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Contest April-May 2016 Short Story Contest Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, May 1, 2016.

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What is/are your favorite stories (you may select up to to five)

Poll closed Jun 1, 2016.
  1. Story One: Watching Things Burn

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  2. Story Two: The King of Lustria

    6 vote(s)
    26.1%
  3. Story Three: Eyes on the Sun

    4 vote(s)
    17.4%
  4. Story Four: Pirates of the Dragon Isles

    8 vote(s)
    34.8%
  5. Story Five: Snow Saga

    3 vote(s)
    13.0%
  6. Story Six: The Fireblade’s Challenge

    8 vote(s)
    34.8%
  7. Story Seven: The Coward

    10 vote(s)
    43.5%
  8. Story Eight: Harvest

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  9. Story Nine: A Memory?

    7 vote(s)
    30.4%
  10. Story Ten: The Forgotten Slann

    3 vote(s)
    13.0%
  11. Story Eleven: The Bounty

    6 vote(s)
    26.1%
  12. Story Twelve: Trinity

    4 vote(s)
    17.4%
  13. Story Thirteen: Serpent’s Brew

    11 vote(s)
    47.8%
  14. Story Fourteen: Chosen

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  15. Story Fifteen: Paranoia

    2 vote(s)
    8.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Boswer,such glowing reviews! As with all the others it's really interesting to read the varied interpretation and reaction across the audience

    Is anyone on here really qualified? I wouldn't hold back. Even if it's small quirks of writing you're not too sure about its still another stone to hone your writing skills against
     
  2. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Maybe I should say I won't comment on writing style as I will be too harsh on my own giving myself away! Haha!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  3. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    Great write up Bowser. Now just waiting for Bob's opus. No cryptic guesses this time? I was thinking mine was rather easy to work out.
     
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  4. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Useful critiques are getting harder for me to give (and I'm not qualified either) because the quality of the entries keep getting better. Gone are the days when saying "dude, you spelt Sotec wrong" was a helpful comment.

    With this batch, I believe that every writer wrote pretty much the story they wanted to write - there were no significant failures of execution or communication. So how can the stories be judged? Why, by purely subjective and unscientific preference of course!

    Before I get to individual critiques, here are some general comp comments.

    The anti hero theme – brilliant theme, thanks Slanputin, and everyone articulated it well. The only one I have any reservation about seeing as an anti-hero is the flea-bag from Snow Saga, and I only say that because of not enough data.

    Rats and dwarfs and elves, oh my! Nice to see a few different races as allies and opponents, and where their points of view were used, they rang true.

    We had a good mix of gods and godlike beings driving the plots or dominating them. Some of these beings were even present by their absence - still turning the gears of the Great Plan.

    And speaking of the Great Plan, it had never been in worse shape. 2 years ago, the only discussion by fictional characters on this site would have been about the means, not the ends of the Old One's vaguest work. Now after the End Times and Sigmar debacles, every second saurus, let alone skink are openly asking if the plan is broken, and taking matters into their own hands without adequate contemplation. Even the Seraphon have started doing it. The only common link between the Great Plan debates of yesteryear and now is that Mazdmundi has still got it utterly wrong. We hate that guy.

    Communication - compare the articulate skinks of Watching Things Burn with the grunting Saurus warriors in The Fireblade's Challenge. I can very happily put the two into the same universe, if not the same city. Wherever rank and file Lizardmen are given voices in this collection they have been portrayed believably and consistently. Slann are tricky - it is hard to portray their vast intelligence in few words, so every second Slann everywhere doesn't quite sound right to me (too wordy, too casual, too human, not switched on enough) but this might be my problem, not anyone else's.

    The communication between LM and other races problem was dealt with thoughtfully by all authors (except the Bounty guy. What a hack). I need to start a discussion thread on this so we can collate all the cross species communication solutions, then index the suckers into Lustriapedia - home of Lizardmen writing resources.

    I've procrastinated for two weeks now, but it turns out allocating five votes (unscientifically) was easier than I anticipated – there were five standouts for me. Seeing as how I am a boring saurus warrior, three of the top five entrants were among my votes.

    Watching Things Burn The cryptic nature of the portrayal events have been applauded and discussed – it is a gem of a sleeper setup (pun intended). The whole thing is a well paced slow burn – I wouldn’t want to lose much of the setup conversations and action , particularly not “We should set Skaven on fire as an offering to great Chotec.” and “A major Tepoc ritual without a Slann present is like a large Kroxigor gathering without any food present.” Which are, for me he best two lines in the whole competition. In short the protags were articulate, earnest and spoke and acted with integrity.

    And for one thought on an enhancement – the entirely well thought out, logical and well presented speech at the end was… well thought out, logical, well presented and long. The twist came at “To honor his memory, we must follow his last wishes which he confided me to on his last night.” The rest was just tie-up. Probably replacing it with “and now let’s kill elves. Sotek yeah!” would have been too short. Maybe I’m just upset at having the author’s intelligence and manipulation of the medium rammed down my throat like an antok down a carnosaur’s gullet. Now, that is another instant classic, right?


    The King of Lustria You can paint a vivid picture in a readers mind by detailed description or by pointing the imagination in a direction and setting it loose with fewer words to confine it. This cracker was the second kind of description, full of texture, smells and imagery without wasting words on details like – what is the nature of a dread saurian other than dreadful and lizardy?

    The reader can feel and hear the titanic duel and smell the spray of blood, too. In the end, it seemed the Bloodthirster was a barely worthy foe, and I wonder where Teocipactli will find his next challenge.

    I would consider this to be a top shelf texture piece rather than a complete story – and this isn’t a bad thing. Imagine opening the box of your recently purchased forgeworld Dread Saurian that you had to sell your house to get, and finding this story written on a loose sheet in the top of the box. Would it change how you painted wounds on its hide? Make them old or fresh? Maybe you would choose a colour scheme at odds with the rest of your army to show that it was a force of nature, not a pet.

    There were some minor proof read / polish issues that didn’t damage the meaning of the story.


    Eyes on the Sun What? The title makes sense? It is also a play on the expectations of the reader – we think it is about the desert sun illusion only to discover that it is the means of maiming the hero. The author is getting bold in telling his extended story – he has just broken his hero. If he goes any darker, he will become another Scalenex, the two will duel and cancel each other out, and the crapsack warhammer universe will be plunged into an era of light and niceness. Until the next time Slanputin writes something. Back to the Sun, I can’t see much to fix apart from some tricky present tense / past tense issues.

    I must also respectfully request that the author publishes a bit more of his grand vision so I can do a bit more fan fiction.


    Pirates of the Dragon Isles Very stylish story. This author paints the full picture with words and it is a very vivid and bright picture, indeed. Plucked from Dav’ey Joe’ns’ locker (and the author’s fevered imagination) come a company of original and well described monsters and crew. I am just imagining Captain Barbossa telling thingy that the Black Pearl is cursed, and then his crew step into the moonlight and they are transformed into these scaly menaces. Thingy would soil herself.

    I do need to agree with others that it is a bit incomplete, but imagine chapter two, where we find that they have taken the booty and slaves to trade in the pirate town where crews of skaven and dark elves rub shoulders and clash swords. There are so many directions this could go.

    Last thought – having done a graphic story, “Secrets of the Southlands” recently, I can just picture the graphic version of Pirates of the Dragon Isles – Wow.


    Snow Saga Definitely written by @RoseThorn . – I can tell because there are no lizards. This story is a bit of a surprise, and a welcome one. The imagery and the bleak cold are well portrayed - as if the author lived in some subarctic hellhole and just looked out on the street. The story is very smooth, slick and logical (up to a point) I can’t add much to the other critiques apart from that there are a few polish / proofread problems, but if the author lives as far to the north as I suspect, he is probably used to parts dropping off due to the cold, and a missing comma here or there wouldn’t bother him.

    And the point? - I feel like it needs a chapter two, or a flash back for us to engage with the main character. Why was he here? Why did he want to avoid the city? Why did he change his mind? Was it a full moon or have we only seen a portion of his badassery?


    The Fireblade’s Challenge Wow. I mentioned in the notes above how the Great Plan is breaking down all over. Watching things burn told us how an intellectual skink thinks about the problem. Challenge shows us how a saurus warrior feels about it. Here is a list of things I think this author nailed: the character voices / speech patterns of saurus and skaven, the societal structure of a saurus troop, a plausible source of conflict between LM, a plausible temptation and fall, and an open ending which leaves me wondering what the cost of the deal will be.

    Interestingly, these elements wouldn’t be right in every L-O literary universe but they mesh together like dwarf forged machine parts umm… like the infallible Great Plan No. Not that one either. Like the machinations of a skaven lord Actually, that’s never worked either.

    Let’s just say it was good-good.


    The Coward Description styles? This author can map out a physical battlefield and have multiple things happening in their correct times and positions to give broad scope to the action and portray the deepest thoughts of a single player as he fell into the Pit of Despair. This was exceedingly well done – take notes everyone. The set piece wasn’t as epic as The King of Lustria’s, but it was very broad and very clearly showed that the stakes were very very high. In fact, the situation was getting to be bad enough that I was almost ready to lose interest in the character’s dilemma – any course of action he took wasn’t going to save his people.

    It’s hard to believe in luck in the Warhammer world. If we did, the normals among us would have packed up our dice and gone home years ago. So I say destiny put the rat on the rug, and the gore on the glyph and the portal in the… place where you put your precious possessions.

    So the lizards come and smash the skaven, then bugger off back to ??? The hold is screwed anyway, and I give it two more years, tops. Waste of effort, Coward. You should have thrown yourself in front of a doomwheel.


    Harvest This is the story that got me thinking that we need an index of methods of voicebox-less lizards communicating two way with other races. We coldbloods are unique in not having the apparatus to form words. All of the other main races are humanoids or so magic that it doesn’t matter. Eyes on the Sun ignored the communication barrier with elves, but I know Jao doesn’t share a language with the Apisi. The Pirates had a skink interpreter. Fireblade had the Skaven speaking broken skinkish. In the Coward and Serpent’s Brew, the LM didn’t bother even trying. The Bounty just went for it in shared tongue, but it wasn’t the worst liberty it took. Paranoia used the medium of stick-men. A memory? had the lizard able to understand human tongue, but not speak it and this is what happened in Harvest except with a goldy magic thing so they could talk back. I'm going to call it the McGuffphone.

    OK, the McGuffphone and the means of communication weren't McGuffins, they were the major plot point (if we can just ignore the slaughter of innocents for a moment.) The second read through shows how the author used the thing as a tool to keep the Seraphon plans obscure. Nasty, tricksy author.

    I love that the Seraphon are asked to give themselves names and… not a single apostrophe. Did the Slann who sent them even remember their names? Do they only identify with their assigned role?

    I love the relateable character voices among the humans.

    I hate that annoying kid and feel inner conflict about the fact that a village full of innocents had to die to shut him up. Now that I stop to think about it, it is actually quite a nasty story. Not Serpent’s Brew nasty but… actually, there is no practical difference between the two.


    Sheesh. Seven more to review, and the most complex stories still to come. I will interrupt this transmission with the real competition.
    Served at blood temperature

    The goats we have need to be beaten out

    Graymar is toasty

    The castle keep is in another province

    That’s not how orbs work, son

    Gatekeeper of the dread

    Now, sag!

    Draw and quarter the mutineer!
     
  5. thedarkfourth
    Kroxigor

    thedarkfourth Well-Known Member

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    These reviews, and particularly the overall review at the start, make some super-insightful points - there is a long way to go before your criticism becomes obsolete. In fact, the better the stories get, the more it pushes we reviewers out of our comfort zones and into something much more meaningful (who cares how you spell sotek when there's still a great plan to analyse?!). It's like a... non-vicious cycle....*confused*...is there such a thing as the opposite of vicious?

    But most of all your cryptic guesses are simply stunning.
     
  6. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Stunningly correct or stunningly cryptic?
     
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  7. SlanntaClause
    Carnasaur

    SlanntaClause Well-Known Member

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    @spawning of Bob I'm waiting on the other 7 reviews I'm not saying my story is among them all I'm saying is I haven't read your review of my story yet ;)
     
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  8. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    An Even more cryptic reply. I shall contemplate out for many weeks before I take any other action.
     
  9. SlanntaClause
    Carnasaur

    SlanntaClause Well-Known Member

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    Weeks? gosh that is fast I was expecting months at the very least
     
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  10. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    for me it's more the latter... :p

    I am more lucky than you, then, cause I don't have to wait.
    Maybe. I could always be a liar. :rolleyes:
     
  11. SlanntaClause
    Carnasaur

    SlanntaClause Well-Known Member

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    I did say I hadn't read his review of mine yet...did I mean I hadn't read his first lot too? the plot thickens :O
     
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  12. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    this week's discussion topic - authors who sound like politicians who have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
     
  13. Otzi'mandias
    Ripperdactil

    Otzi'mandias Well-Known Member

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    Even @Y'ttar Scaletail turns his nose up at politicians.. we should avoid them like Nurgle avoids soap.
     
  14. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    Ok Bob. I have to say a lot of people have been asking about this cookie problem. But we have people coming into our forum looking to do *tremendous* damage. No, really. Look at what happened to Ulthuan.net. All their cookies were stolen. We've had the worst cookie-thieving I can imagine. I mean, Oh my Sotek, I can't believe it. It's a real problem. There's a real, tremendous cookie thievery going on - well, what I wanna do is, you know you can't solve a problem until you find out what's the root cause. So we're gonna build a wall and the Under-empire are gonna pay for it. I mean, these thieves people did not come from Bretonnia, okay? So many people say don't blame the Skaven, but I say we should ban all Skaven coming into this forum. But I've had *so* many people call me and say thank-you. Now, friends of mine have called me and said "Slanputin you've done a tremendous service, we do have a problem." You would not believe how many. So I'm gonna be the best on this cookie problem, believe me.
     
  15. SlanntaClause
    Carnasaur

    SlanntaClause Well-Known Member

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    This is our prime suspect in this case:

    cookie.jpg

    COOKIE-MONSTER.jpg

    Please do not approach suspect is believed to be extremely dangerous to all confectionary and baked goods.
     
  16. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Oh my! Has anyone seen the gingerbread man? Gingerbread Man! Get indoors! Run, run as fast as you can! It's not safe out there!
     
  17. SlanntaClause
    Carnasaur

    SlanntaClause Well-Known Member

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    Eye witness reports seem to indicated that the gingerbread man fled the scene and the perpetrator try as he might could not catch him.
     
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  18. Otzi'mandias
    Ripperdactil

    Otzi'mandias Well-Known Member

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    Oh god the cookie monster got his family too tmp_11142-IMG_20160517_195555-679198378.JPG
     
  19. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Noooooo! Lustrian anti heroes! This is a call to arms! We must slay the cookie monster. Call out the best hunters and trappers. Call the fiercest warriors, take to the skies, the sea, and the land. This menace must be stopped before it reaches the Temple of O'reos!
     
  20. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Scalenex, this time it is not my fault. Again.
     

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