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> "Initiation" Fiction Submission
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tisoz
post Jun 5 2006, 10:06 PM
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I held off for late submissions, and other reasons. Here is the lone submission.

[edit] I just thought of a third option - adding it to the General Fiction Contest and posting those stories as there are almost enough for a nice contest.
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tisoz
post Jun 5 2006, 10:09 PM
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Acceptance In The Shadows
by Wounded Ronin

The magician wore an olive green trenchcoat and a tall top hat. He walked with an elegance which could only be produced by a charged mixture of forbidden knowledge and power over that knowledge. He blended, smooth and mysterious, with the shadows of the greasy alley through which he strode and even the fluttering screamsheet papers seemed to defer to him as they blew out of his way.

A voice crackled in his earset. "Okay, rookie, the door's to your left. I'm covering you with my Ranger Arms; go for it."

The magician flattened against the damp alley wall gathering himself up like a puma preparing to strike. Almost too fast to see he pivoted, and rushed into the door.

The problem was that he never actually opened the steel door first even though it was unlocked and bore an ordinary doorknob. He slammed into the door at full force, generated a tremendous clanging noise, and left a small blood smear from his forehead on the door as he fell backwards, his coat billowing, and crashed dazed on the alley floor. All the fluttering scream sheets immediately landed on him and sprinkled alley dust in his eyes.

"Nice one, rookie," crackled the earpiece.

Before either the magician or his sardonic earpiece could react the door exploded open so forcefully that it slammed against the alley wall. Twelve orc gang members equipped with dual AK carbines who looked exactly identical to one another immediately formed a circle around the magician.

"I can't take the shot! There's too many of them, they'll return fire! I'm out of here!" yelled the earpiece.

"GEEK THE MAGE! GEEK THE MAGE!"

The mage began to cast manabolt, but the dust in his eyes made it too difficult for him to acquire a target. The cool melancholy blue of night vibrated with the sound of 24 Eastern Bloc magazines being emptied in unison.

***

The shapeshifter was a fox stealing through the rainy streets of Seattle. His fur was damp and trash stuck to it. Nevertheless his eyes held the hunger of the awakened and he made his way towards the Yakuza safehouse.

While he crossed the street an urban animal control van collided with him, breaking every bone in his body. He flew ten feet in the direction of the impact. As his body began to repair itself two animal control men with stun batons fell upon him and delievered merciless shock after merciless shock to his groin. The rain drenching his furry animal form made the electricity conduct even better and try as he might he couldn't stave off the effects of the repeated blows in the slightest.

He spent the rest of his life in a kennel with no possibility of escape.

***

"Look. We just really, really don't want you," said the asian boy with the round face and round glasses. His hair was coarse and short and looked like black straw upon his head. His small 7th grader's body was well-concealed by the threefold piece of cardboard leaning in front of him.

"Guuuys....there's no other Shadowrun group in the middle school. Don't kick me out," cried the tiny caucasian boy with tightly controlled dirty blond curls in his particular tone of voice. His hands rubbed back and forth on the grey sweatshirt designed for a kid nearly twice his size.

The other two boys present, one Jewish and one asian, both wearing baggy pants, tee shirts, and flannels, didn't say anything. They only looked at each other knowingly and wondered what asinine but undeniably entertaining torments their GM would inflict on the unwanted newcomer next.
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PH3NOmenon
post Jun 5 2006, 10:57 PM
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something tells me there should a swordfish musterdball option in the pull... seeing s how atm the entry will come in second...


Then again, i don't really 'get' the story really... if it can be called that... though the individual pieces are somewhat entertaining they're not quite what i'd expect for an 'initiation linked story'...
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toturi
post Jun 6 2006, 01:28 AM
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It is a type of initiation, although it is one that tisoz didn't have in mind I reckon.

Give him the win for having the guts to send in the piece, but put his name to the piece so that we can hung the guts out to dry :P.
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Wounded Ronin
post Jun 6 2006, 02:05 AM
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How can there be a second place in a one horse race? A single horse wins by default.
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tisoz
post Jun 7 2006, 03:03 AM
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I once finished tops in 4H with a second place ribbon. I guess the judges did not think it deserved to win and go on to the next higher level of competition.

QUOTE (The Author)
How can there be a second place in a one horse race? A single horse wins by default.

It collapses and dies on the backstretch?
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mfb
post Jun 7 2006, 04:27 AM
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i voted for a win. the story is freaking hilarious.

although tossing this and the others into the general contest appeals to me. otherwise, the general contestants will never get read.
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SL James
post Jun 7 2006, 06:08 AM
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Agreed about the general contest. Perhaps it's time to just slap those up on DS since the last submission came like two months ago.
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FanGirl
post Jun 7 2006, 06:36 AM
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QUOTE (tisoz @ Jun 5 2006, 05:09 PM)
"Look. We just really, really don't want you," said the asian boy with the round face and round glasses. His hair was coarse and short and looked like black straw upon his head.

Holy crap, you just described Emo. :eek:

The only difference is that Emo is stockier than the boy that WR described. Other than that, the physical descriptions match very well.
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emo samurai
post Jun 7 2006, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (FanGirl @ Jun 7 2006, 01:36 AM)
QUOTE (tisoz @ Jun 5 2006, 05:09 PM)
"Look. We just really, really don't want you," said the asian boy with the round face and round glasses. His hair was coarse and short and looked like black straw upon his head.

Holy crap, you just described Emo. :eek:

The only difference is that Emo is stockier than the boy that WR described. Other than that, the physical descriptions match very well.

You just lost 3 karma points. :D :grr:
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tisoz
post Jun 7 2006, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE (SL James)
Agreed about the general contest. Perhaps it's time to just slap those up on DS since the last submission came like two months ago.

I got a couple more submissions for the General Fiction contest in the least few days. I was holding off announcing the update to try to keep the topic somewhat alive.

With regards to this entry, it is hardly even a story. I would think about half a dozen DS's could write a better story in about an hour. I do not think it deserves to win. If I believed so, I would have posted it and announced it was the winner. So far, the poll results agree with me.

The idea for having the contests was to get several pieces of fiction. That is why I am holding off for 10 submissions for the General Fiction contest. It disappoints me to see such a poor turn out. There have been 3, 4, 2 and now 1 submission for the contests.

Is anyone planning on entering Back to School Special, The Rigger's POV, or The Typical Datasteal? If not then I have 10 submissions overall. If so, how long will it take to finish them up?
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Platinum
post Jun 7 2006, 05:50 PM
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How many submissions do you have so far for the data-steal ... I might write up something but it would take me about 1-2 weeks... is that too far off?

I didn't start working on it before because my work is hit and miss and requires inspiration.
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PBTHHHHT
post Jun 7 2006, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (tisoz @ Jun 5 2006, 05:09 PM)
"Look. We just really, really don't want you," said the asian boy with the round face and round glasses. His hair was coarse and short and looked like black straw upon his head.


Ugh, that kinda described me also, except my hair back then was wavy/curly (not that common for asians, some friends thought I had it permed, ugh).
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PH3NOmenon
post Jun 7 2006, 07:22 PM
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QUOTE (tisoz @ Jun 7 2006, 12:35 PM)
I got a couple more submissions for the General Fiction contest in the least few days.  I was holding off announcing the update to try to keep the topic somewhat alive.
r.  So far, the poll results agree with me.

The idea for having the contests was to get several pieces of fiction.  That is why I am holding off for 10 submissions for the General Fiction contest.  It disappoints me to see such a poor turn out.  There have been 3, 4, 2 and now 1 submission for the contests.

Is anyone planning on entering Back to School Special, The Rigger's POV, or The Typical Datasteal?  If not then I have 10 submissions overall.  If so, how long will it take to finish them up?

The Typical Datasteal - Simple team pulling the simple data steal.
- December 1


I was working on one for this one, tiz. Should be done by december... ^.^

No seriously, give me a month or so (darn final-exams) and i'll have it ready... But i already submitted one to the general too, so no use waiting on my account.




Just my opinion, i'm not very experienced in this, but isn't 10 entries for a single contest rather steep? Most DS members have an attention span of 10 minutes, and i doubt they can read each story in under a minute...


;)
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toturi
post Jun 8 2006, 02:13 AM
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You should try the Drop Bear or Human vs Horror threads someday.

You cannot read either thread in 10 hours let alone 10 minutes.
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Lindt
post Jun 8 2006, 03:45 AM
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I might consider doing one for Riggers POV. But deadlines and I dont see eye to eye (I miss deadlines like I miss ex girlfriends)
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Wounded Ronin
post Jun 8 2006, 04:25 AM
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QUOTE (tisoz @ Jun 7 2006, 12:35 PM)

With regards to this entry, it is hardly even a story.  I would think about half a dozen DS's could write a better story in about an hour.  I do not think it deserves to win.  If I believed so, I would have posted it and announced it was the winner.  So far, the poll results agree with me.

I'm sorry that you feel that way. This story is actually based on events in my life back when I was in middle school and I saw players and GMs behaving in exactly this way. It's a true to life description of middle school dynamics I have witnessed. You may consider that as "hardly a story" but I thought that it was worth writing about.

I have decided to be perfectly honest and say that I feel like I've been treated a bit unfairly so far in this contest. My first story lead in the polls but you decided not to award me the prize because I had publically said that I would give any prize I might win to Hyzmarca instead of taking it for myself. Why should that make any difference in whether or not I win the contest? It has nothing to do with the quality of the story. Likewise, even though I, unlike the vast majority of DSFers, submitted fiction in good faith for all of the special topics except for one, I find that my enthusiasm for the contest is being repaid by disqualification in this case. Even if you did not like my story I took the time and effort to take a piece of my life and put it in narrative form. Nobody else has done this. And yet, my reward for entering the contest, doing the work, and putting my writing in the limelite for criticism is exactly the same as those who wrote nothing. I was originally seriously planning to sit down and take the time to write a story for "Rigger's Point of View", the only special topic for which I have not yet written, but now I certainly don't have the heart to do so.

Of course, specific rules for this contest haven't been spelled out and of course it is your perogative whether or not you want to award someone with a prize. I'm not saying that you can't do that, or that you shouldn't, or anything like that. I just feel like I've entered into this contest in good faith and spent a lot of time writing only to have been treated in a way which is significantly different from how contests, in the conventional sense of the word, are usually handled.

I cannot help but wonder if I would have been awarded the prize for the first special topic entry if only I hadn't revealed that I wanted to send any prizes to Hyzmarca instead of keeping it for myself.

I think that it would have been better if this event had not been called a "fiction contest", which implies a prize winner, and had instead been called a "fiction exposition" in which exceptional entries could be awarded prizes. That would have been a more accurate description and would have prevented this misunderstanding and disappointment on my part.
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eidolon
post Jun 8 2006, 04:43 AM
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Well, I can see your frustration WR. I can also see tisoz's. He goes to the effort of picking topics, getting the contest going, accepting and collecting entries, and running the voting threads. You go to the effort of writing stories for the contests, and take the chance of putting them out there for the public critique that they're bound to get.

Both of you have valid reasons for your frustrations. I hope they get resolved. (Perhaps a preflame "PMs are your friend" is in order?;))

As far as writing for the contests goes, tisoz, I think I could probably do some. However, my own knowledge of myself keeps me from doing things with deadlines most of the time. For cripes sake, I sent a mini out a month and a half ago, for the Reaper FALL '05 mini exchange! I try my damndest, but for some reason it always happens to me.

I've been extremely close to signing up for a couple of topics, but my desire not to dissappoint all involved usually keeps me out. Right now, I'm coming up on a move across an ocean. Maybe after I'm settled I'll start contributing.

WR, about the story. I have to admit, at first I wasn't a fan. At first read, it seemed choppy, far too short, and lacking in overall development. Then I got to the end, and felt left wanting. Where was the character development? Wait! Where were the characters?

Then I read the topic of the contest again. I was further confused! WTF?? Where was the quest? The oath? Where was the initiation??

Then...a dim bulb brightened. :D I reread the ending, and then reread the full story. Now, while I'm not able to say that it blew me out of the water, I do think it has a fun sense of style. I like that we see a couple of iterations of his character getting shat on by the "big bad mean GM". Ass for its length, it has the feel of a short snippet type story that you'd see in a magazine (which, if there were more stories in this contest, means it would have fit the bill perfectly).

Overall, once I read it without preconceptions, I enjoyed it. Definitely out of the range of what I expected in a story about "initiation", but it's neat.

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tisoz
post Jun 8 2006, 08:00 PM
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Wounded Ronin, I am sorry for previously trying to comfort your feelings in the Night of Rage submission. I liked the winning story better and felt it was more to the point of the topic. This submission also has me wondering where the initiation is.

I guess my use of the word contest can be disputed from here to hell and back, as Synner has already done regarding the official SR sites fiction submission. In my mind, they are about the same, both looking for similar outcomes and both willing to reward the deserving. Where they have not shown all the efforts and have paid for only 1 story, I have displayed all the entries and paid out multiple [book] payments, even for work that was not up to my hopes or expectations.

I am truly sorry for growing tired of the dismal entries and Dumpshock in general. I said elsewhere, I felt like wrapping up these contests and fading away, and I was promptly told not to let the door hit me in the ass on the way out. Check my posts to see how much I've stayed around since.

QUOTE (PH3NOmenon)
The Typical Datasteal - Simple team pulling the simple data steal.
- December 1


I was working on one for this one, tiz. Should be done by december... ^.^

No seriously, give me a month or so (darn final-exams) and i'll have it ready... But i already submitted one to the general too, so no use waiting on my account.




Just my opinion, i'm not very experienced in this, but isn't 10 entries for a single contest rather steep?

The Typical Datasteal should easily fit into the General Submissions. The time needed to get the story in is what I was looking for to try to be fair to people, but at the same time get me the fuck away from here.

I was waiting for 10 entries to avoid the scenario of the present issue of a single submission by the deadline. I think it is a poor excuse for a story. Wounded Ronin has written better stuff starting off a topic. I also did not feel like awarding a $50 - $75 book to the best of three or four subpar stories, ones that would not see the light of day on the official site. I also have no real problem of awarding multiple winners for the same contest if more than one story really blows me away.
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Wounded Ronin
post Jun 9 2006, 01:36 AM
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QUOTE (tisoz)
Wounded Ronin, I am sorry for previously trying to comfort your feelings in the Night of Rage submission. I liked the winning story better and felt it was more to the point of the topic.

That's fine with me; it's definitely your perogative. However, generally speaking, a contest entrant won't feel happy if you tell him that he lost for reasons unrelated to the quality of his performance. That's just common sense, isn't it?


QUOTE

This submission also has me wondering where the initiation is.


A middle schooler was trying to get initated into a group of Shadowrun players. However, the GM did not like him and kept treating him unfairly. It was a true-to-life initiation story of initiation into a gaming group.

QUOTE

I guess my use of the word contest can be disputed from here to hell and back, as Synner has already done regarding the official SR sites fiction submission.  In my mind, they are about the same, both looking for similar outcomes and both willing to reward the deserving.  Where they have not shown all the efforts and have paid for only 1 story, I have displayed all the entries and paid out multiple [book] payments, even for work that was not up to my hopes or expectations.


Certainly, as someone who is organizing and backing the event it's your perogative to set the rules. However, I felt like I was invited into the contest under mistaken pretenses.

Usually, a "contest" has a winner in each category. For example, if we went to an amateur boxing match with a $200 prize, we would be rather surprised if the organizer of the fight said, "I didn't like either boxer, so we won't actually give the prize out today."

Certainly, the term "contest" dosen't call to mind, "something designed to be similar to the official SR site's fiction submission but not actually a contest in the conventional sense of the word".



QUOTE

I am truly sorry for growing tired of the dismal entries and Dumpshock in general.  I said elsewhere, I felt like wrapping up these contests and fading away, and I was promptly told not to let the door hit me in the ass on the way out.  Check my posts to see how much I've stayed around since.


I'm sorry that you feel bored by the dumpshock community, victimized, and coerced. However, I am not your enemy. I never told you not to let the door hit you on the ass.

On the contrary, I came to you with enthusiasm and good intentions. I wanted your contest to be a success. I wanted there to be many entries. Because of my good intentions I wrote an entry for most of the special topics which is something that no one else on DSF, to my knowledge, has done.

If you feel like people have been mistreating you then please don't take that out on me. I only wanted to help make your event a success.


QUOTE

I was waiting for 10 entries to avoid the scenario of the present issue of a single submission by the deadline.  I think it is a poor excuse for a story. 


And yet, usually in a "contest" there's a winner for each category. It would be very unusual for an organizer to announce a contest but at the end of the contest reveal that he has decided not to give away the prizes after all.

I can understand why you might dislike an entry winning by default. And yet, that is one of the things which may happen in a "contest", if we're using the term "contest" in the way that most people understand it.

QUOTE

Wounded Ronin has written better stuff starting off a topic.  I also did not feel like awarding a $50 - $75 book to the best of three or four subpar stories, ones that would not see the light of day on the official site.


When I wrote the above story I took a creative risk. I decided to write about middle schoolers playing Shadowrun. I decided to write about group dynamics. This is an unusual topic for a Shadowrun story. To the best of my knowledge no one on DSF has written about that topic before. I decided to take a risk and try that angle. Maybe the story didn't "work"; that's always a possibility when you try to do something a new way.

Without disputing your right to choose your own winner in your own contest, I would suggest that the definition of "subpar" should not automatically include an artistic risk. I freely admit that perhaps my story did not "work". Some people didn't like it and one person wrote that he had to read it a few times to understand what the story was about. But if you think that I just threw the story together without any thought or any effort, you would be mistaken. I put a lot of thought into the subject matter and format of the story. The glib and cliched descriptions, for example, were deliberate because I was trying to imitate the kind of descriptions which a typical middle schooler might use in a role playing game.

QUOTE

I also have no real problem of awarding multiple winners for the same contest if more than one story really blows me away.


When I entered this "contest" I clearly had a different idea of what was intended for the event than you had.

Since the event I thought I was getting into was significantly different from the even which is now being held, I will withdraw all of my remaining entries from this contest.

I have put quite a lot into those two stories (they're much longer than the ones which have come up by me so far in this contest) and as I don't feel that they'll get a fair shake in this contest I no longer want to wait many months before being able to show these stories to the DSF community.

So, I withdraw them from the contest and will instead share them as normal threads with the rest of DSF.
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eidolon
post Jun 9 2006, 01:44 AM
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PM's PM's PM's PM's PM's!

Seriously, doing this in open forums never comes to any good outcome.
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SL James
post Jun 9 2006, 05:47 AM
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Where's the option for, "I'm dumber for having read this story?"

That's my vote.
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emo samurai
post Jun 9 2006, 03:07 PM
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That matters because you have good things to say about everything, and a random, unhelpful criticism is completely out of character for you, as opposed to being part of the background noise.
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tisoz
post Jun 10 2006, 06:02 AM
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You have convinced me, you win the contest. I'll PM you a list of books by tomorrow.
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emo samurai
post Jun 10 2006, 06:42 AM
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The forces of good triumph yet again. *pose*
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