Magazines & Anthologies
Rampant Loon Media LLC
Our Beloved Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Follow us on Facebook!


Read them free on Kindle Unlimited!





Blog Archive

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And the winner is...

Our eighth challenge is... honestly, I am not sure what to write about this one. Ernest supplied a bizarre proposal, and everyone who entered has either risen — or sunk — to the occasion. Congratulations?

If any of you are able to take a second look at your own work, and see ways in which to improve a concept so that it can be more successfully developed, the effort will have been worthwhile.

Those of you who vote are allowed to assign a range of “0” to “3” points, per entry. Since challengers may not vote for their own stories, a bonus of 2 points is given to a participant's highest-ranked work, if that participant also takes the time to vote on the other entries.

Official judges receive a 30 point allocation, to assign as they see fit. The only restriction is that at most, only half of those points may be given to any single entry, and there is no requirement for a judge to use the entire 30 point allocation.

Ernest T. Scribbler is about to put on the “Editor Hat.” It's sort of like the “Sorting Hat” they use at Hogwarts (“I swear, if the headmaster asks me what to do with another maladjusted 'Chosen One' I'll take up drinking...”), but a little less sarcastic.

Ernest T. Scribbler's Unbeskorrnt Mnebeholiths: A Fanzine of Impromulgable Proportions

“Fanfic for the Fanzine” by Arisia

Ernest T. Scribbler: 663 words... and a heck of an homage. I remember when Bob came up with the idea for Mike's strategy. It started with a spitball fight at a con in '64 or '65, if I'm not mistaken. Someone got the bright idea to aim their spitballs up, so that they fell from great heights upon those below. The impact of one knocked Bob's spoon right out of his oatmeal, and I could see the gears turning. I knew he'd find some way to use that in a story.

I am tickled, honored, and a few other complimentary verbs, that you would base this piece around me old typewriter. I am sure that, if it ever woke up in the manner you suggest, the typewriter would be honored too.

You know what would be a really interesting read? If Miko took what you've written, and filtered it through his philosophical sieve, and then the two of you started throwing complications at each other so that Mike and Craig would have to work a little. Make 'em break a sweat, or whatever the virtual equivalent is.

Are you listening, Miko? Are you game, Arisia? Are you insane, Scribbler?

Okay, I already know the answer to that last question.

Arisia: voted! / miko: ♥ / Ryan J: 2 / xdpaul: 3
Ernest T. Scribbler: 11
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 18

“Flexus Emergency” by xdpaul

Ernest T. Scribbler: The flavor of this one reminds me a lot of what good old self-monikered Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heartcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez del Rey y de los Uerdes used to write, for the kiddies. He did it a lot more convincingly.

That's not to say that your piece is bad. Far from it, but as Ryan already pointed out it is incomplete. I want to know more about why you put chimps on the moon, and Colby's need for the wheelchair and crutches, and why the hell society still hasn't advanced beyond mp3 players by the time they establish a Lunar base. I also want you to use more than 1500 words to tell this story, because you haven't given me enough time to be worried about the missing kid.

But you like flash, and what you have here isn't bad. If you shortened it a little more and tightened a few places, it might even be publishable in some of the markets Guy Stewart talks about. Have you thought about doing a bit of straightforward adolescent SF?

Arisia: 2 / miko: ♣ / Ryan J: 2 / xdpaul: voted!
Ernest T. Scribbler: 3
Total: 7

“Jiggle Juice and Cleavage” by xdpaul

Ernest T. Scribbler: You win the "most interesting title" award. With a title like that though, I wanted to read about boozles and boobies. When you finally got around to those two quantities, it was a letdown.

Up to the point where Ray says, "I need to talk to someone. Then break his neck," you've got great plot, and with some tweaking you've also got great technical elements and problem-solving. Work that angle. Show me more about the SpiderCat (sexy computer/waldo thingamajigger!) and iron out Granddad's structural identity. Show me the rust eating through the sides of the truck, and the worn floorboards. Let me smell the grease. Maybe you should find another way to describe "nanocarbon," "nanophones," "nanobatts," "nanoconnection," "nano-organics" and "nanovideo," because they started to feel like nano-holes on a cheese grater.

Overall it's still a good story. It felt good to read this one.

Then you had to go and kill the good feeling with an unresolved allusion. What happened fourteen years, two months, and five days ago? Either it's an important part of Ray's history and should be woven into the background, or it's an unnecessary bit of information. Sure, your corn silk and earth girl is out of place on the platform, but she's also out of place in the narrative. Her only raison d'ĂȘtre is perfumed nudity and innocence, and to serve as a trigger so Ray will think about his past. After that, you gave us bupkis.

I can't use this one. Sorry.

Fix the broken beanstalk depiction, add a few more nuts and bolts, and play up the social disparity. Resolve or remove the jailbait scene. Then try this place instead.

Arisia: 2 / miko: ♦ / Ryan J: 3 / xdpaul: voted!
Ernest T. Scribbler: 6
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 13

“Lost Time” (a.k.a. “Perils of the Internet”) by Ryan J

Ernest T. Scribbler: "Xiphos" is the effective plurality of "Xipheh," yes? Even if it was unplanned, that came across as a masterful touch. In fact, all of this story feels like it was specifically crafted for my fanzine, and for the type of reader who might find it appealing.

Leviathan conjures up other images for me, and I'd be in favor of changing the name to Otogu.

Any chance you could expand this one a bit? With only three swocks at the back-and-forth, you've written one of the most interesting ping-pong games I've ever seen.

Arisia: 3 / miko: ♠ / Ryan J: voted! / xdpaul: 3
Ernest T. Scribbler: 10
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 18


Based on the numbers... we have a tie for first place:

1st Place: 18 points — “Fanfic for the Fanzine” by Arisia

1st Place: 18 points — “Lost Time” (a.k.a. “Perils of the Internet”) by Ryan J

Congratulations, both of you! Ryan J has already served as HTM twice, so Arisia receives the invitation to propose next week's challenge, scheduled to be announced the morning of Friday, 24 June 2011.


So what was the lesson of this challenge?

Ernest T. Scribbler: "People will do anything to see their stuff in print." (What do you mean, 'that's not a lesson'? It is, too.)

On a more serious note, creativity takes many forms. Whenever you have trouble being creative in a way that feels safe, rational, or even publishable, then be absurd. Go a little nuts, and put it down on paper.

Thoroughly impromulgable words can also be beautiful, if you look at them the right way.

Arisia and Ryan J, if you'll each take a second pass at your submissions I'd like to use both of them in the first issue.

At 9:01 PM Eastern, Ernest T. Scribbler supplied the following addendum:

Arisia and Ryan J, please send revisions to ernesttscribbler *AT* yahoo.com ... and thank you.

Everyone else, that address is also good for anything you'd like me to consider for future issues. Or for the initial issue! Still a few weeks before the layout is finalized.
blog comments powered by Disqus