DISCUSSION THREAD -- FEBRUARY 2023 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge

Congratulations to paranoid marvin, and well done on reaching the vote-off, to sule!

Looking forward to seeing the choices for the March Challenge, CC
Thanks everyone, and thankyou again to those who voted, shortlisted and had kind words to say about my story this month. I would have had no complaints if sule would have won the tiebreaker with such an inventive take on the theme, and one that was on my (very short) short list.

My choice of theme and genre have been submitted to the mods, and hopefully they will go down well with everyone.

Good luck to all in the March Challenge!
Very clever but am I smug to be revelling in spotting this?

To expand on my previous reply -- i.e,
I'm pretty sure that I'm not allowed to tell you something pertinent to the answer to your question....
-- there's nothing wrong with being smug, particularly if you also spotted the references to the content of Mr Elliot's poem, references that required minutes of deep study of the first few paragraphs of the poem's Wikipedia article, which:
  • tells us that the poem "combines the legend of the Holy Grail and the Fisher King with vignettes of contemporary British society", hence my mention of the grail (though I thought, with a yacht and a shanty already in there, I didn't want to use up words on the Fisher King);
  • mentions various literary allusions, including to Shakespeare (whose phrase "there's the rub" goes so well** with the PoV character).
  • says that the poem contains the Sanskrit mantra, "Shantih shantih shantih," from where my "shanty" came***;
  • states that "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" is one of the poem's famous phrases;
  • gives the names of the five section of the poem, two of which are hinted at -- "Fire sermon" and "What the Thunder Said" -- in my final paragraph and another is implied by the nautical nature of the title ("Death by Water").

** - Who knew Shakespeare would be so forward-thinking in providing such a handy phrase for my story...?

***- As it happens, finding nowhere to put shantih (or shanty) in the story, the only place left for it to go, other than oblivion, was the title, so it was a purely happy coincidence that it fitted so well with the name of the "author" Mr Yacht (as did, unwritten, the Water and the Fisher King).
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Congratulations @paranoid marvin

I didn't enter last month, I hit too many dead-ends :(

My first idea was something long the lines of the garbage island in the Pacific being sent into space with loads of other garbage, only for it to form an asteroid to crash back down to the Earth - then I remembered that was an episode of Futurama.

Then I thought about a series of classified ads: one offering waste collection, another offering funeral services and another offering a fantastic new food stuff - the twist being all ads were from the same company - then I thought: where's the science-fiction, and anyway it's too similar to Soylent Green.

Then I thought about an intergenerational spaceship and a recently deceased grandmother's favourite saying being 'waste not, want not' with the ending being something like 'Hey kids, remember how tender Grandma was? Would you like another slice?" - but then I thought: this is a family-friendly forum, so maybe cannibalism is not quite appropriate.

Finally I thought about a mad scientist going around collecting everything that's either a waste of space or a waste of time because he wanted to make his own spacetime continuum - but I only had a couple of days left and couldn't make it work.

I hope you don't think reading this was a waste of your time ;)
@paranoid marvin congratulations!

As for my entry, not gonna lie. A bit disappointed in the underwhelming response at the necessity of consuming mattress fluff in order to survive interstellar space travel. Yummy?

Ok now to get caught up on the 100…
A belated thanks to Yozh, therapist and johnnyjet, a massive thanks to Christine Wheelwright for the vote, and a ginormous congratulations, Paranoid Marvin, for the victory. Great genre and theme choice for March’s competition!