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Contest October-November 2016 Contest Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Nov 6, 2016.


Which Story or Do Stories Like Best (choose up to four)?

Poll closed Dec 6, 2016.
  1. Story One: Slave to the Sword

    14 vote(s)
  2. Story Two: Never Lie to a Samurai

    3 vote(s)
  3. Story Three: The Waning Moon

    6 vote(s)
  4. Story Four: Size Really Does Matter

    3 vote(s)
  5. Story Five: The Butterfly Effect

    7 vote(s)
  6. Story Six: The Slave’s Name

    3 vote(s)
  7. Story Seven: Kin and Master

    4 vote(s)
  8. Story Eight: Freedom & Slavery: 3000

    3 vote(s)
  9. Story Nine: Slaves to Our Own Demons

    5 vote(s)
  10. Story Ten: Cell Duty

    3 vote(s)
  11. Story Eleven: In Pursuit of Freedom

    8 vote(s)
  12. Story Twelve: Jurt, Scaley, and Manfred

    9 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Slanputin

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    They're not online! Apologies for leading you on ;)
  2. Y'ttar Scaletail

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Story Nine: It seems an increasingly common trend for LO writers to pick at how free the memory constructed Seraphon are and indeed how much of their minds are even their own. But can you blame them (or indeed myself?) I would say that if there was one good thing to have come out of AoS it would be the new potential for the Lizardmen in fluff and the emotive writing that we have seen on here.

    This story more than happily sits with previous tales on this theme, but I would say furthers them. The two Scar-Vets are actually questioning the decisions of the Slann, the methods used, and even the Great Plan itself. The questions may seem fairly small and of little consequence but to me they were very significant in this portrayal of how memory constructs think and feel.

    The author has written a shortish tale compared to some of the others in this competition, but it read very tightly with a great economy of words and feeling. The end with that decision was superbly done. I suppose if I had a complaint it would be that these lizzies’ questioning and decisions seemed a little too farcry from them being servants/slaves to the Slann. But eh, I’m not really complaining, so there.

    Great stuff!


    Story Ten: I feel like there was something missing in this piece. Don’t get me wrong, it was well written and was fun to read, however, it felt more like an intro to something rather than a story on its own. Kind of like how some GMs on the UE would start their rpgs with a short story like that and the players then pick up as the escaping lizzies.

    The characters were written well and felt fairly real. I particularly liked the old git of a character, and was the Captain based off of Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet? I at least read it like that. :p

    Even so, I feel that even with its great writing, this story was missing something.

    Warlock Engineer Tkull: That Knecht man-thing should have had a doomrocket; that t’would have sold all of his problem-things!

    Story Eleven: *Whistle*

    This one read easily like something you would find in a very good BL novel. It made me think of Elfslayer (aka Gotrek and Felix wreck a Black Ark) and Retribution (from the Von Carstein trilogy where the protagonist Dwarf prisoner takes on a discount Varghulf in an arena.) This managed those images and yet went further with the feeling.

    I particularly enjoyed the freedom the protagonist gave to the human and the ogre, the darkness and despair with death being the only obtainable freedom was well written and muchly powerful.

    And that final twist...that got me in the gut. It was the utter extinguishing of all hope and made for a tragic end.

    Well done, sir!

    Green Seer Zrrktz the Slimy: Faith is powerful. It can raise-raise armies and top-topple the greatest of foe-meat. But to lose-lose one’s faith entirely? That cut-stabs worse than any blade. When I die-die I wonder if there is a promised reward to be seated beside the Horned One. If I didn’t believe I’m sure-sure I’d go mad...

    Story Twelve: I feel this was one of the shiniest gems of the entire competition.

    The three povs (that pushed the stories onwards) were expertly written and painted an enjoyable story with quite the economy of words. By Hell Pit, even the characters seemed well established in such a short piece.

    Huh, I don’t think I can think of anything to critique this piece. *Pores over it further* Huh.


    In any case a perfect ending to the compy!

    Seer Gnawtail: Oh great-great, another Skaven ship lost. This is a bad-terrible story-thing.

    So yeah, very sorry about all the delays. A truly fantastic plethora of tales! :D
  3. pendrake

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    The Stories Behind the Story

    Thanks to all for the very kind words. I have had to wait until now to say anything for lack of a long block of time. Opinion seems to be split on whether the story should be made longer or whether it was perfect the length it is. It is always nice to hear, "more please". (...not to mention perfect or amazing...)

    To answer a couple of questions: water "chuckles" when it splashes continually, never exactly repeating, never stopping. Such as when it flows around one of the stern corners of a boat which is flat across the stern end. The "transom" is that squared off flat structure at the stern where, on modern water craft, it will bear the name of the ship with the home port in smaller lettering below. Both terms I picked up from reading nautical fiction, there was no (intended) profound, metaphorical meaning lurking in the deep.

    Regards to Seer Gnawtail: in fact, no additional Skaven vessels were lost. This story made economical use of hulls and words. See further below:

    There kind of was a bit of a theme. @Killer Angel nearly got there.

    Each section did indeed free someone but the different manners by which they are freed demonstrate at least a minor truth, perhaps a small theme...

    For a slave, there are only three possible ways to be freed: death, liberated by someone else, or fight to be free (and win!) Each happened once, in this story.

    The Second Story Behind the Story

    For Seer Gnawtail, @Killer Angel, @Scalenex, @Y'ttar Scaletail this little three part tale was a retelling of another story from new points of view (as well as a sequel to: The Great Game, story 1, from the July-August contest). An excerpt:
    So, you see no new Skaven vessels were sunk during the completion of this story. :) It was both a story advanced by three narrators and a story told from a new point of view.

    The First Story Behind the Story

    The first story I have saved for last. I am calling it 'first' because it was written sometime in the early 1980s. I read it in either Naval History magazine or Proceedings; both are periodicals published by the United States Naval Institute Press (the folks responsible for the first printing of The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy).

    I don't remember the title or the author but the events and the structure stuck with me. It was this tale that provided the example of one story advanced by the recollections of three people, each in turn. Here follows what I remember of it:

    The title could have been Captain, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant but probably it was something better. Each section was recollections told mostly in their own words, of a day or two from their experiences in the second world war.

    The first portion was by a US Navy Captain. He was a code breaker and his portion of the story involved breaking and analyzing a new version of the Japanese Naval Code. And the decision process he went through in deciding how much of what he had decrypted to reveal and who to pass it on to. The information he'd learned was passed to a squadron of patrol bombers. Like these...

    Portion two was the story of a Lieutenant Commander, a command pilot of an aircraft like the one above. His squadron got the intel that the Captain had generated. The meat of which was that a Japanese Admiral would be touring the remaining Japanese outposts using a four-engine flying boat. They had his itinerary and flight plan but could not be certain of the time table. This was late in the war, the bombers were flying out of recaptured airfields in the Philipines, and their daily mission was something called "offensive search". Each day, these bombers launched on separate search legs, fanned out like wheel spokes. If they saw anything Japanese they reported it by radio and then attacked it. The Japanese Admiral's flight path was added to their charts and they were told to be on the lookout.

    The Lt. Commander's plane had quite a flight.

    They spied a pair of twin engine Betty bombers. They tried the "fly casual" approach and slid up into formation with them. They opened fire from point-blank range downing the first one, the second one dove for the deck, they chased it but it got away because it fled toward a small convoy. So they, attacked the fattest of the cargo ships in the convoy. They hammered it with rockets and dropped a pair of depth charges next to it trying to break its keel. They had to break off the fight when a Japanese destroyer closed in and started putting up some serious flak. At the very end of their patrol leg in an unnatural darkness thanks to a nearby thunderstorm they lucked out and spotted the Flying Boat. They were on the last of their fuel and could only make one firing pass. The Japanese plane was last seen with an engine on fire, turning hard, plunging into the storm to escape.

    The PBY4-1 didn't make it back to base. They made a dead-stick, out-of-fuel, landing on an emergency field that was 50 miles short of their base.

    The third portion was the Lieutenant's story. He was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, a member of the Admiral's staff, and onboard the flying boat when it was attacked. It was heavily damaged, the tail gunner died immediately, bullets shredded the hull amidships, and a fire started. One of the pilots survived long enough to attempt a controlled water landing in a river mouth on the Chinese coast. It went poorly. The boat cracked up into about three pieces and there were only nine survivors. The Admiral was among those killed, unlike the Lieutenant.


    I will ponder the idea of making a longer version of Jurt, Scaley, and Manfred. Thanks again for all the comments.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  4. Slanputin

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    I thought "chuckles" was acceptable: for me it came across quite evocative -I instantly heard a gentle, continuous splash of water as the ship cut upstream.

    I love the above discussion about themes and inspiration @pendrake. It's incredibly valuable (to me anyway) to see how others work in constructing a story. I post my own semi-reflective discussions too in my index, but half the time I can't help but think it's ego wax. I appreciate the above.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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