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Tony, aka Kells

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Everything posted by Tony, aka Kells

  1. The November Challenge is now closed! The judges will deliberate over the next week, and we'll have a winner to announce by next weekend. In the mean time, take a look at the December Challenge!
  2. Welcome, my friends, to this special Writing Challenge for the month of November! Please peruse this post with proper prudence, as it contains the guidelines, rules, and other important bits regarding entering your submission, which are a little different than usual for this unique Challenge. For this month only, we'll be drawing our inspiration from Ongoing Worlds's Way Back When week competition. This Challenge will focus upon character ancestry -- where a particular character or anyone/anything related to him/her has come from. You do not have to write about your primary character! To parti
  3. "Dakota" by Jorus Cogud reviewed by Kali Nicholotti The first time I read this, I got the feeling of a tragic love story where one half of a partnership is torn from the other because of an injury or illness that the other could not control. I tried to imagine what would have led the officers in question to leave a person behind on the bridge and I came to the conclusion that something must have fallen on her, preventing them from getting her out. It was sad, but nothing groundbreaking, as it had been ‘done before’ so to speak, and while I enjoyed the story, I didn’t walk away from it with a p
  4. Welcome to November, everyone, and with its coming I'm pleased to bring you the results of our only two-month contest this season! The winner of the Challenge for September and October is Sinda Essen, with his story "Love is a Battlefield." We have two runners-up this month (I need scarcely say that judging was extremely difficult!): Tallis Rhul, with his story "The Perfect Moment," and Ben Livingston, with his story "One Last Dance." I would like to underscore that we had a large number of entrants and six contest judges, and it was still very difficult to come to a consensus. Thank you to e
  5. You just squeaked in, Chris! And now, I must announce that this Challenge is officially closed. The judges have convened, and we hope to announce a winner by Halloween!
  6. Welcome back, my friends, to another Writing Challenge! This regular Challenge follows our special events in July and August, so if you placed yourself in the mindset of the monthlong affair, be sure to read this extra carefully for a restatement of the regular rules. Kristen, the writer behind Velana and the winner of the August round, has selected this Challenge's topic, "Isn't it Romantic?" How will you interpret the theme? Perhaps you read it literally? Ironically? Humorously? Whatever your take, I look forward to reading your entry! To participate in the challenge, please create a new thr
  7. "Eileen" by Sakorra Jefferson Reed reviewed by Aron Kells ---------------------------- A fantastic idea, this, and one that was grew from seed to tree in spectacular fashion. The believable dialogue and the careful consideration of detail -- the way Eileen knows the crew by their first names, for example -- really help to build the world of this piece. In my review of S'Acul's piece, I mentioned that that poem needed grounding; even though this story is told from the perspective of a ship, it's absolutely grounded in its own character and its interactions with its human crew, and that's enough
  8. "A Moment in the life of a space amoeba" by S'Acul Aveunallliv reviewed by Aron Kells ----------------------------- I very much like to see experimental pieces, and especially after this author's last entry that I judged -- which, while it played with time, was much more a straightforward narrative -- I was pleased to see something quite different this time around. But with that said, I don't think that this piece works -- yet. I would very much like to see the author continue to work on it, as I think there are some beautiful moments, some very humorous moments, and a lot of potential, but th
  9. "A Moment in the life of a miracle worker" by Jorus Cogud reviewed by Aron Kells ----------------------------- This was one of the few brave entries that dared to break the short story standard, and it's well on its way to becoming a fine piece. I've always liked dialogue in poems, and this poem uses the spoken word to great effect. The stanza collections of tercets (three lines) are consistent throughout, and don't leave me wondering anything about the form of the poem. However, I would note that sometimes the content suffered at the hands of that form: There are many lines that don't do anyt
  10. "When Consciousness Isn't Life" by Kalianna Nicholotti reviewed by Karynn Brice --------------------------------- This was a story that grew on me. I have to admit that the first time I read it, I didn't quite catch all the interesting details that became more apparent as I went back to re-read it in preparation for writing my critique. I always like it when a story gives more on its second or even third time through, so if that was your intent, job well done. One of the things I caught and enjoyed the second time through was an interesting bit of irony. At the beginning of the sto
  11. "The Life in a Moment" by Velana reviewed by Alleran Tan ------------------------------ Okay, this piece had me right from the very beginning. Life in a Moment is a neat, snug little piece that tugs at the heartstrings and really hit the spot. It opens with an interesting question and a hospital scene that was well described and drew out the emotion in the reader. The scene was quite intense -- I had no idea what to expect and the ending came as a pleasant surprise -- and the very last line tied the whole story back to that opening line. I really liked this story and I thought it was masterful
  12. "Join Starfleet!" by Ben Livingston reviewed by Alleran Tan ------------------------------ Ens. Livingston's piece surprised me, actually, by being written in sim style. While that's certainly permitted, I kind of feel that the writing challenges are a good place to stretch the writing muscles that don't get as much of a workout. We read a lot of sims as active writers -- it's nice to read something else every now and agian. It also surprised me by presenting the recruiter telling a crowd about Starfleet who was, himself, subsequently 'told'. It's an interesting look at a pivotal point in a ch
  13. "A momentary Resistance" by Ben Walker reviewed by Alleran Tan ------------------------------ When I review pieces I tend to write the review as I read it, and I can usually tell within a few paragraphs if I'm going to like it or not. So, while my initial "draft" of this review was fairly critical, the backspace key got a fair bit of work today. This piece by Ben Walker starts a bit slow and is fairly predictable, but it gets better as it gets along. I want to be clear about this though: it's not bad. It's just competing against quite a number of other pieces of truly exceptional quality, so..
  14. "The Desperate Engineer" by Idril Mar reviewed by Toni Turner ------------------------------ In truth, at first I didn't collate the connection between the opening statement with the lyrical flow of "The Desperate Engineer", but the more I kept reading, the more the tune of "Camp Grenada," kept popping into my head. I kept asking myself, "Where have I heard this before?" Finally getting the tune embedded into my reading, I got it. "Hey! I got it!" And then the charm of the lyrics came through, along with the humor of the situations stated. I more than chuckled at the prospects of finding Bric
  15. "Barely holding it together" by Arden Cain reviewed by Toni Turner ------------------------------ "Barely holding it together" was a good fast-paced read that held my attention to the very last, when Mr. Cain delivered an unexpected punch line, that left me laughing in spite of the desperate situation he painted for his character. Admittedly, as the CO at the Embassy, Duronis II (A.K.A. Til'ahn), I know the answers to the questions that the story may have raised, like . . . What is her species? What distinguishes the species from others? What is fielding? I saw several places where some of her
  16. Happy September, everyone, and I'm pleased to bring you, courtesy of our lovely Challenge judges, the winners of August's special contest! The winner of the August Writing Challenge is Velana with her story "The Life in a Moment." Our runner-up, for the second contest in a row, is Idril Mar, with her bouncy "The Desperate Engineer." Congratulations to them, and thanks to everyone who participated. The option to include poetry or verse in future contests is something I'd like to implement, but when it happens again, we will likely have separate winners in fiction and poetry genres. Thank you to
  17. Thank you to everyone who entered this challenge! I haven't seen such a fantastic turnout for a while! This contest is now officially closed, and we should have results for you in about a week. Thanks again for participating!
  18. Greetings and various apropos felicitations, Writing Challenge enthusiasts, and welcome to this special August Challenge! Read this introduction carefully, as any entries that don't follow the guidelines will be disqualified. A collaboration between last month's winner Dave, aka Alleran Tan, and I had resulted in this special August theme: "A Moment In The Life Of..." Every entry must be under 1000 words for this round, which means that flash fiction and short-short stories would be ideal. However, I'd also like to open the Challenge up to some forms we haven't seen before. For example, how ab
  19. "Captain's Personal Log...." by Tyr Waltas reviewed by Arden Cain ------------------------------ Being a Captain of a starship is no easy task. While trained to handle diplomacy, combat and to give the appearance of unwavering control even in the face of tragedy it is surely the emotional conflicts that hit a Captain worst of all. This story isn't new one but it is one that should be remembered. The way the story progresses from a fairly calm minded person to one in a rawer emotion state was very well done. Imagery used along the way was also quite fitting to this piece. If there was one thing
  20. "Ethical Considerations" by Alleran Tan reviewed by Karynn Brice -------------------------------- I just want to start my review by saying "Great Job!" This was a terrific piece that I enjoyed reading more than once. Your theme was engaging and kept me both interested and contemplating long after I had finished reading. In classic Trek style, you took a concept that is still controversial and repackaged it to give us a chance to look at it from a different perspective. I have very little to constructively criticize in this entry. I think there were a few places where, for me, the pace seem
  21. "Hard Decisions" by Vid-Lotilija reviewed by Kali Nicholotti --------------------------------- It’s always nice to get a view of things from a perspective that is outside the normal Federation or Starfleet realm directly, and in this story, readers get a glimpse of what a Romulan family, at least partially, might be like. With all of the ‘charms’ you might expect of Romulan society, along with hints of just how dark the secrets might run, Hard Decisions gives us a view of the other side. The idea of an El Aurian, who had been completely immersed within Romulan culture, then going to serve in S
  22. "Trek Noir" by Idril Mar reviewed by Aron Kells ----------------------------- Immediately afterward, I thought thank god it wasn't an opera! Said Louise Fletcher of her time on DS9: "...That's over-acting not in a negative way, it's just sort of operatic, and everybody can be big, because it's a big environment, and the emotions are big. It's just like that black and white thing, the good and the evil and the power. It's sort of like the seven deadly sins. How do you act those in a small way?" But what this story does so deftly is exactly the opposite of what Fletcher identified in Trek. "Trek
  23. "The Creature: Alone" by Edward Johnson reviewed by Aron Kells ----------------------------- This piece does takes on the task of a first-person look at an entity that isn't a person at all; and while its title gives you some clue of what's to come, the power of the story is in its telling. A first-person story must have a strong voice, and this story does -- though what that voice might sound like, I'm not sure. In several places, its "new" descriptions of familiar sensations allow it an innocent sensibility, and its mix of sensations and stolen memories produces a mix of knowns and unknowns
  24. Hello, folks, and welcome to the end of July! Our tireless judges of this special short contest have convened, voted, and returned to the mysterious depths from which they came, and I'm pleased now to announce our winners. The winner of the July Writing Challenge is Alleran Tan, with his story "Ethical Considerations"! Our runner-up is Idril Mar for her "Trek Noir"! Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to everyone who participated. To those of you who were entered in the Ongoing Worlds contest, their reactions will likely be mailed straight to you; regardless, any good news will be also
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