Succession: Voting Thread

The Bolthole's monthly 1,000 word story competition.

Succession: Voting Thread

Postby LordLucan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:06 pm

Hi guys, this is the voting thread for this month's RiaR competition.

ou have three votes. Your first place vote will receive 3 points, your second place vote will receive 2 points and your third place vote will receive 1 point.

Please be clear when you're voting and please use all your votes.

The deadline for voting this month will be 2100BST on Thursday 1st August. If you want an extension to that, you need to PM me as soon as it becomes clear you won't make the deadline.

Now go forth and vote, review and decide upon your latest RiaR champion, to ascend to the great halls of the RiaR gods, and-

Well, you know what I mean. Get voting, and may the best entry win.

LL
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Liliedhe » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:11 pm

1) Inversions - Rahvin, 3 pts
2) Diminished Returns - Shaggy, 2 pts
3) Memento Mori - YeOldeGrandma, 1 pt
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Richter_DL » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:07 pm

1) Acolyte, by Liliedhe - 3 pts
2) Memento Mori, by YeOldeGrandma - 2 pts
3) The Edge, by TunnelRat68 - 1 pts
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby LordLucan » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:05 pm

Ok guys, I need to ask you all something.

Since the bolthole's blog has recently been revamped and made fancy, I was wondering if you folks would be ok if the winning entry for the RiaR each month was posted on the blog, as a sort of an additional showcase to the RiaR winner's thread.

There will be the option to opt-in for each individual winner; if a winner doesn't want to get their entry on the blof, they don't have to.

If you are all ok with it, let me know, and we can perhaps have the winner of this month's RiaR be the first Read in a Rush winner blog entry.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Sure, fine by me. :D
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Bloody Mary » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:35 pm

1. Memento Mori - YeOldeGrandma - 3pts
2. Liliedhe - Acolyte - 2pts
3. Rahvin - Inversions - 1pt
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Shaggy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:35 pm

1). Liliedhe "Acolyte" - 3pts
2). Rahvin "Inversions" - 2pts
3). YeOldeGrandma "Memento Mori" - 1pt

Oh, and "Yes" to LordLucan's question about the winning story going on the blog.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby TunnelRat68 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:59 pm

Scores on the doors:

1 - Memento Mori - 3Pts
2 - Inversions - 2pts
3 - Acolyte - 1pt

Memento Mori - I loved the sense of an impending event with this story and also the description of the vault which really gave presence to the unfolding story. The part built servitors were a good touch too.

Inversions - Excellent plummet with "And then they said the Emperor was dead", and also I liked the way the ending was result was a positive outcome for the "Devoted".

Acolyte - Again, I really liked the description of the journey through the star fort and also how the Inquisitor challenged the acolytes own confidence before threatening him and then releasing the tension finally.

Thanks for great stories everyone.

Also happy with publishing the winners RiR being published to the Bog idea.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Rahvin » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:13 pm

Impressions first, votes after.

Diminished Returns, by Shaggy
As I said in the story thread itself, great premise, and well told. Also as I said, the ending seems slightly forced instead of developing more fluidly and naturally, and the references to the Emperor seem to not quite match up in terms of the narrator's reactions. Other than that, nothing really to pick up on. Good entry.

Acolyte, by Liliedhe
I liked it, but it felt rather... static. Perhaps that's simply due to the narrator being reactive rather than proactive - his challenge is to do nothing instead of doing something, for the most part. Well written, though. Some excellent descriptive work.

Memento Mori, by YeOldeGrandma
Love it. A great exploration of the mindset of one of the cogs in the Administratum's labyrinthine hierarchy, and a nice window into the casual darkness of the Imperium as well. Plus, it's always good for characters to see that servitors do actually come from people, rather than being assembled machines.

The Edge, by TunnelRat68
Issues with formatting around the dialogue - fresh paragraph for a new speaker, couple of typos. Other than that, good stuff. I can't help but feel like - in the Adeptus Astartes of all places - if a Captain was incompetent then they would never make it to the rank in the first place. In the Guard, perhaps (there's room there for the nobility meddling, etc etc).


So, without further ado: the votes.


1 - Memento Mori
2 - Diminished Returns
3 - Acolyte
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:34 pm

Posting on blog is a-okay.

Mein votes:
1) Acolyte, 3 points
2) Inversions, 2 points
3) Diminished returns, 1 point

Mein crit:
Inversions, by Rahvin
Not much to say, other than what has already been said. It’s a fresh idea in that narration is made from the point of view of a regular hiver. Information is very limited and priorities are different from what we’re used to (mainly food in this case, illustrated continuously throughout the story). It makes for a good story.

Diminished returns, by Shaggy
I presume you’ve read about John Grammaticus?

Good story, as has already been said. Points for originality. You also managed to scare me with the “this is THE END”-bit –you can’t go wrong with grimdarkness after all – so that’s also good.

The ending though… it felt like a cliché slapped on in order to sound good (I’ve done such things myself). The narrator asks what he/she should write – is that supposed to mean that he/she has the power to change the future, because that’s how it reads to me. But how could he/she do that amidst the chaos and the darkness you’ve so thoroughly described? And if he/she can, what is he/she so afraid of? It makes sense when I think a bit about it – the narrator could very well possess such power and still be scared – but I would have preferred it if you’d made it clearer in your story. It would have felt more natural.

Minor thing: your second paragraph should ideally be split into two, if you ask me, right between these two sentences:
They’d probably use something sharp, and even after all these lives and deaths I don’t really fancy that much. Or they manage it by simply not dying.

This is because the second sentence refers to something said way earlier, and it confused me the first time I read it.


Acolyte, by Liliedhe
Good one, and easy to get into. A little like Rahvin’s piece in that we follow from the perspective of a grunt, who doesn’t understand what’s going on. Nice, also, to see the Imperial mindset at work (“Do not expect to understand the Emperor’s Will. Just follow it to your best ability.”)

The Edge, by TunnelRat68
Good things:
*Problems and questions are dealt with from a Space Marine’s mindset – it puts your story firmly into the 40k-verse. This, to me, is a very good thing in a story.

*The language, both in and out of dialogue, is suitably archaic, adding to the above effect.

Things to work on:
* Language bits, such as the lack of spacing between different speakers in the dialogue and some, to me, strange use of punctuation – for example:
Therein lied the problem, should a marine do as he was bade and perfect his skill set; be it shooting, swordsmanship, heavy weapons or even the elitist apothecary, chaplain or librarian then he could expect to serve scores of years simply maintaining that expertise without advancement or reward other than the acknowledgement that he was doing his job and his duty.

Should be, I think:
Therein lay the problem; should a marine do as he was bade and perfect his skill set, be it shooting, swordsmanship, heavy weapons or even the elitist apothecary, chaplain or librarian, then he could expect to serve scores of years simply maintaining that expertise without advancement or reward other than the acknowledgement that he was doing his job and his duty.

As I said, I approve of your style; however, it can easily become confusing for the reader (or, at least, to me). I had to re-read the first sentence to realize that Samuel was sharpening a blade. With long sentences you also run the risk of the reader getting lost.

And I must admit (though it shames me, because it could just as well mean that I’m too stupid for your story) that I had problems following the progress of Samuel’s thoughts. For example, you write:
The issue was things were not natural in many ways; most singularly the problem with being a superhuman warrior was just that, you were a superhuman, nigh on invincible warrior with little to really threaten your life and much to protect it or recover it.

This never recurs again as an "issue", so I don’t follow why he even thought of it. He seems to be daydreaming, letting one thought lead to another, but that doesn’t quite add up with him pondering a problem.

Later:
As he mused the imminent future, Samuel identified his nagging doubt was not that his Captain was’t up to the job […] more that he feared his chosen path to resolution would highlight his own shortcomings such that the Chapter Command would not consider him worthy for the position that he felt was his already by actions alone.

But this doesn’t make sense to me when I read what you’ve written before (“ambition is a fickle trait” etc). Or does his thoughts progress and change as the story goes on?
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby LordLucan » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:30 am

Anyone who entered the comp and hasn't yet voted, hop to it; the deadline is at 9pm today!
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby LordLucan » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:39 pm

VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! (Sorry I'm a bit late. Laptop problems)

Here are the scores:

- Acolyte and Memento Mori Both attained 13 points. Making them joint first.

- Inversions just missed out, with 10 points, making it second place.

- Diminished Returns achieved 5 points, and is thus third.

- The Edge gleaned 1 point, so is fourth in the running.


This means we have two winners! Both of yours stories will be going in the winner's thread at some point, and will also be featured on the bloghole. Congratulations Lil and YeOldGrandma!
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:42 am

Thanks, and a congratulations to Liliedhe.
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Liliedhe » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:15 am

Congratulations, too and thanks for the votes. :mrgreen:
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby Shaggy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:42 pm

Congratulations to Liliedhe and YeOldeGrandma!

YeOldeGrandma wrote:Diminished returns, by Shaggy
I presume you’ve read about John Grammaticus?

Absolutely. He (and those like him) were referred to in the lines "There are some out there that seem to just keep coming back the same as ever, even after you kill them. They’re a rare breed, but I’ve met a few of them." I deliberately didn't get any more specific, as I wanted to keep my character's point of view fairly ignorant of a lot of the details. He's just trying to keep his head down throughout all of his lives, after all. He may occasionally run into one such, but wouldn't really know much about them (nor have the inclination to risk finding out).

Good story, as has already been said. Points for originality. You also managed to scare me with the “this is THE END”-bit –you can’t go wrong with grimdarkness after all – so that’s also good.

"Good story" - thankyou... but not good enough (as pointed out by Rahvin and yourself below). As regards the originality... that was the plan. I wanted to do something a little different. Ideas aren't usually the problem for me, it's the execution that usually causes me to fail. Practice, practice...
Re 'THE END'... I'm now in two minds about that. That, plus the dodgy 'writing' references, could be construed as me having a pop at GW for deliberately not taking anything past M41.999 and just constantly re-visiting and re-writing - which is, I have to say, somewhat annoying at times - but makes sense from a business POV. And it's their intellectual property, after all. However, the solid black wall idea... I still like it to a certain extent. As you say - grimdark is rarely a bad thing in this setting, and it doesn't get much grimmer than the prospect of utter racial annihilation! :twisted:

The ending though… it felt like a cliché slapped on in order to sound good (I’ve done such things myself).
Yep - that's EXACTLY what it was! Sometimes it works, this time it didn't.
The narrator asks what he/she should write – is that supposed to mean that he/she has the power to change the future, because that’s how it reads to me. But how could he/she do that amidst the chaos and the darkness you’ve so thoroughly described? And if he/she can, what is he/she so afraid of? It makes sense when I think a bit about it – the narrator could very well possess such power and still be scared – but I would have preferred it if you’d made it clearer in your story. It would have felt more natural.

Agreed. I was somewhat floundering at that point (which is sort of appropriate, as that's exactly what the character is doing - although I can't claim any kind of save from that) and tried to be too clever. Also rushing things. Another lesson learned.

Minor thing: your second paragraph should ideally be split into two, if you ask me, right between these two sentences:
They’d probably use something sharp, and even after all these lives and deaths I don’t really fancy that much. Or they manage it by simply not dying.

This is because the second sentence refers to something said way earlier, and it confused me the first time I read it.

Fair point - I hadn't noticed that. I'd be reluctant to split the paragraph in two, however... because the whole 'other immortals' bit is supposed to be all in one place, and it could have caused other problems if I'd sliced it all in two. Maybe I should have put the 'something sharp' sentence in brackets? The character was digressing slightly (as you'll often get in conversations) but I don't really see what I could have moved to where.

Thank-you for the feedback... a very useful part of the learning process.
In defeat, malice.
In victory, revenge.

My lifeform type is tee tee hatch nex ool
Shall we do rishathra?
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Re: Succession: Voting Thread

Postby TunnelRat68 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:33 pm

Congratulations all round and many thanks for the feedback, always appreciated.
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