The Travels of Sir Reginald Rigmarole, Part 94 by @Dan Jones - a dash of derring-do is the cat's pyjamas
The Test by @Peter V - all smoke and mirrors for the easy life
Captain Starshine Invites You On A Trip In His Astrocharabanc by @M. Robert Gibson - a quite poetic groan of laughter
Thanks for the votes @chrispenycate and @Rafellin plus cheers for mentions. I so wanted to do a Flash Gordon rip-off but, while not exactly in the same genre, @Dan Jones pipped me with his ripping yarn. Possibly, a good result in the end as no doubt I would have added far too many bad puns for and any 300 worder to contain.
Well, voting was a struggle. Here's the best I could do:
Short list: @scarpelius -- Clean Bill of Health -- For giving a whole new meaning to "brass balls." @Cathbad -- If one One Does Not Know History -- For a counterpoint to the Industrial Revolution. @Ian Fortytwo -- The RED BUTTON -- For Poking fun at a nonsensical regulation @Phyrebrat -- Dead on Seven -- For the most surprising ending that actually made sense. @mosaix -- Don't Think About It -- For an interesting take on time travel. @LittleStar -- Rocinante -- For a fascinating genre combo. @The Judge -- The Story of Rumple Still-Gin -- For a grin worthy story.
voted for: @dannymcg -- When Is a Door Not a Door -- For a truly original tale which puts me in mind of classic Science Fiction. @Perpetual Man -- A Game of Fatal Chance -- For a story of Russian Roulette with a possibility of a truly good end for playing. @Peter V -- The Test -- For a story which put me in mind of a real world situation, or two, or so.
@Phyrebrat - Expertly crafted tale leading to an unexpected ending which made sense of the whole. Excellent.
@Heijan Xavier - An original and entertaining tale which introduces a new device to the world. I am not sure of the legality of owning a humincer!
@mosaix - Sometimes a conversation is all that is needed to paint a picture. Great ending nudged this ahead of a couple on my shortlist.
And a special mention for The Judge for a wonderfully unique and amusing, not to mention clever, take on a fairy story.
Thank you elvet, Parson, Luiglin and Heijan Xavier for the votes. As ever appreciated and quite humbling when I look at the quality on show this month. Thank you also to scarpelius and Deathwalker for the mentions.
Now to see if I can improve on last months dire showing in the 75!
Toughie this month, but a few definitely did stick out from the crowd. The runners-up were Victoria and Dannymcg, but I decided to cast my votes to:
- Phyrebrat. As your usual lyrical style was employed in the body of the text I thought there was nothing there to frighten the horses, but your ending was surprisingly puckish for you. Rather than shocking, I thought it very amusing. But I love death, me.
- Luiglin - gently touching without being overly sentimental, this was written with a lot of restraint and all the better for it (a bit like my entry).
- Chrisp - if ever someone's prose style was tailor-made for steampunk, then it's yours, Chris. The polar opposite of Luiglin's entry, this is stuffed to the gills with weird contraptions and repurposed bits of grunge. I imagine this is what the inside of your brain would look like.
Now, don't forget to keep voting, or I'll send round Ballsmasher Mcadams to sort you out.
Looking Forward – Rafellin A House Divided – drmatteri
The Clockmaker's Daughter - Victoria Silverwolf
Ryerson's Reliable Robots - Cat's Cradle
Want Everything – Luiglin
It Has Your Eyes … - D3athw4lker Dead on Seven – Phyrebrat
When is a door not a door? – dannymcq
Don't Think About It – mosaix
A Game of Fatal Chance - Perpetual Man
Uisce Beatha – Shyrka Those magnificent apes (in their flying machines) – chrispenycate
Rocinante – LittleStar
Lots of interesting and unique entries. Well done, everyone!
@elvet for such a sad take on gaming and the world moving on whilst we gamers don’t.
@Victoria Silverwolf - Can you please stop writing about The Most Serene, please! You know I’m presold on anything about beautiful Venezia la Serenissima, and your words do the title great justice. The final paragraph nailed this for me. VOTE
@Dan Jones - How could I not vote for this? Some of the turns of phrases and names had me belly-laughing in Costa whilst I was reading it. That’s got to have some kind of recognition. Also, this tale has proof of his obsession with regional accents. Lamentable. VOTE.
@dannymcg for the great sense of place and occasion. We often talk about world-building and the struggles against boring the reader with backstory etc, but here is a great example of how to give a deep sense of history and geography with a few choice words here and there.
@johnnyjet because gremlins! Actually this story was one that I thought connected to the breeziness or humour of the stimulation picture. There’s something about the naïvté of the picture that's borne out in your story and I loved the simple pleasantness of this tale.
@mosaix - I feel like I don’t want to like this slice of nihilistic existentialism but it’s the kind of black mirror the nihilist in me loves.
@chrispenycate for a dense - incredibly dense - tale of the - er - not-human human spirit and tenacity. I suppose it’s to be expected - we probably learnt it from our ancestors. And, any story that manages to get fresnels in the prose, must get a mention.
@Peter V - Kind of messed up until you realise how allegorical it is to what is happening today. Can’t say more as political discussions are banned here but I see parallels to Europe, USA not to mention climate change. Here's the tail wagging the dog…
@The Judge. Ouch, those puns! I think Johnny Walkabout was my personal favourite but I’m partial to whisky(even if it is Irish Jameson and nothing else!!). I will swear an affidavit that this story came to you fully-formed like a Coleridge reverie. The links between each part of the tale are so smart. It’s odd or me to vote for this because as a kid I hated Rumpel, in fact I was probably as scared of him as I was of the Wolf and the Seven Little Kids (but that was chiefly down to the artwork on each page thoe Ladybird books are fmous for), so when I saw the title I prepared to not like your story. But it’s just too smart to leave unacknowledged. VOTE
Edit: Thank you for all the mentions and votes. I see I just shot myself in the foot.
@Phyrebrat Thank you for the mention and your comment. I know I have spent many weekends in a darkened room with my PC, solving another world's problems and perhaps escaping a few of my own. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't have this hobby.