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Sunday, July 25, 2010

And the winners are...

With all the work he's been putting into getting the first issue of Stupefying Stories off to the printers, Bruce hasn't able to weigh in on the two most recent challenges. This is why there are extra judges!

Let's start with the "Dilbert Days of Summer" Friday Challenge:


Kersley says: M beautifully exemplified the tediousness these "time-saving" computer contraptions often force us to endure.

Henry says: The minute I read you had one interface that was supposed to work with multiple languages, I knew trouble was coming. I've done just enough testing of this kind of thing to know it's a bad business. Yet you fixed it. Manually. In Notepad. Very Dilbertesque!


Kersley says: Triton showed the ridiculous things organizations often inflict on their employees.

Henry says: Man, you hit all the tropes in your story; only the Big Company is allowed to fix the problem, it's for the children, and the basic useless collection of jobs one can can find in governments of all levels. The sense of futility and the aura of defeat was well conveyed. I could see that as a week-long series of Dilbert strips.

Kersley votes: Triton for the win.

Henry votes: Both entries were very Dilbertish and entertaining, but I lean ever so slightly towards Triton's entry.

So Triton, you're last week's winner! Come on down to select your prize!

Now for the "Fly Me To the Moon" Friday Challenge:

M, "Ava Maria"

Kersley says: Cute, but misses the point. I can't really tell what it's supposed to be. Is it a story or a mini-drama/advert? The info-dump would work with the advert, and the guy getting sick on his honeymoon would work with a story, but both together make it a curious, indefinable thing.

Henry says: I can't wait to read the next 4000 words of the story, even if it isn't exactly what we were looking for in the challenge. However, you have Stan mentioning brochures a lot, which does work in the aim in a roundabout way. Stan really has a thing for brochures, I might add. Of course, the story is incomplete, making it virtually impossible to judge the full story. Hm, are you going to slowly but surely write enough Stan and Bliss stories to fill a novel?

Tom, "Come and See the Solar System"

Kersley says: Speaking of different. Still not ad copy, but you definitely stuck to the: "Regardless of what your tourist destination is, your job is to convince the rest of the Friday Challengers and the judges that your destination is the place to be" guidance. I love that it's in the POV of a probably-not-human. What does it mean that I'm tempted to answer the call?

Henry says: Very creepy and not in the least likely to convince me to come to visit Pluto. I like how you handled this piece quite a lot, even if not also exactly what we were looking for with this challenge. Nicely done.

Arvid Macenion, "Welcome to Mimas Final"

Kersley says: Again with the mystery. This one does try harder to get its reader to visit the place--which is ironic since it reads even less like an advert than M's. Here, the info-dump is historical background.

Henry says: Another interesting entry, presenting an historical site / amusement park of the future. We just a little slice of this future time, but it's enough to provide quite a few details. The biggest problem was that you went from "showing" to "telling" when your character thought about the war. I think that might have been better handled by having the tour guide give the general overview where it would have been more natural. Many tours include information you'd hope your average person should know; they include the information because the far too many average people don't know. Other than that, this is a good piece.

Kersley votes: Although M's and Arvid's could be more easily changed into what I thought this challenge was about, Tom's is the strongest. I vote for Tom.

Henry votes: So, all three entries are sorely lacking in actual ad copy. So, let's toss that requirement aside and judge all of the entries based solely on their merits. M's entry is off to a good start, but it's only a start. Arvid's entry is intriguing but features too much direct info dump that pulls the reader away from the story. Tom's entry creeps me out entirely, thoroughly convincing me to never, ever go to the research station on Pluto. But Tom's entry is also a well-written attempt by an obviously insane individual to lure someone to their location. So, Tom gets my vote this week.

Tom is the winner of the "Fly Me To the Moon" Friday Challenge! Come on down and selection your prize!

Congratulations to both winners!
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