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Sunday, February 1, 2009

And the winner is...

Tough choice this week, as it always is when we get good entries.

Arisia: As you said yourself, you didn't like this challenge, and I'm afraid it shows. Here's hoping you find the 1/30/09 challenge more appealing.

Ben-El: There were parts of this one that just cracked me up. I loved the scene with the customs thugs, being fined for killing a dragon because it's an endangered species, the global warming argument&mdash But then the borrowings from Monty Python become too blatant, and it just sort of disintegrates towards the end.

Vidad: This one made me laugh out loud, repeatedly. I think with a little more work you might actually be able to get this one published as a pastiche or fantasy send-up. Lars and Grok as representing the fundamental angst of our time? I don't think so. Rather, they're obviously the two nearly irrelevant minor characters who show up from time to time to furnish comic relief between scenes with the major characters. You most recently saw them in Pirates of the Caribbean, but they have a long and proud tradition going back at least to Shakespeare: the two minor characters who pop out to have a sidebar conversation whilst the curtain is closed and the stage crew are changing the set. Call them Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Brilliantly done.

(Hmm. I typed that into the search bar just to check the spelling, and the third suggested search Google comes up with is "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are undead.")

But in the final draw, I had to pick Al's entry, in part because Vidad won last week and I try to avoid picking the same winner twice in a row if I can help it, but mostly because this one stayed most true to the original challenge. Better yet, Al managed to take what I thought was an unsalvageable throwaway fragment of an idea, turn it in a direction I hadn't imagined, and pull out the core of a viable story that fits very well into the fairy-tale tradition.

So Al, this week you are our winner. Now come on down and claim your prize!
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