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Sunday, May 3, 2009

And the winner is...

Al, by a landslide. That is one great little kick-ass hard sci-fi story. Sorry Tom, but much as I love stories involving the Large Hadron Collider and extradimensional physics, and give you bonus points for working in the Trafalmadorian reference, Al's story is the one that grabbed me and wouldn't let me stop reading until I'd finished it.

Ergo, Al is our prizewinner this week. So Al, come on down and claim your prize.

And while I'm at it: Hey, all you other recent prizewinners! Make sure you've claimed your prizes! Henry is still waiting for names and addresses to send comic books to, and I still owe somebody a copy of Will Keizer's CD. Help us out, wouldja? The email address is slushpile@thefridaychallenge.com.


Now, as for the current challenge
Okay, so I got carried away and overdid it. Accordingly, I'm slightly modifying the terms of the 5/1/09 Friday Challenge. If you like the story I started and want to try continuing or completing it, please do. But if you don't, we're open to any story either inspired by or reacting to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom tales. (Which, conveniently, are now all in the public domain and can be found on Project Gutenberg. If you've never read any of them, start with A Princess of Mars — or at least do what any professional writer would do, and read the Wikipedia entry and fake the rest.)

What are the untold stories here? Has John Carter finally returned to Earth for the last time, and become that boring old windbag on the far right end of the line at Muzzy's Tap, The Warlord of Barstool? Or is he still alive and romping around on Barsoom, and does he have something to do with the real reason why the Mars Polar Lander failed? Can you explain why Tal Hajus, Jeddak of Thark, had such a fierce lust for Dejah Thoris? (I mean, considered from the viewpoint of a six-limbed 12-foot-tall olive-green monstrosity, lusting for a humanoid woman must constitute a remarkable perversion.) Or speaking of Dejah: well, it is a century later, and Time must catch up with even Barsoomians, eventually. Does John still call her "my incomparable Dejah" to her face, but lately he's been calling her "Dejah Thunderthighs" behind her back? And continuing in the same vein: just why do egg-laying Martian women have breasts, anyway?

Or Henry, here's one for you. J'onn J'onzz, The Martian Manhunter: just how far do his shapeshifting and telepathic image-projection abilities go? Is it possible he's perhaps just a little Tharkish, on his father's side? And if so, who is his mother?

Anyway, you get the idea. Something Burroughsian, something Barsoomian, and above all, have fun.

Catch you Thursday,
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