RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

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

RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby VictorK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:14 am

Thanks to those who participated. As there are only three entries, each person will have only one vote. Voting will also last only one week, until February 1st. It was a condensed schedule this month, so I'm too disheartened by the participation. We'll go back to the usual RiaR word theme format next month, not sure the picture worked out.

VOTE!
"The gods are not all powerful, they cannot erase the past." -Agathon
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Re: RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:53 pm

The princess of Tlalon, by VictorK

Really liked this - took me a second read to fully appreciate everything, but very high standard. I like the way you subtly weave an intricate background into your story, bit by bit, so we get the feeling that this is a part of something far grander - an entire mythology of the world, rich and complex. And points for originality, with a fresh take on the power of Chaos and non-Imperial humans interacting with it. As I said, things were a little clearer to me first on the second read, but I don't think any author, no matter how skilled, can be free of such a minor quibble.

One, minor, thing:
the piercing lasbolts of savages from the stars


these inquisitors and these astartes. The only language they knew was plasma and bolter


There's nothing saying that it couldn't have been both Guard and Astartes forces assaulting the planet, but for some reason I would have liked that made clear from the beginning, if that was the case. The point isn't whether it was Guard of Astartes, the point is that Imperials kill them - and in such an event, a Guardsman with a lasgun is sufficiently bad enough to ruin the day for your protagonist.

With the prompt picture constantly at the back of my mind, I really liked how your story ended. Imagine this as a prologue to a novel, or a tv-show ("Dalia*, last princess of Tlalon").

*or whatever name fits; I just made one up.


Refusal, by Rusk

Nice, brisk pace throughout the story. The first (long) sentence of dialogue felt a bit clunky, but dialogue throughout is well written. A little bit of info on every character helps us distinguish them from eachother on a level that is suitable for this type of short fiction. You set the scene well by choosing the right few words, for example in order to get us to know the character of the major. Good take on the doctor's character as well, with us knowing his thoughts and thus deducing that he is a no-nonsense, efficient character.

All in all a nice little 40k-read, though nothing that really stands out in comparison with other stories (which isn't a fault in your story per se, it's just a familiar theme). I'm a little unsure on where you're going with it, and why the doctor would put himself in danger's way so easily by striking a superior officer - motivation wasn't really that clear. Also, I'm curious how you used the prompt for inspiration.

Votes:
- The princess of Tlalon, by VictorK

This will probably be my last contribution to this competition, I'm sad to say. Studies are due to pick up the pace, among other things. It has been good writing with you.
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Re: RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby VictorK » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:07 am

Immortal Companion-YeOldeGrandma

Not sure I have too much to say about this one. It paints a very nice picture, in particular I enjoy the imagery of the Emperor smiling even as he’s screaming. The writing is more than good, for a story where a guy stands with his back to another dead guy for centuries the reader is moved along pretty well. This is the sort of GRAMDARKNESS I like to see in 40k, not angsty despair but the slow crumbling of ages. The scene is more human than a scene with immortals should be. If the story has any failing it’s the lack of a narrative, but that’s more of a global criticism. The story as it is would not benefit from much of a narrative arc.

Refusal-Rusk

I’m a sucker for medical scenes. I also generally like to see RiaR entries that are scenes in themselves, and yet…

This really feels like an excerpt. It’s not well self-contained. I kept waiting for something to come along and tell me what the significance of the individual brought in for surgery was, something about the setting that would make me sit up and take notice, some consequence...and I’m sadly still waiting. A confrontation is great, and like I said, I’m a sucker for medical scenes. A doctor in a military setting torn between duty and their ethics is great fodder for conflict. But, I’m not sure I agree with how you chose to resolve it. The doctor asserting his physical superiority against the major doesn’t so much resolve the conflict as it transforms and defers it beyond the scope of what we can do in an RiaR piece. So, in the end, I’m not posed with any very interesting questions, and I have no resolution to the central conflict in the piece.

So, two very different pieces this month. Immortal Companion has no narrative but nonetheless creates a compelling picture. Refusal is all narrative, but it doesn’t really take me any place. It’s hard to compare the writing because the stories were so different. YeOldeGrandma probably soared a little high in a few places, and there were times I thought Refusal suffered from a few too many commas.I liked many of the characters, but I think I will lean towards Immortal Companion. I just found the doctor’s resort to violence to be very jarring and, frankly, a tad cheap.

So, that's one for Immortal Companion.

We'll miss you, Grandma! Thanks for participating.
"The gods are not all powerful, they cannot erase the past." -Agathon
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Re: RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby The Hillock » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:44 pm

Nuts, sorry, in the rush of starting a new job I clean forgot to a) write and b) read. I'll get the reading bit done shortly and give some points out.
Probably the worst WH40k player in the world...

Hillock's terrain thread
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Re: RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:52 pm

VictorK wrote:The scene is more human than a scene with immortals should be.


Yes, I know. I'm not really up to depicting the mind of a Custodes, truly. I keep reverting to clichéed humanity and all that petty, mortal angst that comes with it.

I think...
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Re: RiaR: January 2015 Voting Thread

Postby VictorK » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:56 am

(that was a compliment)

I'm also pretty sure we're past voting time, but I honestly don't really care. The next thread will be up tomorrow or wednesday.
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