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Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


On a Long Enough Timeline
1680 words


Timing never was my strong suit. So when Hamish called me up on comms and sputtered excitedly it’s happening, it’s happening, it’s happening! my first thought was a dreary, resigned Of course it is. And of course it’s happening now.

There was no need to clarify what the “it” in question was. All of planet earth had been waiting for months with collective bated breath. They’d spent a couple years tinkering with the laser array, then fired its pieces up into space, where they dangled like the universe’s most expensive pearl necklace, encircling the planet and waiting. Waiting for it to happen.

Something had finally knocked Envisat out of orbit. The big, inert hunk of debris was finally spinning out of control, on a collision course with a dozen other hunks of low-orbit garbage, all primed to set into motion a domino-topple of space junk that endangered everything from people on the ground to the comms satellites Hamish and I were using right that second.

Hence the lasers. The Band. It was happening. They were finally spinning those big bad boys up to incinerate the debris before it could do any harm.

And there I was, miles from anywhere, neck-deep in pitch-dark temperate rainforest with both arms crammed up to the elbows in a ferret trap. The ferret trap was full of ferret, a big dark-furred bastard that I’d grabbed by the neck just as Hamish rang.

“Hold still,” I said, maneuvering the syringe with my ferret-free hand. The animal thrashed and raked its claws against my glove, churning up ferret-stink.

“Please,” I added when my first entreaty had no effect.

I gripped the squirmy little mustelid, pressed it against the trap’s floor, and sank the needle in. Sighing in relief, I pumped the little critter full of retrovirus, then extracted my arms from the trap and left it to stew for a moment.

Mindful not to jab myself, I tucked the spent hypodermic into the sharps pouch on my belt.

Finally, resignedly, I got back to Hamish.

“Well lucky you. They have an ETA?”

“Not long,” he said. “Minutes.” My voice must have telegraphed that to me, the moment was a Huge Bummer, because he asked very quickly afterward, “Where are you?”

I was somewhere up an old, dry tributary of the Waimangaroa River, the remnants of a braided riverbed whose glaciers had long since lost the ability to put food on the table, so to speak.

“Not far from Camp Three,” I told Hamish in more technical terms. A few years back, the government had peeled open a regulatory backdoor, allowed exploratory digging near the old Denniston mines. Camp Three was the active camp furthest up in the hills, which Chabot and Co. graciously let us use as home base.

I squatted down and hauled open the slider door on the trap. The ferret rocketed out into the underbrush, leaving the trap free for me to bait and set all over again.

“It doesn’t matter,” I said to Hamish once I’d fixed the trap up. “Can’t see poo poo in Camp Three anyhow.”

“Gosh.” I heard his keys clattering from hundreds of kliks away. “Have a little faith, would you?”

“In what?”

“In me.”

In the dark, a smile spread across my mouth. I cranked my headlamp as bright as it could go.

“You’re a huge dork,” I informed him, my breath condensing into lamplit fog.

“I’m a huge dork who’s going to get you the view of a lifetime.” Clickety-clack. Then he hummed and said, “Go back down the way you came.”

“Hey, Hamish…” I started to walk. “You remember that time you walked me off a cliff?”

“A small cliff,” he protested. “You know the topography out here.”

The last quake we’d had in ’23 had lifted some sections of the seabed four whole meters up out of the ocean. Ravines appeared where they hadn’t been before. Great, worrisome cracks rent the glaciers into even more precarious pieces. All our maps rendered useless overnight. It had been what inspired me, all the way back then, to take up this line of work. To finally put my hobbyist’s understanding of the world and its tectonic plates and its forests and its ferrets to use.

“Okay,” he said. “You should be hitting the access road soon. It’s pretty overgrown, but it should still be passable.”

He was right. The glow of my lamp lit up a fern-choked pathway in the dark, one of the roads to the old mines, the spent ones.

“You know they still haven’t fixed the groundwater,” I mumbled. “The guys who ran the last mine through here? Just left all that poo poo leaching into the creekbeds. Bit poo poo they opened it back up, if you ask me.”

“It is,” Hamish agreed. But his voice was thoughtful, the way it got when he didn’t agree all the way. “It’s a balancing act, though,” he said. “We wouldn’t be out here if it weren’t for the…”

“Yeah, yeah.”

There were levies, now: if you felt like chopping down trees or tearing up hillsides for lignite, you paid a part of it back to folks like us who jammed possums and ferrets full of gunk that rendered them infertile. Everybody won, in theory. Except the groundwater.

Come to think of it, I hadn’t seen a possum in ages. I made a mental note to check the register when I got back to camp.

The road grew steeper, more treacherous to navigate in the dark. I was growing out of breath, my headlamp wobbling as I picked my way over roots and downed logs. Some road, Hamish.

“I’m gonna miss it, aren’t I?”

“Shush,” he said. “Quit your griping. You’ve got this. … Might wanna hurry it up a little, but you’ve got this.”

I dug in and pushed on, tilting and wobbling up the hillside like a drunk. My feet frequently slid out from under me in the misty, slippery dew, but there’s a sense of balance one acquires after enough long nights in the bush alone, not the balance of a surfer but more like the balance of those rubber punching-bag clowns that never quite fall all the way over.

Abruptly, the forest opened. The road spread out, and where my boots once squished loam and undergrowth, now there was only gravel underfoot. I crunched my way out of the forest and onto a broad, flat patch of rocks and dirt. Little tufts of grass, fleeting and ghostly in the glow of my headlamp, were all that grew. And the hillside further up was ugly, clumpy bare dirt.

Whatever this was, it wasn’t fresh. There was no smell of oil or fumes, just dust and rocks and quiet. An old scar in the earth, left over from when men had passed through, ripped the planet open, and found nothing worth extracting.

But when I looked up, I could see why Hamish had led me there. This broad, half-healed wound in the topography offered a wide break in the trees.

Overhead, the river of the Milky Way slithered across a sky of otherwise pure black. Stars twinkled in innumerable thousands, the surrounding land dark for miles and miles in all directions. All the balances and compromises that Hamish and I had butted heads over throughout the years hadn’t led to light pollution on the ground, at least… but the sky was a different story.

Neatly bisecting the vista of the Milky Way, the Band winked down at me, a series of satellites engaged in an eternal group-hug around the planet. I jogged up the hillside, panting, a stitch in my side.

“Do you know where on the Band--” I tried to ask Hamish, but I was too out of breath to finish. My stomach twisted into knots. I was gonna miss it, I was gonna loving miss it.

I tapped my headlamp off and let the darkness gulp me down. Slowly, as my eyes adjusted, the sky seemed to glow even brighter, seemed to contract and expand with my breath.

“You there yet?” Hamish asked. “I don’t know how much time--”

It started.

The glittering apparatus of the Band began to glow, light pulsing in a relay from one satellite to the next. Lances of brilliant, retina-searing light arced from A to B until all the points were joined, like God was up there playing connect-the-dots. The lines of light formed a glowing white-gold web, and then something passed through it and caught alight. First one something, then several.

Like little shooting stars, debris tumbled into the waiting trap of the Band and was blown to smithereens. The harmless fragments burnt up on reentry, dragging tails of blazing greenish-blue behind them like burning copper.

They chased one another across the horizon like man-made bolides, burning up and arcing down and then gone.

“Holy poo poo,” Hamish murmured in my ear.

“Yeah.” No witty commentary this time. “Holy poo poo.”

We watched, on separate hilltops half an island apart, as the last of the debris burnt up. For a while, the sky remained falsely alight with retinal afterburn. I blinked; the patterns danced across the inside of my eyelids.

As the lights finally faded from my eyes, I took a moment, anchoring myself in quiet kinship with the dark and the quiet. The fireworks were over.

Strange, how the millions of years added up. Earthquakes shook continents up from the sea, men stripped the hilltops of their ores and melted it down and fired it off into space, where it spiralled around for a while before falling right back down again. Smaller tremors quaked us out of cozy jobs and back into the woods, where we inoculated ferrets to coax the birds back into forests that were still healing from the last time we played God.

Now, maybe, we could get our dark skies back.

And maybe the bush would cover this scar someday, swallow it up and leave no signs of our having passed through. The ferrets at least would gently caress themselves into extinction, endlessly firing blanks. And the water would seep through ice and stone and ash and come out clean again. Filters always did their job, given long enough.

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kiyoshimon
Jul 10, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

I'm sorry but I won't have anything ready by the deadline this time. Please preemptively me for the next one.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Catastrophic Re-entry
1255 words

It was late when we met, maybe three a.m. I don't know. It was one of those bars where it's always three a.m., through some relativistic locational quirk. Probably made it hard to get the cleaners in.

I'd been eyeing the end of my drink, thinking that three a.m. was a decent home time, solid effort from all concerned, wrap it up chaps, and not thinking about my ex (very specifically and carefully not thinking about him) when he slid onto the stool next to me.

He had dark eyes, like black pools in the subdued three am overhead light. I studied him out the corner of my eye as he got a drink, then jumped as he turned.

"Have you seen space? Up close?"

I thought about this, considered freezing him out, then tossed it aside with the breezy ease of the inebriated. "Like under my bed? I sometimes get under there to pull out a drawer, but it's not really--

He interrupted me, not normally something I liked but I found I didn't mind it when he put a firm, warm hand on my bare arm and leaned in.

"No, I mean space, deep space, the real deal, black like velvet at midnight. It's so cold they can't even measure it and it goes on forever. The stars burn so hot just to keep out the cold, but people don't have that fire so they need to cling tight, tight to each other… You know?”

I did know, I’d been meditating on exactly that kind of cold before he’d come in. We said some more words to each other, the specifics of which are not of vital importance, because our eyes were carrying out a simultaneous and involved conversation that ended, or at least reached a vigorous middle, in the alley behind the car park outside with his heavy cock all the way up inside me.

I hope you’ll forgive the crudity, but it still baffles me, even now, exactly how we went from chitchat to loving by such a short and laser-straight road..

The next morning dawned beautiful and new-washed in that particular way that mornings do when they want to rub in exactly how much your head hurts, and I rolled over with a groan. It wasn’t my bed, and that man was there, whose name, it occurred to me in a sleepily hungover lightning flash, I absolutely did not know. We’d just never got round to sharing it.

A sheaf of cunning plans riffled through my head, fruit of a thousand sitcoms - sneak his wallet? Find his phone? Label on the door? I lay there for a few moments weighing up my options, then I shrugged. He turned over at the movement and blinked me into focus. His eyes were still nice.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Jim,” he said. “Good morning.”

It was a good morning, all of a sudden, and shortly after that it got a lot better.

I didn’t find out he was an astronaut until a few weeks later, when he picked me up in a staff car with the Space Agency logo on the side. He’d been cagey about it so I’d assumed he was some kind of spy or something, but when he leant over and pushed open the car door for me he had that particular grin that meant he was planning something.

“So this is you? You’re a rocket guy?” I was skeptical, there was every chance he’d faked it as part of some complex, infinitely lame gag.

“Astronaut is the technical term. Thank you very much. I’ll show you my office, it’s open for the next few hours while they’re running diagnostics.”

He was waved through the checkpoint, and didn’t lose the grin - in fact it got sharper and more devilish as my incredulity grew, the further we wound into the launch complex.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

He wiggled his head back and forth, still grinning. “They like us to keep it quiet, something to do with licensing and product endorsements, I don’t know. Also because this is hilarious.

The rocket was standing there, limned in morning sun, and he drove right up to the tower, parked the car next to some kind of tanker truck and ushered me into the launch complex through a whooshy airlock door thingy. I’d stopped asking him where we were going out of general pride and was maintaining an expression that aimed for poised hauteur, with what success I cannot judge, when we got out of a lift and off to the right was an enclosed catwalk stretching across to an oval door frame. Inside the dark space were a panoply of blinking coloured lights.

“Is that … is that the rocket. Have you brought me to the rocket,” I asked with lightly fractured hauteur.

“We don’t have a lot of time,” he said, ushering me along. “The next support crew will be here in about twenty minutes.” His grin had shifted from devilish to just regular horny, and with a shake of my head at the exact level of absurdity my day had arrived at, I shucked the last shreds of dignified cool and whooped along the flexible surface of the catwalk to the capsule atop the rocket.

Inside it was tight, cosy, confined. Warm. Dark, too, after he closed the hatch. Jim's eyes were huge, reflecting little starbursts of colour from the blinking lights. I kissed him, ran my hand up under his shirt to his tight hairy belly.

"Do astronauts need to work fast, sometimes? When the circumstances require?" I whispered.

He nodded, sparkling eyes intent on mine as he undid my belt.

A few minutes later I was flailing, gasping as he pounded me. I could feel the orgasm coming up on me, titanic and golden, filling every part of my body. I'd left language behind a few dozen thrusts back, and was exploring new linguistic ground by way of a tongue composed almost entirely of vowels, when my hand caught a support loop and I gripped it tight, used it to grind myself the last deliciously agonising few steps to orgasm.

I felt Jim stop and say something garbled, and I opened my eyes to find out what it was. At the same time I put my other hand down on something yielding, that went down with a click.

"Oh," said Jim. "Emergency separation."

And with a punch like the fist of an angry god, a whole bunch of jets fired and rocketed the top half of the rocket with us in it up, up, up and away, high in the sky, slamming us both down with Jim spasming helplessly inside me and the shock setting me off and the next thing I knew, after sinking into a G-force induced sexual coma, was coming to, bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Agency hushed it up, blamed it on a computer error; their quarterly budget bid would have been crippled by a revelation that a quarter billion dollars had been wasted on the antics of a couple of horny idiots, so they just retired him quietly.

We didn't last that much longer; there was always, somehow, after that time, something missing when we hosed.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Interprompt

Poems as to why erotica is bad

rat-born cock
Apr 3, 2017


"Garbage! Trash! Offal! Debris! Come and get it! Nothing whole or undamaged! Crap, tripe, and useless piles of shit. You know you want it."


It's not just crits, it's not just judgment, it's...

Crudgment!

OVERALL NOTES: Ha ha, the first time judge wrote a bad prompt so a bunch of people wrote porn. I am informed this is a fun joke, that was meant in good fun. I hope, then, that the contents of this post will be taken in similar "good fun." In the end, my loss criteria came down to the thinness of the story in relation to its sexual content.

You guys have a whole blood gimmick, so enjoy the blood.

YORUICHI

Hi, I don’t understand this story. I understand that the narrator and Spaceman Jim have good-looking backsides and that they had sex. What is the story, though? There is a thing at the end where they have solved all global warming problems with sex, but it seems tacked on, like you felt a little bashful that you’d written porn so you added a part with some sort of purpose. I don’t understand why Spaceman Jim supposedly doesn’t understand Earth culture, but they talk the same language and even both sound like British people. I don’t recall even a throwaway line about universal translators.

Verdict: Loss.

SIMPLY SIMON

On the plus side, this porn actually has a story. I like the realistic problem the long distance spouses have, and this seems like a situation that could actually arise in 2028. You could have expressed the same things...alienation, sex-toy dependency, insecurity within a long-distance relationship...without so many porny parts. Sometimes you pull back like you forgot you were trying to write a porn, and instead tell a decent sci-fi story, and I like those parts. But then you remembered you were writing porn, so you added in extra shocking phrases about urethra venting and virgin anuses.

Verdict: No mention, but only because one judge pleaded your case on the basis that you actually tried to tell a story. I wanted you to lose, but, was persuaded otherwise.

SOMETHING ELSE

I was excited by this story at first because the style and tone made it seem like it was going to be serious. But it was just a more Literary version of the other stories, with the porn hidden behind slightly more elegant phrasing. As for the story itself...you described a kind of interesting situation, with the whole moonbase thing, and the using of the pod to masturbate in. I was waiting for there to be a twist, but he just rubbed his noodle and then wrote a letter about it to his missus. I am grateful that you kept this style to a reasonable length.

Verdict: Loss.

THRANGUY

For real man, I was scared going into your story because I thought I was going to have to read more porn. FINALLY, someone writing about the actual events leading up to 2028, as experienced by themselves. This story is really cool, I am not a hundred percent sure why the dark cold timeline at the end is the “right” one, but I take it that it’s because of the stories Thora buried in the second-to-last section, ensuring that your memories of all the timelines got into the hands of the right future people. Even though it seems like all is lost, this is the time we’re going to get it right. I read this story very fast and thought all the words were good, although there were a couple typos here and there.

Verdict: Winner! This story gives me hope that my prompt was comprehensible.

MERCEDES

You are the opposite of Thranguy’s story. I started out feeling trust in the beginning, it seemed like it was going to be another story in fitting with events preceding the year 2028. I thought the blacked-out parts were funny, when Mercedes the Mellifluous was yelling at Emilia to stop spying on his sex memories. The rest of the story makes me think of an Adult Swim cartoon or something...It’s topical and edgy but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think by the end. That Mercedes was a man with a lot of boners who did cocaine? It sucks because I thought your way of using the flash rule (having Emilia use the memory device) was cool at first.

Verdict: Loss. I am informed this is "very Merc" and that you are just having fun, but I was genuinely excited by your premise, and made sad by your ending.

ANOMALOUS BLOWOUT

Thank you for not writing porn! I liked how realistic this story was, and the way people talked. It definitely feels very 2028, and I loved how you described the actions of the Band. I would say that as I was reading it, I found my eyes wanting to jump ahead, past the narrator’s stumble through the dark. I was hoping the resolution of the story would involve the narrator more closely with the firing of the Belt, but this is really just the epilogue to a story, not a story in and of itself. At the beginning the story says a thing is going to happen, and by the end, that thing happens, with some interesting commentary about wildlife control and geography along the way.

Verdict: No mention.

SEBMOJO

Thank you for...almost not writing porn. Your story was the least porny of the porn bunch, and at least you had some funny lines here and there. One criticism, near the beginning the narrator is not thinking about their ex, and then “he” slides into the next seat over. At that point, I thought the ex had turned up, and was confused why they were flirting like people who just met. But oh, it’s another installment of the Spaceman Jim Does Sex saga, cool. Thanks for that. Like I said, a PG-13 rating and some decent humor are all that saved this from the meat grinder.

Verdict: No mention, by the hair of your "tight hairy belly."

Thranguy, a genuine thank you for your contribution to this prompt, the throne is yours.

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.

Three losses! Ah, ah, ahhhhhh.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



rat-born cock posted:


YORUICHI

Verdict: Loss.

SOMETHING ELSE

Verdict: Loss.

MERCEDES

Verdict: Loss.

Something Else
Dec 27, 2004


I regret my decisions

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.







And I'll fuckin' do it again

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


I regret nothing

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Prompt!

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Thunderdone CDXI: One More Than Y'all Deserve

Simple enough, I want stories about Justice.

And when you enter you get a song flash, the songs all being the hits from one-hit-wonders. In the American charts context. If you want you can request a decade from the 1950s to the 2010s. Not required.

As usual with song prompts, don't be overly literal, don't retell the story of the song. Capture feels. Remix elements.

No gdocs, screeds, poetry, fanfic, or erotica. In fact, keep it PG-13 this week.

1895 words max.

Signups close 11:59 Friday Pacific time

Entries close 11:59 Friday Pacific time

Judges:
Thranguy
?
?

Entrants:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


In, 90s

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 06:01 on Jun 16, 2020

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


In and please give me the 1970s.

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018


A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE WONDERING WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO IF I DIDN'T WIN ANYTHING

I GUESS WE'LL NEVER KNOW




Grrrat-gat!
Saucy bomaye!


In, 00s.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


Crits for Week #410, The De Facto Erotica Week

I can’t speak for the other judges, but since the crowd in its collective wisdom decided to make this an erotica week, nobody lost points from me just for writing smut. Some of it I actually found light-hearted.

1. Yoruichi — All You Need Is Love (And A Spaceship)

- Not thrilled with the title.

- Ah, a story that takes place in the Spaceman Jim Extended Universe.

- The humor is welcome. You’ve got the narrator, in her attire, standing next to a wrecked spaceship in a paddock. The silly premise and amusing images somehow work.

- The “hot” double entendre is cliché.

- Overall, the story is fun and light.

- Despite your having tacked on an epilogue, the story is too much a vignette. You missed an opportunity to add in more plot, especially given the lack of a max word count this week.

2. Simply Simon — The Game of Telephonesex

- You know, underneath the smut there is a poignant story here. So many couples struggle with how to maintain intimacy in LDRs, and you’ve managed to portray that struggle in a relatable way, from the alienation and longing, to the dissatisfaction with conventional phone sex, to anxieties over readjusting to your partner when finally you meet irl again.

- Admittedly, the humor is sophomoric, with language like “nubile harem” and “virgin anus”. I can see how some judges might’ve been put off by that or considered it to detract overmuch from the story. Personally I considered it all in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which you seem to have intended it.

- The narrator is pretty relatable. The characterization really makes us invest in what happens to him. He deeply loves his partner, he has intimate needs and anxieties, he experiences all-too-human jealousy. Often, self-insert narrators lack characterization, since authors already know themselves and may imagine themselves to be inherently interesting right from jump. Congrats on avoiding that trap.

- As the story went on, I began genuinely to worry about how or even whether the couple would be able to continue as an irl partnership. How can they compete with a machine-learned mechanism for satisfying each other? I think you solved the problem in a relatively mature way, in both senses of that word. By realizing that Alex is not a threat to their relationship, they can do the mature adult thing and find ways to incorporate their Alex-assisted sex life into their genuine loving partnership. They can ease back into their old passion, and have no need to “optimize” their sex in the first place. Really smart ending.

- Consider sebmojo’s story, as a contrast. The pair in that tale cannot maintain their passion, since it’s never as good as it was on the rocket ship. Your couple has overcome this challenge in a meaningful way.

3. Something Else — A Letter from the Moon

- The main problem with your story is it’s a tale about a moon base guy finding some space to masturbate. I don’t knock your story for the mere presence of erotica per se, but how could a story like this not lose?

- The epistolary style didn't quite work. The prose is written not so much like a real 19th century love-letter but like a modern try-hard attempt to mimic that style. And in service to what? It was lewd, but in an uninteresting way. The story was neither fun, nor filled with pathos, nor particularly resonant at all. It fell flat I’m afraid.

4. Thranguy — Superposition

- This story seems to be the best fit with the prompt this week, albeit that the prompt is worded in a confusing manner.

- The story has some clear strengths. The premise is good, the concepts are interesting. You’ve put Niven’s Law to good use, and it’s a nice touch that the narrator experiences the other timelines as Mandela Effects. I like what the narrator being in superposition at all implies about his future self’s role in the temporal struggle. There is a lot to like about the story’s message, including the comparability of personal and collective regrets, the purpose of negative events, and how if people actually saw the counterfactuals for the events they regret, they might have a different perspective on them. The structure and pacing are pretty good.

- The story reminds me in a good way of the Voyager episode “Year of Hell” and The Next Generation episode “Tapestry”.

- The story has some definite weaknesses, and might not have won if there’d been greater participation and fewer violations of the thread’s OP among your peers. I definitely didn't get a strong enough sense of the narrator as a character. I want to know much more about the type of person he is at his core, both within and across timelines. I also think fleshing out certain timelines more would have improved the story, making it come to life even more and giving you great opportunities for characterization. It might be wise to pare some timelines down and expand others. I genuinely think you can do that while maintaining good pacing.

- While I have you here, would you consider finishing your Week #379 crits, or linking if you’ve already posted them?

5. Mercedes — The Archivist

- I enjoyed reading this. I thought the self-aggrandizement was funny and so were the spoiler tags.

- The story does come across as a little trollish. Although I had fun reading it, and I suspect you had fun writing it, it’s a shame that the story doesn’t stand on its own. That is, part of why I like it depends on it being a quintessential merc story in a long history of such stories.

6. Anomalous Blowout — On a Long Enough Timeline

- The prose is nice and smooth.

- There isn’t much mystery or surprise or tension to propel the reader forward.

- The worldbuilding feels real. One strength of the story is its setting.

- This story could have benefitted from conflict. As is, it’s 1680 words to say ‘character saw cool thing.’ And it is indeed cool. The imagery is nice. But it’s not quite satisfying enough on its own.

7. sebmojo — Catastrophic Re-entry

- So here we have the second of two erotic Spaceman Jim stories this week.

- Like rat-born, at first I thought the antecedent of “he” in paragraph two was “ex”.

- Minor gripe but the repetition of “so” in paragraph seven doesn’t work well.

- It’s a nice touch that in many of your stories, ostensibly simple conversations have a layered quality.

- I lament it, but “fist of an angry god” has become cliché.

- The ending has room for improvement. I was disappointed that the lovers couldn’t find a creative way to overcome the problem of conventional sex being unsatisfying by comparison to rocketship sex.

- It’s interesting to contrast this story with Simon’s. While it’s true, yours has better prose, is funnier, and has better erotica insofar as there’s less of it, I do think Simon comes out on top (no pun) since he managed to explore greater relationship depths (no pun).

Armack fucked around with this message at 06:12 on Jun 16, 2020

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016





In. Hit me with some '60s.
for not writing a porn last week.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010


big enough
for the both of us





Back Into the 90s

Also, I feel like I owe you one. rat-born cock, if you want to, you can hit me with an extra flash rule. Make it hurt if you do.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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



Primitive Radio Gods, Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Anomalous Blowout posted:

In and please give me the 1970s.

Gary Numan, Cars

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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



Trapt, Headstrong

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


steeltoedsneakers posted:

In. Hit me with some '60s.
for not writing a porn last week.

Zager and Evans, In the Year 2525

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Simply Simon posted:

Back Into the 90s

Also, I feel like I owe you one. rat-born cock, if you want to, you can hit me with an extra flash rule. Make it hurt if you do.

The Toadies, Possum Kingdom

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


Ultra Carp

Sure, let's do this.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Antivehicular posted:

Sure, let's do this.

OMC, How Bizarre

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


Sure, I’m in.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


QuoProQuid posted:

Sure, I’m in.

Dexy's Midnight Runners, Come on Eileen

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In, 80s.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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



The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tuff Enuff

AlmightyDerelict
Jun 14, 2020

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020


In for the first time, 90's !

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


AlmightyDerelict posted:

In for the first time, 90's !

Semisonic, Closing Time

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018


A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE WONDERING WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO IF I DIDN'T WIN ANYTHING

I GUESS WE'LL NEVER KNOW




Grrrat-gat!
Saucy bomaye!


Crits


Maybe we shouldn't've all written porn this week, but ya know what, I'm glad people had fun. That being said, what the gently caress. Simon, that poo poo nasty. Here are some crits.


YORUICHI


What happens in the story: Spaceman Jim crashlands near Yoru's house. They are attracted to each other, and quickly gently caress in both meanings of "quickly." This causes world peace.


Of the porn stories this week, this is the only one that I can imagine a human being actually jerking off to. It takes place in the Pornoverse: somewhere in this fictional reality, a large-breasted woman is finding herself unable to pay for the extra large sausage pizza she just ordered. Porn is essentially about joy, it doesn't need conflict, and I appreciate the breeziness of this tale. This is perhaps the week's most readable story.


I'm a little confused about whether Spaceman Jim is an alien or an earth astronaut. If he's an alien, why does he have no alien characteristics? If he's a human, then why does he have a spaceship powered by love that solves global warming? This makes no sense at all.


Uh, do I have to give a rating to the pornos, I dunno, 5.5/10


Simply Simon


What happens: let me get this straight, I could be wrong here, and that probably reflects the carefulness of my reading more than the clarity of the text: Simon and his wife, Karla, have been physically separated following an undefined global crisis. They use a gadget called Alex to gently caress, but they can't do it at the same time. Simon fucks a fleshlight-type thingy, which records his dick movements, which are then copied by Karla's dildo, and it goes back and forth like that. Karla and Simon begin to enjoy the telesex more than the real thing, and Simon develops an attraction for Alex outside of Karla. When they finally reunite, Karla and Simon incorporate Alex into their lovemaking.


Hoo boy did I hate this, but probably not in a way that's fair to you as a writer. This isn't a porn, it's a Black Mirror episode with dicks and pussies and human juices, and I'm actually a Black Mirror stan, but found this whole thing so unpleasant that its biggest crime was being over 2600 words. This could easily be a third as long as it is; two sex scenes with Alex to establish the pattern, the Karla shows up for the finale, so the reader gets all of the meaning without having to wade through a bunch of unpleasant-sounding dildo loving. I appreciate that there are some themes here that are relevant in the COVID age: longing, isolation, etc. But man, for a story with this many butts, it's just no fun.


2/10


Something Else


What happens: Gregor, who works on the moon, writes a letter to his Earthbound lover about the rare opportunity he had to jerk off.


I think this is a comedy story as opposed to a straight porn? I mean, it's not hot, who'd want to jack off to a story where nobody fucks anybody except themselves? So I think what you're going for is a comedic dissonance between the flowery Ken-Burns-Civil-War-Letter prose and the mundane grossness of what Gregor's actually describing? There are a few good bits here--making boobs with the moon-laser, for one--but I dont think there's enough here.


4.5/10


Thranguy--Superposition


What happens: the protagonist is one of the hundred or so people in the world who notices that some fuckery is happening with the timeline, and lives through several alternate dystopias. He eventually meets and marries Thora, who claims to be a time traveler, but the protagonist has his doubts. The story ends on a final dystopia, where the lights have gone out and chaos rules the world. The narrator hopes that instead of using time travel to prevent this last cataclysm, the people of the future will learn from the mistakes of the past. There are no graphic sex scenes, you god damned prude.


I like this. I don't think the in media res was necessary or good, particularly because your actual premise is cooler than the relatively mundane scene you choose to open with. Starting in the middle is a trick to get people hooked, but I think expositing the premise would do that more quickly. The theme of regret is well illustrated. I was hoping for something a little less nihilistic on my first read through, but on my second, I realized the ending isn't "the apocalypse is good, actually" but a reminder that we all have to live through our mistakes.


My favorite part of the story was when they found Shakespeare's lost play. If you ever want to expand on this concept, I would hope for more fun little details like that. I also wish I had a better sense of the narrator as a character.


7/10


Mercedes


Mercedes, who has recently died, is having his consciousness archived by Emilia, an admirer. Mercedes was world famous for legendary debauchery, as evidenced by the time he whacked President Donald Trump in the face with his erection. He dies during a cocaine-fueled cunnilungus orgy. Emilia watches these memories, and her appreciation for Mercedes only grows.


The spoilered-out stuff was kind of lame, and should have been cut. I appreciate that as long as you're breaking the rules about erotica, you also decide to break rules about overt topical references, and slapping Trump in the face with your boner fits your normal sexual-gonzo tone. In fact, I think that's how Mercedes should have died.


The Emilia stuff feels tacked on. If you have a framing device like this, she should have more of a story of her own than "loves Mercedes---->really loves Mercedes."


5/10


Anomalous Blowout


What happened: the plot of Gravity happened, so Earth's scientists came together to build a space laser to destroy all the rubble. The protagonist and their buddy Hamish have a job inoculating ferrets, which present an obstacle to viewing the laser show in the night sky. No one has any sex because Anomolous Blowout is a lame virgin who can't get laid, and thus has no experience to transfer to the page.


This is a confusing story. What your protagonists are trying to accomplish is unclear for most of this, so the tension you're trying to build doesn't land because we don't know the win conditions or the lose conditions. What they are trying to do ends up feeling pretty lame, anyways. The exposition about what's going on in space needs a rewrite for clarity. It took until maybe my third read-through that The Band and the laser array were the same thing. I still don't think I understand what jobs the characters have in the woods. That should be made clear early on. As it is, I don't have a good sense of what the stakes are.


This is one where the themes don't match up with what actually goes down in the story. The title and the final paragraphs suggest "give it enough time, and the strangest things will always happen" but the events of the story aren't strange enough to warrant that lesson.


4/10


Sebmojo


What happens: the protagonist meets Spaceman Jim in a bar and the do the fuckin. The next day, Jim brings the protagonist to his rocket. During sex, they accidentally turn the rocket on. It's the best sex the couple ever has, and they break up when they can't replicate.


To be honest, I've never been to a bar where it's perpetually 3 a.m. Everywhere I've ever lived, the bars had to legally close by 2. I can't imagine a 3 a.m. bar being a place anyone wants to be.


The story's fun enough, but not well plotted. Having the lovebirds go directly from the bar to the spaceship would tighten this up a lot. If you mention the gender of your protagonist, I must have missed it, and have no idea where on the Kinsey scale this fuckin finds itself.


5/10

Saucy_Rodent fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Jun 16, 2020

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


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


In, :: , 1980s

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Ceighk posted:

In, :: , 1980s

A Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (So Far Away)

Something Else
Dec 27, 2004


im in and i would like to hear a song from the 00's

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Something Else posted:

im in and i would like to hear a song from the 00's

Gnarls Barkkey, Crazy

kiyoshimon
Jul 10, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

I'm in with a , 1970s please.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


kiyoshimon posted:

I'm in with a , 1970s please.

Eric Burdon and War, Spill the Wine

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


gently caress it. In with the 90s please.

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010


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


Doctor Idle posted:

gently caress it. In with the 90s please.

Fiona Apple, Criminal

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