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Sunday, April 5, 2009

And the winner is...

Tough call this week. Two really good ideas, and both really well-written. The difference between them comes down to splitting hairs.

Arisia: This time around "The Yellow Time Machine" gets the coveted "most like what I would have written" comment. This is not necessarily a good thing, as my—er, um, checkered career proves—but in this case it is, as the story of my own that it most reminds me of, "The Single-Bullet Theory," sold less than three months after I wrote it and appeared as the lead story in the April 1993 issue of Amazing Stories. I'm sure if I went back over this one with my editor's hat on I'd find some trivial things to ding, but the concept is clever and the execution is superb. Great work.

Snowdog: On the other hand, "Drummer Girl" hits me right in some emotional soft spot I didn't even know I had. The thought of Karen Carpenter still being alive today appeals to me in a way I can't adequately describe; that list of alternate Beatles song titles makes me think of the Rutles, which thought is always "guaranteed to raise a smile;" and the idea of Karen Carpenter having a PR-fueled faux feud with Chrissy Hynde was pure genius. In fact, in my mind right now I'm hearing Karen singing a slightly down-tempo, slightly smoother and jazzier cover of "Back on the Chain Gang," and it's choking me up.

Whoa. Tough call. For me, "Drummer Girl" has the stronger emotional hook, but "The Yellow Time Machine" scores higher on technical points.

By a slender margin, then, I'm calling it for Arisia. But since Will Keizer was kind enough to send over two copies of his CD, I'm awarding Snowdog a special "Damn, that was close" consolation prize.
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