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  1. #1
    Wirt's Fourth Leg Cirias's Avatar
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    Arrow March Flash Fiction Voting Thread

    (Sticky please )

    Hi everyone, the voting is going to be a bit different this month owing to the fact that polls have a max of 12 options and we have 14 entries (which is fantastic, by the way). So, here's what you do:

    To Vote

    Post the names of the two stories that you want to give a vote to. You only get two votes, so make it count!

    On Sunday 1st April I will come in and post the final scores and announce the winner. Voting closes at midnight of Saturday 31st March.

    Here's the list of entries:

    Trumped by AZimmer23
    In Akasumi's Garden by Slynt
    Om's Day by Merik7
    The Answer by MLSawyer
    Sign of the Star by Juliet
    The Mechanism by Schjoenning
    Amuse a Savage Kit by D.R. Stevenson
    A Favour Returned by imaster
    The (Other) Hound of Culann by Zero_Blue
    The Mirror Test by Zachariah
    Gridlock by Wulfen
    The Ex Factor by wdavidson
    Decisions by locofife
    Travelwave by Piousflea

    ...

    The final scores and winner are now up at the end of the thread!
    Last edited by Cirias; April 2nd, 2012 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Contest Ends!

  2. #2
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    It would be nice if the list of stories were in the top post But no matter.

    I'll vote for:
    Sign of the Stars - because it touched me, and I liked the setting.
    And
    Om's Day - because I think it was the one that made use of the theme in the best way.

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  4. #4
    Wirt's Fourth Leg Cirias's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links, zachariah. Would have taken me half the day to copy and paste all the hyperlinks on this phone

  5. #5
    Compulsive Writer MLSawyer's Avatar
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    For me;

    >Mirror test and;
    >Decisions

  6. #6
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    I would like to vote for:

    Om's Day
    The Answer


    I had four stories on my shortlist, but I particularly liked the use of the 'reflection' theme in these two stories

  7. #7
    We parley for nobody norm's Avatar
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    A pretty decent turnout considering very few of the regular participants submitted this time around. Hopefully I can find the time to read these tonight.

  8. #8
    WordDruid wdavidson's Avatar
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    There were several great stories that I really enjoyed, but my favourites were:

    - Trumped; and
    - Gridlock

  9. #9
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    I'm also going to have to go with:
    Om's Day and
    The Answer

    and, although it doesn't matter for the competition, I'll throw out an honorable mention for In Akasumi's Garden. I really liked the concept of this one.

  10. #10
    Speaks fluent Bawehrf zachariah's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for letting us read your stories, and welcome to those putting their work up here for the first time. Be advised, flash is a gateway to harder fiction and should only be attempted under controlled conditions.

    Trumped by, AZimmer23
    I'm a sucker for anything tarot-based and this is no exception. Tight, flowing work with economy and feeling. Bit on the bleak side, but you can't have everything! Redheads are witches - I knew it.

    In Akasumi's Garden, by Slynt
    Love the classic oriental atmosphere, and some beautiful imagery with a good conflict Very good right up to the end, which did not satisfy me as the rest did.

    Om's Day, by Merik7
    Very interesting idea and an affecting message. Kind of a whimsical fantasy/sci-fi, which is an odd mix, but I liked it. Not a fan of the narrator-announcing-everything style - I prefer an active story with an identifiable protagonist, which could have really shown the world in a more intimate fashion. Following a plucky explorer breaking into the dome would have definitely got my vote.

    The Answer by, MLSawyer
    Strong story-telling here, with a convincing character in a compelling scene. Not sure about eyes that open with a 'click' unless you're a robot, though! Some of ye olde medieval speake didn't quite hit the spot - the one that really tripped me up was the monk's yoda-like offering of the question - but overall, a very well put-together piece.

    Sign of the Star, by Juliet
    As you posted, some ideas don't work when condensed into flash and usually the only time you find out is after you've written it. The story here is the struggle between the brothers and their sister, but what we get to read about is their birth, which is back-story. It also stretches credulity to have the girl of destiny born to the same parents who had the twins - or do all children born during the comet's fly-by get magic powers in this world? Excellent craft and formatting - just unusual to see the single-speechmark for dialogue.

    The Mechanism, by Schjoenning
    Very poignant, sensitive writing on display here, some lovely evocative scenes. Not really sure what the ending is meant to mean, though, or what the Mechanism was really about. I like the ethereal, wistful air you've generated with very economic use of language.

    Amuse a Savage Kit, by D.R. Stevenson
    Excellent handling of a big scene, and you got stuck in to the action straight away. The characters were clear and well-drawn, and I never got bored. But. Until you clarified it in a subsequent post, I was convinced you'd gone for an alternate-history story here, with the Indian colonials doing their bit to oppress the European tribesmen. I was stumped to read you intended this as a sci-fi piece on another planet, as there's no obvious sign of this in the story, and the alt-hist interpretation would have been the perfect fit for the theme. You wonder from present to past tense throughout, and the story peters out to an inconclusive paragraph break rather than an ending. If this had some focal point of action or drama and an actual story (and no linguistic missteps) it would have been my favourite this month.

    A Favour Returned, by imaster
    A charming story - you can't go wrong with toys and dolls. It looks like something was left out, which would explain the title and why the first marionette saved Matt. That and a little introduction to set up the transition to toy-world would have put this to the top of my list.

    The (Other) Hound of Culann, by Zero_Blue
    Nice solid work with good dialogue and scene-setting. Just didn't get my blood pumping with the story, but that's just me.

    Gridlock, by Wulfen
    Good writing, I'm just a bit jaded by the whole concept of inside-the-computer escapades - very difficult to bring something fresh to this sub-genre. Some further explanation of what happened to the MC and how it related to his real-world self would have been welcome.

    The Ex Factor, by wdavidson
    Welcome to the forum! Nice work, you've got a clear voice and the idea is good - I think you hit the right balance, I had no trouble seeing it was a riff on Snow-White (if anything, the seven years bit at the end was almost laying it on too thick). The only issue I have was it all felt too passive, nothing really happened from the narrator's POV.

    Decisions, by locofife
    Another new face to welcome! Hello. Good dialogue and characterisation. I was confused by the title - our protagonist never had a choice, it seems. There's an unsavoury misogynistic streak to the dialogue which, coupled with the actions taken by the older and younger self, make him very unsympathetic. You favour the prosaic over the direct wording in your descriptive passages, which can be a little distracting. Still, some strong, stirring work.


    And now the precious, precious votes...You don't make it easy. Just once, I'd like someone to write something so bad I could easily discount it. Would that be so difficult, hmm? Really? But no, you all stubbornly provide votable stories, month in, month out. This time the ones that iced my bun were Trumped and The Answer.

  11. #11
    A mere player txshusker's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I didn't have anything in the pantry to ice my buns with, but I did read everything with enjoyment. My favorites this month were Trumped, not only for the gingerness of it, but the parallel to today's world. And The (Other) Hound of Culann, which I thought was very tightly written.

    Welcome to the newcomers, (I hope you're not ones and dones, 'cause it can be fun around here, and your stories were good reads).

  12. #12
    Things Fall Apart AZimmer23's Avatar
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    There were some really awesome stories this time around. It was my first attempt at flash (man, is that a rough word count to get across a cohesive story) and I appreciate the kind words so far. I'm going to have to go with the two stories I felt didn't feel somehow incomplete. By that I mean there were some great concepts that I feel just didn't work in <1000 wds.

    My votes: The Answer and Gridlock.

    But great stories all around!

  13. #13
    Autistic Madman D.R. Stevenson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachariah View Post
    Amuse a Savage Kit, by D.R. Stevenson
    Excellent handling of a big scene, and you got stuck in to the action straight away. The characters were clear and well-drawn, and I never got bored. But. Until you clarified it in a subsequent post, I was convinced you'd gone for an alternate-history story here, with the Indian colonials doing their bit to oppress the European tribesmen.
    Quote Originally Posted by zachariah View Post
    I was stumped to read you intended this as a sci-fi piece on another planet, as there's no obvious sign of this in the story, and the alt-hist interpretation would have been the perfect fit for the theme.
    The story was snatched from a larger story that involved the United States givning a clony world to it's Native American population. They gave them the world because they felt they would handle the planet's native people better than the American colonists. I just switched the races and names. This was actually my very fist posting of a story on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by zachariah View Post
    You wonder from present to past tense throughout, and the story peters out to an inconclusive paragraph break rather than an ending. If this had some focal point of action or drama and an actual story (and no linguistic missteps) it would have been my favourite this month.
    I literly have very little education. In the 70's they mistook my Asperger syndrome for ADHD and other learning disabilities. I was forced into special education were I only recieved the a very basic education. The funny thing is when I was evaluted at age 40 for autism they discovered no signs of learning disability but they did find I have a above average IQ. So I was screwed out of a proper education. But I feel the more I write the better I will get. I hope.

    I would like to say to SFFWorld thanks for the oppetunity to post my fiction. I'll keep plugging along until I get it right. If you see mistakes in my stories do not be afraid to point them out. It is the only way I will be able to get better.
    Last edited by D.R. Stevenson; March 29th, 2012 at 04:19 PM.

  14. #14
    Things Fall Apart AZimmer23's Avatar
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    D.R., I worked with a couple of kids with Asperger's a few years ago when I was taking special education courses. They were genius and you obviously ain't no dummy. Keep writing, please. You are obviously drawn to it and you are talented. I, too, was misdiagnosed with ADHD when I was young (I actually have bi-polar disorder and borderline schizophrenia) and writing is one of the few things I can do without destroying the world around me. Rock on, brutha!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachariah View Post
    Sign of the Star, by Juliet
    As you posted, some ideas don't work when condensed into flash and usually the only time you find out is after you've written it. The story here is the struggle between the brothers and their sister, but what we get to read about is their birth, which is back-story. It also stretches credulity to have the girl of destiny born to the same parents who had the twins - or do all children born during the comet's fly-by get magic powers in this world? Excellent craft and formatting - just unusual to see the single-speechmark for dialogue.
    Thanks for the feedback, useful and much appreciated - and just a quick note: the single quotes are pretty much standard for UK pubs' house styles, hence my using them

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