February 2010 Flash Fiction Voting Thread B

Discussion in 'Writing' started by NickeeCoco, Feb 20, 2010.

?

February 2010 Flash Fiction Voting Thread B

Poll closed Feb 28, 2010.
  1. A Wizard of the Sorcery by Rich Matrunick/Sterling13

    16.7%
  2. Abyss Above Elves by Michael Aaron/zachariah

    25.0%
  3. A King Above the Truth by Victoria A. Rogers/NickeeCoco

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Prophecy Above Might by SallyC.

    41.7%
  5. Sword of Knowledge by Hereford Eye

    16.7%
  6. A King Above Secrets by Mike Hazelwood/DaddyDarth

    16.7%
  7. Princess Above Blood by Christopher Alen/Kung Foo

    50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Welcome to the February 2010 Flash Fiction Contest Voting Thread B.

    For those of you who’re just joining us, this month’s theme was Fantasy Clichés. The contestants had to choose their title from a random title generator and base their story on the title they received.

    Rules of the Game

    1. Read all the stories in Thread A, Thread B and Thread C.
    2. Vote for up to three stories in total. (Between Thread A, Thread B and Thread C) You may not stack your votes.
    3. Please take the time to provide a bit of feedback to each of the entrants. That’s the main reason they’ve entered.
    4. Voting will take place until February 28th when the voting polls close.

    The Entries

    A Wizard of the Sorcery by Rich Matrunick/Sterling13

    Abyss Above Elves by Michael Aaron/Zachariah

    A King Above the Truth by Victoria A. Rogers/NickeeCoco

    Prophecy Above Might by SallyC

    Sword of Knowledge by Hereford Eye

    A King Above Secrets by Mike Hazelwood/DaddyDarth

    Princess Above Blood by Christopher Alen
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  2. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Could a moderator find some kindness in their heart to sticky this thread, please? Thank you. :)

    Oh, and peeps, I'm gonna be out of town this weekend. I leave in an hour. I'm off to Toronto to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday. Woot!

    So, if there's any pressing concerns before monday please talk to Sterling13. There shouldn't be any problems, though. This contest is running the same way the last one did and the one before that.

    Oh yeah, hope you don't mind, Sterling. Haha.
     
  3. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    73
    As Nickee is away, is there a mod who can edit the URLs? Looks like there's a few characters in there that need to be clipped.

    Cheers :)
     
  4. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    123
    A Wizard of the Sorcery, Rich Matrunik
    You were given a nasty title, sir. What could it mean? It could mean what you have given us as story, a fight between evil and not-so-good-about-to-get-worse. You did pose for me a question: all those folk, those pedestrians: they did nothing? They watched and/or ran from the horror and not one chose to interfere. How very unlike reality. And the hero has an arsenal under his trenchcoat. Have you been watching Matrix again?
    The evil is waiting in the church; so much for sanctuary. And, then, a bullet does the bad guy in. Not even a silver bullet; just a bullet. Was it a matter of word limit that caused the omission of the significance of Jacob’s Cross? The puppeteer? Without that, the boy is a mystery, a cardboard character. With it, he becomes important. But not important enough to affect events.
    Given the title you got, I can appreciate the difficulty. But, I find myself unable to make the connection between story and title. But, then, I never claimed to be real bright.

    Abyss Above Elves, Michael Aaron
    Well done, sir. Lots of action; lots of character; lots of hints at lots of stuff. There is a novel in this waiting to burst its moorings. Definitely a contender.

    A King Above the Truth, Victoria A. Rogers
    Tolkienesque, yes? A tribute to the Fellowship that takes a decisively wicked turn. Well done, ma’am. I had trouble following the speakers a bit but that was probably inattention on my part. On the left stands Amon Lhaw and on the right Amon Hen. Love the imagery. But, allow me to point out one little glitch: In the first paragraph you suggest there is no bridge over the Chasm of Fire. But near the end, you have Hendor point out there is a bridge over the Chasm of Fire. It’s one of those quantuum things, right? Like Schrodinger’s Cat.

    Prophecy Above Might, SallyC
    Beautifully done! Everything required to tell the tale present and accounted for. No haste nor waste. Definitely a contender.

    A King Above Secrets, Mike Hazelwood
    Got to admire the time and words you took to describe the crow. You could have used those words at the finish. I come away confused – as maybe you intended – about what the Whisperer is up to. The king discovers the secrets and believes them. The kingdom must come to believe them because he retains the journal. The Whisperer takes the princess, the Lokine line, with him, To what purpose if not to make him one with that line? To end the Lokine line? What is his nefarious plan? I want more definition in the ending than is there. Rats!

    Princess Above Blood, Christopher Alen F.
    The plot is superb, an imaginative derivation from the title you were given. The execution somewhat disjointed. Little things and big confounded me. He was beset by enemies from without and within...including usurpation? Why the comma between his resolve and unbending?
    Why did his army invade and why did it stop? If his purpose was to be a god and entertain pilgrims, then why terminate the army’s efforts? And why did he expect the pilgrims to arrive when nothing had been accomplished but building the tower?
    Once past these little mysteries, then the explanation for the princess being where she was and the prince being where he was and the arrival and subsequent melee among the pilgrims was, once again, back on track. The winds of the towers and princess’ weeping, her turning of the tower, these are as fine a creation as you have ever done. Methinks the pressure of time and all your other distractions kept you from your best.

    I conclude with six contenders and only three votes. It’s easy for me this time because three stories stand out in my mind. Thank you, Michael, Sally, and Carin. And thank to the rest of the contestants for giving me a fine two days of reading and thinking.
     
  5. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    83
    There are? I just copy and pasted from the stories themselves.

    EDIT: /sigh I think it's 'cos I did them in Word before here and then the hyperlink stuff got all mixed in. I'll fix them, but I'm sorry, not tonight. I'm dead tired. Way too much wine, too little sleep and way too long of a drive home.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  6. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The bridge hadn't been built at the time that the king's faces had been carved into Groanwind Pass. They were built later by a different king, Willion the Builder.

    Cainwyr says: "You would think that the men who built these would have been able to build a bridge across the Chasm of Fire."


    Hendor says later: "I mean, ever since Willion the Builder built that bridge over the Chasm of Fire, no one ever uses this pass anymore."
     
  7. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm going to semi-break my personal rule about not responding to feedback until the contest is over.

    As to the boy and the cross and the title and the rest... gah, I wanted all of that in there, but just flat out ran out of room. I was at 1,600 words BEFORE I finished the church scene (and these are "rough draft" words... I tend to be a skeletal writer, so the finished word count would have easily been closer to 2,000-2,500). So... it was mostly the boy that got cut from the final version. But, quite unfortunetly, he was necessary to keep... because he was a central part of my (hidden) fantasy cliche.

    Both you and my test reader (aka, my friend who I annoy with my stories) instantly saw the Matrix when they read it. That's interesting. I really had no intentions of going there. I was attempting to create a modern day wizard. Cloak = trench coat. Staff = shotgun. Perhaps I should have mentioned quite specifically that the trenchcoat wasn't black?
     
  8. txshusker

    txshusker A mere player

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    did anyone else have this link to SallyCs?
     
  9. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I used the link from the Stories Section.
     
  10. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I get SallyC's when I click on it.
     
  11. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,734
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    98
    WTF????

    I went back to where I posted my link in the FF thread and it linked to my story in the Stories section.

    Anyone looking for me can find me in the Stories section - just follow the esteemed example of HE.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  12. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Abyss Above Elves by Michael Aaron
    ‘If there was any force pulling him down, it was now too weak to feel.’ Reads strangely to me…

    There’s not enough here to get a complete picture of what they’re trying to accomplish… but I’m not sure I care. I loved the setting, the dialogue… everything. I want more of this thing.

    A nit – I realize you wanted to make sure you had all of the fantasy cliché characters present, but you could likely cut this down to 3 characters and everything about it would still work. Its just hard to cram that many characters into a flash piece.

    Now, if this is just the start of a longer piece (which it seems to be)… that’s likely why all of them remained.

    A contender.

    A King Above the Truth by Victoria A. Rogers
    I’m immediately picturing the two “kings of old” statues from Lord of the Rings.

    I’m not sure what to think about this one. It’s good (solid writing, dialogue, etc)… and, to be honest, I can’t find anything wrong with it… but it just didn’t give me that “wow factor”. Not much of a review, I know, but that’s all I got.

    It shall make my final list of contenders so I can contemplate this further…

    Prophecy above Might by SallyC
    Very cool. I love the fact that he continues to wait on the prophecy, and, because of that, the prophecy never occurs. He slowly drifts from cautious to completely sedentary. Well done.

    A contender.

    Sword of Knowledge by Dan Bieger
    ‘Alf Gand’ – I groaned. Likely what you were going for, though :)

    I enjoyed this quirky little ride. It perhaps could have used a little more “setting” at the beginning, and perhaps 1-2 more questions asked to the sword at the end, but overall an amusing tale.

    A contender.

    A King Above Secrets by Mike Hazelwood
    Something I mentioned in the Jan-Feb short story contest… and it may not bother most people, but you seem to like switching POVs mid scene. In the first paragraph, we take an omniscient POV (as we look at the wall… because, certainly the crow is not referring to himself as a ‘black smudge’), then move to the crow, then in the second paragraph move to the king.

    ‘…of fear and tyranny.”’ – You do not need a end quotation here, as the speaker in the next paragraph is still the king.

    I love the imagery – from the castle walls in the beginning to the book to the whisperer. I really enjoy the dialogue. But there’s just not enough of an ending here. So close, but doesn’t quite make my final list.

    Princess Above Blood by Christopher Alen
    If you’re so evil, then why don’t you just…. EAT THIS KITTEN! (Sorry, the one part stirred up an old Tick reference…)

    I absolutely tore through this story, pressing forward to what was next. I was so caught up in it… but, in the end… I didn’t fully get it. But I was so completely intrigued by this story that I read it again, and then a third time. I have the large pieces in place now, but I’d like a little more illumination.

    A contender nonetheless… but I’m expecting a detailed explanation following the contest. :)


    Dang... 4 more to join my list of 3 from thread A. Onto thread C...
     
  13. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Screw it, I'll do it now! :p

    It's probably not as complex as you're imagining -- it's just supposed to be an origin myth for the Sun.

    Also, I'd recommend that you try to read the whole story as a lot of phallic/sex references -- the whole "above blood" thing sorta skewed the ol' imagination ;)

    Who's down with OPP?
     
  14. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,734
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Thread B - My eternal Home. One of these days I swear I will finish a story quickly just so I can be on the A Thread. Yea Right. Again - I feel baked and am busy busy with work etc complain complain so my comments are gonna be kinda brief. No disrespect. As a whole great stories.

    A Wizard of the Sorcery by Rich Matrunick
    An excellent and engaging story. I was hooked from the beginning. Please write a follow up to this.

    Abyss Above Elves by Michael Aaron
    Elves in Space - now this is original - for sure. I dont know how you came up with this but your imagination doth run wild. Your story really just got going though and it was over. Does not feel complete enough for me.

    A King Above the Truth by Victoria Rogers
    For cranking out a truly flash piece of this caliber this month well done. I'm impressed with what you did with how little time you had. Some engaging dialogue b/w your characters. I'm with HE on this bridge thing though. I dont get it. Not even with your explanation. Sorry.

    Prophecy Above Might by Sally C
    Quite good quite good indeed. I like your look at how knowing prohecy can have consequences. Instead of trying to make something happen - he just sat back and waited for it. Nice job.

    Sword of Knowledge by HE
    I think this is my favourite of yours since I have been playing this little game. Well written and well told. I had my usual HE moment where I had to stop and review what you wer saying b/c there is always some logic argument knitted in there. I could have sworn old Alf Gand was going to outwit the young man and get his sword but he did not and I liked that very much.

    A King Above Secrets by Me
    Painful tale!!!

    Princess Above Blood by Christopher Allen
    Bravo - most creative and thought provoking in the bunch. I learned a new word today i.e. Penumbra. Nice creation type myth. Well done.
     
  15. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ah - so apparently I didn't have it at all! Haha.

    That's a good thing though... can't have my brain getting too uppity...



    Looking at it now, it is clearly there:
    'Straddling the Two Worlds: one side, cast always in Darkness; one side, always in Light. Forever, the horizon reshaped. A new finger risen, pointing to Haeven.'

    So, that's "before time" (or before "rotation").

    'And above the blood, the Princess paced and wailed. Round and round she walked until the Tower began to spin beneath her.

    And so the duskside knew Dawn, and the dawnside Dusk.'

    And there goes the world a-movin'...

    My confusion lied in:
    'Beyond the Penumbra he could not say, for it was but an unfathomable wall of empty, featureless light.'
    So, the light already existed (formless as it was), which had me focusing on the doorway between worlds portion of the text. I figured "dark side" = hell, "light side" = heaven, and the tower = the bridge between, aka, earth. So I had an earth origin myth in my head.
     
  16. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    73
    :)

    Now don't go splainin' away all the sex jokes. ;)
     
  17. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,734
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Here is my list of finalists this month & long it seems.
    MrBF for a quick homourous tale. Daily Rich b/c as ever he writes so well and tells such good stories - this being no exception. Carin Marias for good old fashioned great story that hooked me. Mr. Matrunick for a gripping tale that left me wanting more. Sally C for a thought provoking look at an old favourite. HE for a solid, modern story with a surpise ending. Chris Allen for a brilliant story and lastly Mr Banker for a sweet fairy tale.

    This is going to be hard. Good job folks.
     
  18. Sterling13

    Sterling13 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    '...long and hard ...'

    When I read it the first time, I was trying to figure out if that was on purpose or not...

    I can see a few other obvious ones (the tower, etc)... but I'm wondering how many more of these are on purpose...

    'His Sword, useless to him now.' - OMG, erectile dysfunction! :eek:
     
  19. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A Wizard of the Sorcery -
    Um.. I'm not really sure what to say really. It's a good read but I was left puzzled as to how it really sat with the theme or the title. It was well written, I'll give you that, but I think by cutting it down so much it lost some of its appeal. I would certainly give the "uncut" version a read :)

    Abyss Above Elves -
    I... Hmm, left a little unsure about the ship. By the sounds of it everything was moving up due to gravitational forces, so why would wind be a factor? Regardless, it was a good read that I think I would have enjoyed more if I knew anything about ships and/or how this particular one was laid out. The idea of a floating herd of sheep was quite funny, though!

    A King Above The Truth -
    Another light hearted tale with some very Tolkeinesque names (as I think was pointed out above too). Not really sure what to say about it, as there wasn't a lot to talk about (though that isn't a bad thing) and I think it played well to the title and the theme.

    Prophecy Above Might -
    Very cleverly written I felt, almost philosophical in nature. Will fate/destiny happen naturally or is it truly something we must fulfill? The character of Steen was, quite clearly, not the brightest bulb in the box despite his apparent abilities. Rebellion, if done with noble cause and by noble people, can bring about good and as such isn't always wicked. It was clear he knew what he was destined to fulfill, but he constantly seemed reluctant to do so. Good read, but I felt it could have been a little easier on the eyes if it was in paragraphs (not a complaint of the story, just a minor gripe with the presentation).

    Sword of Knowledge -
    I was instantly hit by the wealth of commas (something I feel I do myself) and slightly painful descriptions, for example "The much younger man also sported long hair, brown. A Van Dyke, red. No eyebrows.". I'll put my hands up and say I don't know what a Van Dyke is, by the way.
    Aside from the "Sword of Knowledge" itself, I didn't really think of many clichés that applied to this story.

    A King Above Secrets -
    Ah yes, this was actually the first one I read but it was when it was posted so I've reread it.
    I have to say I felt the use of the older English terms (Thee, Thine etc) seemed to come and go in waves and I'm not sure if this was intentional or not. The Whisperer seemed to be the sort of character who would draw their sentences out, use little contractions and to me the "She's mine." line didn't seem too fitting.
    However, it's a good story and I could also see this one going on to greater length.

    Princess Above Blood -
    "nameless Great Mountain" is a bit of a contradiction, as the capitals (to me) denote it being a name.
    But wow. That was quite a powerful story that seemed more like a legend than a modern tale. I can't really think of many bad things outside of nit-picking grammatical errors.
     
  20. bobnagga

    bobnagga Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So I notice my story's not up here. Did I put it in the wrong spot or something? It's in stories subforum and the main page. ... oh, well. Next month. On to the voting!