RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

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

Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Ballistichimp » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:12 pm

Well done Eremite!

Jolly good show old boy!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Commander Shadow » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:04 pm

Great job Ermite and Balistichimp! Great job everyone!
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Stuart000X » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:14 pm

Well done all :) How many votes did i get?
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby J D Dunsany » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:16 pm

Stuart000X wrote:Well done all :) How many votes did i get?


You got eight - including a first place vote. Not too shabby, stu! :D

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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Eremite » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:17 pm

Thanks to everyone for their votes and kind words!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Mossy Toes » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:21 pm

Great job Eremite and Chimp. Both of you deserve it, definitely.
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Tyrant » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:26 pm

Well done everyone, a great competition and a well-deserved winner!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Stuart000X » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:34 pm

J D Dunsany wrote:
Stuart000X wrote:Well done all :) How many votes did i get?


You got eight - including a first place vote. Not too shabby, stu! :D

JDD


Not too shabby at all :)
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Gundi da Grot » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:52 pm

Congrats Eremite! Sorry I missed out on the voting, though it wouldn't have changed the final outcome any ("The Sound of Wings" and "Awaking" were my favorites and would have gotten my top votes :) ). There were a lot of really great entries this month. Kudos to everyone for some jolly good reads!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Raziel4707 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:01 am

Congratulations guys, another corker of a competition!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Jelboy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:23 am

Well done, Eremite!
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby LordLucan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:21 pm

Well done Mitey one!

Here is my thoughts on this month's entries:

Shattered dream/

I loved this story squiggle. A rather pathetic (pathetic in its original sense, ie, it has pathos) death scene of an ambitious but fatally doomed Astartes. His feeble attempts to rise halfway through the story was a nice touch, and I liked how his memories continually shifted from past to present. I think it would have worked well if the present scenes had been done in present tense. I like this low-key style from you mister squig.

I’m Already There/

Oh there are some choice lines in this piece that I really liked. The closing lines particularly had some resonance. I think you captured this snapshot of the final smouldering embers of the Siege really well. I personally would have had more visual description of the wounded palace, but that’s purely stylistic choice.
This story worked on several levels, as I wasn’t quite sure where we were until the latter half. To beign with I thought Loyalist 40k marine afflicted with nurgle rot, then chaos marine, then specifically world eater, then finally, as you reveal the palace looming over the stricken warrior, it clicked. I like being led along like that. Nice one.
I didn’t like the phrase ‘erected up’ however. That phrase just sounds like ‘they made him stand up upwards’; its rather superfluous terminology there.

Under the Spreading Pluquat Tree/

I liked the mood swing which sweeps through this story at its conclusion. Throughout the story there is a light and airy sort of feeling to the pluqat garden; as if it is all not quite real. And through this opening description and depiction of two lovers dallying in the wild, there is this sense of unease. But then it strikes you right between the eyes when she erupts into full psychic apocalypse.
I do think the black Ships and what prompted her outbreak needed to be subtly inferred earlier. Perhaps her eyes kept lingering on a spot in the sky, and her lover doesn’t know what she’s looking at, and assumes it is her being wistful, when actually, she is sensing something... someone... coming.
But I really love your descriptions and ability to create a strange, eerie environment.

The Standard at Mourning/

Vyan’s POV was masterfully written here Shadow, and his heartbreaking denial is neatly depicted without it being thrust into our faces. I don’t think I’ve really read much by you before, but I have to say this was one of the best entries in my opinion. The imagery of the crying angels and the sight of a single returning soldier, standing alone with the banner, just got across the sheer scale of destruction 40K battles involve, without ever needing to show a single death.
I am really liking this month’s spate of stories set just beyond the battles raging eternally between the lights of civilisation. It works so effectively at portraying the underpinnings of grimness that 40K runs on.

Fickle Fates/

An intriguing idea Razh. I liked the twist that the Eldar had ensnared a daemon inside the prison. However, I feel that some of your description is a little authoritative, and some of your descriptions felt like you were just telling us what was there rather than depicting it. The pacing was slightly off, as the main plot point was introduced and resolved in the space or two paragraphs, while the exposition dialogue took up the majority of the piece.
Good ideas, but the presentation needs a little work.

Business as usual/

Ooh this piece has some delicious description. I really like when you get short description which invokes so much imagery. The opening recollections of her degradation and memories which ‘scrape her mind red raw’. The primal screaming that obliterates the self was another wonderful line. Love it!
Again, another small scale facet of 40K, demonstrating the casual, grubby low-key evil of the Imperium’s underworld culture. The nature of the girl in the transport was not a surprise, but the writing was so very brilliant in this story. I cannot emphasise how much I loved some of the lines in the present-tense assassin sections. Also, I liked how the grubby slavers were in the past tense, while she was in the present tense; ever alert, she never looks back. The assassin being solely present-minded fits really well structurally.

The Black Knight/

I wish I could write battle scenes like this. The battle here is gritty and skilless, and the brutality is depicted with the perfect amount of description which avoids cluttering the flow of the battle. The way he saws the Gor’s throat open was beautiful man! :D
His wife’s death was handled well. You avoided melodrama I felt. The simple vision of a future life un-led was effective enough.
Also, the ending opens up some interesting possibilities. Wood elves, beastmen and the black knight? Class. I wonder if he’ll meet the queen of the forest... interesting theological revelation for him...
Nice one Atlantic.

Red Revolutions/

That was a great character piece. Abram was rounded as a character very quickly and effectively, demonstrating your supreme skill at dialogue, which also comes through in the early parts with the PDF. This story, in light of current events, seems especially poignant imo, and is all the more powerful for this.
This RiaR seems replete with these behind the scenes images of squalid atrocity. When read together as I have been doing, it works really well almost as an anthology of Imperial sinfulness. Great stuff.

Waking/

Necrons! You actually fooled me there. I thought it’d be a man mourning his faily, but in the end, the shattered dream was not broken through grief, but through hatred. Epic.
This is the entry which I feel most completes the RiaR brief which opens this thread. I like how the images begin to collapse insidiously around the main character, as his personality and memories fall away from him like a veil.

Final Hours/

Kazan’s POV in this story was well written. His penultimate line was my favourite, and I feel you should have ended on it. ‘-and this is the tale I will never tell’ would be a resonant phrase to close upon imo.

Small victories/

From the first paragraph, I knew this was going to be awesome. The furious fluid dreamscape was brilliant, and contrasted rather harrowingly with the blunt reality which curtails the headlong madness of the collapsing fantasy.
Overall, this story was self-contained and very, very well crafted. I cannot fault any par tof it really.

I had a dream/

A Martin Luther King Speech put into 40K, with few changes.
Not a massive amount to critique here. Personally think the speech doesn’t fit within the setting, but others may disagree.
Not this way/

I like your portrayal of soldiers and in particular Guardsmen. It was effective in Valerion, and it was effective here. You sound the right sort of indefatigable yet utterly hollow mindset of a Guardsman vet. They aren’t die hard badasses, but just guys who won’t stop, even if they want to. I think this is very well executed.

Flask/

This would have been my second fav vote here. The character of the hell-world comes across vividly. I love Brucke and his miserable persona. You can’t break someone who no longer cares. I thought this was a neat tale and really stands on its own. One of your best Jelboy. I didn’t think the end was abrupt or anything. The collector is not the focus; the foulness of Mlaxos and its immunity to further horror.

The Sound of Wings/
I can see why this won Eremite. An ingenius use for the Space marine organs, and a truly sinister, terrifying foe. I like that they are NEVER explained. They’re like the midnight fiend in Doctor Who, or other such inscrutable fiends.
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Tyrant » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:07 pm

Thanks for the comments LL. I was really trying to get into their mindsets with this piece and I'm glad it seems to have worked!
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Valerion

I think Valerion could stand toe-to-toe with the best of Gaunt's Ghosts. I loved it. Gundi Da Grot

The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

Tash'shi is made of win and awesome. Raziel4707
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby J D Dunsany » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:25 pm

LL, thanks for some really thoughtful comment. That's the nicest bit of crit I've had in a long while. Cheers! :D

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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Raziel4707 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:28 pm

Seconded. Really, thanks mate! It means a lot when someone says something like that, particularly in a place where fair criticism is exchanged so freely.
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Mossy Toes » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:38 pm

Tyrant wrote:Thanks for the comments LL. I was really trying to get into their mindsets with this piece and I'm glad it seems to have worked!

His crit really rings, to me, of the Malazan Book of the Fallen--which fits really good there.

Thanks, LL! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Tyrant » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:52 am

I'm afraid you lost me there, Mossy! :oops:
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Valerion

I think Valerion could stand toe-to-toe with the best of Gaunt's Ghosts. I loved it. Gundi Da Grot

The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

Tash'shi is made of win and awesome. Raziel4707
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Squiggle » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:06 am

Ll -thabks for the crit old son.glad you liked it.
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Mossy Toes » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:51 pm

The bit LL said about "You sound the right sort of indefatigable yet utterly hollow mindset of a Guardsman vet. They aren’t die hard badasses, but just guys who won’t stop, even if they want to," hits your story spot on and reminds me of a bunch of Malazan marines from Erikson's story. Rather out-of-the-blue, I know, but...
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Re: RiaR: Shattered Dream VOTING THREAD

Postby Tyrant » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:17 pm

I may have to read these books then!
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Cytheria

Valerion

I think Valerion could stand toe-to-toe with the best of Gaunt's Ghosts. I loved it. Gundi Da Grot

The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

Tash'shi is made of win and awesome. Raziel4707
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