Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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October 2020 - Science fiction Microstories Contest (Comments Only)

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message 1: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 221 comments 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, and reading each story before 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 you 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.

Jot Russell

Contest Creator/Director

October Theme: The road. Oh how we must all miss it by now! It need not be just dirt or macadam or asphalt, but any thoroughfare that beckons, even the highways in the sky. As Tolkein said, it is that which "goes ever on."

Required Elements: something pointy; a sound.


message 2: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
Slow start this month, but since I just got back from a camping trip, I figured I'd base another story on my experiences.


message 3: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 221 comments I'm glad to see a couple more stories that I can read before my cataract surgery tomorrow morning, which will be my excuse if I don't submit anything, though I am working on an idea, a sequel to a story I wrote a while back.


message 4: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
Best wishes on your surgery, Joseph. May the road ahead be bright and beautiful!


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments Jot wrote: "Best wishes on your surgery, Joseph. May the road ahead be bright and beautiful!"

Seconded.


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments Jot wrote: "Slow start this month, but since I just got back from a camping trip, I figured I'd base another story on my experiences."

I hope your trip went a bit more smoothly than that.


message 7: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 221 comments Thanks, guys!


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula | 924 comments Wishing you an easy and totally successful surgery, Joseph, and a swift recovery!


message 9: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
Definitely, Tom.


message 10: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 366 comments Got my story up. Meh.

Good luck, Joseph!


message 11: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1025 comments It's interesting Marianne. Don't "meh" yourself just yet! :)


message 12: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 366 comments Thanks, Justin, but it no great shakes.


message 13: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments I thought it was one of your best, Marianne. The pacing and imagery were excellent.

Always a great pleasure when you return.


message 14: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 366 comments Thanks, Tom. The story just seemed redundant to me, but the first line pulled me along.


message 15: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
Whoop, whoop! Happy you're back Marianne


message 16: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 338 comments This Month is going bye so fast that I almost missed posting a story. I think my story might make a chapter (if embellished) in a book-length story of the misadventures of an interstellar diplomat. It could be funny and a way to show our Homosapien centric attitudes getting in the way of galactic peace in somewhat the same way differing governments and belief systems do the same on our local stage called Earth.

Anyway, it was fun to write.


message 17: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
One day left to get those stories in.


message 18: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments Kalifer wrote: "This Month is going bye so fast that I almost missed posting a story. I think my story might make a chapter (if embellished) in a book-length story of the misadventures of an interstellar diplomat...."

The "fun to write" part is the most important, in my opinion.


message 19: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Pulling a "mind strength" something or other story out of thin air in the 11th hour.

Not sure if I conveyed it properly, but the sci fi part of it was the ability to generate strength with his mind and channel it into his hands. If it doesn't make sense, please let me know. I might record this one for my Halloween episode (in my opinion it's very Halloween movie -ish) next week, but want to make sure people "get it"!


message 20: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments Welcome back, Carrie.

'Liked your story. Very "X-Men."


message 21: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 190 comments Just under the wire. Too many other "covid projects". Well, at least I'll have some stuff to show for the time spent in relative isolation. (Or is that isolation with the relatives).


message 22: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1079 comments Great punch line, Greg. Good tech detail, too.


message 23: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
Good to have you back, Carrie!


message 24: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Jot wrote: "Good to have you back, Carrie!"

Glad to be back. I spent three months feeling sorry for myself. (Literally everything that could go wrong in 2020, did.) I feel like my extended 15 minute pity party has gone on long enough LOL!!

But I've been forcing myself to get up and sit in my office downstairs.

I've been writing so much and it has been so cathartic!
I can't wait for the next prompt!


message 25: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Tom wrote: "Welcome back, Carrie.

'Liked your story. Very "X-Men.""


Thanks Tom, now that you mention it - it does!


message 26: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 366 comments Thanks for the votes. And thanks to Jot for reminding me to write. I see I have to fix the quote marks position in the last line. My eyes acting up as usual. Guess nothing is perfect, and that is a good thing. :)


message 27: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1025 comments Anyone heard from Jack or C lately?


message 28: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1229 comments Mod
They might be trying to start that contest website. C was very big into his method of scoring. Anyone remember what the website URL was?


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