Friday, September 28, 2007

The Friday Challenge

Oh boy, now I understand why really smart people pick celebrity judges for things like this. The entries for the 9/14/07 Friday Challenge were terrific, and the entries for the 9/21/07 Friday Challenge were in some respects even better. rycamor's entry for the Nacireman challenge made me laugh out loud, and I think that in about two more rewrites that one could be a publishable story, but Ben-El's was also great, and I wish WaterBoy hadn't asked to withdraw his entry.
"Plate 3: An astounding representation of the Nacirema Warrior depicted in action on the field of battle. In true martial fashion, the head of the vanquished becomes a prop in some sort of post-battle celebration; a ball in a game of Kick-The-Enemy's-Head-Around, the rules of which are unknown."
Sean also deserves honorable mention for the sun goddess Britspearsikan.

Meanwhile, over on the 9/21 challenge, Ben-El again came through with a superb entry, while Arielle also came up with a good one and Crystal Lake sketched out a synopsis that could probably be turned into a successful novel pitch to Tor.

Decisions, decisions.

I don't want to proclaim any sort of arbitrary limit on how many times in a row you can win, because that would deprive us of the pleasure of reading rycamor's and Ben-El's posts, but on the other hand rycamor still hasn't gotten off his duff and claimed his prize for "The ZULU You Always Wanted to See." So...

Week 1 - 8/31/07: AJW308 (Yes, I got your email, I've just been a bit swamped.)
Week 2 - 9/7/07: rycamor, runner-up DaveD
Week 3 - 9/14/07: Ben-El, runner-up WaterBoy (special kudos to rycamor)
Week 4 - 9/21/07: Arielle, runner-up Crystal Lake (special kudos to Ben-El)

Winners and runners-up, the prize is either a signed copy of Rebel Moon or what's behind Door #2. Rycamor and Ben-El, as two-time overachievers winners you can either claim your prize now, or play for what's behind Door #3.

No, wait, that's ridiculous. Forget I said it. Just pick a danged book, okay?

Meanwhile, this week's Friday Challenge is, as they say in Hollywood, ripped from today's headlines!

Okay, actually it was ripped from a movie review in today's Weekend Life section, but that's almost the same thing. In this review, I learned that not only is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson not as awful in The Game Plan as, say, Vin Diesel was in The Pacifier or Arnold Braunschweiger was in Kindergarten Cop, but that next, he's starring in the remake of Escape from Witch Mountain.

Let that one soak in for a moment. Escape from Witch Mountain. Disney is doing a remake of Escape from Witch Mountain. I already knew Warner Bros. was doing a remake of Logan's Run. I already knew Disney was doing a remake of Tron. But they're already casting the remake of Escape from Witch Mountain.

This got me thinking about totally unnecessary remakes, and strangely enough about the new Bionic Woman (or not so strangely; I meant to write about it this week but with blogspot's issues never got to it, so I guess I'll save that one for Monday), and from that, I made the leap to this week's Friday Challenge: what would be the most unnecessary remake ever?

But that's too open-ended a question, so I cooked it down to this.

The Challenge. You're the staff writer for a very tiny indie film producer. Your partners have just phoned you in a state of great excitement, because they've just locked down the rights to the last un-remade sci-fi classic: The Monolith Monsters. In this 1957 Universal B&W release, long a staple of late-night UHF creature-feature television, a mysterious meteor crashes to earth in the desert Southwest, releasing —

A bunch of black silicon crystals, which grow to roughly the size of the Washington monument and then fall over, squashing everything underneath. Whereupon the shattered fragments start growing all over again. Will nothing stop them?!?!

"Guys" you say to your partners, "that's neat but — er, it's a movie about rocks. Big, dumb, rocks. That fall over."

"Yeah!" one of your partners enthuses. "Can you imagine how totally cool that will look with modern CGI?!"

So that's your challenge. You have one week to come up with a new take on The Monolith Monsters; one that provides an excuse for the human actors to do something interesting in-between getting squashed by big, dumb, rocks; one that provides some scrim of an excuse for remaking this one, beyond the fact that special effects have improved.

And did I mention that the rocks are made of silicon?

The prize, as always, is your choice of a signed copy of Rebel Moon or what's behind Door #2. Ready? Set? Go!