Friday, March 21, 2008

And the winner is...

Sorry, folks, but this last week — these last two weeks, actually — have been just nuts. Things should return to some semblance of normality by Monday morning, though, after we get back from Minicon — which, by the way, we're actually attending this year, for the first time in I can't remember when. So if you happen to be out at the con tomorrow, maybe I'll see you there.

In the meantime, loath as I am to interrupt the were-seal saga, we need to announce the results of the latest Friday Challenge. Once again I am stunned by the quality of work you folks have produced in just a few scant days, not to mention deeply disturbed by some of the things that have crawled out of the sewers of your collective id in the past 36 hours. (Say, from right about the point in time when it was suggested that Joan Jett is really Chrissy Hynde's drunken alter ego.) So without further ado:

Kremben, you definitely win the ├╝bergeek crown hands down. Bo Shek, eh? He actually had a name? And you knew it? I can only stand in awe.

Claymore — sorry, all I can do is snicker. And deny having any knowledge whatsoever of what a happy ending rub down is. Finest kind! Numbah One, G.I.!

Mike, this is a good start, and a good first draft of a good first chapter. You could probably stand to turn down the gain a little on the Chandler channel, but I'd like to see where this is going.

snowdog, props for going first, and thanks for coming up with a very original idea I never would have thought of. Qui Gon reincarnated as a sort of guardian angel droid? An interesting and surprisingly touching idea.

M. Night Shamalyan — I'm sorry, K. Vihenrydad Vogeltown — I wanted to pick yours, but unfortunately you reminded me of the summer of 1977, when I was in a Top 40 cover band that played all those damned Foreigner hit singles. Man, when we rehearsed we used to do horrible things to "Cold As Ice," most of them involving changing the lyrics to describe the drummer's girlfriend du jour and playing off the fact that "ice" rhymes with "lice."

Never mind that. I also have to confess to having salted the claim on this one, so I have to recuse myself. And go back to laughing at the evolving were-seal story. Will he ever find love?

Al, I have to second what kremben said: your story crept up on me and really made me care, which took me by surprise. You've written a very good, very finished story. If it wasn't Star Wars, I think it'd be worth trying to market — and maybe it is worth trying to place in the SW fan market, but I don't really know that market well enough to have an intelligent opinion. Very good work.

And finally, Sean: at first yours seemed a little too rough around the edges for me, but the more I thought about it, the more I was taken in by the parallel to the 1862 Dakota War. (Some local history here. For those of you in other parts of the country, in 1862 the chief of the Dakota, Little Crow, realized the U.S. Army was paying far more attention to the Civil War than to events out here on the great plains, and from the Dakota point of view this was an opportunity not to be missed.) What you've written here is clearly the opening chapter that sets up a much longer work, and assuming polishing and editing, it's a good one that opens up a lot of interesting possibilities.

Ergo, Sean you're this week's winner, with honoroble mention to Al. Sean and Al, you know what to do to claim your prizes.

Now, as for the next Friday Challenge: we're taking a bit of a hiatus this weekend. The next challenge will be issued on Friday, March 28, with an entry deadline of 10 p.m. Thursday, April 4. Until then, have a great weekend, and catch you Monday!