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November 23rd, 2012, 12:07 PM #1
November 2012 Flash Voting Thread
Okay so with NaNo on the go we don’t have that many entries this month, but many thanks to those who did find the time (I must admit I didn’t!). With that in mind, you’re only getting one vote this month, so cast it wisely.
Our entries are as follows:
Noumenon – Festival of the Light
MrBF1V3 – The Truth that Blinds
Slynt – NIGHTFALL AND LIGHTS RISE
Nils Durban – Tototl Ascends
Caedus – Pariah Cones
November 24th, 2012, 02:45 AM #2
Festival of the Light, by Noumenon
Some really quite lovely phrasing here. I am dying to know more about a society that displays ground-breaking new scientific discoveries via the medium of dance. All it lacked for me to vote was some kind of minimal story arc, or some greater insight into Seliana's character - I think you fell into the trap of lavishly describing physical characteristics and technical details at the expense of emotional engagement.
The Truth that Blinds, by MrBF1V3
I'm intrigued by this one. It raises a fair few questions, though, with precious little for my feeble powers of deduction to go on. Was the mention of the dying star relevant? Like Noumenon, I jumped to the first conclusion that the creatures were somehow secret helpers who had transported the humans from one dying system to another (or protected them somehow during their current star's low-activity), but then why all the secrecy? Do the creatures demand some dreadful payment for their services? Are the 'Makers' the creatures, or village artisans (and what is the difference between Makers and Techs)?
Some technical nits near the beginning, uncharacteristic of the pen of BF1V3, in the form of missing commas.
“All week COMMA pa?”
“All week COMMA young one,” Pa replied. It was the second day of the festival, the day of questions. For the whole nine days of the week COMMA everyone in the village would walk about with their eyes closed as the techs lit the streets with glaringly bright lights.
NIGHTFALL AND LIGHTS RISE, by Slynt
This one struck a chord with me, just one of those things. Bit heavy-handed with ye-olde medieval-speake - the setting is more than enough to suggest period, and arbitrary omission of word contractions - you glaringly slip one in right at the end - can be a bit tedious. Thankfully you didn't make them say 'thee' or 'thou'!
By the end, I was left with a smile on my face at the charming interaction between the old man and the child, but then I'm a sentimental fool.
Tototl Ascends, by Nils Durban
Another one I really liked, I was torn between this and Nightfall (obviously I'm a sucker for Grandparent/Grandchild mystic ceremonies). Strong writing all the way through, an absorbing ride with a subtle ending, marred by the last sentence which hammered the point home too hard.
Pariah Cones, by Caedus
I struggled to get to grips with this one. There's no story to speak of, just a transitional scene between two
characters, although they both sound fun and I'd be interested to know how they got where they are and where they're going.
November 24th, 2012, 03:55 AM #3
November 25th, 2012, 03:24 PM #4
Festival of the Light
More than anything, I was intrigued as to how you came up with this idea when presented with the festival theme! Most certainly not a predictable premise. I was impressed by the depth of characterisation, although must admit to struggling just a little with the thread of what was actually going on.
The Truth that Blinds
An enjoyable read, this. I found it akin to the writing style of Adam Roberts, who I've read quite a bit of. I didn't feel at all let down by any lack of explanation regarding the nature of the Techs and the Mechs. I was quite able to accept their existence as essential background elements - to dwell upon them within 1000 words would have detracted from the immediacy of the tale. There was no need to worry about who or what they were as this would have only led to further questions along the lines of how their power was generated for all that lighting! I do have a couple of gripes, mind you. Gripe 1: the vagueness of the children's ages, i.e. using the words eightish and sevenish. Age might become a little vague past middle age but most children know how old they are! Gripe 2: In the end scene I didn't believe that there was enough provocation to warrant the attack upon the creature. It would have been better if the creature had at least adopted a menacing pose behind the girl or shown some kind of attempt to silently abduct or interfere with her. I'm only being this picky because I liked it so much, though!
Nighfall and Lights Rise
A well written scene this with some nice descriptive prose. I struggled with the concept of urns floating on leaves in the river and then of them floating up into the sky, but that's where magic comes in I suppose!
The downside here, for me, was the information overload. The quantity of invented names that were thrown into it did detract from the tale for me as I had to scan back a number of times to try and understand what had been inferred. There were, however, some undeniably creative concepts, most notable amongst them the POLO transport system. I am presuming here that the station does have the appearance of a strung out row of the mints with a hole? Honestly, l really want to believe that this is where the name derived from, because I can picture it now! Lastly, there did not appear to be any obvious connection to the theme (but perhaps I just missed it).
And an apology from me. My post in the previous thread was my first for some 4 years. A happy birthday message from SFFW a couple of weeks ago prompted me to log on and see what was going on these days. I was pleased to see that the FF contest was still going strong and, after mulling over the challenge posed by Pete, soon dreamt up something that I hoped was fitting. I then posted it in the Stories Section though, as I always used to do, only realising afterwards that you now have a forum section for putting individual story threads in. You will have to let me off on grounds of diminished responsibility
Last edited by NilsDesperandum; November 25th, 2012 at 03:36 PM.
November 27th, 2012, 08:51 PM #5
I can't believe I used two different words for engineers.
Thanks for the comments. As always I take them seriously.
I need to go read now.
Nils, we're just glad to see you again. (But we would appreciate a tight learning curve.)
November 29th, 2012, 10:54 PM #6
Note that my vote is based on which story I thought was best, not meaning in any way the other stories do not have their own merits. All comments are my personal opinion, which makes them absolute truth.
Festival of the Light
Interesting and highly stylized. Though it seems to me to be an event without much in the way of context. The description of the event takes center stage, even above the characters. You give hints about what Seliana is thinking about the whole process, but it is an aside. She is named only twice, called "Madame Delegate" two or three times, and the rest she is just "she". The event itself unfolds for the reader without foreshadowing or explanation of the meanings behind the actions.
For what it is, quite nice.
Nightfall and Lights Rise
Okay, let me see if I got this right. The magic works, the wisdom is there, but the festival is the opiate of the people and the god doesn't care what you do as long as you do something.
I’m not sure this is entirely consistent.
This is a well written story from beginning to end. The characters are as fulfilled as they could be. I seemed to be expecting to be more profunded at the end, but, to each his own. It is well written, and would/will engender a number of conversations.
You weave an interesting world, openly friendly with the close quarters of the crowd and family, but also harboring some hidden fierceness. The reader was drawn along by the ambition and anxiety of the main character much like a certain watch-carrying rabbit in some old story. The bloodletting at the end was a surprise and a shock, as no doubt you intended it to be.
I would say oddly incomplete, but you knew that already. The beginning of this story has happened well before this segment, the reader is left to guess at the nature of the characters as they stumble into their new adventure. Sure some elements are there, but why they are there, we only get to guess. The lights are there, they are a pleasure, but a distraction.
We also are left with little to instruct us about the constructs of this world. My opinion; the story you want to tell is so much larger than the 1000 limit. While the story may be good, once brought to its rightful proportions, in this case, it's not a good fit.
I hope some of these comments are useful.
Also, kidding about the absolute truth thing.
Last edited by MrBF1V3; November 30th, 2012 at 11:55 PM. Reason: can't read the spell checker
December 2nd, 2012, 08:45 PM #7
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So. . . Slynt's the winner then?
December 3rd, 2012, 03:51 AM #8
December 3rd, 2012, 07:11 AM #9
I don't know how to feel about it with just four votes total but I'll throw up the December flash fiction shortly :-) Strangely, the last time I won it was also Christmas but this time I think I'm going to make up something non-holidayish.
December 3rd, 2012, 08:23 AM #10
A decent winner, in my opinion, well done.
December 3rd, 2012, 12:25 PM #11