DISCUSSION -- January 2017 300-word Writing Challenge (#24)

Cory Swanson

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May 19, 2016
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450
Since I'm still buzzing about doing well on this, I'll give some of the origin of my story.

For days, the only thing that came to mind was the fact that there was this weird horse head constellation near Pegasus named Equulus. Still, though, no story was coming out of that.

Then, I read Ted Chiang's short story Tower of Babylon where miners are climbing the tower to break into the vault of heaven. The imagery in that story is mind blowing. They climb above the sun and into the stars. At one point, a star hits the tower and gets stuck. I used to be all about sci-fi, but this opened up a whole new way of thinking. How can we look at the world in a way that is wrong, yet consistent?

So, I wrote a story that had largely the same events as Dear Edna. I hated it, though. Too folklore-ish, all gods and monsters and stuff. Wasn't clicking.

The next day, I picked it back up and re-wrote it, but with a regular old fart farmer guy as the voice. It instantly clicked up a notch. I think what was kind of magical about it was the strange and mystical things that were happening to him, but he reacts just like you would expect him to, dry and Minnesota. Also, it could pass off as a bs excuse letter that goes a little too far, so you don't really know whether to take him seriously or not, which gives him tremendous license. In the end, he is climbing into the stars, but he's still trying to get that darn thing off his head.
 

Peter V

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congratulations phyrebrat... a great achievement when you consider the high standard of entries
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Many congratulations to Phyrebrat on a truly stunning victory, as well as to Cory Swanson on a very strong silver medal and to The Judge on an impressive bronze. Well done, all.

Thanks to all of you who thought my effort worthy of a mention.

A special tip of the hat to Glen, who quite correctly saw that "Layover" was a deliberate pastiche of Barry Malzberg (even to the title, which is a variant on his aliens and horse racing novel Overlay.)
 

The Storyteller

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Mar 18, 2014
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A very hearty and sincere congratulations to Phyrebrat on the win! It was well-earned!

Also, thank you Ursa Major for the unexpected and last minute vote! It made my day. :LOL:

Looking forward to the next challenge!
 

Ashleyne

Shhh. I think they're listening
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Apr 19, 2014
Messages
577
A massive Congratulations, Phyrebrat!!!

And, thanks to everyone who mentioned my story. A ginormous thank, Hugh, for the vote.

My shortlist was:

Heijan Xavier
And Hugh

I voted for:

Cory Swanson
Cat's Cradle
And johnnyjet
 

Glen

Who are you people?
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Apr 27, 2011
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Sydney
A special tip of the hat to Glen, who quite correctly saw that "Layover" was a deliberate pastiche of Barry Malzberg...
Thank you @Victoria Silverwolf. I am a huge Malzberg fan and this section of my bookshelves is the most prized, not least because he is not so well known, and it was hard to find these books in second hand shops and the like over decades. As well as having your own style, you are a great mimic. I recall you doing a great Bradbury piece some time ago, and in this latest story it was like you were channeling Malzberg.

IMG_4373.JPG


And yes, I got the title reference, too - one of my favourites...

...(even to the title, which is a variant on his aliens and horse racing novel Overlay.)
IMG_4371.JPG
 

Peter V

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Nov 1, 2016
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443
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Liking the title On a Planet Alien - sounds proper old school golden age SF.

And you look like a man who is never stuck for coins for the meter (y)
 

farntfar

She turned me into a newt.
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Oct 26, 2013
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France.
A bit late to react, (I've been away)
But tons of thanks to Vaz, Cory, TDZ, Heijan, Cat's and Chrispy for the mentions and even votes.
 

Dan Jones

Free Omar!
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Nov 14, 2014
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A tad late, but no less sincere for all that: thanks to everyone who kindly mentioned my story, and horse-drawn carriages full of gratitude for Ursa, Perp and Cathbad for the votes.
 

Calliopenjo

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Feb 1, 2016
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282
Location
USA
I do apologize for missing the vote.

I also want to thank everyone for reading my story.

Congratulations Phyrebrat!
 
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