FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11


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Post August 07, 2011, 05:09:40 PM

FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

We Need a Little Hero Challenge:



Imagine if you will that Evil is upon us. Good has done its best, but Evil was too strong, and now the good citizens are imprisoned and forced to work against their will.

These are the moments where that special part of our psyche that still believes! that good should prevail over evil, calls out in desperation for someone to help. Let someone, some being with powers or abilities better than ours, right the wrongs and injustices heaped upon us by our oppressors.

That’s right, we need a superhero, but don’t look up for this savior. Look down.

This challenge stretches your characterization skills to create a small or short hero. Oh, yes, and an unproven hero, at that. In no way are we looking to discriminate against anyone who might be considered height challenged. However, by requiring the hero be smaller, it forces the character to at look the world in a different way, and by association, so you the writer will as well. That’s good for your writing skills. Your hero can still become great and do great deeds. After all, Mighty Mouse wasn’t big, was he?

I challenge you to create a situation that calls for an unproven, diminutive or short superhero to “rise” to the occasion to right the wrongs being committed.



REQUIREMENTS: (1) Your story must tell the tale of one small or short character trying to defeat an evil situation that requires the character to become the superhero they were always destined to be; (2) 1,000 words or less, not counting title, byline, or "The End"; (3) The characters, setting, and story must be fictional and not previously published, even in these challenges; (4) One entry per author; (5) Give your story a title and a byline; and (6) Keep it clean. Rated 'PG-13'. (Basically, think, "Could I see this on CSI?")

CHARACTERS & SETTING: No copyrighted characters or settings, or references thereto. Famous, non-copyrighted fictional characters like Santa Claus, or religious figures such as the Devil, named angels such as Gabriel, or gods like Thor, etc. as supporting characters at best and at my discretion. The Wicked Witch and Dracula may be in the public domain, but don't expect me to allow them. No person that was ever a "real life" human being may be used as a character, but can be referred to, as in "President Kennedy had declared it would be so." Except as noted above under non-copyrighted fictional persons, character names may not be copied from fiction or real life, even if changed, i.e. Char-les Darween. All non-copyrighted settings are ok. Famous, unique sites like Stonehenge may be used over and again. No fan fiction or sequels, so don't bother putting your story in the Land of Oz or that great place you thought up two challenges ago.

DISQUALIFICATIONS/REFUSALS: If, in my judgment, any requirement or rule is missed, I won't post the story for voting, but authors are free to resubmit with changes until the deadline. Should a story be initially accepted and posted in the challenge, but then later judged by me to be in violation, the story may be disqualified and removed from contention at any time before contest end. Authors who feel a story may be in violation should send me a PM and state their case.

HOW TO ENTER: Stories must be sent by PRIVATE MESSAGE, and NOT posted into a thread. Just click the 'PM' button at the bottom of this post and paste your story in the message. You are responsible for doing your own formatting, and leave an extra line between paragraphs, just like when you see them in the 'zine. I will allow different colors, but not changed fonts or sizes, artwork, or any other embedded or external links.

DO NOT send a regular email to me.

Stories will be posted "blind"--without the author's name on them. All the story titles are literally tossed into a pith helmet and chosen at in random order. When the poll closes after the voting week, I'll post a list of the stories and who wrote them. All entries will then be reposted in the Flash Archive with the author's byline.

Entries from new authors are strongly encouraged. C'mon. Give it a try!

NOTE: ONLY REGISTERED MEMBERS who have posted at least one message may submit a story. Without that one post, the system will not let you send a PM.

DEADLINE: Stories should be in by 9 p.m. Central Standard Time (GMT-6), Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. The stories will then be posted for voting at 10 p.m. Voting will close on Monday, Sept. 5 at approximately 9 p.m., GMT-6.

NEW! VOTING: Voting this time will be a trial of a new system. Voters will be provided a list of the stories that are entered in the challenge. Voters will rank the entries from best to worst and send the ranked list to me via PM. A point will be awarded to each story for whatever position they are given. The winning story will be the one which received the fewest points.

For example, three stories are entered, (called A, B, & C for this example) and are ranked by a voter. That voter gives story A 1st place, Story C second place, and story B last place. A gets 1 point. C gets 2 points. B gets 3 points. The next voters will do likewise. The lowest total score wins.

Every effort will be made to keep the voting fair. In the past, some voters have abstained from voting for some of the stories while voting for the others. Since total points scored decided the winner, this put the stories that weren't voted on at a disadvantage. Therefore “skipped” stories will be given marks equaling whatever the story's average is at the time of contest close. A challenge entrant who does not vote for the other stories will receive a 30% increase in their own score at the time of contest close, and the other stories will be given marks equaling whatever their story's average is at the time of contest close. Authors may not rank their own story.

If more than two stories are tied at the end of voting, there will be a succession of one-day runoff votes until a single winner is chosen or the number of winners is reduced to two.

WHAT YOU WIN: Writers get improved short fiction skills, increasing their chances in the marketplace, without the lengthy investment in time a longer story would take. That, as well as bragging rights and pride--there is stiff competition each month amongst some great stories.

LEGAL STUFF: I'll try to do my best lawyer impersonation: By entering this challenge you are technically granting Aphelion: The Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy perpetual electronic rights only to post and archive your challenge entry. Aphelion would rather not lay any claim on them at all, but by posting them on a public site, they'd legally count as being published no matter what.

Ok. A real lawyer would have been less interesting. I tried.

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Post August 07, 2011, 05:30:29 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

kailhofer wrote:NEW! VOTING: Voting this time will be a trial of a new system. Voters will be provided a list of the stories that are entered in the challenge. Voters will rank the entries from best to worst and send the ranked list to me via PM. A point will be awarded to each story for whatever position they are given. The winning story will be the one which received the fewest points.

I like this! Even a caveman can do it! (Now, do I owe "Geico" a royalty payment?)

Thanks Nate
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Post August 07, 2011, 08:55:17 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

SHORT CHALLENGED

What a crock.
Them's of us that are short, myself included, have no challenge, we are short and no amount of anything is going to make us any fricken taller. IT ain't a challenge. It's reality.

Now if you want to deck a 6 foot something, no challenge! You either get on a chair and punch his headlights out of pay some goon to do it. NO Challenge.

That PC crap is just that. Everyone is too sensitive to what need not be. Get over it. My feet have a problem touching the earth from most motorcycle perches on a stop. Now that is a challenge to overcome. Solutions:
fall over (done that),
modify the seat, (done that too)
or look for the section of the road where the heavy trucks push the asphalt up in a little crest a bit higher that the rest of the road. Rest your foot there. It works, sometimes. I don't ask for sympathy, just a hand getting a 600 lb bike off my booted foot. I've had to do it alone too.

Tall ladies don't want a short guy? No challenge, make a shit load of money.

But really we must get over too much coddling where just plain old acceptance of the situation is the best medicine, and move on.

****
Interesting contest. Nate, since I'm way down here, I can only assume you must be talking about me as your super hero. I accept. So if anyone wants to talk to me about how I'd do it, feel free to call.

RT
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Post August 08, 2011, 12:27:06 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

Mark, I think you just found your caveman . . .


-- Oh, and Nate -- does this hero have to be human?
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Post August 08, 2011, 02:52:06 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

I just have had an idea...so, just the time to write it down...eh,eh :mrgreen:

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Post August 08, 2011, 06:07:09 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

kailhofer wrote:NEW! VOTING: Voting this time will be a trial of a new system. Voters will be provided a list of the stories that are entered in the challenge. Voters will rank the entries from best to worst and send the ranked list to me via PM. A point will be awarded to each story for whatever position they are given. The winning story will be the one which received the fewest points.


I think I prefer this new voting system too!

I'll leave it to my betters to chime in with which D&D stat this resemble. (Quick guess is THAC0?)

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Post August 08, 2011, 06:09:55 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

rick tornello wrote:****
Interesting contest. Nate, since I'm way down here, I can only assume you must be talking about me as your super hero. I accept. So if anyone wants to talk to me about how I'd do it, feel free to call.

RT


I'm not so sure I can get the "Hobbitsses" out of my mind on this one, but the challenge could be really funny if we all did "Put Rick Tornello in great danger and see if he can get the world out of it"! :wink:
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Post August 08, 2011, 09:58:40 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

Lester Curtis wrote:-- Oh, and Nate -- does this hero have to be human?

Nope. Non-humans are just fine.
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Post August 08, 2011, 10:00:23 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

TaoPhoenix wrote:
rick tornello wrote:****
Interesting contest. Nate, since I'm way down here, I can only assume you must be talking about me as your super hero. I accept. So if anyone wants to talk to me about how I'd do it, feel free to call.

RT


I'm not so sure I can get the "Hobbitsses" out of my mind on this one, but the challenge could be really funny if we all did "Put Rick Tornello in great danger and see if he can get the world out of it"! :wink:

That would be pretty funny! :D
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Post August 09, 2011, 01:07:53 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

kailhofer wrote:
Lester Curtis wrote:-- Oh, and Nate -- does this hero have to be human?

Nope. Non-humans are just fine.

All right, then . . . I'm cooking up an idea for this one.
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Post August 09, 2011, 11:19:29 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

My entry has already been sent today...eh,eh :D
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Post August 09, 2011, 04:42:28 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

Mine's in . . . maybe a new record response for me. If I had stayed up and worked on it last night, I'd have beaten Sergio.

No matter. I'm interested in seeing how this new experimental voting is gonna work out.
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Post August 10, 2011, 09:16:12 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

:D :D :D

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Post August 12, 2011, 10:14:50 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

I'm working on one, but don't know if I'll change my mind as start another story.

It will be interesting to see how the new voting-system works.
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Post August 13, 2011, 12:21:46 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

2 accepted so far. 1 still undecided ("small" question :D ).

Some very interesting takes on what makes a superhero so far. I'm impressed.
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Post August 13, 2011, 01:30:20 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

I just got the word, mine's been accepted. Thanks, Nate.

I have a feeling this challenge is going to produce some exceptionally good material.

C'mon, folks, get 'em in here! Let's see what you've got!
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Post August 13, 2011, 02:38:21 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

kailhofer wrote:2 accepted so far. 1 still undecided ("small" question :D ).

Some very interesting takes on what makes a superhero so far. I'm impressed.


How small is small!? Can a Nanobot AI be a hero?
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Post August 14, 2011, 12:50:28 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

TaoPhoenix wrote:How small is small!? Can a Nanobot AI be a hero?

If you can tell it as a good story, it's ok. If you can make a superhero, intelligent quark, you can do it.
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Post August 22, 2011, 07:56:31 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

The evil ice gnome has accepted my pitiful offering so I'm in! And it's the best story every written by any human in the Solar System!
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Post August 22, 2011, 08:57:20 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

:D

There aren't humans in the solar system anymore,as the modern man is only the missing link between apes and human beings. :lol: :lol: :lol:

by Author Unknown

:oops:
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Post August 22, 2011, 10:18:44 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

ente per ente wrote::D

There aren't humans in the solar system anymore,as the modern man is only the missing link between apes and human beings. :lol: :lol: :lol:

by Author Unknown

:oops:

I guess that explains the nagging feeling of incompletedness I sometimes get . . .
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Post August 23, 2011, 02:50:37 AM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

:lol: :lol: :lol:
me too...eh,eh

:D :D :D

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Post August 28, 2011, 08:49:26 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

Got mine in!
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Post August 28, 2011, 10:52:37 PM

Re: FLASH CHALLENGE: August '11

NEW VOTING is now underway.

Stories are posted as a global announcement again to get maximum exposure. The only bad part about doing it that way is that none of the followup messages are listed as there being a new message on that board, so some people may not notice it right off.

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