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Friday, August 20, 2010

The Friday Challenge - 8/20/10

Kerlsey Fitzgerald celebrates the beginning of school by riding her bike and then having a massive allergy attack. Then she gives us links to varying positions on the paper book versus ebook debate. Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke writes four different columns under the guise of Name that Column. Read and discuss the latest on Stupefying Stories. Join the discussion about Friday Challenge Submission Formats. If writing groups are your thing, take a look at this column. Or give everyone your ideas on what is offensive and what is just a PC jerk of the knee.

Henry Vogel expands on a subject he heard discussed at NASFIC; the sacred and the profane. Join the discussion...

Ultimate Geek Fu asks which summer blockbuster movies lived up to their billing and which were turkeys. Join the discussion...

Carmine Vrill takes the win in the 8/6/10 Friday Challenge, "Postcards With an Edge", Kersley Fitzgerald asks the important question is your idea genius or signs you're off your meds? The inmates discuss the view from their respective locations in the asylum. All this and more, this week in THE FRIDAY CHALLENGE.

And now for the current challenge.

"Planet of the Dogs"
Here are the entries for the 8/13/10 lesser Friday Challenge, in which we challenged you to redesign canines as an intelligent, tool-using, space-faring race. Entries are presented in approximately the order in which they were received:

Guy Steward, "Laughing With Kiiote"

Triton, "Xanthor, P.O.W."

Arvid Macenion, "Best Meat in the Universe"

ApolloKioku, "Contact"

If we've missed any entries, or if anyone has snowdogged in an entry after the deadline, please let us know so we can fix this list. As always, even if you haven't posted an entry this week—even if you never enter in any week—you are invited to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites. Don't be shy about leaving feedback on the writer's sites, either. Writers thrive on knowing that somewhere out there, someone is actually reading the words that they have written. The winner will be announced Sunday evening.

And now for this week's new challenge.

The Sound of Summer Running (Void Where Prohibited By Law)
Ray Bradbury celebrated his 90th birthday by unloading on ebooks, the internet, and the president for not planning a moon colony. Meanwhile, I simply cannot think of Ray Bradbury without thinking of a story he wrote back in 1956, "The Sound of Summer Running," in which a then 36 year-old Bradbury channeled the magic new sneakers held to a child of the fifties. For those who have never read the story, or who haven't read it in far too many years, you can find a PDF copy here. Go read it now. We'll wait.

Did you read it? No? Seriously, you do want to read it. It's necessary for the challenge. Now go read it. We'll wait again, but this is the last time.

Whether you've read it or not, we're now getting on with the challenge. Think upon this wonderful story (if, you know, you've actually read the wonderful story). Think about how thoroughly set in the 1950s it is. Who believes "old Mr. Sanderson" actually works at a place called Sanderson's Shoe Emporium? Who puts a shoe store just out on the street in town? Where's the mall? And sneakers? Sneakers? Where are the basketball, track, tennis, and skateboarding shoes with the expensive sports stars names attached? Plus, who believes a kid can land a job just by asking? He didn't fill out an application? He didn't have to provide a Social Security card and proof of either U.S. citizenship or a green card? Finally, Sanderson is just going to let this kid run errands around town without deducting for insurance or having the kid's parents sign a waver freeing Sanderson of any liability in case the kid runs out in front of a truck?

Yep, this is a seriously 1950s story, all right. It really needs to be updated to be relevant to your average 21st century American child. While Bradbury is still writing, we here at the Friday Challenge figure he's got better things to do with what years he has left than to rewrite "The Sound of Summer Running." That's where you come in!

Your challenge is the write the updated, 21st century version of "The Sound of Summer Running." Get cynical, satirical, sarcastic, funny, or even depressing, but give us the definitive rewrite. Don't just sit there! Go read that story (we know you didn't read it either time we waited) and start rewriting!

As always, we're playing by the loosely enforced and rarely updated Official Rules of THE FRIDAY CHALLENGE, and playing for whatever is behind Door #3. The deadline for this one is midnight Central time, Thursday, August 26.
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