Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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September 2018 Microstory Contest -Comments Only

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message 1: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 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: Rip Van Winkle effect

Required elements:

1) Painful loss
2) Compensating gain


message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 456 comments OK. Mine's up. Hope you guys and gals like it. :)


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments I like it!


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments So do I. Mine's up, as well.


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Scary Tom. Scary!!! Nice work!


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments Thank you, Justin. Good topic.


message 7: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Nice one C!


message 8: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Thanks, Justin!

I was inspired to fantasy-land this month by our very own talented writer, Paula. But I stuffed just enough science crap in there to qualify as Sci Fi!!
: )

-C


message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments LOL, it's not crap. I thought you wove the two together nicely.


message 10: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Excellent story, C. I noticed how strongly one gets pulled into the suspense, wanting Ralph to win the battle. One criticism--remove the last sentence; it's unnecessary and, more important, it cuts into the universality that the ending paragraphs otherwise excellently have achieved.
(n.b., not sure I'd characterize any of my stories, except the little cats one, as fantasies. Had you one in mind?)


message 11: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Hi Paula!

Thanks for your nice comments and the suggestion. Yes, it was your homicidal cats story from a while back. I loved that story, but it lit the fuse connected to the Sci-Fi vs.fantasy powder keg.

I still have many singe marks and flash burns from that little flame-fest. (Not from you, of course, there were other diabolical personalities involved.)

-C


message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Kraftchak (smkraftchak) | 123 comments Started one last month, but put it down and forgot to finish it. Kept with it his month and it's posted. Looking forward to reading the others.
-Sharon


message 13: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Wow Sharon. That one hit me in the gut! Great work!


message 14: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Kraftchak (smkraftchak) | 123 comments Thanks, Justin.


message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Excellent story, Sharon. I agree with Justin, it's very moving.


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Clever, Karl. Nor sure it's a "story" but I like it! Nice work.


message 17: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Nice story, Carrie!

I liked your tension building structure.

-C


message 18: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Paula,

I tweaked the ending and now it's a much darker story. Thanks for the inspiration!

-C


message 19: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments It is darker C. Smacks you in the face. Good edit!


message 20: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments A well-written story, C. and a potent ending. (One potent ending inside another, really.)

One question, if I may: What was the point of the opening paragraph? I mean, wouldn't the awakening scene have been more effective if we hadn't known from the start that the whole thing was a computer-simulated illusion?


message 21: by C. (new)

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

Thanks for the kind words and a great question!

Answer: I really wanted to introduce the cool idea of engineered dreaming becoming more vivid than reality itself. My bad.

- C


message 22: by Jeremy McLain (new)

Jeremy McLain | 32 comments I submitted one, it's been a little while. But look forward to participating again.


message 23: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments My story is up, not like it's the last minute or anything.

It has a hidden theme (I don't think it's that hard to figure out). It was sort of an exercise for me. Figure it out! :-)


message 24: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Great to see all the past contributors back this month. Great stories!


message 25: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Wow Paula
Another great story--like a sad bittersweet chocolate pastry that pairs perfectly with life's espresso.


message 26: by Tom (last edited Sep 23, 2018 04:54PM) (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments One of your more moving poetic pieces, Paula. Truly beautiful. As well as timely. My compliments.


message 27: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Welcome back to both Jeremys!


message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Thank you both, Tom and C. Very much appreciated!


message 29: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments C. wrote: "Wow Paula
Another great story--like a sad bittersweet chocolate pastry that pairs perfectly with life's espresso."


No one can top you in the use of metaphor, C.


message 30: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments Jeremy McLain wrote: "I submitted one, it's been a little while. But look forward to participating again."

Welcome back, Jeremy. Nice courtroom drama.

(Oh, and if you happen to hear something creeping towards you in the darkness late at night, don't be alarmed; It's only James Cameron.)


message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments G.C. wrote: "My story is up, not like it's the last minute or anything.

It has a hidden theme (I don't think it's that hard to figure out). It was sort of an exercise for me. Figure it out! :-)"


She's really dead? She and her husband are in Heaven and their son went to Hell?


message 32: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1100 comments C. wrote: "Nice story, Carrie!

I liked your tension building structure.

-C"

Agreed. Good job, Carrie.


message 33: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments Some really great stories this month.


message 34: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments Tom wrote: "She's really dead? She and her husband are in Heaven and their son went to Hell?"

Nope, her father Tommy and little Billy her son are both dead and she's alive (although when it sinks it she will wish she wasn't.)


message 35: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments G.C. wrote: "My story is up, not like it's the last minute or anything.

It has a hidden theme (I don't think it's that hard to figure out). It was sort of an exercise for me. Figure it out! :-)"


"I woke up in a SOHO doorway, a policeman knew my name. He said, you can go sleep at home tonight if you can get up and walk away. I staggered back to the underground and the breeze blew back my hair. I remember throwing punches around and preaching from my chair. Well Who are you?!"

"Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!"


message 36: by C. (last edited Sep 24, 2018 08:34AM) (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Tom wrote: "No one can top you in the use of metaphor, C."

Thanks, Tom--you turn a mean phrase yourself. And your moments of maniacal mastication are most mesmerizing!


message 37: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Great batch of stories everyone! I thought there were very creative uses of this month's theme and required elements. Nicely done!


message 38: by Jeremy McLain (new)

Jeremy McLain | 32 comments Tom wrote: "Jeremy McLain wrote: "I submitted one, it's been a little while. But look forward to participating again."

Welcome back, Jeremy. Nice courtroom drama.

(Oh, and if you happen to hear something cre..."


Thank you, I was hoping most people would get the reference.


message 39: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments Justin's on the right track.


message 40: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments It's an Eminence Front - It's a put on.


message 41: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments I almost named the story "Magic Bus". But Justin can you be more specific on the theme?


message 42: by Justin (last edited Sep 24, 2018 09:43AM) (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments G.C. wrote: "I almost named the story "Magic Bus". But Justin can you be more specific on the theme?"

Song titles from The Who of course! I listen to them when I'm cranking out miles on the treadmill. I can see for miles and miles and miles and, well, you get the idea. Nice Easter egg!


message 43: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 82 comments Specifically, everything the barker says is the name of a song or album recorded by The Who. Well done!


message 44: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Insert Roger Daltrey scream from "Won't Get Fooled Again" here.


message 45: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments My goodness how this week has flown by.
And a great batch of stories from all.
Life is slowing down a bit so hopefully I'll be able to chime in more often!


message 46: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Finalists:
Witness by Chris Nance
Town Written and Past by Paula Friedman


message 47: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Carrie wrote: "My goodness how this week has flown by.
And a great batch of stories from all.
Life is slowing down a bit so hopefully I'll be able to chime in more often!"


Slowing down? Isn't it deer hunting season?!


message 48: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Justin wrote: "Carrie wrote: "My goodness how this week has flown by.
And a great batch of stories from all.
Life is slowing down a bit so hopefully I'll be able to chime in more often!"

Slowing down? Isn't it d..."


Hahahaha yes! Which means I get to use lots of staring at wet fields and drinking copious amounts of coffee to dream up stories for the prompt!


message 49: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Carrie wrote: "Justin wrote: "Carrie wrote: "My goodness how this week has flown by.
And a great batch of stories from all.
Life is slowing down a bit so hopefully I'll be able to chime in more often!"

Slowing d..."


Whatever it takes! :)


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