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March & April Responses & Winners


Tony, aka Kells
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Thank you to everyone who entered our "Rabbits" Writing Challenge! I'm pleased to bring you the results now:



I'm excited to announce that the winner of the "Rabbits" Challenge is the writer behind Tyler Kelly, with his story "The Bunny Abides"! Our runner-up, with her Lewis-Caroll-inspired story, is the writer behind Jalana Laxyn and "Watch your head!" My congratulations to all of our entrants and these two writers in particular, and please join me in congratulating these talented writers in this thread!



My special thanks to my fellow judges for this round, the writers behind Fleet Captain Cascadia Rainier, Fleet Captain Toni Turner, and Lt. JG Sal Taybrim -- and a special note of thanks to Jamie, aka Sal Taybrim, for crafting responses to each of the stories for this round!


Edited by Egan Manno/Kells
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"The Bunny Abides"
Writer's Character: Tyler Kelly
Judge's Character: Toni Turner
"The Bunny Abides," although a tragic story, caught my attention with the purity of Mr. Kelly's creativity. It was a fast moving plot, that sucked you in from beginning to end, gave hope for the characters' survival, then snatched it away, staying true to the premise of the research being a "total failure."
I enjoyed the fact that Kelly let the reader see the plot from the viewpoints of Flagg and the Commander. Flagg, a broken desperate man crazed with grief from losing his family,yet still striving to the end to reach help; the Commander, a true Starfleet officer, realizing their fate was sealed from the beginning, but saving the USS Exodus from the same destiny.
And then there was the Bunny. . . A beloved pet, innocently infecting those in contact with it. Well done, Kelly! Very imaginative.
&
"The Bunny Abides"
Writer's Character: Tyler Kelly
Judge's Character: Sal Taybrim
This story gets major props for being ambitious. Of all the stories I found this idea the most compelling and it had the most lingering, haunting ending. If the technical aspects of this story were in place it would be an easy first for me, but there were several major areas where the writing could use improvement and polishing.
I like the idea that one simple animal could be the catalyst for destruction like the eye at the center of a hurricane, but overall this story left me wanting. I think the deaths of both the named characters on the shuttlecraft and the whole of the Exodus crew are cheapened by a lack of characterization.
The whole story could slow down and delve deeper into how Flagg’s broken mind was working when he decided to try to ran the shuttlecraft into the Exodus, and focus on the pain an innocent creature inadvertently caused.
My first read through of this was slowed by several tense and grammatical errors.
I kept wondering why the scientists weren’t infected and wiped out years ago. Suspension of disbelief was difficult when the shuttle careened into the Exodus as well. Why didn’t the shields hold up? How could an entire bridge crew be sleeping on the job?
This was a good starting idea, but it could use editing and strengthening of both the technical aspects of the writing and the plot to really shine.
***
"Run, Rabbit, Run!"
Writer's Character: Irina Pavlova
Judge's Character: Cascadia Rainier
This story showed an incredibly unique approach to dealing with the topic of a rabbit. One never expects it to take the turn it takes where the hunter becomes the hunted. There are mentions of trouble with going back in time, which seem to manifest themselves in the dream Irina has the night before returning to her time. This shows insight into the conscience of the character and was a very interesting way to build the story indeed.
While the ‘whole story’ is not known to everyone (I’m assuming it is to those better acquainted with Irina), the story does perfectly well as a standalone segment without a ton of background. Everything mentioned in the beginning has a point later, tying each thought together in an intricately beautiful way. As the reader approaches the end, the connections begin to coalesce, leaving us all wondering where it’s all going. The end is simple enough, with the dream unable to scare her from the attempt and her end goal. Though it also leaves us wondering what she really will find when she goes back in time.
Great job!
&
"Run, Rabbit, Run!"
Writer's Character: Irina Pavlova
Judge's Character: Sal Taybrim
This is extremely difficult to evaluate since this is an IC post. It strongly feels like a cut out of a larger picture, like someone took a scissors to a painting and they are only giving us a small square of a larger picture. I would suggest that if writers submit posts as entries in the future that they take the time to edit and add into their posts enough background information and characterization so the story can read clearly as a stand-alone to an outside audience who may have no information on the overall plot.
Problematically for me, the main character, (presumably the author’s PC?) comes off as staggeringly overpowered for her age in the first section. I felt like I was reading an excerpt from Ender’s Game rather than Star Trek. Without any further characterization, it made it difficult to connect with said character.
This is also obviously a part of a larger storyline that the audience does not understand the connotations of by simply reading the post. It is a character piece, which makes it difficult to know what development has come before, so I must solely focus on the development in the piece.
I don’t get much of a sense of Irina other than she’s lived many hundreds of years past a normal human lifespan, she has an issue with her father (?) and she is a mother. However elements of her personality do not shine though.
The description and setting in this piece are solid. I would say this story has the strongest writing in a purely technical sense. There are a few, but not many grammatical errors. The description of Sochi and Irina going through her box of trinkets is the strongest part of this post. The dialogue could greatly use more characterization and reaction from the characters, it reads very drily.
***
"Watch your head!"
Writer's Character: Jalana Laxyn
Judge's Character: Cassandra Egan Manno
Hands down, my favorite thing about this story is that it's just so much fun. It's essentially a good-natured roast of the Apollo's major characters (with its writer's PC as the big baddie, of course!) starring Lewis Carroll's Alice (of Through the Looking Glass and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, aka Alice in Wonderland). It's a big, fantastic idea and the story bounces right along, taking me from one character introduction to the next as Alice chases the White Rabbit through the decks of the Apollo. Even though I'm not super-familiar with the Apollo's crew, I knew enough (and the story explained enough) that I was right at home and enjoyed the story's character reveals as I thought I was meant to. Those character reveals definitely offered me most of the pleasure I found in the story, and therein is my major critique -- though it's not really a critique at all, really: There's nothing in the usage of Alice or Lewis Carroll's mythos that is absolutely integral to this story, by which I mean that this could've easily been a play on Peter Pan or a fairy tale and achieved the same pleasurable reveals of the Apollo crewmembers as familiar characters. If I would suggest one thing for this story, it would be that the story do more with the inherent weirdness of the Apollo-as-Wonderland: Really dive into the weird descriptions and sensory details that we (and our characters!) take for granted. Honestly, I'd love to see more of this sort of story, even if it isn't a return to Wonderland, so maybe that's a useful piece of advice for when the Apollo crew find themselves in Never-Neverland next time...?
&
"Watch your head!"
Writer's Character: Jalana Laxyn
Judge's Character: Sal Taybrim
I always liked dream-plays – part and parcel of being in technical theatre. This was fun: a short, lighthearted wild romp in a fantasy Apollo.
I imagine that this story, too, is more amusing if one was familiar with the Apollo and could catch the character references and/or take amusement at the dream-like character portrayals of PCs. That said, unlike Run, Rabbit, Run I felt this was a stand-alone post and I was not consistently asking questions of ‘why is this happening to the characters’
I do think that in a dream play style of work, solid description is everything. I would have liked to know more about the failed experiment – what about it was dangerous/forbidden/hallucinogenic?
I think that there is enough setting and description in this story to buoy the reader along. It works. However, I also feel this story could have benefited more from stronger description. A really vivid, poetic, visceral view of all these strange dreamscapes would have really made this story pop. Knowing it’s written from the point of view of Alice, the author could have played with having a pinpoint on Alice’s perceptions – and really playing up what Alice saw. If the Andorian was a blue giant, play up the description of his knees because they were at her eye level, or the smell and taste of the rapids as she was plunged into them.
And yes, I wanted Alice to confess at the end to bring everything full circle…
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Congratulations to our winners! All the stories were terrific, and difficult to judge. You guys didn't make it easy for us. :)

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Congrats to all!

I think all three of you were really close together and I agree, it was very difficult to judge!

Hope to read more from everyone in the future!

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