Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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** MAY 2018 MICROSTORY CONTEST -- COMMENTS ONLY

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message 1: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 401 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: Comedic Space Opera

Requires elements:

1) Pirates
2) A Beauty Pageant

reply | flag *


message 2: by Chris (last edited May 02, 2018 08:54AM) (new)

Chris Nance | 456 comments So, mine's up. Not really convinced I got the "comedic" element, but that's always been a weakness of mine. No sense of humor. ;)

My personal writing is often the space adventure type, so this was a fun one for me. Great theme and elements this month Marianne! :)


message 3: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments My story is up. Hope you find it amusing.

-C


message 4: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Chris wrote: "So, mine's up. Not really convinced I got the "comedic" element, but that's always been a weakness of mine. No sense of humor. ;)

My personal writing is often the space opera type adventure, so t..."


I liked it!


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments C. wrote: "My story is up. Hope you find it amusing.

-C"


I find your story completely lacks honor you miserable to'pah!

LOL!

Funny story C!


message 6: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 401 comments I just thought May was time for light and fun stuff, a break from death and loss :) That was the point: silliness, pure and simple, and rollicking space stuff :) Think Space Patrol meets Vegas with pirates thrown in for some "Aaarghs!", or some such craziness :) Just relax and go a bit nutty. It's finally spring!


message 7: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Mine's up. Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!


message 8: by Tom (last edited May 05, 2018 10:18AM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Chris wrote: "So, mine's up. Not really convinced I got the "comedic" element, but that's always been a weakness of mine. No sense of humor. ;)

My personal writing is often the space adventure type, so this wa..."


You definitely got the comedic element, Chris. Who doesn't love a good caper? That was the best escape scene I've ever seen! And yes, I could see it quite vividly. Joss Whedon never did better with 'Firefly.'


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments C. wrote: "My story is up. Hope you find it amusing.

-C"


I always thought Klingon women liked more violence in their sex. 'Don't know if prostitution fits in with the whole 'honor' bit. Whatever. I never knew you were into fan fic, C.


message 10: by Tom (last edited May 05, 2018 10:13AM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Marianne wrote: "I just thought May was time for light and fun stuff, a break from death and loss :) That was the point: silliness, pure and simple, and rollicking space stuff :) Think Space Patrol meets Vegas with..."

And, the flowers bloom, tra-la! And, Captain Jack Sparrow says "Go to warp, Mr. Gibbs!"


message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Jot wrote: "Mine's up. Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!"

Loved it. Bit slow in the offing, but well worth it as it came together. Fabulous tech-savvy space action with the most delightfully unlikely cast of heroes imaginable. Hard choice this month.


message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Mine's up.


message 13: by C. (last edited May 06, 2018 01:54PM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Tom wrote: "Mine's up."

Hey Tom,

Yeah, I'm not really a Sci Fi fan guy, but Marianne inspired me with the story requirement for a comedic space opera. Star Trek Next Gen is the most classic space opera I know, but Patrick Stewart is anything but funny. So then I had the idea to mash it up with a hilarious but really crusty old classic bar joke, and voila!

I agree that most Klingon females are probably more sexually aggressive and too honorable to be lap dance girls, but that's true of human females too. And I'm still bewildered about what Klingon warrior types are employed as doctors doing prostate exams, or as elementary school teachers for that matter. Imagine the angry shouting. "Tok'ah! You are a coward with no honor, now bend over the table!" Or: "Bobby. . . you will master your Klingon alphabet lesson or you will be forced to eat an extra helping of Gagh."

Loved your story this month. Great visuals overall, but the robo-parrot "clang" sound effect when he threw a shoe at it was totally da bomb. I almost--well, you know--plotzed.

-C


message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments C. wrote: "Tom wrote: "Mine's up."

Hey Tom,

Yeah, I'm not really a Sci Fi fan guy, but Marianne inspired me with the story requirement for a comedic space opera. Star Trek Next Gen is the most classic space..."


Yeah, I remember getting a laugh out of hearing Worf sing Klingon opera. Thanks for the nostalgia. And, thank you for the compliment. "da bomb?" Couldn't tell if that was a plus or a minus grade. But, thank you, anyway.


message 15: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Sorry, Tom.

Translation for 70-year-olds: "Da Bomb" is sorta like right between "Boss" and "Groovy." : )

Urban Dictionary:
TOP DEFINITION
da bomb
the best ~ simply outstanding; no comparison or greater value can be placed to another of similar type of manner
"That new track that DJ Krush laid down is da bomb!"


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 456 comments Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "So, mine's up. Not really convinced I got the "comedic" element, but that's always been a weakness of mine. No sense of humor. ;)

My personal writing is often the space adventure ty..."


Thanks, Tom! I appreciate the encouragement! :)


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments C. wrote: "Sorry, Tom.

Translation for 70-year-olds: "Da Bomb" is sorta like right between "Boss" and "Groovy." : )

Urban Dictionary:
TOP DEFINITION
da bomb
the best ~ simply outstanding; no comparison or g..."


Well, thank you, again.


message 18: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments So as I understand it, da bomb is better than the cat's meow, but not quite the bee's knees. Got it.


message 19: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments So now we are youthxplaining things to old folks?


message 20: by C. (last edited May 09, 2018 09:32AM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments No, not youthsplaining. More like geez-u-cation.

: )

-C


message 21: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments Dang Karl, cat's meow and bees knees even predates me and I'm in my 80s! You must be at least 100 years old. Your picture must be of your great grandson.


message 22: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 401 comments Glad to see folks inspired :) I started my story, but I am traveling and hope to get it up by deadline. It will be a close shave, but starting the story is always most of the battle. Then, I usually disappear and let some other part of my brain fill in the details ;)


message 23: by Karl (last edited May 10, 2018 04:13AM) (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments Kalifer, haha, I'm not that far behind you. I like the old 1930s to 1960s science fiction better than the current stuff. It's swell.


message 24: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments Karl, swell it is. I try to write like Asimov, with only partial success. I was told in a writers group by a published woman writer that I wrote like a nasty Asimov. I took it as a complement even though she didn't mean it that way. My problem with Asimov is that he always wrote inside a box with no sex and limited human misbehavior. It was always very G, not even PG. That seemed to be the hallmark of science fiction of the time. Only Aldous Huxley ventured out with "Brave New World", an author light years above my pay grade.


message 25: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments Nasty Asimov. That’s funny. I guess I’m a nasty Fredric Brown wannabe, with a dash of Sheckley and a smidgeon of Lafferty.


message 26: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments Karl, sounds good to me. Liked Fredric Brown bigly. Sorry for the Trumpism, just a little bit of illiterate alliteration.


message 27: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments I just realized, I don't have a roll model as a writer. I always loved Asimov and Bradbury growing up, but I can't compare myself to either one, even a little. I find myself tending towards action and allegory these days. Hmmmm...If I had to pick a writer to emulate, I guess it might be Joss Whedon.


message 28: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Happy Mother's Day to all those moms out there.


message 29: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Happy Mother's Day!


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments As a mom, I thank you, Tom and Jot, for your sweet sentiments!
Bradbury's still wonderful to reread, Tom; In The Martian Chronicles, "Ylla" and "There will come soft rains" and the one with the kid thinking Here are the martians--his brother and his sister and his parents and... are still beyond wonderful.
A good Mother's Day to the mothers, fathers, and parents' children here!


message 31: by Kalifer (last edited May 14, 2018 10:44AM) (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments I read Bradbury's Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man an eon or so ago. Didn't like them then, though I thought they were well written. I never felt that his worlds seemed real or convincing to my then, adolescent mind. Perhaps that would change if I reread them now. But alas, my mind is still adolescent. At least, that's what my grandchildren say.


message 32: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 248 comments Marianne: "Think Space Patrol meets Vegas with pirates thrown in for some "Aaarghs!"

--

Umm, I kind of went that way--and then warped even farther outside of left field.


message 33: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Jack! So nice to see your entry, and I really liked it!


message 34: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 248 comments Justin wrote: "Jack! So nice to see your entry, and I really liked it!"

Thanks! Fun.


message 35: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 248 comments Justin wrote: "Jack! So nice to see your entry, and I really liked it!"

It seems there is nothing better than green-skinned women in the entire galaxy! Strange how they always need rescuing.


message 36: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments LOL! This is true!


message 37: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Kalifer wrote: "I read Bradbury's Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man an eon or so ago. Didn't like them then, though I thought they were well written. I never felt that his worlds seemed real or convincing..."

I read them as an adolescent and loved them. I never got the feeling they were supposed to seem real. More dreams than designs. That's why I always enjoyed Bradbury's poetic prose to Asimov's dry hard science banter.


message 38: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Paula wrote: "As a mom, I thank you, Tom and Jot, for your sweet sentiments!
Bradbury's still wonderful to reread, Tom; In The Martian Chronicles, "Ylla" and "There will come soft rains" and the one with the ki..."


Yeah, that closing chapter, "The Million Year Picnic" stays with you. A melancholy end, yet with a note of hope. (In my neighborhood, near Harvard Square, there's a little basement comic book shop called "The Million Year Picnic." They've survived a fire, and a temporary move over the years, but they're still in business.)


message 39: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments Good writing and good science fiction are not necessarily the same thing. Ray Bradbury was a good writer of fantasy or however you would classify his genre. It was terrible 'science' fiction because there was no science or science extrapolation. So, as long as you don't confuse Ray with being a science fiction author, I'm okay with that.


message 40: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments I agree Kalifer. My Ray Bradbury story compendium is so different in content, style, etc. than my Asimov and Clarke ones.


message 41: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments Mine's up!

No Bradbury here,
never, absolutely not,
no fantasy there,
just a pert amazing bot.


message 42: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments Asimov > Bradbury


message 43: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1099 comments Karl wrote: "Asimov > Bradbury"

Huh?? You've quantified them?


message 44: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Justin,
Favorite phrase: "bounty of booties " -C


message 45: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 353 comments I have to admit to one good science fiction story from Bradbury: "Fahrenheit 451"


message 46: by Paula (last edited May 20, 2018 01:55PM) (new)

Paula | 955 comments Yes, every 2-3 years this group seems to go a round of "Is any science fiction except "hard" science fiction really SCIENCE fiction?" And yet little of what's called hard science fiction (that is, with plot points focused, generally, on tech, space travel, A.I., interplanetary/.interstellar exploration, or the like, and often in a military or semi-milataristic setting) involves actual science--which, except in applied-science, tends to involve theory, mathematics, even philosophical (and/or mathematical) concepts, rather than the various modes of most "hard" sf. There are exceptions--Benford's and Robinson's and Willis's novels, for instance, and for instance some of PKD's and Sheckley's stories, which do explore and use actual science concepts--but they are not the norm.


message 47: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Yes, every 2-3 years this group seems to go a round of "Is any science fiction except "hard" science fiction really SCIENCE fiction?" And yet little of what's called hard science fiction (that is, with plot points focused, generally, on tech, space travel, A.I., interplanetary/.interstellar exploration, or the like, and often in a military or semi-milataristic setting) involves actual science--which, except in applied-science, tends to involve theory, mathematics, even philosophical (and/or mathematical) concepts, rather than the various modes of most "hard" sf. There are exceptions--Benford's and Robinson's and Willis's novels, for instance, and for instance some of PKD's and Sheckley's stories, but they are not the norm.


message 48: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Is animal farm Sci Fi? Or fantasy?


message 49: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Hee hee


message 50: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments C. wrote: "Justin,
Favorite phrase: "bounty of booties " -C"


Thanks C. I was trying to keep this story definitely tongue in cheek!


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