Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Feb 3, 2021.
time to get readin these, already looking incredible!
it seems we already have a solid claim for the final victory!
the sad part is that i'm not able to find a original way to review these stories (@thedarkfourth , where are you?), and I even struggle to find the time to do some serious reviews, but i must write something, so here we are.
Spoiler: Story 1: Dying
Good story, with a very interesting take on the theme.
Lizardmen are a slowly dying race... a common trope and not unusual for us, but to see it "written" in cold calculations makes it strangely more real.
For a good part of it, the story is pretty a classic one... but of course, the "something completely different" was just lurking, waiting for its reveal.
Something happened, lizardmen starts to reproduce as warmbloods. Was it evolution to avoid extinction? was a programmed "safety protocol" by the Old Ones? are lizardmen corrupted by chaos and becoming less pure?
the tought of lizardmen giving birth and the implications of it are... unsettling. But it's a powerful story that won't leave easily my mind, and it took one of my votes
Spoiler: Story 2: Sneaking...
Ahhh... a night at the museum, lizardmen version!
A really nice story and poor Larry was not as lucky as his original counterpart. But this is warhammer.
i like the structure and how the story developes, but there are some things that are unclear... the models ready to be painted don't take life, except apparently for the Slann. Is the model of the Slann summoning (or "mentally projecting") the skinks /lizards in the room dedicated to Mexico exibition? and if yes, why? Why Larry had to die? the reasons behind what happened are cloacked in mystery, but after all only the Slann knows the Plan
Spoiler: Story 3: Foreign shores
a nice twist on the classic theme of "invaders that came to loot our gold". it's no more the humans that come to Lustria, it's lizardmen that sneaks into the coast towns of warmbloods, to steal the most precious of gold: beer (apparently).
As native americans fond of wiskey, lizardmen like the taste of human alcoholic beverages... that could be a good base for commercial transactions, but i doubt there will ever be one. That said, it could be a interesting theme for a alternate universe.
Spoiler: Story 4: Lustrian redemption
Once again, the powerful lizardmen empire has collapsed, and now the survivors must hide or adapt to survive the warmbloods that have colonized Lustria.
The saurus protagonist is able to hide within humans, making them believe he's one of them. The idea is neat, but a mere cloak is not enough imo and it broke my suspension of disbelief.
However, i liked very much that even a saurus that is forced to hide and that became a coward to save his life, finds once again the old pride and the will to fight against the humans that dare to put their hands on a precious and honorable relic of a long gone past and mock it.
It's time to make them pay, rebellion is here!
Spoiler: Story 5: The Emissary
OK, this one was pretty good. The build-up is very interesting and the immersion granted into the story was deep. I was really involved and the feelings of the protagonists are realistically described. I can relate. So, this helps when the awaited twist arrives and we follow Ben as he's summoned by a Slann during a great daemoinc invasion. Apparently, we live in a world in which Chaos won, and only Ben can tell the story of what happened, to plant a seed of hope for a comeback of the order. Very nice theidea that Ben thinks to the daemons in term of "warhammer stats" as if the WHFB manuals were a sort of instructions on how to deal with the real beings.
Except... the story ends there. We don't know how Ben will handle all of this, we have no idea of what will happen from now on, and that's a pity.
If only the name of Ben wouldn't have been Ben, but Rick (as Rick Priestley) or Nigel (as Nigel Stillman), we would have the answer and that would have for sure taken my vote.
Spoiler: Story 6: True to the Theme
Oh my... that was hilarious.
true to the theme, indeed. "and now for something completely different" is a movie by Monty Phyton, and this story starts as a obvious parody of the very first scene of that movie, and proceed as that movie, with a series of funny sketches.
Firstly we have a parody of Peanuts, with a huagerdon in the role of Snoopy.
Then we have what i only imagine is the parody of the videogame "Among us". I believe. Never played it, so maybe the author will confirm it
Then we have the Avengers battling Thanos, with the heroes of the old world succumbing to GW and its Age of Sigmar.
Plus a last, crazy ending. Well, not a great literature here, but truly a fun reading, in what is the wildest story in this comp.
Spoiler: Story 7: The Tilean Job(Act I)
OK, we are used to the western setting on Lustria, so it's not exactly "something completely different". But with that said, the story is a pretty interesting one and got a good grip. It's a slow crescendo, the plot developes and the characterization of the protagonists is good. A slolid story all in all, that makes me wanting to know how it continues.
My (major) problem with this is that is the first part of a longer story, so i really don't know how to judge it in this specific contest. Sorry...
Spoiler: Story8: Short and Scaly on the Streets
What a great ending to this competition! My second vote went here, and with good reasons. I'm old, and the eighties ruled when i was a teenager, so I'm pretty fond of good old school police movies back in those days. And this story is a great parody of literaly ALL the classic tropes of those movies, And a parody made with love. Plus, the narrative tricks used by the author to keep the story within the words limit was pretty elegant and smart by itself (ah, the nostalgia for all those crappy WHS... i don't miss them)
20 days and only 7 voters?
Hold on a minute, it always takes me a while to develop my responses, because as you know I always like to provide detailed feedback. It should be up in the next week
I think at this stage we have a clear winner... there's no way we'll have enough votes between now and end of contest to challenge it...
What do you reckon @Scalenex ?
Create some pseudo accounts to make the race more interesting
Actually, i'm waiting for more reviews
February is a short month and I was a little later than usual posting the stories. I'm not calling the contest early.
I'm working on it, but it's taking a while.
1) This is genuinely hard because the pieces are so unorthodox. 2) I'm spinning multiple plates right now and 3) My spirit animal is that of a procrastinating sloth.
i don't think the final result will change, but in the last day the comp has become more spicy.
Scalenex promptly provides some reviews
Sure the contest is mostly over, but there is no time limit on critiques. Critiques after the contest is over are also permissible (hint! hint!)
Story One "Dying": An interesting take on the theme in that this is a subtle take on it. This is the only piece in this contest that doesn't warrant a magenta font. That's not a problem! Far from it. I like subtlety like this. Well crafted and well-written.
A mostly conventional Lizardmen temple city experiencing an event that is fairly routine to non-Lizardmen but is earthshaking to Lizardmen society.
Evocative imagery and a good economy of words. This was one of my favorite pieces so my critiques are pretty minor. It could have used a little more characterization because the characterization came off as a little bit dry.
Story Two "Sneaking in Shadows": Clever take on the theme. Night at the Museum Lizardmen styles. Good economy of words.
This left some unanswered questions. First and foremost. What did the Lizardmen models that came to life want and what was their relationship with the protestors and the protagonist characters?
Story Three "Foreign Shores": Lizardmen are the seaborne invader, oh yeeeaaahhh. Good economy of words and evocative imagery.
My problem is that this didn't really have a introduction, build up and resolution. It felt more like a an exposition than a story.
Story Four "Lustrian Redemption": One of my favorite pieces. This probably had the best characterization in the contest. I really was rooting for the character and I found the world very immersive.
Cannot find any major problems. There is one minor thing that rattled around my brain. This is clearly a post apocalyptic future of the Warhammer Old World. What I'd like is a more defined era. I couldn't tell if these were classic Empire troops with hand guns or some new era with more advanced technology representative of Napoleonic or Victorian/Wild West Era.
Story Five, The Emissary: I am a big fan of Star Trek DS9 so I cannot read "Emissary" and not think of Captain Sisko. The protagonist is even named "Ben". I almost voted for this based on that alone.
This is sort of a combination of Star Trek, the Matrix, Warhammer, and that movie where a kid plays a video game and becomes the savior of an alien race. Most exotic of all, a Slann speaks plainly. This may be the most creative take on the theme in the entire contest. The author did not just grab a bunch of things and see what sticks, this was clearly put together with thought.
This was a great piece, and had I had three votes, I voted for this one. The reason it's not in my top two pieces is that I wish this piece had more characterizations. When Ben was bored by the educational tour, I understood the situation, but other than a capacity to be bored, I don't know much about Ben. He just got pulled out of reality. I'd like to know what reality is to. What were his hopes, fears, and ambitions? Who were his friends and family? To truly feel the shock of being pulled from safe reality into a cosmic war, I want more than "I'm bored on an educational tour."
Story Six, "True to the Theme": This piece may have been the most random and out there. True to the Theme indeed. I like the Avenger's parody the best. There were a lot of good jokes, but I would not have minded seeing an entire piece written around that vignette.
I didn't understand all the jokes and references (I hope the author explains everything in detail later). This felt like a series of gags, and not so much of a story. I enjoyed this, but I could not vote for it.
Story Seven, "The Tilean Job": This story took some risks which I approve of. This piece was well polished and crafted with love, but it is firmly in last place. Sometimes, risk taking causes a story to fall flat. Unfortunately this is one of those times. I am going to cut this piece apart, but I sure I do this out of love.
This story is a part one. "Part One" stories are always risky. It is rare that "Part One" stories get a lot of votes because "Part Ones" are incomplete stories. This is a heist story and part one in a heist story is a recruitment drive. We have several interesting characters, but we don't have the team of interesting characters interacting with each other and dealing with problems. I think this story was a good start, but I would think this story would need in the ballpark of 10,000 words to be truly complete.
Another risk is that this movie parodies The Italian Job, a movie which came out in 2003 (around the time heist movies were at their peak of popularity). I saw it in the theaters, because back in the oughts' I went to the movie theater almost every week. I thought The Italian Job was moderately entertaining but it was not a timeless classic. I don't remember it that well, so I couldn't appreciate the beat for beat remake the way I could with say, a Hot Fuzz parody given that Hot Fuzz is my all-time favorite movie. I'm betting most people on L-O who saw The Italian Job, probably don't remember it that well and a lot of our forum members probably never saw the movie. This piece would have probably resonated with a larger audience if it handled heist movies in general, and maybe referenced the Rick and Morty heist episode which is a lot more recent than the Italian Job. The fact that this follows the source material movie so closely in this case is a hindrance, not a feature.
I love Westhammer. I have been working on developing it on Lustria-Online here and World Anvil here, so my heart soars with joy whenever someone writes a Westhammer piece. The issue is that it doesn't mix well with The Italian Job. It's hard enough to mix a specific early 2000s heist movie with Warhammer but to also mix it with the Wild West genre. I would have liked more wild west slang. That's the true way to my heart with Westhammer pieces but every "Westernism" detract and distracts from Italian Job. Too much at once.
Story Eight "Short and Scaly on the Streets": Another movie parody but this doesn't parody a specific movie so much as a genre. This had a lot of good jokes and tropes that made me laugh. This certainly fits in the affectionate parody category because it makes fun of the flaws of buddy cop movies but not in a mean way.
This technically fits a story structure with introduction, build up, and then resolution. I think the video skips were a bit lazy because we don't know how the cop heroes were able to reverse all their bad situations, the video just skipped to bad guys falling through windows.
My reviews are taking longer than expected...
As a bit of a softy, I'm very glad to see that every piece now has a vote
The top spot is well and secured, but the places 2, 3 and 4, 5 are tied at the moment.
Curious to see if there will be a change in that on the last day(s)
I doubt we'll get many votes in the next four or five hours. I need to turn in early and I have a big day tomorrow so I won't be on L-O much tomorrow, so I am going to spill the beans and announce the authors and the winner.
The winner is me, Scalenex. This is my fourth win making me tied with @Y'ttar Scaletail and @thedarkfourth.
I did not want to win.
The previous three entries I won, I poured a lot of emotion and a lot of hard work into it. I felt metaphorically kissed by a muse.
This contest I was just like "I wonder how many buddy cop tropes I can shove into one story?" I ended up using this article and also this article as my baseline.
I'm sure @spawning of Bob would be proud of me for winning a short story contest with a silly comedy piece.
Thank you @Paul1748 for the beautiful tribute art. That's pretty much exactly how I pictured they would look.
Congratulations @Scalenex with your victory!!
As you mentioned in your reviews it was hard to not write a comedy-ish piece for this theme(though some made it happen)
I wonder what theme you come up with, perhaps you've got something brewing for some time?
Well, it seems I was totally wrong with my guesses for Story Six, but luckily not far of for Story Seven
even a comedy / parody can be a timeless classic. See Young Frankenstein.
Your piece was brilliant and given how many votes it collected, I'd say the victory was well deserved.
also: YAY! I'm 2nd! (on a tie with @thedarkfourth).