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Friday, February 20, 2009

The Friday Challenge - 2/20/09

Having read over the entries in the 2/13/09 Friday Challenge, I don't know what to say, except to say that some of you people have some serious issues. That, and I'm still laughing. Without further ado then, the entries received this week are:

Leatherwing: "Talkin' 'Bout My Next Generation"

Jamsco: "Third Thursday Ogden: Bulwark In the 24th"

Mike and the Mrs.: "Open-Mike Night at Arg'Ehbels's Bar"
Caution: If this was a CD, it would carry an advisory sticker warning parents about the lyrics. Thank you, Tipper Gore.

Vidad: "Sulu Rocks"

Henry: "Transported"

Ben-El: "Don't Metal With Rock Folk: Or "Usher III""

Al: "Pikers and Rikers and Jazz, Oh My..."

Rigel Kent: "New ensign, same as the old ensign"

As always, even if you haven't submitted an entry this week you're encouraged to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites. The winner will be announced Sunday.

On a technical note: this week we received one entry via the new mail-in method and it seems to have worked well, so we'll continue using it. Please remember that the new email address is slushpile@thefridaychallenge.com. We're making some technical changes over on the Rampant Loon side of the house and email addresses associated with the brucebethke.com domain may be unreliable while we're getting some issues sorted out.

And now for this week's Friday Challenge, I turn the microphone over to my esteemed colleague, world-famous author, economist, and bon vivant, Vox Day.

One of the strange things about writing fiction is that while the general ideas often come easily, putting the actual specifics down on paper—or more accurately, onscreen—tends to be rather more difficult. When writing my first non-fiction book, I was amazed to discover how much easier than writing fiction it was. Whenever I started to hit a roadblock, it was pretty easy to blow it away by whanging some sort of relevant quote or statistic into the text, which would often get me rolling right along again.

My thought is that limiting the topic to an enclosed space should make it a bit easier to keep the literary currents sparking. I think this may, in part, account for the popularity of rewriting classic tales among the authorial set, since there's no real reason that a Tanith Lee or Neil Gaiman has any need of dearth of original ideas. Of course, it's also kind of fun. Consider the fiendish pleasure Lee must have taken in turning the charming Cinderella motif into a demonic revenge tale in "When the Clock Strikes".

Hence today's challenge, which is to write your own spin on a classic fairy tale, in the creative spirit if not necessarily the horrific vein of Lee's "Red as Blood" or Gaiman's "Snow, Glass, Apple." I don't pretend to know the rules or what the prize might be, but assume they are the usual as I shall adjudicate the challenge with all the blissfully assured ignorance of a celebrity judge on a reality show. The deadline is midnight Central time, Thursday, February 26th.


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