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MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





In.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

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 toxx

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



In!

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



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

*


I am so busy but I will regret not being in for week 420.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


In.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




in in in in in in in in in

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


I will write a wonderful story sitting in a cabin on the North Sea, as the wind and waves play me a melody of wonder and longing, and my wife tells me "stop writing all the time we're on holiday!!"

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




In

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED





In.

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



In.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Quoting prompt for the new page! Prompts will be out in a bit.

Sitting Here posted:

:420: :toot: :siren: Thunderdome Week 420: Guys we made the weed number :siren: :toot: :420:



I want to keep this post frank and productive, so instead of writing a big gushy paragraph about what a good job you're all doing at writing lovely words for 8 years, I sat down briefly with Sebmojo to talk about 8 years of this contest, as well as what it means to do and be Thunderdome in 2020.

Right. So whether you are an old hat at Thunderdome, a newbie, or one of our prompt contributors from BYOB, welcome!

Many of you have commissioned stories by submitting one or more outlines to this form (which is now closed—thank you so much to everyone who contributed). It's possible you didn't know you were commissioning a story, but that's what's going to happen!

We're keeping it simple this week. You sign up, you receive a random outline from the above form, and do your damndest to write a story that uses all the details in the outline you receive. Outline contributors get to watch their stories come to life! Much to their delight, or dismay.

You couldn't ask for a simpler prompt. Most of the thinking has already been done for you; you get the fun job of stringing it all together!

The winner of this week will have the option of receiving a free custom week 420 av. The loser will receive a free, non-optional custom week 420 av ;)

Boilerplate stuff:

  • No erotica. Your story must be viewable on the forums. Don't put your story in quote tags. Don't waste the judge's time with boring political screeds.
  • No editing once you've posted!
  • Signup deadline: Sign up by 11:59:59PM PST on Friday, August 21
  • Story submission deadline: Post your story by 11:59:59PM PST on Sunday, August 23
  • Maximum word count: 2,420 words (do not feel obligated to use all of them!)
  • Toxxes are allowed, and may be fulfilled with a minimum $10 to a charitable cause should you fail your toxx.


Fun stuff:

The top outline contributor was Tyrannosaurus! Wow. Thanks buddy.

The top genre category was magical realism, followed by science fiction, fantasy, horror, and general/literary fiction!



Judges
Sitting Here
???
???
(???)?

Freelancers


Sitting Here posted:

:420: :toot: :siren: Week 420 post part 2 :siren: :toot: :420:

To kick things off, here is an example of what an outline will look like. The first person to sign up gets to choose whether or not to use this outline, or to receive a random one from the list! If the first person to sign up does not opt to use this outline, it will go back in the hopper for random distribution later :) CLAIMED BY MOCKING QUANTUM

If you want a longer explanation for each category, please consult the Google form, which has more detailed explanations. Feel free to hit me up on the Thunderdome Discord as well!

Contributor:

Tyrannosaurus

Genre:

Mystery

Protagonist attribute:

Lycanthrope

Protagonist obstructor:

In love

What the protagonist wants:

Freedom

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime in history or pre-history

Setting details:

The Great Depression

World problem:

Big Banks

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Takes the character completely by surprise

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to anyone

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



in

Captain_Person
Apr 7, 2013

WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?

Rolling a big fat in

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


In

Chopstick Dystopia
Jun 16, 2010


lowest high and highest low loser of: WEED WEE
k


Judgement: Week 419
This week saw some very enjoyable fare. Thank you to all who submitted. There was something to like in every story, and a lot to like in most.

Before we get to that, however, a special shout-out to those who couldn't stand the heat and got out of the kitchen: Something Else, Freakie, and Ceighk :(

While I had originally planned to mostly ignore the work of the notorious Cache Cab, after reading the other entries it was clear that Alien's Sexy Mushroom deserved the loss. You know what you did. Also, salo is served cold. There is no opportunity for it to burn!

A DM this week for CaligulaKangaroo with Closing. For how little happened, this was hard to follow at the start and underwhelming at the end.

GrandmaParty also DMs this week with Locals Only. A story of trials where the trials don’t matter.

A HM goes to The Saddest Rhino for Kimberly's End of Summer Fig and Port Trifle. This vibrant fever-dream was a gripping, unsettling, tale that seemed to mourn the ephemeral nature of life.

Victory is Antivehicular’s with An Oral History of Bryce Allen Gifford's Last Meal. This story was well structured and well paced, with a beautiful ending that every judge enjoyed. Congratulations!
(it's probably obvious but you will judge week 421)

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


In

Chopstick Dystopia
Jun 16, 2010


lowest high and highest low loser of: WEED WEE
k


In

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Incredibly in

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


My state hasn't decriminalized Thunderdome yet. Don't tell the cops I'm in.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Form link for longer explanation of each category

Full disclosure: I am mostly selecting these using an RNG, however I reserve the right to select prompts however I goddamn please. There may be opportunities to re-roll later, and I may offer some particularly hard or shitposty prompts to brave souls later this week. Stay tuned!


MQ confirmed that he will be taking T-rex's prompt offering!

Contributor:

Tyrannosaurus

Genre:

Mystery

Protagonist attribute:

Lycanthrope

Protagonist obstructor:

In love

What the protagonist wants:

Freedom

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime in history or pre-history

Setting details:

The Great Depression

World problem:

Big Banks

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Takes the character completely by surprise

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to anyone



Contributor
JonJoe

Genre:

Fantasy

Protagonist attribute:

Necromancer

Protagonist obstructor:

Compulsive Liar

What the protagonist wants:

End anti-necromancy laws

Story setting:

Somewhere else in this universe, and it's all fantasy and poo poo

Setting details:

Kingdom where necromancy is illegal

World problem:

Demon lord (duh)

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Hinders them from getting what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Is overcome in the course of pursuing what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is solved by the protagonist



Contributor

The Saddest Rhino

Genre:

Mystery

Protagonist attribute:

Serial killer with a dumb gimmick

Protagonist obstructor:

Lack of self awareness

What the protagonist wants:

Fulfillment

Story setting:

On Earth, and horror is happening

Setting details:

Earth, 1980s

World problem:

Capitalism

Your protagonist...

Is about to discover what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Develops/changes in the course of hindering them from getting what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

"Uh idk lol you decide"

At the end of the story...

The world problem is revealed to be a different problem than previously thought, The world problem is overshadowed by a worse problem

Captain_Person posted:

Rolling a big fat in

Contributor

Jaguars!

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

Guitarist

Protagonist obstructor:

Respect for Health and Safety Protocols

What the protagonist wants:

Some Weed

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime close to the present day

Setting details:

An oil rig on the North Sea, 1981

World problem:

A month long storm

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem solves itself, The world problem is overshadowed by a worse problem



Contributor

flerp

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

dog

Protagonist obstructor:

scared of love

What the protagonist wants:

wants to be pet

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

now

World problem:

trees talk and gossip about everyone

Your protagonist...

Is in denial of what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Hinders them from getting what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, and will get worse



Contributor

Nae

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

pedant

Protagonist obstructor:

mute

What the protagonist wants:

a job

Story setting:

On Earth, but it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

1980s USSR; the USSR, but with robots

World problem:

US v. Soviet robot arms race is heating up

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Hinders them from getting what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is made worse by the protagonist




Contributor

alnilam

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

A wandering or freelance rain dancer / summoner of rain

Protagonist obstructor:

afraid of thunder

What the protagonist wants:

Better irrigation and farming practices to become widespread so they can finally retire

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

Dust bowl (Judge note: I assume this means the infamous dust bowl of the great depression era in the US)

World problem:

Drought and famine

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to backfire, but helps

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Develops unexpectedly

At the end of the story...

The world problem is overshadowed by a worse problem



Contributor

MockingQuantum

Genre:

Horror

Protagonist attribute:

Con Man (Con Person?)

Protagonist obstructor:

Inability to lie convincingly

What the protagonist wants:

Anonymity

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime in history or pre-history

Setting details:

1950s London

World problem:

Just a whole shitload of ghosts

Your protagonist...

Just wants to stay alive tbh

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to backfire, but helps

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't come into play at all (to the character's relief)

At the end of the story...

The world problem is made worse by the protagonist, The world problem is not solved, and will get worse, The world problem is revealed to be a different problem than previously thought


Simply Simon posted:

I will write a wonderful story sitting in a cabin on the North Sea, as the wind and waves play me a melody of wonder and longing, and my wife tells me "stop writing all the time we're on holiday!!"

Contributor

Entenzahn

Genre:

Steampunk Noir

Protagonist attribute:

Garbage disposal

Protagonist obstructor:

dumb

What the protagonist wants:

build a robot

Story setting:

Somewhere in an alternate universe

Setting details:

It takes place in a massive sprawling steampunk metropolis ruled by an elitist class of shadow oligarchs that slowly eliminate the need for a working class through automation, causing the proletariat to be divided amongst themselves as they squabble for job opportunities

World problem:

automation. and capitalism

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is made worse by the protagonist, The world problem is made worse by someone else, The world problem makes itself worse, The world problem is not solved, and will get worse (Judge note: If you only pick one or two of these that's okay)


Yoruichi posted:

in in in in in in in in in

Contributor

cda

Genre:

experimental

Protagonist attribute:

a smart TV

Protagonist obstructor:

unfocused

What the protagonist wants:

to seduce a human

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime close to the present day

Setting details:

here and now

World problem:

most people have forgotten how to love

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Becomes an OBSTRUCTOR

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Develops unexpectedly

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better



Contributor

RandomPaui

Genre:

Mystery

Protagonist attribute:

Ghost "caught by instinct"

Protagonist obstructor:

A "lab made" experiment to bring people back as ghosts

What the protagonist wants:

To move on

Story setting:

On Earth but there's magic and poo poo (not magical realism)

Setting details:

1700s style

World problem:

People want to understand magic better using scientific method (no split seen between magic and science)

Your protagonist...

Is about to discover what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Doesn't come into play at all (to the character's surprise)

Your protagonist's obstructor...

takes the character completely by surprise

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better


Anomalous Blowout posted:

I am so busy but I will regret not being in for week 420.

Contributor

CaligulaKangaroo

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

Juggler

Protagonist obstructor:

Anti-Social

What the protagonist wants:

To be the star of the space circus

Story setting:

Somewhere else in this universe, and it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

Traveling interplanetary circus

World problem:

Space governmental distrust of space carnies

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Is overcome in the course of pursuing what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better



This outline was added back to the selection pool due to a re-roll

Contributor

crabrock

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

dreamer

Protagonist obstructor:

health issues keep him from riding a rocket

What the protagonist wants:

wants to go to space

Story setting:

On Earth, and it's the near future

Setting details:

None

World problem:

technology hasn't progressed much more than current rocket tech, though it's safer and cheaper

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

drives them to want something they can't have

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Hinders them from getting what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is revealed to not be a problem after all, The world problem is revealed to be a different problem than previously thought



flerp posted:

in toxx

This outline was returned to general circulation due to a re-roll

Contributor
JOHN CENA

Genre:

Mystery

Protagonist attribute:

tinkerer

Protagonist obstructor:

too zoned in sometimes

What the protagonist wants:

to make the buzzing in their head stop, metaphorically. less anxiety i think. peace of mind is that the word

Story setting:

Somewhere in an alternate universe

Setting details:

something resembling new york or london, a western major city but not exactly a real one. im feeling tugged toward 1970 fashion and product but maybe in an area with rule of law set sometime in where we thought new york in 2015 would be in the late 1970s if that makes sense.

World problem:

because of development of coal, petrol, and other burning products far earlier in human development, the ozone is a lot shoddier and lands in the tropics are susceptible to uninhabitual oceanic tides+currents. this also causes some really weird weather changes for NotEurope, which may now have a more desert like climate and prone to dust storms, intense heat waves, tornadic activity, large hail etc. Planet's kind of hosed but the just live with it how they can.

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Hinders them from getting what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, and will get worse, The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist, The world problem is revealed to be a different problem than previously thought (Judge note: If you can't make all these work, just pick one or two)




Contributor

Musluk

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

Magical equivalent of TFR agent who is constantly high from busting into weed farms

Protagonist obstructor:

Weed makes them paranoid

What the protagonist wants:

They want the wanton property destruction from busting to stop

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

1992 LA

World problem:

Cyberpunk and technology is on the rise

Your protagonist...

Just wants to stay alive tbh

Your protagonist's attribute...

Becomes an OBSTRUCTOR

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is made worse by the protagonist, The world problem makes itself worse, The world problem is not solved, and will get worse (Judge note: if you can't make all of these work, pick one or two)

Armack posted:

My state hasn't decriminalized Thunderdome yet. Don't tell the cops I'm in.

Contributor

Chili

Genre:

General/literary fiction (for our purposes, this just means contemporary stories set in the real world)

Protagonist attribute:

Clergy Person

Protagonist obstructor:

Body Dysmorphia

What the protagonist wants:

Approval

Story setting:

On Earth, and it's the near future

Setting details:

2032 Upper Class Suburb

World problem:

Seasonal Cicada

Your protagonist...

Used to have the thing they want, but now it's gone

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist


cptn_dr posted:

Incredibly in

Contributor

Weltlich

Genre:

Western mixed with one genre of the authors choice

Protagonist attribute:

Undertaker

Protagonist obstructor:

a needy pet

What the protagonist wants:

adventure

Story setting:

On an alternate version of Earth

Setting details:

The author may chose to adhere to historical and geographical detail as closely or loosely as they choose.

World problem:

a land rush (judge note: interpret this as you wish)

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Comes into play in an unexpected way

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't come into play at all (to the character's surprise)

At the end of the story...

The world problem is revealed to be a different problem than previously thought

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 06:54 on Aug 22, 2020

Chopstick Dystopia
Jun 16, 2010


lowest high and highest low loser of: WEED WEE
k


Judgecrits: Week 419

Cache Cab’s Alien’s Sexy Mushroom
Muru’s boyfriend, an indie chef, cooks her a mushroom pasta. He mistakenly uses a large quantity of horny mushroom, and they must gently caress.

This is the first Cache Cab story I’ve read after hearing a lot of hype. Turns out it’s not my style. Some of jokes do land, but for me a lot of it falls short of the so-bad-it’s-good threshold.

Use of the salo feels very tacked on here, there was no need to request an ingredient and mentions of it here are distracting more than anything.

I didn’t hate it, but it felt like an acquired taste I just didn’t understand. Kind of like Muru trying salo.


Noah’s The Secret of the Churnkeep
A buttermonger serves butter degustation. His explanation of the provenance of the highly-sought after final course dovetails with the terrible fate that awaits the diners.

This is atmospheric and nails the food descriptions. This felt like an old pulp horror tale and I was drawn along by the mystery of the Mère Céleste and the fate of the buttermonger.

The ending lost me. Not only is this sort of customer treatment unsustainable, I don’t understand the greater why of its happening. The buttermonger and his associate were punished for their blackmail, but why are the patrons to undergo this punishment?


sparksbloom's Real Cinnamon
Kasia is shown up by Greta and then relegated to cleaning duty. After finding out that Greta is a witch, Kasia quits to find something more fulfilling and is confronted by Greta. Kasia resists, but her will might fail after the end of the story.

This was a good opening and I felt Kasia’s frustration at Greta noticing the dark edges, supplanting her in the kitchen.

I liked Kasia’s nervousness with Joshua, her struggle for the place she once had in the bakery that Greta now rightly occupies. It feels like an injustice but it’s a reality Kasia has to deal with.

Or maybe she doesn’t have to deal with it because Greta’s actually just an evil witch. Kasia theorising that Greta is a witch, I thought was going to be about her inability to handle her own loss of status. I was surprised that Greta was indeed a witch. Why is someone with the power to create life (Tuva) working at a bakery for Joshua?

Then we end without really knowing what happens. Kasia may still eat the pasty (and then be under the witches spell?) or she may not, in which case what’s she gonna do?

Ultimately, I liked the start of this and then it lost me completely.



GrandmaParty’s Locals Only
Beebus, Shapiro, and Davis are home from Vietnam and Beebus takes them to a legendary bar. The bartender tells them its locals only, then says if they win the challenges they’ll drink on him. One the challenges are completed the bartender reneges. Slighted, the returned soldiers burn down the bar and leave.

My feeling is this story needed some cuts in the beginning setup and more going on later.

The whisky was okay as a mcguffin, but other than being a good local speciality didn’t seem to mean anything to the characters.

I liked the stuff about Shapiro the quartermaster feeling off when people asked him about his service. I didn’t feel that really jived with the way he acted thought.

I liked Beebus the local understanding the pickled chitterling challenge and getting it over with quickly. The third challenge being a fight between them, and them getting straight to it, I also enjoyed.

I didn’t really like any of the characters in this before the boys burned down the bar, and after they did that I didn’t even understand them.


Saucy_Rodent’s Do as the Witches Do
Kyle agrees to go with Brooke to a ritual sacrifice, even though its not a date and he might get sacrificed and there’s an orgy where he might do some gay stuff. In the end, he just chills with Brooke and they develop their friendship.

Both of these characters, Kyle and Brooke, are pretty chill. As a result this is a bit of a relaxed, enjoyable read. My biggest issue with this is what Brooke tells us that Kyle is super wound up, always studying and having to get As and not drinking, but he’s actually been super chill up to this point about the sacrifice, his sexuality, and stealing. He is not worldly about tequila or witches, but he doesn’t seem tightly wound to me.

There is some tension around what will happen at the orgy, but instead he ends up sharing a joint with Brooke so as to not disrespect the moon.

The lamb and the lamb fat here feel perfunctory, but I don’t mind because the story feels kind of nice and easy, like hanging out with Brooke.

Please don’t write “said chipperly” again, though, thanks.


CaligulaKangaroo’s Closing
A restaurant is going under and the owners, a couple, are having a tense time of their relationship. Many customers come for the last night.

What I liked most about this was the tension of Ana and Owen was shown to us. I also liked them laughing over Ana’s mother’s insistence on not using the food processor in their restaurant.

Unfortunately both the start of this was difficult to follow and the ending didn’t fit. I thought at first they were about to open for the first time. Then later realised they were about to close for the last time. When Ana is reminiscing about the past at the start it is not clear why or what time she is in relative to that.

At the end when they laugh about the town being weird I don’t get it.


Thanguy’s A Matter of Meat
Talon, Joven, and Quiz retrieve a dragon’s corpse and put on a feast

I really liked the premise of this. I was excited for where it might go, but it was mostly about the logistics of moving a dragon and then cooking it.

I liked them tasting the meat and comparing it to different things they had tried and figuring out how to cook it. I enjoyed them having to use the dragon’s own parts to cut into it.

What was not so great was that the tension from the start quickly evaporated and the ending felt anticlimactic. The challenge of the broken carts was solved by them finding money under the dragon, and the challenge of buying enough ale for the feast was solved with them finding gold in the dragon’s belly.


The Saddest Rhino’s Kimberly’s End of Summer Fig and Port Trifle
A grandparent in the autumn of their years reminisces on an unforgettable summer.

Starting with the prep time and servings, then finishing with the recipe, gives this the form of a recipe blog with a meandering intro. Except here we have a fever dream portended by the opening gif. One in which we contemplate natural cycles, ends and beginnings, through the memory of a summer's end.

I liked a lot about this. The imagery is vibrant. The depiction of revelry, and nature, is simultaneously pleasant and disconcerting.

What a lot of stories missed this week is ritual. The sharing of food to mean more than just having a meal. This story felt more magical to me than the ones that actually involved magic.

At the same time I think I might have missed something. The mention of grand plans that bookend the story - I'm not sure what these are. I also found a couple of items too cute, such as "bee-utiful", "15. [Instructions obscured] 16. wasps.".

It felt like a memory worth remembering. Figs were important. Descriptions were lavish. Well done.


Antivehicular’s An Oral History of Bryce Allen Gifford’s Last Meal

I like the story here. The anticipation and deliberate anti-climax. That he wanted to eat his mother's cooking the way everyone else had. The pacing here was good and the whole thing flows.

The connection between food and memory is invoked here, but for a memory that never was. It hit me.

I don’t have a lot to say here. The writing melted away and I just enjoyed the story.


Sitting Here’s Salt and Acid, Sugar and Rind
Shelby and Britt confess what each thought may have been unrequited love while preserving fruit. Also Shelby is a witch.

Shelby using the pretext of the perfect way to consume a preserved orange in order to have Britt quietly listen to her was fun. The orange is described wonderfully. I especially liked "a bloody bloom of its own brine" and "the cool gradient of flavors". I would like to be in the brinezone.

Then we have the second surprise witch turn of the week. What's with all these secret witches? I wonder. Once again, I don't see the need for the witch part. I thought the story was just fine without it. Maybe this is more about me.

Otherwise I liked this story of room mates who have fallen in love but aren't sure about the other's feelings. It felt a little formulaic in this genre (which okay, I mostly read in the r/relationship thread) but I couldn’t help but want for them to get together!


Crabrock’s Three Alarm Chili
Agni from Mumbai cooks chili so well the Americans treat him as a phenomenon. He is never satisfied with his own work, using meditation and psychoactive to commune with his god. Eventually, he creates a chili he considers perfect. This chili transcends physical laws, as does Agni as he is now worthy of his god.

I think you open very well here. I have a feel for Agni at the end of the first paragraph that the story expands but does not contradict. I’m immediately drawn in.

I feel like you should explain what a mandala is, even a little, considering how central it is to the story.

The triple point cloudy with a chance of meatballs ending climax was good silly fun, and I enjoyed this being where things went after how religiously serious Agni takes his cooking.

This story is nice and complete. I’m not sure what to offer here other than it didn’t grab me emotionally the way the HM and Win did. I still liked it a lot.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

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



:toxx: in

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







i'mma judge this madness

nut
Jul 30, 2019



i have travelled from byob 2 be in

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


In

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



In

GrandmaParty
Jan 31, 2003

My LPth are Hot Garbage

Biscuit Hider

In.

Weltlich
Feb 13, 2006


Grimey Drawer

in? in.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006




Grimey Drawer

In

I can't possibly write the worst story! Well, I can possibly write it but I would hope not!

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


College Slice

IN!

CaligulaKangaroo
Jul 25, 2012

MAY YOUR HALLOWEEN BE AS STUPID AS MY LIFE IS


In!!

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


For this week I will be in.

magic cactus
Aug 3, 2019

We lied. We are not at war. There is no enemy. This is a rescue operation.

hello from the blue forum. Incredibly IN for this

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009



Hello I'm from BYOB and I want to play, also uranium phoenix i hope you have fun with my prompt :frogbon:

I'm in pls be nice i am new

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED





Week #419 – The Thunder Chef! Crits – Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Indigestion
This was unsustainable business model and witch week. If I had a dollar for every story that had a passionate chef pursuing a silly project that made no economic sense or a witch, I would have several dollars. I disliked most of the stories a lot more than the other judges. You could take that to mean that different people like different things in writing and the crits we’re giving offer you multiple, useful perspectives on how your writing is interpreted. That seems a bit nuanced, though, so maybe don’t do that after all.


Alien’s Sexy Mushroom
Summary: Sexy alien boyfriend picks a mushroom. Girl worries its poisonous, so scans it. It’s not. But it causes them to get horny so they have sex with his 6-dimensional penis.
Crit: This is some next-level bad prose. Good work on dancing among tenses, poor phrasing, unnecessary asides (such as this one) and superfluous information. This story attempts to profound thunderdome tradition of making a story so bad it’s good. A few places made me chuckle, other places made me wince. However there are too many unanswered questions: Are the 3 extra dimensions of his dick purely spatial? Or are we talking about multiple time dimensions? If so, there could be an unresolved time paradox in this story, including when the protagonist was impregnated. Also, if the dick really is 6-dimensional, it can pierce 3-dimensional matter, much like how you as a 3-dimensional person can put your finger in the middle of a piece of paper (2 dimensions) with a circle on it without breaking the circle. Do 6-dimensional condoms exist? Again, we just know too little about this world. It feels like it needs more clever (or ridiculous) humor to elevate it to the next level.
Do I want to eat your story food: No
Number: Low


The Secret of the Churnkeep
Summary: A chef pursues a LEGENDARY BUTTER and tells people about it, longwindedly, and it turns out the only way you can make it is HUMAN BREASTMILK and TERROR ESSENCE harvested from scared people you murdered.
Crit: With the word “buttermonger” I thought this was going for humor (assalted butter. Not a great pun. I also don’t get the Marlon Brando reference), but as I progressed, it then felt like it was taking itself too seriously. It’s also so concerned about its food it forgot to tell us about any characters, plot, stakes, or purpose of the story until much later. This drat chef is just going on insane butter digressions, and even by paragraph 5 when we learn that he’s been pursuing a LEGENDARY BUTTER (low drop rate on those) I still don’t know anything about the characters, other than that they like butter. This is a bunch of fatty exposition you’re spreading on us. Also, I question the economic wisdom of showing your customers a product, denying it to them, then chasing them with a clown-hammer, as the Churnkeep does. Lines like “it has followed me” are confusing. Is “it” referring to the Churnkeep? Because you use ‘he’ earlier. Unlike the previous story, this story is soooo fuckin long and bloviating. So much of it is exposition. Finally, it ends by murdering everyone, which made me roll my eyes. The other judges liked the atmosphere the story built and the food descriptions; I hated every part of it.
Do I want to eat your story food: No, butter should not be ‘pungent’ ALSO WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY EATING THE BUTTER WITH? ARE THEY JUST EATING BUTTER STRAIGHT? PUT IT ON SOME TOAST OR SOMETHING.
Is Your Business Model Sustainable: The Churnkeep’s isn’t, because he pursues and tortures people trying to get his butter, and the protagonist’s isn’t because he murders his patrons.
Did Your Story Include a Witch: Magic terror-essence and strange ritual ingredients for the butter? Yeah, these are witches.
Number: Very low


Real Cinnamon
Summary: A new chef is threatened by her boss’s new employee-girlfriend who, unlike her, is apparently a trained chef but also TOO PERFECT which is bad I guess. Then there’s a weird turn where Tuva is in a freezer but really she’s a cinnamon golem or something who was being prepped and for some reason the scene ends before Kasia can react. And somehow the angel-cooks don’t know how to clean, so it’s a strange fairy tale explaining the origin of economic specialization or something or how pure Arian features are transferred via special cinnamon. I got pretty lost at the end here.
Crit: Having worked in a few kitchens, it’s kind of weird that “work” here is consumed with interpersonal drama that sounds more like relationships than coworkers. The untrained cook being relegated to non-cooking roles when actual competent chefs get hired just… makes sense, so I have a hard time having any sympathy for Kasia, though it feels like the story wants me to feel bad for her as she compares herself to the perfect angel-people. Then, maybe Greta is a witch and Tuva is apparently dead in a freezer, except not, but Kasia doesn’t tell or confront anyone, not even the police, and what Tuva is is not explained. Apparently, witches can’t clean, which doesn’t make any sense, and Greta is turning everyone into body-clones of herself? I don’t really understand the motivations of anyone or why anything is happening.
Do I want to eat your story food: Is it going to turn me into a Nordic girl?
Did Your Story Include a Witch: Yes, weird unfathomable, confusing witchcraft
Number: Low


Locals Only
Summary: Bar owner has special whiskey. Three war vets want some. They do some dumb challenges and think they won but surprise it was still ‘locals only’ and the bar owner pulls a shotgun, so they burn his place down over the stapler whiskey.
Crit: Too many characters, and before we even know what’s going on. There’s a bunch of superfluous information about 5 guys who got drafted that threw me off from the actual 4 characters you’re trying to introduce. “Bar-mitzvahed to the height” implies that Jewish religious practices cut a few inches off him since you verbed the word. Your start has a lot of info we don’t need, and long before we get what the plot is. Here’s the actual start of your story: ““Heard you got some fantastic whiskey, brother…” Start around there. Get us some of the details from earlier after that, like the cicadas and setting, but integrate it. Give us who Beebus, Shapiro, and Davis are through their dialogue and actions, not exposition. Your conclusion is rushed as hell (“Later that night, before the sun crested the hills, three boys who thought violence was behind them burnt the entire place to the ground”—not a good line) because you spent too much time at the start about poo poo that didn’t matter.
Do I want to drink your story food: No
Is Your Business Model Sustainable: No, deciding not to sell your best drink is nonsensical.
Number: Low


Do as the Witches Do
Summary: Guy goes on not-date with his high school witch friend, who tries to help him go from lame-o to not-as-lame-o. He plans on joining an orgy, but instead joins his friend. Aww.
Crit: This piece really needed a pass to cut some of the lamer lines: “I did that and it took off and it was real scary.” and “Brooke wasn't a cheerleader, and she didn't hang out with the popular girls or the other witches, but she was cooler than all of them.” come to mind. This is also another story that can probably trim heavily from the intro, where not much happens. That might lend itself to opening more words to events like the lamb theft or the climax where delving more into events and the character’s reaction might strengthen them. (“Obviously, I did it. I didn't run into the supposedly shotgunny Farmer Karlsen.” --is not very exciting. “"For God sakes man, you were carrying him with his dick on your neck for a quarter of a mile and you think it's a girl?" said Brooke.” is a good line though). As it is, the characters are pretty archetypal: The nerd and the weirdo in a high school story. There’s nothing special there. The setting distinguishes itself to some degree. I also like when Brooke goes off about the nature of witch-dom and God and life and death, because there the story is doing something interesting, but it drops that pretty quick because the protag doesn’t respond to it. The ending was fine.
Do I want to eat your story food: Seems like a weird lamb recipe but sure whatever
Did Your Story Include a Witch: Yes. At least it’s just baked into the story though, instead of a surprise twist midway through. The normalcy of magic in this setting was clear.
Number: Mid


Closing
Summary: Husband and wife are trying run a cafe, which involves industrial hummus production. The café is in trouble. Oh just kidding, it already closed. Or closing soon. Problematically, I can’t tell until way late in the story. This has strained their relationship. Then they get a rush because their hummus is so good the end.
Crit: Another story with the conflict buried. “The café is losing business” seems important enough to put in the intro, not the middle. Most problematically, as mentioned above, I couldn’t tell what the actual status of the Café venture was because the prose keeps implying different things. The intro implies they’re just starting: (“It was the first major purchase they made together for Cafe Mediterranean. The first time their business venture felt real.”). Then we think it’s already closed (“Café Mediterranean had existed for three years. Business was great, until it wasn’t… until they couldn’t afford to open”) because everything is past tense and you end with ‘they couldn’t open.’—again, past tense, it already happened. Finally, we get “Owen opens the doors” and I finally realize the Café is on its last day. This lack of clarity as the story jumps around among past and present events makes what is a rather simple story surprisingly difficult to follow.
Finally, this is a long period of time told to us, instead of shown through characters and dialogue (the dialogue tends to focus on superficial hummus discussion, rather than the tense moment of a bill being opened or a conversation that shows how the failing business has strained the husband and wife’s relationship). I would drop the conversations about the hummus, which is not very important beyond ‘it’s good’ and focus on the character’s relationship. The ending isn’t great because it’s just a random event that happens to the characters, and the character of the town is not really the focus of the story.
Do I want to eat your story food: Sure why not.
Number: Low


A Matter of Meat
Summary: Two men and a chaos spirit turn a dead dragon into an entrepreneurial and career-boosting opportunity.
Crit: “"-Two men and a chaos spirit," continued Talon”—lol. Sadly, the chaos spirit is just another human, as far as character and story are concerned. The premise here is fine, but the characters feel pretty generic (I lose track of who is who), as does the logistical problem of moving a dragon so it can be butchered, cooked, and eaten. Annoyingly, a lot of the problems (debt, poverty, expenses) are solved by the characters twice just finding more gold under or in the dragon. It feels like there should have been more on the conflict between Erik, Dragonslaying Hero, and Joven, but there’s not much of that and the ending is a bit rushed with a rather expository “Where are they now?” list of how the dragon feast really made everyone’s Linkedin profiles shine.
Do I want to eat your story food: Yeah, dragon meat gives you at a +2 strength bonus until your next rest.
Number: Mid


Kimberly’s End of Summer Fig and Port Trifle
Summary: Kimberly, uh, reminisces? about devouring wasps in the summer with… well, anyways, there’s a summer, and wasps, and eating wasps, and memories, and regret.
Crit: The story starts strong with an immediate conflict (plans. They left.) and a character. Then, one of the judges called this something of a fever dream, and that’s about what everything else felt like. A bunch of memories poured out, unsorted, half-remembered, and, of course, strange and creepy. The story lost me when the summer left. Who’s the man in the middle of the crown of flames? Why are they eating wasps ew ew gross ew?? Are these weird wasp-related sex rituals? I get a sense that the narrator had a lover, now gone, but the story was too confusing and difficult to follow for me to enjoy it. I think you delivered the strange mood effectively, and used flowing language, but it bounced off me because it's not my jam.
Do I want to eat your story food: NO NO NO NO
Did Your Story Include a Witch: …maybe?
Number: AUGH WASPS


An Oral History of Bryce Allen Gifford's Last Meal
Summary: We briefly learn about a convict’s last meal on death row. At first, it appears a suicide attempt, but really, it’s just heartwarming.
Crit: This story was stronger than anything else this week by a large margin. It had characters that felt like real people, a conflict that was introduced in the first paragraph, the story/characters progressed incrementally by each interview, and a turn with a heartwarming ending. Some good lines:
“Bastard was trying to commit suicide with his last meal.” -gives us the conflict front and center
“So I put it through. In this line of work, you've gotta choose your evil, and I'll always choose the one that starves the press out.” –good characterization
“I just thought "oh, it's little Devonte, so polite."” –this is good because it gives us a subtle nod toward the unconscious racism and attitudes of the people in the area, as well as Janine’s character.
“That bastard had been on death row a dozen years, and I swear, he could have passed for a teenager right then. Years had fallen off his face. He was beaming.” –good look at Bryce and the moment
“I just wanted to eat my mom's real cooking, the way everyone else did." –Great conclusion, really builds sympathy and a both happy and sad moment.
“But let it be known that I gave Bryce Allen Gifford the rest of my stir fry, and then I got up to bring him a second Pepsi.” –makes Leon feel like his character has completed a mini-arc, where he’s still worrying about how the press interpret his prison, but adds some humanity to him.
Do I want to eat your story food: Hell yes (not on death row ideally)
Number: High


Salt and Acid, Sugar and Rind
Summary: A roommate wants her citrus-obsessed friend back after a falling out, but THAT FRIEND IS SECRETLY A WITCH WHO LOVES HER but ignores her in favor of pickling lemons or whatever because ??? and then after they talk they get together.
Crit: Alright so I was a bit tired and annoyed by the time I got to this last time and I had already read about multiple secret witches so initially the secret witch twist just annoyed the pants off of me, and now I can’t find my pants so thanks. Seriously, the prose is here has some good bits, with fun words like “brinezone” and “her brain sends an urgent communique to her heart, advising a strong flutter and just a touch of tachycardia.” Dialogue like “Dang. Yeah. Life is full of mysteries. I don’t know how I do it.” clearly conveys Shelby’s seeming total disinterest in her roommate. Phrases like “angst brining.” The story itself reads as someone looking for a lost friendship, but after the turn, is actually a romance—but it didn’t feel like Britt was looking for that (despite the heart flutter mid-way through, the intro “she wants her roommate and her counter space back” implies a more platonic conflict). The story sort of knows this, and the reader can’t imagine it until after the turn because “Out of politeness, [Britt]’s imagination has never gone much further than this moment.” So it feels like the romance comes out of nowhere, and the bit about the witch really comes out of nowhere. The story does successfully resolve the conflict in a nice little ending. In the second reread, I liked this more than the first, where it left a more sour taste.
Do I want to eat your story food: No I don’t like sour-hexes
Did Your Story Include a Witch: SECRET ROOMATE WITCH using CITRUS MAGIC.
Number: Mid


Three Alarm Chili
Summary: Agni is having chili problems. He meets a god while meditating, and obtains perfectly roasted chilis from this philosophical encounter. As his chili improves, people gather to taste his vegetarian chilis. Upon achieving perfect chili, he fucks up a crowd with capsaicin fog and onion rain as he ascends.
Crit: I feel like there’s good quick characterization of Agni. He’s got his own cultural background, but is adapting well to the Southwest. Lines like ‘telegram’ tell us the time period, and ‘your voodoo magic’ tell us how understanding his fellow Americans are. Speaking of which, you might want to mention Prajapati’s connection to Hinduism, maybe in Agni’s reaction to the rancher, since a lot of westerners aren’t going to know without googling it. That would also make more clear that the action is happening in a spirit-realm. I feel like ““Aw, man,”” should be replaced with a curse in Angi’s native tongue. I do like the gradual inclusion of spiritual magic with the miracle peppers. I also like that this sort of pilgrimage to Angi’s chili shows how amazing it is, even as he struggles with creating the spiritually perfect chili. The ending… I dunno. It’s funny that he just straight up ascends through chili-making, but it feels incomplete because Angi doesn’t have a character realization or fundamental change or new philosophical or spiritual understanding, he just, you know, keeps trying stuff. Which is how actual recipes might be developed, but isn’t as satisfying for a story. That ending is primarily what is holding you back here.
Do I want to eat your story food: Too spicy for me no thanks
Did Your Story Include a Witch: More like a priest?
Number: Mid

Applewhite
Aug 16, 2014

IN THE GRIM BARKNESS
OF THE FUTURE
THERE ARE ONLY DOGS



Nap Ghost

In, pls!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Form link for longer explanation of each category

Full disclosure: I am mostly selecting these using an RNG, however I reserve the right to select prompts however I goddamn please. There may be opportunities to re-roll later, and I may offer some particularly hard or shitposty prompts to brave souls later this week. Stay tuned!

Please let me know if I missed you, if you see any egregious errors, and so on.

alnilam posted:

Hello I'm from BYOB and I want to play, also uranium phoenix i hope you have fun with my prompt :frogbon:

I'm in pls be nice i am new

Contributor

owlhawk911

Genre:

Western

Protagonist attribute:

Rustler w/ heart of gold

Protagonist obstructor:

Poor memory control. Remembers cool poo poo seemingly at random, forgets what they're doing while they're doing it

What the protagonist wants:

Weed, snacks, and cuddles

Story setting:

On Earth, but it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

Northern edge of the Canadian Dust Bowl, 2070

World problem:

Earth sux now, and cyber cowboys wrangle/rustle roving resource extractor bots that are a lot like cattle for no good goddamn reason

Your protagonist...

Planet's dyin, poster. A surveillance state clutches ever more tightly for control of our dwindling resources

Your protagonist's attribute...

"Used to have the thing they want, but now it's gone" OR IS IT???

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Helps them gets what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist, Everything is still hosed but our guy finds some comfort/escape. A happy ending, drat you



Contributor

a friendly penguin

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

dinosaur zoo janitor

Protagonist obstructor:

crushing debt

What the protagonist wants:

egg and avocado toast

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

Costa Rica, present day

World problem:

deteriorating conditions due to global pandemic

Your protagonist...

Used to have the thing they want, but now it's gone

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't come into play at all (to the character's surprise)

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, and will get worse, The world problem is overshadowed by a worse problem



magic cactus posted:

hello from the blue forum. Incredibly IN for this

Contributor

GrandmaParty

Genre:

General/literary fiction (for our purposes, this just means contemporary stories set in the real world)

Protagonist attribute:

highly allergic hypochondriac

Protagonist obstructor:

They have pica

What the protagonist wants:

to move past the death of his precious horse

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime close to the present day

Setting details:

Present day

World problem:

Penises are just falling off

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Comes into play in an unexpected way

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Helps them get what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist



sparksbloom posted:

For this week I will be in.

Contributor

QuoProQuid

Genre:

Horror

Protagonist attribute:

A simulacrum of a person

Protagonist obstructor:

Her partner/creator

What the protagonist wants:

Escape

Story setting:

On Earth, and it's the near future

Setting details:

Rural Midwestern America in the near future

World problem:

People can recreate dead loved ones (or a close approximation) via robotics or some poo poo like that

Your protagonist...

Is in denial of what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Develops/changes in the course of hindering them from getting what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem makes itself worse, The world problem is not solved, and will get worse



Contributor

Staggy

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

Hologram artist

Protagonist obstructor:

ANGRY

What the protagonist wants:

Inspiration

Story setting:

On Earth, but it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

A small town

World problem:

SKY ORB

Your protagonist...

Feels guilty about what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Develops/changes in the course of helping them get what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Is overcome in the course of pursuing what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist



Contributor

SurreptitiousMuffin

Genre:

Dark Fantasy/Horror Fantasy

Protagonist attribute:

Sculptor of clay pots

Protagonist obstructor:

Obsessive/neurotic

What the protagonist wants:

To make the perfect pot, the sort of Platonic Ideal of "pot"

Story setting:

Somewhere in a universe you invented, and horror is happening

Setting details:

I'm imagining some sort of fantastical 18th century, in a sort of transitional period where massive technological change is sweeping the land.

World problem:

Our protag makes the best pots, but rapid mechanisation is rendering his job obsolete and so he's dissolving into this obsessive madness where he needs to prove he can make pots better and faster than the factory can.

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Is lost in the course of pursuing what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, and will get worse



RandomPauI posted:

In

I can't possibly write the worst story! Well, I can possibly write it but I would hope not!

This outline was place back in circulation due to a re-roll!

Contributor

Pththya-lyi

Genre:

Romance

Protagonist attribute:

Nobility

Protagonist obstructor:

day-dreamy

What the protagonist wants:

Cake

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime in history or pre-history

Setting details:

Victorian Britain

World problem:

Caste system

Your protagonist...

Has what they want, but are dissatisfied

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Seems to hinder them, but ultimately is helpful

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better




Contributor

Yoruichi

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

The protagonist is an excavator, i.e. an actual big yellow digging machine that you'd find on a construction site

Protagonist obstructor:

Grief

What the protagonist wants:

To not have to demolish buildings they helped to build

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

In a modern day city, somewhere vulnerable to earthquakes

World problem:

A large earthquake has damaged a lot of the city's buildings, meaning they need to be demolished

Your protagonist...

Used to have the thing they want, but now it's gone

Your protagonist's attribute...

Hinders them from getting what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Is overcome in the course of pursuing what they want

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better



Contributor

Thranguy

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

Gunslinger

Protagonist obstructor:

Amoral

What the protagonist wants:

Fortune and glory

Story setting:

Somewhere else in this universe, and it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

Mars

World problem:

Corrupt ancient nations and city-states

Your protagonist...

Is about to discover what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, but it's getting better, The world problem is overshadowed by a worse problem



Contributor

hawklad

Genre:

Science Fiction

Protagonist attribute:

mech pilot

Protagonist obstructor:

drug addiction

What the protagonist wants:

peace in the universe

Story setting:

Somewhere else in this universe, and it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

mars

World problem:

alien invasion

Your protagonist...

Is trying to get the thing they want, but it's difficult

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist



Contributor

Dr. Kloctopussy

Genre:

Sci-fi Western

Protagonist attribute:

Train enthusiast

Protagonist obstructor:

Single-minded

What the protagonist wants:

Money

Story setting:

Somewhere in a universe you invented, and it's all sci-fi and poo poo

Setting details:

[none given]

World problem:

Serious Drought

Your protagonist...

Used to have the thing they want, but now it's gone

Your protagonist's attribute...

Helps them gets what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist



Contributor

Slumpy

Genre:

General/literary fiction (for our purposes, this just means contemporary stories set in the real world)

(Judge note: I'll be flexible with the genre, in this instance)

Protagonist attribute:

A model 389 Peterbilt semi tractor trailer. Red.

Protagonist obstructor:

paranoid, hot headed, gaming addiction (lenient on that one)

What the protagonist wants:

it wants to kill T.A Peterbilt, the creator of the Peterbilt company

Story setting:

On Earth, sometime close to the present day

Setting details:

The model 389 was introduced in 2006 and is still made today so 2006-2020+ is fine (be reasonable, who knows if they'll still make a 389 in 2067). United states obviously.

World problem:

T.A Peterbilt is already dead. The truck doesn't know it.

Your protagonist...

Is about to discover what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Doesn't seem so bad, then it gets worse

At the end of the story...

The world problem is not solved, and will get worse, The world problem is no longer relevant to the protagonist


nut posted:

i have travelled from byob 2 be in

Contributor

Superterranean

Genre:

Magical realism

Protagonist attribute:

bookish kid

Protagonist obstructor:

lazy

What the protagonist wants:

freedom to act on their own in the world

Story setting:

On Earth, but magical realism

Setting details:

a Caribbean island

World problem:

young people are becoming mute, seemingly at random.

Your protagonist...

Doesn't know they already have what they want

Your protagonist's attribute...

Develops/changes in the course of helping them get what they want

Your protagonist's obstructor...

Seems to hinder them, but ultimately is helpful

At the end of the story...

The world problem is no longer relevant to anyone




Contributor

Tyrannosaurus

Genre:

Fantasy

Protagonist attribute:

maintenance technician

Protagonist obstructor:

hard of hearing

What the protagonist wants:

communicate with the dead

Story setting:

On an alternate version of Earth

Setting details:

asteroid crater

World problem:

very big hole

Your protagonist...

Has what they want, but are dissatisfied

Your protagonist's attribute...

Seems to help, but backfires

Your protagonist's obstructor...

takes the character completely by surprise

At the end of the story...

The world problem solves itself

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Aug 20, 2020

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





Week 419 Judgecritstravaganza
I suspect I fall firmly between my esteemed co-judges on my general feelings for this week. Very few stories stood out above a pack of mediocre entries, but similarly, I felt there were few stories that really filled me with Judicial rage. I think very few stories really featured food in a way that was compelling and evocative--there were a lot of words about food, but a lot of them were middling food blogger quality lists of flavors, textures, etc. Some stank enough that they felt like cursory googling at best, and that was pretty disappointing to see. The best stories this week managed to not only represent the foods themselves in a way that was interesting, they thought about what food represents in our lives, beyond just taste and fuel.

Anyway, enough rambling. To the crits!


Alien’s Sexy Mushroom

about : a couple finds a mushroom, and cooks it into a dish. They’re surprised to discover it’s a magical sex mushroom, and have multidimensional sex.

This was a more competently written story than the subject matter would suggest. Honestly I think it was a clumsy attempt to write a bad story, in that it was mostly fine with some overt and token attempts to be a stereotypically terrible TD erotica entry. I feel like it’s fishing for the loss, so… congratulations, I guess?

Also I hate mushrooms, they make me sick, and all I could think of was that terrible farty, slimy smell that mushrooms make when you cook them. I’m not sure why you made this about mushrooms, nobody got mushrooms as an ingredient. I assume your actual ingredient was Ukrainian salo, but I’m not sure it matters because I’m fairly certain that no matter what ingredient you got, you would have written a story about sex mushrooms.

Low, DM or loss or DQ candidate. Who knows.


The Secret of the Churnkeep

about : a buttermonger recounts the tale of how he discovered a sublime breast-milk butter, and the sinister means of producing it…

I enjoyed this quite a bit. I thought it was going to be a bit of a let-down as I neared the end, since once the business of the keys was revealed, I wasn’t sure that there was a satisfying payoff to come. I was pleasantly surprised!

You did an excellent job of representing the kind of storied background that I think draws people to unique or unusual foods. I thought the prose was a bit purple at times, but the style of the story made that less of a sin than it would have been in a more realistic entry. You do use quite a few unnecessary (or at least very optional) commas throughout this story, and I think it’s detrimental to the flow of the piece. All the commas naturally made me slow down as I was reading, but not in a way that seemed to benefit the telling of the tale. I could buy a sort of stuttering, false-start kind of feel for the buttermonger’s dialogue, but it was present a lot in non-dialogue prose as well.

Mid.


Real Cinnamon

about : A baker is replaced by a mysterious Scandinavian something-or-other.

This was a well-written story, and I had a good sense of who Kasia was, what she wanted out of her situation and what the stakes were when she didn’t get what she wanted. My issue is that while I can gather that Greta and Tuva are some variety of supernatural beings, I’m not sure I have the whole picture here. I think functionally, I have enough of a sense of what’s going on in the story that I understood the plot, but I just feel as though the setup seemed to imply I’d get a clearer picture of what’s going on, and why these strange women want to have control of a bakery. Did they play some part in Joshua having to leave? What advantage do they gain by copying Kasia? I don’t think these are answers the story needs to provide, but they are questions it seems to suggest and leave hanging.

Naming your protag Kasia is a cute little nod to the ingredient.

Mid.


Locals Only.

about : Three boys come back from Vietnam, try to sample the world’s best whiskey. They’re made to jump through hoops before they’re given piss (or whiskey with piss).

This had a very strong start, but I think the whole story is a little lopsided. I think it would have stood better if we got to the three tests much earlier in the story, and if you fleshed out that whole portion of the story quite a bit. As is, the piss-whiskey feels a bit sudden, and the arson feels very much like an afterthought. I think you could probably do without the whole arson bit entirely, if you fleshed out the hassle the guys have to go through to get the whiskey. That’s the more compelling part of the story anyway.

There were some really high points in the writing here, though. I liked some of the choices you made in the prose, like the bar being called one of “God’s blind spots.” It felt like the prose fit into the story, rather than just recounting or commenting on the events. This did make the description of the whiskey stand out, though——especially when it’s revealed that they’re drinking urine or whatever. It reads like the tasting notes off of a box of scotch, and not in a good way. Overall I think it was a very strong entry that was let down somewhat by its ending.

Mid/Low mid.


Do as the Witches Do

about : A nervous kid helps his witch friend steal a lamb for a witchy sacrifice, then bows out of a witchy orgy to smoke a witchy blunt

I liked this story quite a bit. It’s not the tightest story in the history of TD, but it has a playful sense that doesn’t overshadow the story being told, so good job on striking a nice tonal balance. I thought it was a pretty satisfying story, and felt like it reached a good completion. I think some of the dialogue felt a bit contrived, but not enough to make me like the story less. I was also a little unclear on how normal witchcraft was supposed to be. It clearly didn’t bother the protag, and by all accounts it literally exists, but a couple of the moments where it’s discussed stray into “as you know, Bob” territory.
My biggest complaint was that the inclusion of food felt weirdly perfunctory, despite the lamb playing a major role in the story. There’s so much inherent ritual surrounding food and its preparation and consumption, and I think there was a vein to mine there that would have made food more central to the story being told.

Is this Saucy_Rodent? The word “shotgunny” makes me think it’s Saucy.

Mid.


Closing

about : a couple laments over the closing of their mediterranean restaurant, until it suddenly doesn’t close, maybe?

I wasn’t a huge fan of this story. To use a dumb food metaphor, it has all the bones of a good story but not nearly enough meat. I had no idea who these characters were——they’re effectively ciphers. I know they own a restaurant, they like hummus, and they’re kinda mad at each other. I know they don’t want to lose the restaurant. All of those aspects I could infer from the story without any real heavy lifting in the writing, so I needed more from the world around them than I got. Details about the condition of the restaurant, about the state of the kitchen, about the decor, about what else is on the menu, etc all would have given me more a sense of who these people were.
Also you were far from the only entrant this week to be guilty of this, but the descriptions of food and taste read like a food blog. I would have loved something a little more subjective or personal about how the food tastes. Give me their emotional reaction to the food, not just what flavors they’re tasting. That would have helped me understand who these people are, too.

Low, DM/loss candidate.


A Matter of Meat

about : Two guys (and something named Quiz) tote a dragon corpse to a village and butcher it.

This wasn’t a bad story. I don’t think there was a ton at stake here, so it felt like there was a general lack of drive or conflict, but I feel like I got some nice, effective beats that gave me a good picture of who our two main characters were. I’m not sure why Quiz was included, other than to give us necessary story information like some sort of exposition elemental, but I’m just barely bothered enough to mention it.
Overall the writing didn’t blow me out of the water, but there were worse entries this week. It wasn’t very beer-centric, but the beer did matter to the plot, so I guess that’s kind of a wash. The best part of this story, for me, were the little interplays between Joven and Talon. It’s kind of a standard “reckless clever guy & and his cool-headed partner” relationship, but you used that kind of archetypal pair to your advantage here.

Mid.


Kimberly’s End of Summer Fig and Port Trifle

about : I have no loving idea.

Don’t let that synopsis fool you, I loved this. I feel like I watched a ritual happen here, something religious that I don’t understand but can still grasp its importance. The prose carried me along pretty steadily from start to finish. I actually think it lost me a bit once I hit the recipe. The “standard” prose was compelling and confusing in a way that grabbed me, the recipe itself felt a little more absurd and tongue-in-cheek in a way that felt slightly at odds with what came before.
You also dealt with your ingredient in a way that was distinct from most. A lot of stories just treated it as a food or dissected the taste of the ingredient. Here it felt like it was dealt with the way humans actually treat food when we don’t look at it out of context, not just as a collection of tastes, but as something symbolic or ritualistic. In that case, the combination of the story you told and the recipe kind of reflects how we’re prone to removing those associations from food and viewing it in a clinical light. This piece made me ponder that idea more than just about any other story this week.

High, HM candidate


An Oral History of Bryce Allen Gifford's Last Meal

about : A death row inmate eats his mom’s stir fry for the first, and last, time.

This was very strong. I’m impressed with how much you conveyed about Bryce as a character without really giving him more than maybe one line, and the other characters were complex in a way that is hard to pull off in the space of a TD entry. This hit me right in the gut, in more ways than one. I wanted to see more stories like this, where the reader is pushed to think of what place food has in our world beyond just fuel or flavor. Here, the food was representative of so much more than itself. The stir fry is doing a lot of heavy lifting in this story.
I’m always a bit iffy on unusual story formats for TD, I feel like more often than not a non-traditional format draws as much attention to itself as it does to the story. I think it took me just a little longer to get into this story than a more “standard” entry, but I don’t think it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I also think you used the format really well, it seems like it gave you a lot more space, and an effective shorthand, to develop the ideas you wanted to showcase without wasting words on descriptive language, speech tags, etc. that wouldn’t add anything anyway.

High, HM/Win candidate


Salt and Acid, Sugar and Rind

about : A pair of roommates reveal their feelings for each other after a great deal of brining.

I like the word “organoid.” It’s one of those words where there’s a “correct” word, but it just doesn’t do the job as well. I like the imagery in this story a whole lot. You managed to convey a sense of flavor without just saying “it tasted like x/y/z” which is a bullet few stories dodged this week. I also appreciate the food’s role in this story——as someone who came from a family who coped with difficulty by cooking way too much loving food, this story felt emotionally deep in a way that was compelling. This is the kind of poo poo people do when they can’t figure out what to do, and it was interesting to see it represented well in a food-centric week.
I don’t have any real negative notes here, I think. I felt like the story was a bit pat and tidy at the end, and wrapped up cleanly to the point of feeling just a touch artificial, but I liked the “orange peel on the tongue so you can’t talk while I bear my soul” portion enough that it felt like the emotional center/crux of the story anyway.

High (or mid-high due to inexplicable witches)


Three Alarm Chili

about : A man tries to create the perfect chili. He creates a terrifying chili storm in the process.

This is a fun idea as a potential origin story for Agni-as-fire-god. I liked the story in general, I thought it had a solid arc to it, though Agni felt a touch one-dimensional at times. I’m not sure how much that matters, given the story’s fable-ish style. This didn’t knock it out of the park for me on sheer strength of prose, but the food is firmly the star of the show here in terms of plot, and in that sense it was pretty well executed.
There were a number of typos throughout the story. The most glaring was probably your protag’s name; it was about a 50/50 split between Agni and Angi. Also I’m not sure if “furled his brow” was intentional or an eggcorn but it’s a hell of a thing to envision.

Mid.

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Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

wINners do drugs

- Fumble S. Mouse, Director, FBI (Federal Bureau of Intoxication)

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