Scores: May 2020 LM - Give War a Chance!


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Thread: Scores: May 2020 LM - Give War a Chance!

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    Scores: May 2020 LM - Give War a Chance!

    It's results time! Let's see which of you gave war the best chance in our May challenge.

    One of our judges had to deal with personal issues this month, so I filled in for her. Here, then, are the scores ...

    Title / author HJC velo undead Average
    Misdemeanour by Tim 15.5 12.5 12.5 13.50
    The Battle of Cape Spartivento by Pelwrath 12.5 8 10 10.17
    Lester’s Lament by hvysmker 17 8 12.5 12.50
    A Man’s Worst Curse by CyberWar 17 10 14.5 13.83
    GIVE WAR A CHANCE by Chickadee 12.5 15.5 14 14.00
    WHERE IS THE HORSE AND THE RIDER by BornForBurning 17 17.5 18 17.50
    Elysian Field by Mish 13 16.5 14.5 14.67
    My Tongue Shall Become Iron by epimetheus 17.5 19 17.5 18.00
    GIVE PEACE A CHANCE by KellInkston 15 18 16.5 16.50
    ‘Together, We Rise’ by Razzy 17.5 17 18 17.50
    The Winds of Peace by rcallaci 17 13 10.5 13.50
    2X93 - BL in “Weapons of our Warfare!” by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord 18 4 19 13.67

    1st place goes to the iron-tongued epimetheus!

    Sharing 2nd are BornForBurning and a newcomer, Razzy!

    Our thanks to all 12 contestants for sharing their stories with us, and to the judges for their judgements.

    Harper J. Cole scores:

    Misdemeanour
    SPaG: 4
    “It’s black and round.” I said.
    Comma needed after ‘round’.
    “You’re Fucking kidding me,” I yelled at him.
    Small ‘f’.
    T&V: 4
    You give your narrator an idiosyncratic voice, a few times, I felt it dropped – I’d expect him to use a slang term for marijuana, for instance.
    Evaluation: 3.5
    It’s a good, coherent story of a man having a bad day, with a suitably light tone. I do feel that it’s only loosely linked to the theme, though: Jack’s connection to the military could be removed from the story without effecting the core events.
    Reaction: 4
    A smooth, light-hearted read with only minor issues.
    TOTAL: 15.5
    ********************
    The Battle of Cape Spartivento
    SPaG: 2.5
    Quite a few issues here.
    …that destroyed an AA gun and starting a fire from the exploding ammo. Smoke from the fire is sucked down to her boiler room, two of which went offline…
    You switch tenses in both these sentences (“destroyed” – “starting”) then (“is sucked” – “went offline”)
    Gentlemen, our ships first salvo is in defense of our country
    Should be “ship’s” with a possessive apostrophe.
    We out number them
    Outnumber is all one word.
    “What about our fleet sir,” coming from Vice Admiral Henry Pridham.
    Question mark needed.
    T&V: 4
    It’s a fairly staccato tone as you run through the series of events. Efficient, but not much flow, and words are often repeated (e.g. “hit” comes up a lot, varying it with synonyms like “struck”, “rocked”, “savaged” would add variety.
    Evaluation: 3.5
    The theme of war is well met. Providing an overview of a key moment in an alternate world war is a solid idea, but difficult to do in this word limit.
    Reaction: 2.5
    I found the story rather abrupt at the start and end, while the battle felt compressed – there were a lot of ships introduced and disposed of in a short space of time. Perhaps focussing in on a smaller conflict would be better for a short story, or else pick out one man and flesh him out.
    TOTAL: 12.5
    ********************
    Lester’s Lament
    SPaG: 4.5
    The style of this piece makes it hard to criticise any grammar choices. However…
    two big wars a our own
    Here “wars’a” (with an apostrophe) would be consistent with the rest of the piece.
    T&V: 4.5
    The crude style of the speaker is maintained consistently throughout.
    Evaluation: 4.5
    The piece meets the theme, while getting across its message clearly.
    Reaction: 3.5
    I’m not ultra-political myself, but I think more moderate right-wingers might protest at the extreme nature of the character. Still, people like this do exist. It’s a thought-provoking piece.
    TOTAL: 17
    ********************
    A Man’s Worst Curse
    SPaG: 3.5
    covered with blood and and already drunk with ale
    Double ‘and’
    That I aloned cried
    ‘alone’
    my brother sits down to comfort me,
    Capital M for My here. If it was ‘my brother says/shouts/moans’ etc then it would be correct to use a small m, but in this case it’s a new sentence
    So this is what a glorious victory that the legends and sagas speak of looks like.
    Technically this line is fine, but it’s a bit awkward to read – one to trim down a bit, perhaps. (Perhaps just: So this is what a glorious victory looks like).
    T&V: 4.5
    The tone feels appropriate for this sort of tale. The Nordic letters and references to their deities were a nice touch.
    Evaluation: 4.5
    Your story fits the theme nicely – you paint the world very effectively given the word limit.
    Reaction: 4.5
    I like the idea of the MC’s gentle nature working against him – it should be a blessing, but it makes him ill-suited for the only life available to him. If the SPaG issues are cleaned up, this can be an excellent story.
    TOTAL: 17
    ********************
    GIVE WAR A CHANCE
    SPaG: 2
    Some issues here…
    It was the Brown’s last meal together for a long time.
    This should read: “Browns’ last meal”. The possessive apostrophe follows the s because the meal belongs to more than one Brown.
    “I am leaving because I cannot watch other men go to war, while I hide in this house.” said Mr. Brown.
    There should be a comma after house, not a period.
    She is just a child!
    Not strictly an error, but I’d expect the contraction “She’s” here. People speaking with passion will almost always use contractions.
    right then her smile could’ve charmed the sun to come down to earth
    This needs its own sentence, rather than being in the middle of Gracie’s internal monologue.
    T&V: 4
    There are some nice turns of phrase (e.g.: …soaking up coffee and sunlight since God made the earth…)
    Evaluation: 3
    Meets the theme fairly well. The only bit that stuck out as strange for me was when the mother dropped her daughter on the floor and didn’t check on her, instead berating the father. That was a bit inconsistent.
    Reaction: 3.5
    I found this a sweet and direct story about a father going away to war. Some of your metaphors suggest your potential, which can be fulfilled once you smooth out the bumps in the SPaG.
    TOTAL: 12.5
    ********************
    WHERE IS THE HORSE AND THE RIDER?
    SPaG: 5
    No errors to be found here
    T&V: 4.5
    Some grand language. This seem appropriate for the setting – I’m getting Warhammer 40k vibes …
    Evaluation: 3
    It’s about war, but I’m not sure about the ‘giving a chance’ part of the prompt. I’m also a trifle unclear on how the LOTR-themed title ties in with the story, and why they only detected one heartbeat while two warriors were still alive.
    Reaction: 4.5
    Despite these issues, I found it a vivd story, with the two settings – planet and ship – well realised. The Great Buffalo seems an interesting character.
    TOTAL: 17
    ********************
    Elysian Field
    SPaG: 3
    Various minor issues here…
    The soldiers assembled on either side of the negotiating table stared suspiciously at the opposing leaders, their fingers ready on the triggers.
    It’s a small nitpick, but this makes it sound like the soldiers are suspicious of both leaders (including their own).
    “Here are our terms,” started Coleman. “You withdraw all of your troops to the pre-war borders, give us the diamond mining rights and exclusive use of stealth technology and in return we will cease all hostilities,” said Coleman.
    You only need to identify the speaker once.
    here is your armor and anti-air defenses
    “Is” should be “are”.
    a tactical advantage in man power
    Manpower is all one word.
    “Are you familiar with the Battle of Gaugamela?” interrupted Coleman.
    Is he interrupting? The general seems to have finished speaking. Cutting him off in midsentence might show their adversarial relationship better.
    T&V: 3.5
    Not much descriptive text after the opening; caused by keeping to word limit perhaps. Still, the story is clearly told.
    Evaluation: 3
    I had a few issues with the story (wouldn’t the General wait until he was safely away from the city before he ordered the attack? Whose chessboard was it, and why were they playing?)
    Reaction: 3.5
    Still, the back and forth between the two of them was well done, and there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of a chess metaphor. It was a fun read.
    TOTAL: 13
    ********************
    My Tongue Shall Become Iron
    SPaG: 4.5
    “So it’s true, you mean to join them in battle.” She raised her voice above the din.
    Something of a nitpick, but I feel that ‘she said, raising her voice above the din’ works better here. As it stands, it seems like she doesn’t raise her voice until after she’s done speaking.
    In the forges fires he saw a blazing sun rise
    Missing apostrophe
    T&V: 4.5
    Some tasty language here, fitting the ancient war setting. Nice metaphors, based around the Hephaestus theme.
    Evaluation: 4
    The theme is met. The story of a woman begging her husband not to go to war has been done before, but this is a solid rendition.
    Reaction: 4.5
    The richness of the language makes this story stand out – nice work.
    TOTAL: 17.5
    ********************
    GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
    SPaG: 4
    “And how goes the current preparations for France?” President Snickerfloog of Germany asks.
    Either ‘goes’ should be ‘go’ or preparations’ should be ‘preparation’ (probably the former option)
    her speakers distorting once was her
    Missing ‘what’
    T&V: 3.5
    Light and brisk. The pace did feel a little rushed, but a strict word limit can do that.
    Evaluation: 4
    The inversion of hippies from peace-lovers to war-lovers was clever. I liked the reveal of the invading aliens, which flip the reader’s sympathies from one side to the other.
    Reaction: 3.5
    This is a pleasant, breezy piece, with a more serious message about the occasional need for violence.
    TOTAL: 15
    ********************
    ‘Together, We Rise’
    SPaG: 5
    I found no errors.
    T&V: 4
    Nothing too fancy, but a crisp tone is maintained throughout.
    Evaluation: 4.5
    A highly original way to meet the challenge. The familiar corporate jargon makes for a suitably comedic effect when juxtaposed with the shocking nature of the proposal.
    Reaction: 4
    My only quibble with the story was that I don’t understand who they’re talking about bombing and why – I’m not sure whether that wasn’t in the story, or whether I just missed it. This is a very strong comedic piece, overall.
    TOTAL: 17.5
    ********************
    The Winds of Peace
    SPaG: 4
    A few commas I think may have been misplaced, but only one clear error
    cities and countryside’s from
    No possessive apostrophe needed.
    T&V: 4.5
    Rich language throughout, and some nice alliteration to boot (Julius P. Poppercock’s pockmarked face).
    Evaluation: 4
    The theme is met, with a story perhaps not too far removed from reality.
    Reaction: 4.5
    I think the pinch of a word limit often hits your stories quite hard, as you often write in colossal supernatural settings which are difficult to set up in the time available. This tale, being based around one man’s reaction to one conflict, fits the limit without anything crucial needing to be trimmed. Your language is always vivid, of course! Nice work.
    TOTAL: 17
    ********************
    2X93 - BL in “Weapons of our Warfare!”
    SPaG: 4
    BL has a unique way of talking, which makes it hard to identify potential errors. I do have a few minor quibbles, though.
    - [[mem lock:: ‘Bouncer’ = ‘Jimmy.’]]
    I don’t feel like the period should be there after ‘Jimmy’ for a command like this.
    - ‘Bartender’ produces unverifiable sound.
    Not sure ‘unverifiable’ is the right word here. ‘Unidentifiable,’ maybe?
    - [[mem lock:: ghost = snake]]
    For the other mem locks, the first word is the one BL had been using, and the second word is the new one he has learned to be equivalent – the order is reversed here, but I’d expect a robot’s language to be consistent.
    T&V: 5
    The voice is unique, and maintained throughout.
    Evaluation: 4
    An exceptionally original story. I do feel that it’s not so closely tied in with the theme as some of the other entries, though.
    Reaction: 5
    I can see you put a lot of thought into creating BL’s internal dialogue, right down to the compound words (e.g. “smallfear”). The idea of a machine with a Modem connection to Heaven is new to me. Excellent!
    TOTAL: 18


    velo scores:

    Anon1, Misdemeanor

    SPaG: 4.5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 2
    Reac:2
    Overall: 12.5



    ride-on-mowers should only have one hyphen
    "quasi-illegal" use of 'quasi feels out of place for the scene/voice
    "I know what you’re thinking, but I’d no experience with police"...so how does the narrator know how we're feeling?


    Not much technically wrong with this but it felt thin and uninteresting. I kept waiting for something I cared about to appear but it never did. There was too much time setting up Jack's pattern to the detriment of building tension. The interaction with the police felt bland and forced. Overall there was nothing here that engaged me.






    Anon2, The Battle of Cape Spartivento an AH story

    SPaG:4
    T&V:2
    Eval:1
    Reac:1
    Overall: 8



    Good use of proper naval terms. Though the di Barbiano was actually the Alberico di Barbiano...
    " Smoke from the fire is sucked down to her boiler room, two of which went offline." Very noticeable tense change here from the previous and subsequent sentences.
    "It did not take long for Cunningham to realize what had happened." Who is Cunningham? There is no previous reference yet this is written as if we already know this person.


    This is a battle log rather than a story. No flow at all. The first half is just a list of ships and their actions. Suddenly 'Cunningham' realises something and then it's a continued list of ships and battle actions but now delivered in dialogue. There are no characters to speak of, no emotions. The only real characters are the ships and they don't have a lot of depth (no pun). I'm sorry to say it but this was laborious to read and entirely uninteresting.






    hvysmker, Lester's Lament
    SPaG:4
    T&V:2
    Eval:1
    Reac:1
    Overall: 8



    Hard to judge SpaG in this as it's all dialect but a couple things felt unwieldy and out of place.
    "Desserts"


    This is...a ranting soliloquy told over a glass of cheap whiskey at a bar with sticky floors? Maybe I'm a little hidebound but I expect a story to have a direction, a flow, movement from beginning to end. This has none of that. Lester is one-dimensional and we have no idea to whom he's speaking or why. This rant is entirely without context.






    A Man's Worse Curse, CyberWar
    SPaG: 4
    T&V:2
    Eval: 2.5
    Reac:1.5
    Overall: 10



    "My mother once told [missing object for verb] that when she was expecting me"
    "That I aloned cried whenever a pig or other beast was slaughtered in our house, much to the ridicule of my brothers, and that I alone pitied a crying village boy roughed up by them did not keep me from hoping that one day I too would become a worthy man, a warrior." Long and stumbling sentence. Needs some work. 'aloned'


    The voice moves back and forth between modern and archaic, not consistent and distracting. I like the idea of Freyja's gift being a curse and opposing Odin's gifts but the way the story unfolded was all tell and no show, which is the major issue with this piece. I should have felt the narrator's disgust and horror instead of having it handed to me on a platter. Put me inside the revulsion he feels when his steel parts flesh and hot blood squirts in his face from a severed artery. Help me feel the cold tingle of fear down his spine when the Saxon's lower their spears and charge the shield wall.


    In the end, the narrator is shown to be ergi/argr (unmanly in the old Norse context) but his brother seems not to notice. At the very least Skjalli should have responded to the narrator keep those feelings to himself or there could be consequences.








    Anon3, GIVE WAR A CHANCE
    SPaG: 5
    T&V:4
    Eval:3.5
    Reac:3
    Overall: 15.5



    "It was the Brown’s last meal together for a long time." Let me figure that out from context, don't tell me.
    "Mr. Brown gave them a weathered brown smile." Too many browns in that sentence
    "tears brimming in her worried eyes" 'worried' is extraneous.


    By my count this is 404 words. This was a really excellent start but I wish there was another 246 words to help flesh it out and add depth and more opportunity for poignancy. Maybe Gracie could have chased after him and they read the passage together?


    Also, why is everyone referred to by their first name all the time except Mr Brown?


    As it stands it's good but I believe it could be a lot better with just a little more meat on its bones.








    Anon4, WHERE IS THE HORSE AND RIDER
    SPaG: 5
    T&V: 5
    Eval:4.5
    Reac:3
    Overall: 17.5



    No spag errors noted, consistent voice


    A nicely unique take; one rarely sees indigenous cultures reflected in futurist sci-fi. The character names were rather unimaginative and cliché however.


    This was decently done with a good narrative structure and some interesting elements that leave me wanting more: immaterium, chaos fire/fleet. One suggestion would be to stick to a single viewpoint to really dive into the scene.






    Anon5, Elysian Field
    SPaG: 4.5
    T&V: 5
    Eval:4
    Reac: 3
    Overall: 16.5

    "The meeting room was cold with a hint of ancient mold reek in the air" Reads better without 'reek.'
    Got lost once or twice and had to re-read the exchange of dialogue to figure out the sequence.
    "dust particles plummeted" I get what you're saying here but dust plummeting just feels wrong.
    Voice was consistent


    Mirroring the conversation/battle with the chess game was well done. A fairly straightforward entry but well constructed with some foreshadowing along with the mirroring. Technically well done, but a little light on helping us care one way or the other about the outcome/characters.








    Anon6, My tongue Shall Become Iron
    SPaG:5
    T&V: 5
    Eval:4.5
    Reac:4.5
    Overall: 19



    Nicely done. Only a couple minor hiccups in my opinion. This- "calling to its hundred sisters in the coldest state of their existence" felt awkward and a little vague and...not sure of the word I'm looking for...something akin to hyperbolic but that's not it.


    The end reads like the beat of war drums, the tension rising as the flames of the forge. Well-crafted and full of feeling.








    Anon7, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
    SPaG:4.5
    T&V:5
    Eval:4
    Reac:4
    Overall: 18



    "Jax faints, immediately urinating himself in fear." If he fainted, could he still feel fear? Reads better, and more humorously, without 'in fear'...also 'immediately could be dropped.
    "Greg passive-aggressively records the whole thing on his iPhone MXSE9." I LOL'd
    "her speakers distorting once was her voice" Missing 'what'?


    This starts deliberately silly and ends on a more serious, and disturbing tone- that we would ever allow such a thing to happen if we could help it. Also, it's very difficult to get me to laugh out loud but I saw such commentary on modern life with 'passive-aggressively records'...that was perfect.


    It stumbled in a couple spots but overall this worked well with juxtaposed moods.






    Anon8, Together We Rise
    SPaG:5
    T&V:5
    Eval:3.5
    Reac:3.5
    Overall: 17



    No spag issues noted, consistent voice.


    Does anyone think we're not heading for this sort of world? I once wrote a sociology paper around a topic in the text that described how a corporate ethos can cause people to have an "on-the-job personality" which may be "rigid, authoritarian, and uncaring" irrespective of an individual's nature away from work. Because of that, this piece rings very true for me.


    "Together, we rise" is spot-on as pure corporate bullshit.


    The writing is simple and straightforward and I felt true contempt for the characters. The sign off about Christmas was inserted perfectly as a perfunctory nod to the fact that these are human beings with lives even though they are acting in a very inhumane way.


    The challenge with engagement here is the scene itself, the corporate meeting space is the most bland and banal place in the entire universe so it's hard to create any real connection other than being repulsed by it.






    rcallaci, The Winds of Peace
    SPaG:3.5
    T&V:5
    Eval:3
    Reac:2
    Overall: 13



    Second sentence " horrific sights, smells, and sounds" feels terribly repetitive...this has already been described in the first sentence.
    "These remnants of war, draws" No comma, 'draw'
    "His smile widens as he realizes he is also doing God’s work. All the churches, synagogues, and temples are filled to capacity." I feel like a semi-colon would be better to separate these instead of a full stop in between.
    Overall, lots of extraneous commas and couple missing where they are needed


    Voice was consistent.


    First paragraph is all tell vs show. When the Major came in to 'report' to the general it sounded like a speech being given to a crowd not something urgent for a superior. Third paragraph was also speech-like. It didn't ring true that this is how he'd speak to his aid who surely knew all this.








    Anon9, 2X93 - BL in “Weapons of our Warfare!”

    SPaG:1
    T&V:1
    Eval: 1
    Reac: 1
    Overall: 4



    This experimental style simply doesn't work for me. This looks like a new form of screenplay, not a fiction entry.


    undead_av scores:

    undead_av

    "Misdemeanor”

    Anon

    SPaG: 4.5/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 2.5/5
    Reaction: 2.5/5
    Total: 12.5/20

    Review: Overall this was a smooth read; SPaG was good. Your main character had decent voice, but I found myself wondering what his motivation was; why did he keep lending things to his neighbor if he knew that Jack was untrustworthy? The climax of the story fell flat for that reason. In the end, he didn’t even seem to be very upset at Jack for getting him arrested. The theme also felt a little bit grafted in at the end. I would have liked to see more explanation of the world/setting--why is everything illegal these days? Maybe the police could have been corrupt, or something, to justify him giving war a chance.

    "The Battle of Cape Spartivento”
    Anon

    SPaG: 3/5
    T&V: 2.5 /5
    Evaluation: 2.5/5
    Reaction: 2/5
    Total: 10/20

    Review: The SPaG was alright, except throughout the story you kept changing tenses--even within the first three sentences. If that was purposeful it certainly didn’t come across that way--definitely took me out of the story a bit. The story was a bit hard to follow overall--there were so many characters and ship names; there was no single focus. I found myself having trouble caring about any of the characters or events. There was really no story structure; it felt more like an excerpt from something instead of a complete story. I do think that this has potential--you may need to thin out some characters and find one or two to focus on.

    “Lester’s Lament”
    hvysmkr

    SPaG: 4/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 3.5/5
    Reaction: 2/5
    Total: 12.5/20

    Review: Well, this was an interesting read. SPaG was fine; it was clearly a purposeful dialect. I found the tone and voice consistent, but this person felt more like a caricature than a real human being. The piece fulfilled its purpose; it was not so much a story as it was a monologue (that’s why I gave it lower on the evaluation). My personal reaction: I found some parts funny, but there was nothing very sympathetic about the character; it felt a bit dehumanizing, to be honest.The dialect didn’t feel like a real dialect (correct me if I’m wrong). But it was an entertaining read, so thank you for that!

    “A Man’s Worst Curse”
    CyberWar

    SPaG: 4.5/5
    T&V: 3.5/5
    Evaluation: 3.5/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 14.5/20

    Review: I thought this story had an interesting premise. I would’ve liked to see more plot with the juxtaposition between his gentle heart and his longing to be a great warrior like the other men a bit. The ending could have been better; I think it should’ve ended in the main character’s thoughts instead of the brother’s dialogue. You broke voice in your dialogue a bit--these Nordic warriors sounded a bit too contemporary. I wish there had been more story and less reliance on the misery of the situation. Overall, though, well done.

    “GIVE WAR A CHANCE”
    Anon

    SPaG: 3/5
    T&V: 3.5/5
    Evaluation: 3.5/5
    Reaction: 4/5
    Total: 14/20

    Review: Missing some commas and periods here and there, plus a few other spelling and grammar mistakes. The tone and voice was decent, though sometimes escalated beyond what I expected; e.g. I was surprised when Mr. Brown got angry and then suddenly soft again. Perhaps it would have worked better with a longer word count. I did enjoy this story, though; the premise was good, and I really liked some of the imagery. Example: “a round table that looked like it had been soaking up coffee and sunlight since God made the earth.” I also like the connection between her and her father’s smiles--they can charm bears or the sun down to earth.

    “WHERE IS THE HORSE AND THE RIDER?”
    Anon

    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 4/5
    Evaluation: 4.5/5
    Reaction: 4.5/5
    Total: 18/20

    Review: I really liked this story. The premise and setting is compelling to me. I felt the heartbreak of the Algonquian leader and the hopeless bravery of the metal warrior. I do think that the switch between the characters didn’t work perfectly, but I did like to see both perspectives. It might have worked better in a longer story. Overall, I really enjoyed this; it makes me want to read more about their story.

    “Elysian Field”
    Anon

    SPaG: 4/5
    T&V: 2.5/5
    Evaluation: 4.5/5
    Reaction: 3.5/5
    Total: 14.5/20

    Review: I like the idea of two rival generals playing chess while fighting a war--kind of a Magneto/Professor X dynamic. I do think that the tone/voice fell a little flat, though--maybe it would have worked better if the generals were more over-the-top characters. If they were more exaggerated it would make more sense that they are talking about their battle plans to their rivals. The general’s conversation with the soldier fell a bit flat as well; the end didn’t have as much punch as I would’ve liked. One thing I really liked was the comparison between Alexander the Great’s soldiers and Coleman’s--expanding on that theme throughout the story could have added to it.

    “My Tongue Shall Become Iron”
    Anon

    SPaG: 4.5/5
    T&V: 4/5
    Evaluation: 4.5/5
    Reaction: 4.5/5
    Total: 17.5/20

    Review: I really liked this! I was attached to both characters and was interested in their struggle. Sometimes the dialogue came across a little bit flat, but I really enjoyed the descriptions in the prose. The end was very good--it is tragic, but we are compelled by his courage. Butacide’s character is revealed most at the end; it’s great, but I think I would’ve liked to see it throughout the whole story--it might have worked better from solely his perspective--but that’s just my opinion. I love the intersection of his love for his wife and his people. I like that the story doesn’t sugarcoat war, but doesn’t condemn it either--we see both the tragedy and the heroism.

    “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”
    Kellinkston

    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 3.5/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 4/5
    Total: 16.5/20

    Review: I liked this. I thought that the voice wasn’t super strong, but I really liked the premise--and the cyborg. Always like a good cyborg. I would’ve liked some hint to the problem (man-eating aliens) in the initial coalition meeting, because the exposition seems a bit crammed in otherwise. I would’ve liked to see it woven in throughout the story. Overall I really enjoyed this, though. I am compelled by your exploration of war and peace; what cost are we willing to pay for peace?

    “Together, We Rise”
    Anon

    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 4.5/5
    Evaluation: 4.5/5
    Reaction: 4/5
    Total: 18/20

    Review: This story, mostly moved by dialogue, was very good. We don’t know what the company is, but it doesn’t really matter--the point is that they’re a professional company willing to do anything to get ahead--but proceeding in a very businesslike manner. I really liked this story--it works well for what it is. The characters aren’t super in-depth, but they don’t need to be--I think it’s more about the collective evil of the organization. Also “Together, We Rise,” is a pretty creepy title in context. Good job--I really enjoyed this!

    “The Winds of Peace”
    rcallaci

    SPaG: 2.5/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 2/5
    Total: 10.5/20

    Review: I think I understand what you were trying to do with this story. The General believes that war is good, because conflict is good for art, pushes people to seek God, etc. I got that, but I still felt like his character wasn’t very strong; I wasn’t compelled by him or his beliefs. Along with this, at the end, you bring in three characters that were never mentioned before to bring about the conclusion; I think the story would have worked better if you’d worked from the General’s perspective alone. The end got a little muddled for me. The story itself feels like, “and here’s why war is bad, kids!”

    “2X93 - BL in “Weapons of our Warfare!””
    Anon

    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 4.5/5
    Reaction: 4.5/5
    Total: 19/20

    Review: SPaG fine--obviously purposeful. I really liked this--never have I ever emotionally connected this much with a robot’s emotions. The style didn’t cripple the story at all; in fact, it made the story much more believable, in my opinion; it’s hard to write from a robot’s perspective well, but this was great. One thing--I think that it ended a bit abruptly; I would have liked to see the other character’s reaction, or something. I can’t fault you too much for that since there is word count. Overall, I loved it.


    The new contest, Write a Story Based on a Song of Your Choice, is already open!

  2. #2
    Congrats to epimetheus for a really great story and winning the contest. Kudos to Bornforburning and Razzy for their superlative efforts with their stories


    Thanks all for your feedback only I could turn in such a terrible story. Sorry to have wasted your time.
    Last edited by Pelwrath; June 2nd, 2020 at 03:43 PM.
    "Illegitimi non carborundum " Vinegar' Joe Stilwell

    "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." Martin Luther King Jr.

    What you learn in life is important, those you help learn, are more important.

    "They can because they think they can."
    ​Virgil

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools will speak to say something." Plato

    "The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible."
    ​ Mark Twain

    "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States." George W. Bush



  3. #3
    Woohoo! That was a close one - stiff competition always makes it more sweet. Thanks to the judges for their time - hope whoever had to drop out is OK. One day i'll get a full 5/5 for grammar.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelwrath View Post
    Congrats to epimetheus for a really great story and winning the contest. Kudos to Bornforburning and Razzy for their superlative efforts with their stories


    Thanks all for your feedback only I could turn in such a terrible story. Sorry to have wasted your time.
    Rest assured, no story is a waste of time - I for one appreciated your entry.

  5. #5
    Thanks but this is a slice from a story I’m writing. I want a battle feel to it and yes, even bad news is a help as I’m going to need to change how I’m writing the story. This was a learning experience and a note to not use part of a story. I should've known better.
    "Illegitimi non carborundum " Vinegar' Joe Stilwell

    "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." Martin Luther King Jr.

    What you learn in life is important, those you help learn, are more important.

    "They can because they think they can."
    ​Virgil

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools will speak to say something." Plato

    "The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible."
    ​ Mark Twain

    "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States." George W. Bush



  6. #6
    Congrats epimetheus, really thought you deserved this one! I found your piece very moving. Congrats also to BFB and Razzy! Thanks to all the judges for the feedback.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  7. #7
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelwrath View Post
    Thanks but this is a slice from a story I’m writing. I want a battle feel to it and yes, even bad news is a help as I’m going to need to change how I’m writing the story. This was a learning experience and a note to not use part of a story. I should've known better.
    Pelwrath, I think you hit on the issue....if you pulled this from a larger piece I would guess that's why it didn't work so well here. I can totally see this working within a larger context but as a stand alone there was no framework for me to understand. Your story was not a waste of time...you learned something, yes? That's entirely the point of the LM


    Arrow, sorry about my score. I'm a traditionalist, I guess, and dislike having to sort out how to read something. But that's entirely my issue...it appears that the more erudite and updated judged really enjoyed so please feel free to ignore me.
    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

  8. #8
    That I did, Velo and thank you.
    "Illegitimi non carborundum " Vinegar' Joe Stilwell

    "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." Martin Luther King Jr.

    What you learn in life is important, those you help learn, are more important.

    "They can because they think they can."
    ​Virgil

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools will speak to say something." Plato

    "The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible."
    ​ Mark Twain

    "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States." George W. Bush



  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by velo View Post
    Arrow, sorry about my score. I'm a traditionalist, I guess, and dislike having to sort out how to read something. But that's entirely my issue...it appears that the more erudite and updated judged really enjoyed so please feel free to ignore me.
    Don't apologize. I feel like experimental pieces are like black licorice - love it or hate it. (: I tend to be pretty traditional, too, but I couldn't make my original idea for the prompt fit so I just decided to mess around with a robot's first-person voice. It's one of those things I could never send to a big magazine but Strange Horizons would probably like.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  10. #10
    Congrats to all of the winners and thank you to the judges for your wonderful feedback! Your feedback is a learning experience for me.
    I threw a glance at humankind and saw them treacherous and feeble.
    Severe judges, cruel, unkind and fools who are always close to evil.
    Before their frightful, anxious mob, indifferent hate forever rages.
    Not learnt the lessons from the ages!
    What use are wise and tempered words?
    "Sometime, in my sweet blindness" - Pushkin

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