary. The language was so flowery and had so many descriptors thrown into run-on sentences that this was a slog to read. The ending made no sense, especially the riddle-talk, and there was no character development or exploration. The whole thing felt like it was written in a single sitting and tried to use lofty words to distract from the lack of story. The house, grounds, and tidbits of family history are certainly something I’d like to read about in a more rigorously-constructed story, however. 3/10

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


magnificent7 posted:

What is UP fart stacks!

I'm in. Flash Rule
to make me think less and write more.

I swear. I'm writing.

You get North Yungas Road, AKA Death Road, in Bolivia

vannevar
Jan 27, 2013

The war goes on.


In! This is an exciting prompt.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In, flash

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


Ahem

Lippinsider Brawl Results, ambling atcha' in their own good time like a proper gentleman idly walking to a tea party along a mellow and agreeable route in the parks.

Alas, the good cheer is not to last. We find ourselves confronted by two, um, interesting stories here. Veeery interesting.

Lippincott. you deserve to lose just for your formatting. The vulgar double-spacing was bad enough, but you don't even stick to your artistic choices and go back to common, drab single-spacing halfway through. Stand up for your artistic integrity, you buffoon! Still, you have in your favor a story that keeps its first half breezy enough to cover over the fact nothing really happens until the last few bits, and to be fair, some genuinely appalling imagery. There are some specific lines I had to give a leery eye, because I do see that you were going for a Lovecraftian jumble of swollen words rendered horrid in their fetid multitudes, but you didn't quite hit that - they're mostly just bad lines that break me out of the story's rhythm.

And onset, you wrote this in an hour. I have taken nearly 100 times as long to judge this as you did to fart it out. There's a certain charm, some fun imagery left just enough to the imagination to start festering away, I like it. Just... not enough. There isn't really enough to like. I think you make a mistake in wrapping it all up as neatly as you did, leaving no room to ask 'what next'.

And so, Lippincott is the winner. "Good" on you, old chap.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


See archive.

SlipUp fucked around with this message at 20:15 on Dec 30, 2019

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


Flesnolk posted:

In, flash

You get Bagh-e Sangi, or the Garden of Stones - Sirjan, Iran

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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 15:42 on Oct 26, 2019

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