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October 10th, 2005, 02:29 PM
Am I blind, or has no thread yet been started after the winners of the SFFWorld Short Story Competition 2005 were announced?

As you will probably know, the winners were:

1. Fall - Russell Lutz
2. The Cottage - R.A. Partain
3. Being a Hero - Colin Walker (tied)
3. Five Miles on... - Michael Eardley (tied)

I'd say, at the least, congratulations to all of them were in order!

I'd then think anyone interested in writing might like to give his or her thoughts on these (and other) contributions. Did the best story win? Why is "Fall" better than the rest? Or isn't it? Could you do better?

Personally, I happened to think the winning tale very good. I liked the writing - this is someone in command of his words, letting them work for him instead of the other way around. Like just about every good story, the reader gets the impression that this must have been "easy" to write. Also, it's a short story pur sang - that is, it doesn't attempt too much, but neither does it simply rely on a gimmick; it's nicey balanced.

Any other thoughts?

Rocket Sheep
October 10th, 2005, 08:56 PM
Short stories are really hard to write. There's not very many words to establish a scene (and it is usually a non-familiar scene in sf) and suck a reader in before you have to deliver a new kind of plot or a twist or comment on contemporary society in a captivating manner.

The Fall was set on a very alien world and involved a story of something quite unique so the degree of difficulty was high. It wisely stuck to a simple storyline and was well written. The writing was great in all the stories. I liked the twists of the third place getters too. I'm a sucker for a twist.

Well done writers! :D

October 11th, 2005, 01:53 AM
Great idea Julian, I would like to add my congrats to the winners. Good job. I will leave this and go read, admittedly I have had to postpone that pleasure.

As one of the 73 (by my count) people who tied for fourth place. (That is how it works, right?) If someone saw fit to comment on any of those, I'm sure any polite input would be welcome.

I'll be back.


Rocket Sheep
October 11th, 2005, 05:43 AM
Which was yours MrBF1V3? And does that stand for Mr Big Fat One Version Three?

October 11th, 2005, 11:16 AM
Which was yours MrBF1V3? And does that stand for Mr Big Fat One Version Three?

It stands for what you want it to stand four. :rolleyes: (There was a thread in the general area: What does your name mean? It's in there. Not as good as your speculation, go figure.)

I wrote "A gift of Fire". My hats are off to the winners. My short stories tend to be longer, it was a challenge, but one I'm glad I took.

I was impressed by the Fall. Within the first page I forgot to look at the words and was in the story. Aside: I have often speculated that many of our sports and a number of our foods came from dares or bets. (George, I dare you to slide down this snowy mountain on this.)


October 11th, 2005, 06:27 PM
Short stories are really hard to write.

Well done writers! :D

Hard? They're dreadfully hard!! Almost more difficult than poetry! In fact, much more difficult than poetry, since you can't escape by simply being obtuse.

As mentioned, I really liked the winning tale. It was well written, but, most of all, it was a good short story. Or perhaps the emphasis is wrong, and I should say it was a good short story :) .

For what it's worth, I'll give some brief thoughts about the other winners in the next few days (and would hope others would do likewise). Though - really - I should have thought this thread would have been full of 'em by now.

Well done writers, indeed!

Rocket Sheep
October 11th, 2005, 07:38 PM
I was just thinking of the BFG, sorry, BF1V3.

I agree that short story writers have to approach structure and word choice with the same obsessiveness that poets use, and I've had some success with short story but I'd never attempt poetry... I think poetry requires a deep understanding of emotional triggers and that's quite frightening... mind you, I've been accused of being too superficial so perhaps it is somewhere we should all be going as short story writers.

The Cottage is a really nice emotive story.

Another story I liked for its tongue in cheek fun was Eye is for Illusion.

I read most of the stories with high SF sounding names and found some fantastic ideas there. I think the lack of commentary is only because not many people bothered to read the stories. Reading online is a bit of a pain and the net generates short attention spans, which is why flash fiction has become so popular.