Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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DECEMBER 2018 Microstory Contest - Comments Only

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message 1: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 78 comments This Month's Theme:
Receipt of a gift (for a December holiday of your choice) that comes with complicated instructions.

Required Element:
It's important that you follow the instructions exactly or else...


message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Funny G.C.! I loved it!


message 3: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 78 comments Justin wrote: "Funny G.C.! I loved it!"

Thanks! I hope to have a little fun with it myself.


message 4: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Yikes Tom, you've really got the horror sci-fi streak going! Good story!


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, Justin!


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Extremely interesting story, Jeremy. Kind of like a satirical statement on writing and/or life, but wrapped in a very entertaining vignette. Good imagery, too. ('Got the feeling it was the opening scene to a novel.)


message 7: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 248 comments Thanks Tom. I think if I stretched that sort of thing longer it would probably get annoying. 400 to 500 words is about all the metafiction I can channel at a time.


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula | 864 comments Two excellent stories.
Yours goes exactly where it was driving for, Tom--indeed. Sharp!
Jeremy, so far out ahead of the curve . . . superb; t's brilliant.


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, Paula!


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments I’m very pleased to share with you another step in my voice-over journey. My newest audiobook, Cerulean Rising, Part I: Beginnings, has just gone live on Amazon and Audible (iTunes to follow shortly.) This book was written, narrated and produced by me, and represents dozens and dozens of studio hours plus editing work, not to mention the original time spent writing this novella five years ago. I’m absolutely thrilled to have achieved this milestone!! Thanks for celebrating with me!


message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Hearty congratulations, Justin! Your hard work and perseverance are an inspiration to all writers!


message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Good one, Karl. ("Missed it by that much" - Maxwell Smart)


message 13: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Tom wrote: "Hearty congratulations, Justin! Your hard work and perseverance are an inspiration to all writers!"

Thanks Tom! Much appreciated!!


message 14: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments Tom wrote: "Good one, Karl. ("Missed it by that much" - Maxwell Smart)"

Thanks Tom


message 15: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments I puzzled over this story for a long time. My first thought is this is a variation on "A Christmas Carol". Then, do to my science training, I recognized the cylinder as a light pumped laser and the very heavy little box as possible containing a micro black hole. I could see the chain used to lower the iPhone into the black hole in an attempt to talk to the person swallowed by the black hole but that makes zero sense even for a scifi story. Even supposing that the black hole could exist for a length of time, the person originally swallowed and the iPhone would be turned into neutron paste. Even if we suppose they they could exist in there communication would be impossible since radio waves can't escape the black hole. Letting fantasy run away with us there is still the problem of getting these articles back since anything that goes into a black hole never comes out.

I'm probably totally off base and have no idea of what the story is about. I do recognize that it is well written and has created a strong image of T. Madsen (Madsen Shipping magnate in retirement?). By the way J. Marley is a rapper but I'm sure that has no bearing on the story. I'm going to stay awake all night on this one. This has inspired me to write something equally cryptic in revenge.


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Kalifer! It was great reading your comments about my story. It is fascinating to me to get other people's perspectives about what I have written, especially when it reinterprets things differently than I expected.

I found this prompt very hard and I don't know why. It seems so straightforward. I only knew I wanted to start out with someone watching snow fall down on Christmas Eve (or some day before Christmas). A few times I thought I had written myself into a corner, and perhaps the ending is too weak - I don't know. Others may chime in.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments I found the opening scene absolutely beautiful, and felt a strong sense of the last of a dying generation in a world descending into automation.

I got the Christmas Carol references, but the ending just flew past me. I felt I was missing some meaning to the four components. I wondered if 'get them all back' was intended as revenge or not.

If this guy is like Scrooge, I failed to discern his fatal flaw or how the visitations offered change. He was certainly more sympathetic a character than Scrooge. Couldn't put my finger on his problem (unless he wants to blow up all the machines in the world.) Puzzler.


message 18: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments Mine's up. I wanted to have the closing line in some alien language but of course I couldn't because first of all I don't know any alien languages and secondly no one else would understand it either. However, that didn't stop me from trying it out by writing more than 100 lines in pure gibberish. Some of it sounded like Vogon poetry, in other words, profoundly terrible.


message 19: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments Kalifer wrote: "Mine's up. I wanted to have the closing line in some alien language but of course I couldn't because first of all I don't know any alien languages and secondly no one else would understand it eithe..."

人(rén 刀 力(là 又 口(kǒu 土(tǔ


message 20: by Jeremy (last edited Dec 13, 2018 05:25AM) (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 248 comments Kalifer wrote: "Some of it sounded like Vogon poetry, in other words, profoundly terrible."

Just don't read it aloud in that case! It doesn't sound remotely Vogon though.


message 21: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments Definitely profound Karl but it seems more Atlantian tho it definitely says what I was trying to say although I don't remember what that was.


message 22: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Okay Kalifer and Tom, I revised a bit of my opening and the ending. I think it makes it a little more clear. Does it make it any better?


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Yes, the time tunnel addition made it a lot clearer. He wants to bring back his departed loved ones, yes?


message 24: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Correct!


message 25: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments Oh!


message 26: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1143 comments Mod
Finally came up with a story based on the theme. Hope you enjoy it.


message 27: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Plug: Issue #45 of NewMyths Magazine is now up. This issue's fiction line-up includes "Gentleman's Agreement" a short story by yours truly:

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.c...


message 28: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Jot wrote: "Finally came up with a story based on the theme. Hope you enjoy it."

Ouch. Sad. Really felt that one.


message 29: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1143 comments Mod
Consequence


message 30: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments C Lloyd, your story reminds me of the mystery box that made a rap, rap rap sound. When the box was finally opened, what did it contain? Wrapping paper!


message 31: by C. (new)

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

This was a fun one.

-C


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Tom wrote: "Plug: Issue #45 of NewMyths Magazine is now up. This issue's fiction line-up includes "Gentleman's Agreement" a short story by yours truly:

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.c......"


Great story Tom!!


message 33: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments C, I'm laughing and laughing and laughing!!!!!


message 34: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 735 comments Thanks Justin

Nothing like a good spoof.

-C


message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Justin wrote: "Tom wrote: "Plug: Issue #45 of NewMyths Magazine is now up. This issue's fiction line-up includes "Gentleman's Agreement" a short story by yours truly:

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.c......"


Thank you!


message 36: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 437 comments Okay. Mines up...finally.


message 37: by Paula (new)

Paula | 864 comments A very good story in NewMyths, Tom. But then, so many of your stories are so very good. . . .


message 38: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Paula wrote: "A very good story in NewMyths, Tom. But then, so many of your stories are so very good. . . ."

Thank you, so very much, Paula. (I wish more editors shared your opinion.)

And, I look forward to reading more of your fine work.


message 39: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Chris wrote: "Okay. Mines up...finally."

Excellent imagery and pacing, Chris; really captures the childhood magic of Christmas.

Personally, I'd have ended it with the whole thing turning out to be an alien trick to take over Earth. Or, is that what you intended? The ending was open to interpretation, I guess. The kid thinks the toy soldiers are on their way to Mars to rescue Santa, but are they really on their way to Washington, D.C.? Hmmm....


message 40: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 437 comments Tom wrote: "Chris wrote: "Okay. Mines up...finally."

Excellent imagery and pacing, Chris; really captures the childhood magic of Christmas.

Personally, I'd have ended it with the whole thing turning out to b..."


I was leaning that direction at first, but for that pesky word count. I think it would have been quite a bit longer. Lol.


message 41: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Chris, fantastic story! I was hooked! Nicely done!


message 42: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 437 comments Thanks Justin! I appreciate it. :)


message 43: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Hello my fellow writers!

Thank you for all of the fictitious flights of fancy you took me on this year. You are all great writers!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Best wishes for 2019!

Justin


message 44: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, Justin; I'm sure I speak for all of us in saying the feeling's mutual.

Happy Holidays to all!


message 45: by Kalifer (last edited Dec 24, 2018 11:36PM) (new)

Kalifer Deil | 301 comments With a Menorah on the mantel, a Dreidel on the floor.
a Christmas tree in the cornet and a Buddha by the door.
An American flag on the ceiling and a UN flag to deploy,
Happy Festivus for the rest of us and may life bring you joy.


message 46: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 69 comments description


message 47: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1143 comments Mod
Merry Christmas to all!

On another note, we had a discussion a prior month about the critique thread, to see if many read this before they vote. According to what people said, it didn't seem like many did. However, I am seeing about half of you guys doing so.

I really like the critique page, because I had started this group to learn how to be a better writer and to help others do the same. But the voting should be solely based on what you feel is the best story and should not be influenced based on critiques from others. Please try to read all the stories and make up your mind before reviewing all the critiques. Thanks and God bless.


message 48: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments I fail to comprehend why anyone's vote would be influenced by reading a critique. I've read critiques I agreed with; others not so much. In the end, it's always how I feel about a story that determines my vote.

I never read a critique before reading the story, though; better to go in fresh.


message 49: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 178 comments Same comment. I try not to read the stories until I submit mine to avoid any possibility of accidental plagiarism and definitely do not read the critiques until I've voted and even then I am mostly interested in those directed at my story. Unfortunately, I may be (slightly) biased against horror, but I try to vote based only how engaging the story, how creative the plot line and whether it is memorable or not. Typos and grammar don't effect my vote unless they take me out of the story.

Truth be told, I'm here mainly for the feedback. Sometimes I nail it other time I barely get the story done in time and the quality suffers. But, good or bad, I try to get in a story a month and negative feedback is as welcome as positive.


message 50: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1143 comments Mod
Thanks for the feedback. For me, I'm just trying to allow the critique thread to continue and for people to be able to create these critiques without holding back on their assessment of the stories.


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