Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN!

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Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN!

Postby Kate » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 pm

Hello everyone! Voting is now live right here. You can vote for as many submissions as you like, but remember, once you vote you cannot take it back so choose wisely. Voting will be open until Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at noon PDT. Here is a handy countdown: Countdown To The End of Voting

Please discuss the contest entries here! When the contest is over, the entries will be moved here and should show up above the discussion. Remember, constructive criticism is good, but please keep it constructive and kind. A big thank you to everyone who participated and helped to make this a wonderful event!
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby IamNotCreepy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:28 pm

A couple of questions. Is the story order randomized for different people? When I am not logged in, the stories show up in a different order.

Also, will we be able to see which stories have how many votes, and who voted for which stories?
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby sunglasses » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:02 pm

You normally can't see who has what votes until the end of voting. You can't see who voted for whom (to my knowledge).
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby Marcuse » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:51 pm

The stories are randomised, and it's set to your account. So if you open it up, the RNG is set and the stories will always appear in that order for your account. It will be different for every account.

Sunny is correct, the stories scores are hidden until the end to prevent people snowballing on a popular work.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby KleinerKiller » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:59 pm

Red Paper

I really enjoyed this one, even though it was slightly longer than I feel it needed to be. The White Plague is creepy as hell, and the twist is well-implemented. I'm not sure how well it fits the "dystopia" part of the theme, though -- while it seems like a really shitty situation, I associate a dystopia with something more expansive and concrete.

Juicebox

Opposite to "Red Paper", I just wanted this one to be a bit longer. I had to reread it to understand it completely because it was so sparse, and while I found it really interesting in the end, I wish I knew a bit more of the context and how it all worked. It's a good story, and brevity is an oft-neglected virtue, but I would really like to see the author extend and develop it into something great.

The Trader

All praise or criticism I could offer it has been swept away by the twist, which kind of perplexed me to the point that I almost thought I was still asleep and having a fever dream about this contest. It made me chuckle, at least.

Deep Breaths

A little heavier on description than plot, and probably could have been developed more, but I appreciated how disturbing the ideas are and how what little plot there is wraps up.

The Center Circle

This one started off making me smirk when I realized what was going on, and then started to make me kind of depressed for how terribly plausible it is. Great job making a frequently used and pretty amusing idea still hit, author. The biggest problem wasn't with the writing, but the fact that there were so few breaks and such long walls of text, which made it tougher to read some parts toward the end.

The Vault

Top marks; my favorite story of the bunch by far. It may not be wholly untrodden territory, but it's written naturally, it has room for both tension and a bit of levity, and the ending is thought-provoking in exactly the way I love. I don't have a lot to say other than that.

Special

Aside from the wall of text problem, I liked this one. I caught onto what was going on once the words "Waifu-bot" were processed, but I still enjoyed it. Solid read.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby Marcuse » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Given I didn't manage to submit anything for the theme I suggested, the least I can do is give some feedback. I have to say from the off that I enjoyed them all, and any criticisms are given only in the context of me thinking this crop of stories is generally very good. Presented in the order I read them in.

The Trader

The opening to this has a super duper Fallout feel to it. I don't think that's a bad thing because it placed me into the scene very quickly. I liked the twist to it, it's a very TCS thing to have the end of the world caused by something so dumb but funny and I think it lends this one a humour that the others don't have.

Red Paper

Man, this one. I have to say I think the premise of this one is my absolute favourite of all of them. Taking princess stories and turning them into a nightmare plague controlled by an enigmatic king of mice is both innovative and engaging, and the presentation of the character Red was really nice. I liked the stuff about how she wasn't actually redheaded and how it kind of fits better that way (though the material pointing that out was a bit on the nose). I think if I had to criticise this, it's that it somewhat began to collapse under the weight of its own plot by the end, and some things weren't really important that could have been cut out.

Juicebox

I hear tell that some people didn't get what was happening in this one. I can honestly say I got what it intended from the off, but I think its held back by that not being as intuitive as it could have been. With the piece being so short it kind of begs for further development, and that does hold it back a bit. Overall though it's an interesting contribution.

Deep Breaths

I enjoyed the premise of this one. I think it suffers greatly from being not much more than a (well written, in depth) description of the premise though. It's mostly missing a current plot to grab me as a reader.

The Vault

This one is a pretty long piece about something only tangentially related to the character and the plot. I was really interested in the idea of a single person, wholly unsuited to the task, raising vat grown children in a sealed vault and trying to remember the past. What we got was a long description of how he came to be there, which I was much less interested in. Not that it's not well written, but it focuses on elements of the story that hamper my personal interest in it.

Special

This one had a cute fakeout with the VR but really it was still post apocalypse anyway. It was pretty short and didn't do too much to establish what the real post-human world was like, but for what it was I thought it was good.

The Center Circle

This one has a really strong internal logic driving it, which makes it at once very alien and definitely fitting the feel of a post-apocalyptic misunderstanding of contemporary culture. On the other hand, it at times was difficult to understand, and I felt like some compromise to the ignorant reader might have helped me to understand the intention of what was being delivered. By the time I got to the end, I was a bit confused with what was going on, but I liked it as far as I understood it.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby sunglasses » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:15 am

I do like that the vault incorporated the dad leaving the house to get a pack of smokes
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby Kivutar » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:28 am

Is it against the rules for someone to explain "Juicebox?" It was cool but I'm very confused.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby Marcuse » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:30 pm

Kivutar wrote:Is it against the rules for someone to explain "Juicebox?" It was cool but I'm very confused.


It's a dystopia where the fuel for electric power has run out, and they use people to provide energy for appliances. The guy in the story is "overclocking" his heart by making it beat faster than it normally should in order to get paid more and is killing himself doing it, for the love of someone else.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby jbobsully11 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:40 am

Marcuse wrote:
Kivutar wrote:Is it against the rules for someone to explain "Juicebox?" It was cool but I'm very confused.


It's a dystopia where the fuel for electric power has run out, and they use people to provide energy for appliances. The guy in the story is "overclocking" his heart by making it beat faster than it normally should in order to get paid more and is killing himself doing it, for the love of someone else.

...Yeah, I wouldn't have figured that one out in a hundred years.

I thought "The Trader" was pretty funny. That, "Red Paper," and "The Vault" were my favorites. I thought that "Deep Breaths" could have used some more explanation. I may have missed something, but why did the narrator decide to mess everything up (especially knowing it would all be fixed soon)? That seemed to come out of nowhere.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby KleinerKiller » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:34 am

jbobsully11 wrote:I may have missed something, but why did the narrator decide to mess everything up (especially knowing it would all be fixed soon)? That seemed to come out of nowhere.


The implication was the death of his wife and child for violating the breathing limit during birth (in the paragraph about how natural birth fell out of fashion), plus built-up stress from watching the world keep going. It's easy to miss, though.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby IamNotCreepy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:44 pm

I really liked the concept of "Deep Breaths". It kind of reminds me of the movie In Time. I like the idea of something like the oxygen being such a precious resource. The ending was an interesting twist, but I feel like a little more development was needed to make the leap to him wanting to kill everyone.

With "The Trader" I also got big Fallout vibes, which is a good thing. The setup to the joke was good, but I think you tipped your hand too much. I knew the punch line as soon as you mentioned "hard g" and "soft g".

I also found "Juicebox" to be somewhat confusing, but I got the gist of it. I liked the concept (that does seem to be a big theme here).

I like the feel of "Red Paper". I kept expecting it to go in a different direction. I thought the "King of Mice" would be Walt Disney, and it would end up with their world being the inspiration for the Disney stories. Of course, in hindsight Little Red Riding Hood wasn't a Disney story.
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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby sunglasses » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:36 pm

IamNotCreepy wrote:With "The Trader" I also got big Fallout vibes, which is a good thing. The setup to the joke was good, but I think you tipped your hand too much. I knew the punch line as soon as you mentioned "hard g" and "soft g".



Clearly you have never been in the room when someone who studies Latin starts arguing with a Catholic over the pronunciation of "genuflection"

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Re: Writing Contest - Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia - VOTING OPEN

Postby FaceTheCitizen » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:02 pm

At first, I wanted to do everybody else did and say what I thought about each story, but I'm afraid I'll tip my hand and reveal which one I wrote, and I'd feel weird if I say anything about my own story, even just to hide the fact I wrote it.

So instead, I'm gonna talk about only three and give you mofos no clues.

The Vault is a nifty story that asks a hard hitting question at the end: if humanity becomes a blank slate and you had the power to start anew, what would you do? Teach them the history of the world, both good and bad? Or pick and choose what you want to teach and create a new world with what you think is right and wrong? The part about how he got trapped in the Vault could have shorter, I feel, but it's not a major issue. It was entertaining.

Hehehehehe. "Seed" bank.

Deep Breaths. I liked it a lot. I don't think I can say anymore without gushing like a dumbass, so I'll keep it short: I like the concept, I like the setting, I liked how the narrator made it clear that others have tried to destroy the system and failed, which is cool because in real life shit like this have failsafes and, despite what movies tell you, simply punching the fucking keyboard of a supercomputer doesn't stop the countdown THANKS FOR MAKING SURE THE NUCLEAR BOMB GOES OFF YOU TURD BUCKET NOW I CAN'T TYPE IN THE COMMANDS TO STOP THE DETONATION FUCKFACE MCGEE, and good writing. I will admit I didn't get why the narrator decided to end it all, but considering Kleiner explained it, it may have been me missing it.

Juicebox: I like the concept and idea of it, it was too short and provided very little detail, which is a shame. I hope the author dives deeper into the concept and flesh it out, maybe even do a whole story with it, in the future, because it's a really neat idea.
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