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Monday, January 9, 2012

And the winner is (Special “Catch-Up with 2011” Edition!)...

Happy New Year! (What? Why are we still celebrating? Well... after this post, we'll be caught up with the old year. That's a reason to celebrate.)

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 be 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 numerically 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 (unless there is only one entry, in which case the silly restriction is lifted!), and there is no requirement for a judge to use the entire 30 point allocation.

M is about to put on the “Editor Hat.” It's sort of like the “Sorting Hat” they use at Hogwarts (“Two challenges at once? You'll give me a split personality!”), but a little less sarcastic.

“And now, for the next century and a half...”

“Solstice” by Tyler Tork

M: This proposal reads like an odd cross between Steven Soderbergh's treatment of Stanisław Lem's Solaris, and Event Horizon. A bigger surprise was that my initial reaction was not to associate those two titles, but to double-check the details of Isaac Asimov's 1989 novel, Nemesis! (Even though your proposal doesn't bear any real similarity to the novel, my mnemenic association was strong enough that the use of that name overrode other correlations.)

Those associations aren't necessarily bad; Event Horizon is one of my favorite SF/H films, and I enjoyed Solaris, despite what Soderbergh did to it. You might want to alter the name of your “ancient enemy” and retitle your work, though.

In terms of the actual treatment, your first three paragraphs are good for maybe ten to fifteen minutes of film, at most. That final section has to carry the weight of another hour and three-quarters!

As for meeting the challenge, SF and H are clearly evident. I'm struggling to extrapolate F from what you've written. I'm willing to allow "the one who failed" to be your lovable character, assuming his anguish is believable and the presumed sacrifice genuinely heart-wrenching.

Bonus points for anyone who can point out which episode(s) of Doctor Who would provide the closest parallel.

Arisia: + / M_Nicole_Cunningham: 2 / Tyler Tork: voted! / xdpaul: 2 (with a request for the full treatment)
M: 9
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 15+

“The Christmas War” by xdpaul

M: For some reason, this one put me in mind of Miracle on 34th Street... but with magical time travel (for which I'll acknowledge both SF and F). I'm not quite willing to give you H, because although there is a promise of violence, the perspective strikes me as more Dogma-versus-The Santa Clause, implying a level of serious/artistic intent somewhere between the two.

Who is the lovable character? At this point I'm rooting for one of the drunken revelers, begging for a can of beer.

Arisia: + / M_Nicole_Cunningham: 1 / Tyler Tork: 1.5 / xdpaul: voted!
M: 6
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 10.5+

Higglety Pigglety Pop!

“Monsters” by Tom

M: Your premise lost me, from the very first line, when you proclaimed, “Sendak was gay.

Yes, he was (by his own admission), but I fail to see what that has to do with his worth as a human being, or as an artist. David Gerrold is also gay (again, by his own admission), but he's done an admirable job with his own son (adopted, for the record, but again not a factor that makes any difference).

The one aspect of the challenge I am able to recognize in your entry is that it did, indeed, “pop.” Of course, that may have just been a blood vessel in my throbbing temple...

Tom: voted!
M: 0
Participation bonus: 2
Total: 2

“Pounce” “Higgelty Pigglety – Zero G Edition” by Tyler Tork

M: First of all, I apologize for not properly recognizing the title of your entry when you first pointed out its existence. “Pounce” is clearly the moniker of your blog... and my only excuse is that, given the subject, it also seemed like an appropriate designation for the story.

Kittens in zero gravity? I'l give you both higglety and pigglety for the concept, alone. The mental imagery also “pops” adequately; I could easily imagine this as an interstitial snippet on The Firesign Theatre Radio Hour.

Tom: 2
M: 15
Total: 17


Never before have we seen such outright domination, such an overwhelming display of prowess, and such uncompromising literary excellence in two simultaneous challenges, while faced with such odds! For a combined total, we have:

1st Place: 32+ points — “Solstice” and “Higgelty Pigglety – Zero G Edition” by Tyler Tork

Congratulations, Tyler Tork! As winner, you are hereby invited to propose next week's challenge, scheduled to be announced the morning of Friday, 13 January 2012.


As a reminder, over the past few weeks we were engaged in a few smaller, lighter challenges, while the holidays swirled us about. Now that the holidays are safely past, we'll return you to your regularly scheduled Thunderdome.
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