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Friday, April 9, 2010

The Friday Challenge - 4/9/10

This Week in The Friday Challenge
Kersley Fitzgerald continues her exploration of the place where all the pulse-pounding (or at least burger-flipping) action is, the backshop, along the way discovering that a lost wrench is more dangerous than a photon torpedo, an inattentive supervisor can kill you faster than a berserk Klingon, and both the Kirkists and the Spockites are all wrong: it's Scotty who's the real hero. Join the discussion...

Henry Vogel tackles some of the more common reasons why people believe they can't tell stories in public, and teaches us why most people are much better story-tellers than they believe they are. Think you might want to try your hand at story-telling? Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke is on the road, but checks in long enough to give us a little insight into his Socialist past. Ooh, scary! Join the discussion...

Splattering Guts for Fun & Profit introduces the Four-Way Compromise, beloved of strategy gamers, and discusses the amazing Flying Elephant. Want to put your hero on the bridge of the mightiest starship ever built and send him against the most impenetrable fortress ever created? Join the discussion...

Ultimate Geek Fu serves up a double-header, with discussions of both Clash of the Titans and V. Quick, before one goes straight to Blockbuster and the other gets canceled! Join the discussion...

Also, Kersley Fitzgerald discovers an alternative way to get productive, Watkinson and M end up tied in the 3/26/10 "Reality TV" challenge, the inmates discuss the view from their respective places in the asylum, and "Cymate," by Torainfor, takes the win in the March Greater Challenge, "A Strange Bot in a Strange Land."

Now Facing Judgment
Re the 4/2/10 challenge, "I'm In Love With My Car," as of the deadline we have received the following entries. If we've missed anyone's entry, please let us know ASAP so that we can post a correction.

"Car Trouble," by Kersley Fitzgerald

"Clementine," by Passinthrough

"And a Six-Pack Saved the Day," by Rigel Kent

"The Bush Mechanic," by Watkinson

"Beating the Drums of Olds," by Miko. (In a fit of enthusiasm Miko has also posted his entry as an MP3 file, which you can find in the Friday Challenge drop-box on drop.io. The password is "challenge.")

As always, even if you haven't submitted an entry this week—even if you never submit an entry in any week—you are invited to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites. Don't be shy about leaving comments on the writers' sites, either. Writers thrive on knowing that someone out there is actually reading their words.

The winner will be announced Sunday evening.

Folk Tales of the Final Frontier

A while back, Henry wished there were science fiction versions of traditional folk and fairy tales that he could use in storytelling performances. We here at the Friday Challenge think this is an interesting idea (particularly since Henry is half of "We") and hereby offer it as the next Greater Challenge. The idea is to take an existing folk or fairy tale and science fictionize it. Henry offers this example for Sleeping Beauty:

Beauty was the first of the great sleep-ships sent from earth to colonize distant worlds. Other sleep-ships followed and, a century later, ships with faster-than-light drives. No trace of the Beauty or her colony was ever found and her fate became the first great space myth. Over one thousand years after the Beauty was launched, relic hunter Pete Charming, for whom finding the Beauty is an obsession, actually finds the ship. Beauty is far off course but still under power. Are her colonists still in suspended animation? What of her beautiful captain? Before Peter can discover these answers, he must find a way past the Beauty's powerful point defenses (against meteors and other space debris) and her internal defenses (perhaps a wall of laser beams rather than a wall of thorns). To add some drama, Henry was thinking of tossing in some space pirates or rival relic hunters who show up after Peter has awakened the captain.

Feel free to make up whatever you need to make your story work. Need a talking wolf? Just create a wolf-like alien race. The same goes for pigs, if you need some of those! If the story you choose to convert isn't one of the well-known folk or fairy tales, you might include a note at the beginning telling us which story you're converting.

As always, we're playing by the loosely enforced Official Rules of the Friday Challenge and playing for whatever is behind Door #3. This is a Greater Challenge, so the deadline for this one is midnight, Thursday, 4/29/10.

There's alien porridge to be eaten, cybernetic evil queens to overthrow and bio-sculpted princes and princesses to meet and fall in love! So get started writing.

And remember, let's have fun out there!
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