?

Which story should win? Cast your vote HERE!

Poll closed Wednesday at 4:58 AM.
  1. Derivatives, Integrals and AB Negative

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. Blood Will Tell

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. Some Kind of Mistake

    8 vote(s)
    44.4%
  4. From Venus with Drugs

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. The Silent War

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. ROMANIAN ROULETTE

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. Dan McLeod

    Dan McLeod Member

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    I voted for Derivatives Integrals and AB Negative.
    I thought the execution was clumsy, but the idea and the characters were really good.
    I liked the concept, but my advice would be to think about how the conversation between the guard and vampire could have felt more 'real'.
    We caught a glimpse of him at the start, but what led him to anticipate their smoke form? Could the notions of the classic vampire tales have been introduced by him, as opposed to ideal conversation between the vampires?
     
  2. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    Derivatives, Integrals and AB Negative (2229):

    Vampires...: . how original. The trope has been done to death. It has some problems that probably only I would see (being a plot Nazi) so I won't comment further. It did have something to do with the prompt so I'll give it that.

    Blood Will Tell:
    I had issues with belivability on this one. I knew where it was going to end up way too soon. It was either the brother or the lab tech from the get go. Did it have anything to do with blood sample vials? Not directly no. I think the prompt is important.

    Some kind of Mistake:
    I found this story to be very readable except the the whole front end was a giant train wreck. I found myself saying to the character "oh, stop whining and die already." Us old sob's get used to the idea of death and the certainty that there is no way to prepare for it. Over all well written though. No mention of the prompt, at all.

    From Venus with Drugs:
    Well, okay.... I don't know what the story was about. No set up, no resolution, no charaters that I cared about. Blood vials were mentioned but (near as I can tell about a story I didn't understand) played no role in the plot... if there was one. It was one long sentence.

    The Silent War:
    Some group of spacemen or another is going to take the Earth... I don't care. No one to like in this story ( a common failing of mine too.) Mentioned but didn't use the prompt in an intergrel way.

    ROMANIAN ROULETTE:
    Another vampire story. Very readable. Opening was a bit long. The prompt was not really a necessary part of the story. Well written.

    It's between ROMANIAN ROULETTE and Some Kind of Mistake for my vote and the winner is.... and then the phone rang and I clicked the wrong radio button. When I came back to the voting I voted without checking. If Some Kind of a Mistake wins by one vote... OY OY OY. Not that it wasn't a good story but it didn't use the prompt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019 at 2:37 PM
  3. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    All the stories had an imaginative and captivating story-line this time that held my interest all through reading them.

    Romanian Roulette and The Silent War were particularly imaginative, both evoking the fantasy genre pretty well - with Romanian Roulette being the slightly more ambitious of the two. I also enjoyed the vampire genre as it was captured in Derivatives, Integrals and AB Negative & it was unusual to be rooting and supporting the vampires in this story

    Blood Will Tell - I felt that as a crime story it could have been stronger and there were a lot of loose ends that needed tying up. Overall it felt a little flat. But crime isn’t a very easy genre to capture successfully.

    From Venus With Drugs - the crime story was evocative and the storyline captured my attention for more than half of the way but the writing lacked a bit of lustre at the end and it was a little disappointing because the story was somewhat more intriguing where it had started off. Perhaps it would work more if the beginning parts were evoked a little more near the end. Just a suggestion.

    HOWEVER

    my vote goes to Some Kind of Mistake . The story appealed to me because I felt like I got a glimpse of reality and into the head and emotions of a patient going through cancer and also what it may be like for their families - in this case Henry - who is struggling to help Ann get through this difficult time. It’s incredibly sad that some people give up on life the way Ann did. The twist was also INCREDIBLE because Ann didn’t have cancer therefore the turmoil she was going through was purely a psychological one NOT a physical one. It’s incredibly unfortunate when people resign themselves to the word of the doctor and give up on life the way she did instead of holding on and seeing the situation through. Consequently I found myself caring for both Ann and Henry and hoping they would see themselves through the turmoil.

    I thought the twist at the end was brilliant! But the bit where she kills herself was possibly a little too dramatic as the first twist itself would have been sufficient!

    This story therefore made me THINK and thus very deserving of my vote! BRAVO author!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019 at 9:26 PM
  4. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    Only 10 votes... that's a little low for the story comp. The prompt not floating many boats this month?
     
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  5. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Could this be because of the same issue the poetry contest was having before?? People can now SEE the results before voting so their curiosity isn’t tickled enough to vote and find out?? It could be the case. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows?
     
  6. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    I think it was just a very hard prompt and... most of the entries didn't show up until the last minute so it means a lot of reading all at once. Unless you specifically ask to see the results without voting (to the best of my knowledge) you can't.
     
  7. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    @exweedfarmer, I think your point is a good one: there was a rush right at the end. There's still some time. @dbesim, I don't think you can see it without voting? I know I can't.
     
  8. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Um. I don’t know. I thought I did before I voted. :superconfused: Maybe it was temporary. Can’t confirm this right now, though, because my vote’s already declared. It doesn’t usually happen with the SSC but I thought (strangely) the option was available.
     
  9. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

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    Viewing before voting was deffo enabled - I viewed before voting (and immediately wished that I hadn't because I wondered whether it would skew my vote!)

    I did think that the quality was very high this month (maybe because I didnt enter...) but one did stand out to me

    Some Kind of Mistake
     
  10. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks @Hammer for confirming this! :D I thought I was going loco :crazy:
     
  11. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Dammit, that wasn't supposed to happen. Not a policy change folks, just a mod who screwed up this month.

    Sorry, we'll be back to completely secret ballots next month.
     
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Horse out, check.

    Barn door locked, check.
     
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  13. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

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    You may well be, but if this is the only symptom, you're probably ok.

    For now... (c:
     
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  14. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    Have to say I liked something about every entry. A couple forced me to really think before voting.

    Kudos to all entrants!
     
    dbesim likes this.
  15. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    Oh, okay. I think I might have been the first person to vote so that's why I didn't notice. Glad to hear it'll be going back to normal next time.
     
  16. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Fourteen votes so far! Is not too bad actually.
     
  17. Tralala

    Tralala Member

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    Good luck everyone. It was really hard to choose.
     
  18. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    Yep - sixteen now. Normality is resumed.
     
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  19. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Looks as if the entry I voted for, Some Kind of Mistake, has won the contest—unless there is a last-minute flurry of voting before October 16 comes around all over the planet. I'm very pleased.

    The story stood out for me. It kept my attention from the very start, and the development of the two main characters AND the substory (the reaction of the couple's adult children) was perfectly handled. I could feel both the love the man had for his wife and his frustration and grief at her diagnosis, but also the alienation they experienced as well. I know from personal experience that when a loved one becomes so ill, they do become slightly isolated as they cope with what is happening to them. It's hard to know exactly what they are thinking, especially if they shut down, as the wife did. Ultimately we do all die alone, don't we?

    However, the one thing I would have changed is the ending of the story. Yes, it's a very effective ending that she died, but I do question the method. She was very frail (in actuality, having refused food, etc) and I suspect would have been physically unable to arrange a hanging—choose the hanging device, figure out where to hang it and how to tie the knot, move furniture so she could step up to it, then kick the support away, etc, all done while her husband was on the telephone. That just seemed to stretch belief a bit too far.

    For me, it would have worked better if she had swallowed an overdose of painkillers, or maybe just died from stress. (Which was also plausible, and might have been even more effective and less melodramatic.) Stress DOES kill, and she had certainly been through it ...and had become very frail as a result.

    However, that aside, it was a fantastic (albeit harrowing) story, set in the 'real world.' Congratulations.
     

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