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  1. #1
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Anthology Voting Thread: Fire

    Hello Everyone,

    We are entering the last stages of this rather complicated anthology process I thought would be fun. And it has been! I've enjoyed every second of it. And I'm proud to announce the last set of stories presented to you all for reading and voting pleasure. We have seven submissions listed below. Please pick your favorite three stories from the list below and let me know. You have until October 27th NOON (Pacific Time) to Private Message me with your choices.

    The Last Word from a Brahma
    Sacrifice
    The Last Hand
    Tick
    The Great Fire of Iverhold
    Math

    I will announce the winners (and voters) on the evening of the 27th.

    Happy Reading and Good Luck!
    Last edited by N. E. White; October 23rd, 2012 at 09:54 PM.

  2. #2
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Are we supposed to post our votes here or PM you, I can't remember?

  3. #3
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    You have until October 27th NOON (Pacific Time) to Private Message me with your choices.
    I know. We all skim from time to time.

  4. #4
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    LOL whoops! Okay....

  5. #5
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    No worries, Pete. We all do it. (Me especially.)

    Ah, forgot to mention, please refrain from voting for yourself. If you do, I will simply count only two of your votes. If there is a tie, I'll be the tie-breaker.

  6. #6
    Speaks fluent Bawehrf zachariah's Avatar
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    Here's a few words on the stories, thanks to all the authors for putting their work out there!

    The Last Word from a Brahma

    Nice bit of philosophy and a very readable trip through a life, but very laboured getting to the point. Didn't like the laundry-list approach to the near-death experiences, felt forced. Not credible that a failed terrorist would achieve Brahmic one-ness with existence. Very tenuous link to theme.

    Sacrifice

    Not sure I can accept the 'fire=end of world' thing here, I can appreciate the lack of fire as a reason, but the absence of warmth has not even caused the end of the protagonist's world as his son survived. Otherwise a decent bit of ice-age survivalism. Making our hero a marine was beyond cliche, though!

    The Last Hand

    Good strong atmospheric writing here, nice vibe to the piece. I'm wary of contemporary demon/angel-themed urban fantasy, which is a little thick on the ground in recent times, and the feel is too close to Good Omens for it to be as fresh as I'd hope. Not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't buy Drake's naivety about the burning man's origins and intentions - surely he'd know it wasn't going to be that easy?

    Tick

    The Stand is still relatively fresh in my mind, so the scenario was uncomfortably close to the opening scenes of King's work, with a bit of 28 Days Later added for seasoning. The diary interludes could have and IMO should have been incorporated into the action, allowing the reader to gather the information themselves. It felt patronising to be told the symptoms of the virus and then see them appear like clockwork two sentences later. The actual fire part at the end did not ring true to the rest of the story, and it beggars belief that the controls to all the nukes were left ready to use by whichever person got to that bunker.

    Antonia's God

    The writing is solid, the characters and setting, sound. But I just don't get the logic of the story, especially the end. Are we to understand that a US-based, new religion has out-believed all the other world's movements? And their newly-minted deity chooses to relieve its boredom by tearing peoples' arms and legs off? Nor was there any actual fire-related apocalypse, which is really what I'm looking for in these stories.

    The Great Fire of Iverhold

    Another one where, unfortunately, good technical writing did not result in a story that grabbed me. I quickly started skipping through the list of 'And then...' events, looking for where the actual story was going to begin, but it never did. And, no apocalypse to be seen.

    Math

    This one needs a ruthless edit, paying closer attention to basics. The tenses slide back and forth, and the narrator needs to decide who or what it is, and why it's talking about Dillon.

  7. #7
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Thank you for your thoughts, Zachariah! I'll be sure to do the same when I get through them all.

    But, for those of you still reading and voting (or considering doing it), providing this kind of feedback is not necessary (though it is helpful).

  8. #8
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Just a reminder everyone:

    "...the end of the world comes about through some fire or war related disaster..."

    Vote as you see fit, but please keep in mind the theme as stated above.

  9. #9
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Back in the day, before the existence of the Stories subforum, we used to do the commenting this way. I prefer it, as having the comments at the end of the story thread makes it too tempting to see what the opinions of other are before first developing one's own. Out here in the voting thread, they can be a bit more safely ignored -- and it's also nice (personally) to be able to compare a posters opinions of the various stories, as it is informative of their taste and how they think overall.

    So, my thoughts:

    The Last Word from a Brahma

    Though a nice take on Buddhist solipsism, I wonder if the approach is a little indirect if the reader doesn't already know the subject.

    Sacrifice

    The narrative is a little stilted in places, and elements of the delivery could be reordered, I think -- such as the memory of the lost child. I was wondering how the world came to end by fire, and was really pleasantly surprised by the ending. I totally didn't see it coming, and when it did arrive it had a strong impact, and for that reason this story stands out.

    The Last Hand

    Eminently readable. Excellent setting, pace, dialogue, and characterization. So much fun to read, in fact, that I can forgive the fact that the ending was so terribly obvious the instant the chained Burning Man was introduced. Despite knowing exactly what was in store, I was hooked all the way to the end. Kudos.

    Tick

    A little too Resident Evil/The Stand/Walking Dead/etc in the basic level for me to really get into it. And I thought that incinerating the whole world was perhaps a bit extreme, as it would pretty much kill everything, not just the people, so it seemed a bit like forcing a fire apocalypse onto what is really a pandemic apocalypse (**EDIT). However, the writing was very solid, and the cinematic style worked well for the subject. I especially liked how the diary part caught up the main narrative -- cool way of doing it.

    EDIT: Just now cottoned on to the fact that his overreaction is due to being infected. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    Antonia's God

    I feel like there was a lot of missed opportunity here to do something really interesting. The schizophrenia issue ends up being pretty secondary, and for all the time spent developing that aspect of the story, to then have all the end bits delivered by the manifested god, rather than by Antonia, was a bit disappointing. A few weird things in the writing itself, too: "extra virginal" -- do you mean extra virgin olive oil? Is this a joke I missed?

    The Great Fire of Iverhold

    Great story telling voice -- I had an old man in a rocking chair in my head the whole time. The cause:effect situation was well described, but I feel like I kept waiting to have a good belly laugh about the whole situation -- so in some respects, it ended up a being just a little mechanical. But overall, I really enjoyed it.

    Math

    It's interesting as a thought process, but I kept waiting for there to be an actual story.
    Last edited by Fung Koo; October 15th, 2012 at 02:28 AM. Reason: revelations!

  10. #10
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    Back in the day, before the existence of the Stories subforum, we used to do the commenting this way. I prefer it, as having the comments at the end of the story thread makes it too tempting to see what the opinions of other are before first developing one's own. Out here in the voting thread, they can be a bit more safely ignored -- and it's also nice (personally) to be able to compare a posters opinions of the various stories, as it is informative of their taste and how they think overall.
    I agree. I wish I had thought of that prior to starting this thread.

    Thank you so much for commenting.

  11. #11
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    Just a reminder everyone:

    "...the end of the world comes about through some fire or war related disaster..."

    Vote as you see fit, but please keep in mind the theme as stated above.
    This is going to be a huge problem for me this round, I think. So many of the stories seem to miss the point, IMO.

  12. #12
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfen View Post
    This is going to be a huge problem for me this round, I think. So many of the stories seem to miss the point, IMO.
    I understand. Please vote for the entry you think met the theme and that you enjoyed. You don't have to use all three votes.

    With that said, Antonia's God has been voluntarily removed from consideration.

  13. #13
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Does the round need a do-over?

  14. #14
    sf-icionado / horr-orator Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    Antonia's God was my entry. Thanks to all for reading and feedbacking, but based on what was being said I decided to pull out because I didn't want to risk it being selected as a last resort on a make-up-the-numbers level. I came to the game quite late, having been little more than a lurker since I joined sffw. It was the Wind round of the anthology contest that lured me out of the shadows and tmso was kind enough to allow me to take part in Fire. However, I wrote A'sG a while ago and I acknowledge that fire is only a passing detail of the story, not the driving element (so to speak); if I'd paid closer attention to the original instructions and that fire-or-war specification, I wouldn't have entered it. Good luck to the other entrants though!

  15. #15
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that, Noumenon.

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