Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

14 views
* APRIL 2018 MICROSTORY CONTEST - COMMENTS ONLY

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon Ricson (jonricson1) | 61 comments The following rules are from Jot Russell, moderator for this contest:

To help polish our skills and present a flavour of our art to other members in the group, I am continuing this friendly contest for those who would like to participate. There is no money involved, but there is also no telling what a little recognition and respect might generate. The rules are simple:

1) The story needs to be your own work and should be posted on the goodreads (GR) Discussion board, which is a public group. You maintain responsibility and ownership of your work to do with as you please. You may withdraw your story at any time.

2) The stories must be 750 words or less.

3) The stories have to be science fiction, follow a specific theme and potentially include reference to items as requested by the prior month's contest winner.

4) You have until midnight EST on the 22nd day of the month to post your story to the GR Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion. One story per author per month.

5) After, anyone from the LI Sci-Fi group or the GR Science Fiction Microstory Discussion group has until midnight EST of the 25th day of the month to send me a single private vote (via GR or to author.jotrussell@gmail.com) for a story other than their own. This vote will be made public once voting is closed. Voting is required. If you do not vote, your story will be disqualified from the contest. You don't need a qualifying story to cast a vote, but must offer the reason for your vote if you don’t have an entry.

6) To win, a story needs at least half of the votes, or be the only one left after excluding those with the fewest votes. Runoffs will be run each day until a winner is declared. Stories with vote totals that add up to at least half, discarding those with the fewest votes, will be carried forward to the next runoff election. Prior votes will be carried forward to support runoff stories. If you voted for a story that did not make it into the runoff, you need to vote again before midnight EST of that day. Only people who voted in the initial round may vote in the runoffs.

7) Please have all posts abide by the rules of GR and the LI Sci-Fi group.

8) For each month, there will be three discussion threads:
a) Stories - For the stories and the contest results only.
b) Comments - For discussions about the stories and contest. Constructive criticism is okay, but please avoid any spoilers about the stories or degrading comments directed towards any individuals. If you want to suggest a change to the contest, feel free to start a discussion about the idea before making a formal motion. If another member seconds a motion, a vote can be held. I will abstain from voting, but will require a strong two-thirds majority to override my veto.
c) Critiques - Each member can provide at most one critique per story, with a single rebuttal by the author to thank the critic and/or comment to offer the readers the mind set of the story to account for issues raised by the critique. Critiques should be of a professional and constructive manner. Feel free to describe elements that you do and don't like, as these help us gain a better perspective of our potential readers. Remarks deemed inflammatory or derogatory will be flagged and/or removed by the moderator.

9) The winner has THREE days after the start of the new month to make a copy of these rules and post a new contest thread using the theme/items of their choosing. Otherwise, I will post the new contest threads.

**********

Theme: Time Travel

Requires elements:

1) A Joke
2) Charity


message 2: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 735 comments My April story is up.

This was a really fun one.

-C


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments I had fun reading it, C. Brilliant concept, and well executed. My compliments.

Mine's up.


message 4: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 735 comments Thanks Tom!

Great story from you this month. Dramatic irony at it's best!

-C


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments C. wrote: "Thanks Tom!

Great story from you this month. Dramatic irony at it's best!

-C"


Thank you!


message 6: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 293 comments Mine's up. Another twist.


message 7: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 980 comments Wow! Some great entries so far! Outstanding!


message 8: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Might try to get a story in this month. Adult stuff taking up too much time, lately.


message 9: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1125 comments Mod
Mine's up. Humor is not an easy theme, even if you can go back a say the joke a hundred times.


message 10: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 735 comments Yeah, Jot. . . I hear you.

Here's a great Blog to share about the dangers of humor in fiction writing:
http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.co...

Q: Why did the Klingon cross the road?
A; To stomp the crap outta the chicken!

-C.


message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Either I'm losing my creativity or my sense of humor, but I'm coming up dry so far this month. Sheesh.


message 12: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 980 comments Me too. Don't know why. Frustrating!


message 13: by Tom (last edited Apr 13, 2018 05:03PM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Writer's block. Happens to all of us. Persevere.


message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments C. wrote: "Yeah, Jot. . . I hear you.

Here's a great Blog to share about the dangers of humor in fiction writing:
http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.co...

Q..."


Oh yeah, Bugs over Mickey; no question. "Should'a turned left at Albuquerque."


message 15: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 293 comments I'm no expert on writers block but a simple trick for me is to just write anything even if it's nonsense. That often unlocks the creative juices. On humor, twists on old jokes can work well sometimes, "Three aliens walk into a bar..."


message 16: by W. A. (new)

W. A.  Fix (wafix) | 13 comments So Kalifer after your advice I had to post a story. Your method seems to work.

Its been a while. Hope you can read it through the rust.


message 17: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 293 comments @ W.A. Glad it worked for you. Good story.


message 18: by Jon (new)

Jon Ricson (jonricson1) | 61 comments Mine's up. Hope you folks enjoy!


message 19: by Jon (new)

Jon Ricson (jonricson1) | 61 comments Chris wrote: "Either I'm losing my creativity or my sense of humor, but I'm coming up dry so far this month. Sheesh."

I think the trick is to not let the elements completely block you. Sometimes you may have a story sitting around that could work for the overall theme, and just have to weave the elements in some how.

That's how I get past it.


message 20: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1125 comments Mod
Welcome back Bill!


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up with. Really tough theme this month for me. I think maybe I've just done the time travel thing too much, lol.


message 22: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments W. A. wrote: "So Kalifer after your advice I had to post a story. Your method seems to work.

Its been a while. Hope you can read it through the rust."


I loved it. Reminded me a little of "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe."


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Marianne wrote: "Might try to get a story in this month. Adult stuff taking up too much time, lately."

I hope you do, Marianne. I've missed you.


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Jon wrote: "Mine's up. Hope you folks enjoy!"
I did.


message 25: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Chris wrote: "Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up with. Really tough theme this month for me. I think may..."

I think you're too hard on yourself, Chris. It was certainly a very entertaining story. 'Reminded me of that old Twilight Zone episode where William Shatner keeps getting fortunes from the devil's head box in that small town café.

The joke and charity aspects were certainly satisfied, and the time travel theme was certainly suggested, even though it turned out to be a joke. Excellent twist, though it raises the dreaded controversy "What is truly science fiction?" If nothing science fictional actually happens in a story, but a character only thinks it does, is that science fiction?

That's a good existential puzzle for a story about a Chinese restaurant. Like, "one hand clapping," or "if a tree falls..." Well, you get the idea.


message 26: by Tom (last edited Apr 16, 2018 01:30PM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Kalifer wrote: "I'm no expert on writers block but a simple trick for me is to just write anything even if it's nonsense. That often unlocks the creative juices. On humor, twists on old jokes can work well sometim..."

With me, it's often cathartic. If there's something weighing on my mind, I'll let it out through writing, like a primal scream. Yeah, let it all out first, even if it doesn't hold together, then worry about touching it up later.


message 27: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Jot wrote: "Mine's up. Humor is not an easy theme, even if you can go back a say the joke a hundred times."

I enjoyed it. A human trying to explain humor to a non-human is a recurring sci-fi theme. (Humor just can't be explained.) Comedy relief always helps an action story, and this was a well plotted one, I thought. Partner stories are great venues for humor as well as action, especially in sci-fi where you have a human partnered with a non-human. (Kirk and Spock, Sykes and Francisco, and the Asimov characters Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw.)


message 28: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up with. Really tough theme this month for m..."

Thanks, Tom. I think it was the combined elements that I struggled with, especially the combination of a joke and charity. Then, relating it to time travel? Brain. Cloud.


message 29: by W. A. (last edited Apr 16, 2018 03:12PM) (new)

W. A.  Fix (wafix) | 13 comments Thanks Jot and Tom,

I just couldn't resist (not that I'm trying to resist) this theme and elements. It has been a really busy couple of years. If you all don't mind, I promise to drop something off every now and then.


message 30: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments W. A. wrote: "Thanks Jot and Tom,

I just couldn't resist (not that I'm trying to resist) this theme and elements. It has been a really busy couple of years. If you all don't mind, I promise to drop something of..."


Please do!


message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Chris wrote: "Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up with. Really tough theme this..."

I usually go for the backdrop first, then worry about the details. Time travel is a theme I can cut loose and have fun with because it's so broad; all those exotic locales and time periods. The required elements can be worked in any which way.


message 32: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up with. Really to..."

Maybe it was the other elements for me, then. I think I struggled with doing something I haven't done already, or something I haven't seen before by someone else. I like to try something new each time - a new original story for the contest, rather than reusing some of my old stuff. Tricky, tricky. ;)


message 33: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments For better or worse, mine is up :) I think I misread Charity for a charity, but what the heck. Life can be interesting with a reading issue.


message 34: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Chris wrote: "Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Well, for what it's worth, mine's up. Not sure if it exactly satisfies the requirements of the contest this month, but it's all I can come up wit..."

Something new each time. Ambitious and laudable. Yeah, I find my self re-covering old ground too often. Oh, well.


message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Marianne wrote: "For better or worse, mine is up :) I think I misread Charity for a charity, but what the heck. Life can be interesting with a reading issue."

Welcome back, Marianne. And, thank you for a baffling but beautiful run though a labyrinth of riddles and rainbows.


message 36: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Tom: Thanks. It's what came of a silly joke and attempting to understand closed timelike curves. In the end, it is all nothing without light. ;) Dare to baffle :)


message 37: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments For what it's worth, I noticed we really didn't have any critiques this month, so I posted some for the first few submissions. I haven't been able to get to them all, but I hope you find them constructive. I'll see if I can get to some of the others later.

:)


message 38: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Okay, I think I got them all. Lol. ;)


message 39: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 980 comments Just posted mine!


message 40: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 980 comments Marianne,

Clearly you are operating on a different plane of thought and existence than the rest of us mere mortals! Great story!

You and Paula do wonders with streams-of-consciousness, non-linear plots and just plain old creativity.

Nicely done!


message 41: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks, Justin, and with just a wee dash of physics ;)


message 42: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Chris wrote: "For what it's worth, I noticed we really didn't have any critiques this month, so I posted some for the first few submissions. I haven't been able to get to them all, but I hope you find them const..."

Excellent reviews, Chris! Just posted a couple of my own.


message 43: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Justin wrote: "Just posted mine!"

Marvelous story, Justin!


message 44: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1012 comments Justin wrote: "Marianne,

Clearly you are operating on a different plane of thought and existence than the rest of us mere mortals! Great story!

You and Paula do wonders with streams-of-consciousness, non-linear..."


Agreed.


message 45: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 980 comments Thanks Tom! Much appreciated!!


message 46: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks, Tom, it is the global intelligent, field independent, INFJ brain that is responsible for filtering my energy ;)


message 47: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Wow, this months stories are all amazing. A tough choice!


message 48: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1125 comments Mod
All participants voted, but holding off until the allotted time to see if any of the other members want to vote.


message 49: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1125 comments Mod
First round finalists:

King of the Universe by C. Lloyd Preville
Five Days in L.A. by W.A. Fix
Fortune by Chris Nance
Circle by Marianne G Petrino

Votes needed from:
W.A. Fix
Greg Krumrey


message 50: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1125 comments Mod
Second round finalists:

King of the Universe by C. Lloyd Preville
Fortune by Chris Nance
Circle by Marianne G Petrino

Votes needed from:
C. Lloyd Preville
Karl Freitag


« previous 1
back to top