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Short Story Contest #7 - Space Opera

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Space Opera
Contestants are required to write a speculative, short, high-concept prose story, in a science fiction setting. "[Space operas are] a subgenre of speculative fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities. The name has no relation to music; it is analogous to soap operas. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale." [ ]


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  • The entry must be at least 2000 words, and may reach a maximum of 10,000 words.
  • The entry must be written in the third person.
  • Absolutely no plagarism.
  • All entries must be written in fluent English, illegible entries will be disqualified.
  • The entry must abide by the theme.
  • The story must be written in prose, focusing on the overarching theme and grand scale.
  • At least one WIP (Work In Progress) must be presented before the deadline.
  • The story may NOT be derived from preexisting works of literature/art by any author, including yourself.

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  • First Place: 50 reputation points and your entry on an award icon.
  • Second Place: 35 reputation points and an award icon
  • Third Place: 20 reputation points and an award icon

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  • Let us know if you would like to judge

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80 % of the winner shall be determined by the contest's appointed judge(s).
  • Score shall be taken out of 50 points,
    • 15 for Style
    • 10 points for theme
    • 10 points for pacing
    • 10 points for creativity and originality
    • 5 points for eloquence
20 % of the winner shall be determined by the results of a public poll.

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This contest shall begin on August 10th and conclude on September 11th at 23:59 GMT 0:00
The contest will close on the deadline as long as we have 3 entries. Or extended roughly until at least 3 entries are submitted (if contestant 3 and 4 submit within a few hours/day of eachother, we'll include them too of course!)

The contest has been extended.
 
Last edited:
Level 16
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Apr 18, 2011
Messages
1,844
This contest shall begin on [Insert Date] and conclude on [Insert Date] at 11:59 PM GMT -0:00
The contest will close on the deadline as long as we have 3 entries. Or extended roughly until at least 3 entries are submitted (if contestant 3 and 4 submit within a few hours/day of eachother, we'll include them too of course!)


:/, when does it end?
 
Level 19
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
2,307
Almost 1/4 done with the thing.


In a fair world, Fred would be the one making the decisions in upper-management; mistakes would be treated loosely and forgiveness would be dealt out more commonly than pink slips. But in this world, Fred had a smoking habit that seemed to worsen with each passing day. Fixing commercial-class engines was hard work, especially with the added pressure of having expensive cargo transports depending on their running smoothly.

One day, Fred got a little careless and dropped a cigarette into a small pool of ship fuel. The fire scorched a sub-unit of a commercial-class engine, and rendered it useless and beyond repair. Without discussion, Fred’s employment was terminated.

“Just give me another chance, I’ll make it up to you, I promise,” Fred pleaded. Craig, the dark-skinned overseer of the repair bay, considered nothing of the sort.
“You’ve had more chances than most get. I should’ve fired your ass for smoking on the job a year ago! I’ll give you until tomorrow afternoon to be packed and ready for transport.”
“Damn it, Craig! In case you haven’t heard, repairing commercial-class engines is a niche business. It’ll be years before I can get a gig like this again. Listen to me, I’m begging you, I’ve lived and worked with you on the Terra Platform for three years now—“
“—and now that your employment’s been terminated no more loyalty is required. Now, I won’t be hearing anymore of this shit, you hear? Especially not from someone who can’t be bothered to buy a goddamned nicotine patch, for god’s sake! Packed and ready to go at 1200 hours tomorrow, Frederick, or it’ll be more than just this job you'll be losing. I'll make sure you never even get to see the inside of a repair bay for as long as you may live! Do we understand each other now, Mr. Kirby?” Fred didn't like being lectured by someone who hadn't worked on the floor since he got plucked from the repair line, but he refrained from flipping the only man who had the power to flush him into deep space the finger.
“I wish we could’ve ended this differently.”
“I wish I would’ve ended it sooner.

The discussion didn’t go well. Fred had to put down half of his current funds just to retrieve a sturdy transport to take him down to the surface of Terra. It seemed odd leaving after such a long time away, maybe it was the connections he had made with some of the crew, or how he could maneuver around the ship blind-folded if he needed to, or maybe he knew that if he left now, he would be leaving behind a part of his life that he could never get back.
 
Level 16
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
995
Here is a short wip of my current idea. While it will become more comedic, here is just a short blurb laying down some minor backstory (not very informative), and a way to kick off the start of my story. Sorry for the form, it was written in *notepad* (Gasp!)

The Space Monkey Race

Comedic Space Opera by Jazztastic

On the outer reaches of space, lies the savage planet Desrok. Desrok, inhabited by the Chrorakanoids, is a place lost to humanity, the few human pilgrims who managed to travel the vast distance were brutally slaughtered, and paraded around the capital. The society of
the Chrorakanoids is similar to lightning, unpredictable, fast, and
incredibly strong.
However, this story isn't about the Chrorakanoids, this is the
story of their annual ritual, and the chaos it caused in the
Multiverse.
The festival of the Harvest is often the highlight of the 893
day year experienced by the Chrorakanoids. Giving into their chaotic
nature, they hold an awesome event, often the talk of the town for
hundreds of days to come. In order to keep the populace from becoming
jaded, a special committee is formed before each festival in order to
design a completely original challenge for a lucky few competitors.
After the careful consideration of the elders, the contest has
been decided. Contestants were to make a full tour of their galaxy,
collecting an organism from each, and returning to Desrok.
Degbog, considered by most to be a wealthy playboy, was also
considered by most to be overly qualified for this years contest.
Possessing the Snail Runner, the fastest ship in the galaxy, none could
think of a contestant who even stood a chance against him. Little did
they know that there was such a contestant.
The Festival of the Harvest began each year as it always does,
with the beheading of the King of the nearest civilization. The sword,
an old and engraved masterpeice, wrote out the ancient and gruesome
history of the Chrorakanoids, eventually being used to sever the
tentacled head of the commander of the Chrorakanoids racial enemy, the
Lothdeeros. Now it mainly sits in a dusty museum, a testament to the
medievel brutality that carved out the Chrorakanoids into the highly
advanced and technologically adept civilization they are now, however,
once a Chrorakanoid year, it tastes the blood of an unlucky foe.
 
Level 19
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
2,307
Wow. These words are flying out of me like bulimia soup.



INTRODUCTION

In a fair world, Fred would be the one making the decisions in upper-management; mistakes would be treated loosely and forgiveness would be dealt out more commonly than pink slips. But in this world, Fred had a smoking habit that seemed to worsen with each passing day. Fixing commercial-class engines was hard work, especially with the added pressure of having expensive cargo transports depending on their running smoothly.

One day, Fred got a little careless and dropped a cigarette into a small pool of ship fuel. The fire scorched a sub-unit of a commercial-class engine, and rendered it useless and beyond repair. Without discussion, Fred’s employment was terminated.

“Just give me another chance, I’ll make it up to you I promise,” Fred pleaded. Craig, the dark-skinned overseer of the repair bay, considered nothing of the sort.
“You’ve had more chances than most get. I should’ve fired your ass for smoking on the job a year ago! I’ll give you until tomorrow afternoon to be packed and ready for transport.”
“Damn it, Craig! In case you haven’t heard, repairing commercial-class engines is a niche business. It’ll be years before I can get a gig like this again. Listen to me, I’m begging you, I’ve lived and worked with you on the Terra Platform for three years now—“
“—and now that your employment’s been terminated no more loyalty is required. Now, I won’t be hearing anymore of this shit, you hear? Especially not from someone who can’t be bothered to buy a goddamned nicotine patch, for god’s sake! Packed and ready to leave at 1200 hours tomorrow, Frederick, or it’ll be more than just your career on the line. Understood?” Fred was furious, but refrained from flipping Craig the finger when he had the power to have him shot out into deep space.
“I wish we could’ve ended this differently.”
“I wish I would’ve ended it sooner.”

The discussion didn’t go well. Fred had to put down half of his current funds just to retrieve a sturdy transport to take him down to the surface of Terra. It seemed odd leaving after such a long time away, maybe it was the connections he had made with some of the crew, or how he could maneuver around the ship blind-folded if he needed to, or maybe he knew that if he left now, he would be leaving behind a part of his life that he could never get back.

PART 1 – ACT 1

As if losing his job wasn’t enough, after the engagement was over all of the vendors aboard the Terra Platform were given strict instructions not to sell tobacco-based products to the low-and-behold Fred Kirby. He was stuck in the Staging Center, without a fix, until a civil transport made itself up from Terra to pick him up and take him to his new ‘life’.

The stage clerk gave him a pinch of chew to ease his anxiety after a few hours of watching him shaking on the bench. He said he bought it from a vendor, but from the way his teeth looked when he smiled, he knew the man was sharing.
“This might do you some good. Until you can quit, of course,” said the clerk.
“I’ll send you a Christmas card sometime…”
“The name’s Charlie, he replied.
“I assume you would’ve done the same for me had I been the one about to pass on from not having a ‘quick fix’.”

The transport arrived ten hours after it was expected, and the pilot looked none-too-pleased to be there.

“Which one of you bastards will be taking up my cargo bay this fine morning?” The pilot peered around the Staging Center, which was reminiscent to a space-travel DMV, and saw only Fred in queue.
“Ah, you, shaky fella’, hop aboard!” His accent was horrendously hard to understand. He sounded as though he was raised by a family of drunken trolls, but aside from his voice his appearance was quite friendly. He wore standard fleet attire, but had a four-leafed clover button pinned to his right suspender.
“Don’t happen to have any smokes on you ‘eh McCormac?”
“The name’s Patrick and you’ll be waiting ‘till we get down to the surface markets because I’m fresh out of favors for your sorry arse. Now get in my ship before I leave you for buzzards and comets!”
 
Level 17
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
1,974
So where are the start and join dates? :/
Anyhoo this looks cool, won't be entering but will be observing.
 
Level 18
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
2,319
I think Im going to join this one. I got an idea of a Power Rangers parody.
Power Raiders in space
The Pumpkin Saga
(Title may change)

The only thing I got to wtch out for is lack of originality, since its a parody. I hope itll work out. Anybody think its easily made too unoriginal?
 
Level 18
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
2,319
The announcement said it started, so its obvious those dates are just accidentally forgotten to be filled in. It would be handy to know the ending date though.

On another subject: Im having a few doubts about my story concept. As much fun as a parody story is, I have a feeling it might be too hard to make as a story, since there are a lot of visuals missing. Even though those can be described, I think that would ruin a lot of its fun... So if I can think of a good story thats more serious, I think Ill go with that one instead.
 
Level 19
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
2,307
I'm beginning to go a new direction with this and have the entire plot figured out now. Just have to write it all down and I should be submitting this by Sunday mountain time.



INTRODUCTION

In a fair world, Fred would be the one making the decisions in upper-management; mistakes would be treated loosely and forgiveness would be dealt out more commonly than pink slips. But in this world, Fred had a smoking habit that seemed to worsen with each passing day. Fixing commercial-class engines was hard work, especially with the added pressure of having expensive cargo transports depending on their running smoothly.

It was a typical Saturday in open space; Fred had gotten a little careless and dropped a cigarette into a small pool of ship fuel during his rotation. The fire scorched a sub-unit of a commercial-class engine, and rendered it useless and beyond repair. After the panic of the crew had subsided and the fire had been doused, Fred was summoned to the overseer’s office.

“Just give me another chance to make it up to you,” Fred pleaded. Craig, the dark-skinned overseer of the repair bay, considered nothing of the sort.
“You’ve had more chances than most get. I’ll give you until tomorrow afternoon to be packed and ready for transport.”
“Don’t do this, Craig! It’ll be years before I can get a gig like this again. Listen to me, I’m begging you, I’ve lived and worked with you on the Terra Platform for three years now—“
“—this isn’t up for discussion; especially not with a man who can’t be bothered to buy a goddamned nicotine patch, for god’s sake!” Fred had heard this all before, but the last time he had an argument about his smoking habit Craig had threatened to flush him out an airlock, so he decided to let it be.
“I wish we had ended this differently, because I know I’m the best damn repairman you’ve got and you’re going to need me if you expect to get these engines out in time for the next cargo haul.”
“The best, yeah, of course,” Craig laughed.
“When your uncle recommended you like a prime rib at a steakhouse, I was interested because I thought you had potential. It took… it took about a year after the accident before I realized what would become of you.
“Truthfully, I wish I would’ve ended this sooner.”

The discussion hadn’t gone in Fred’s favor. It seemed odd having to return to Terra, maybe it was the connections he had made with some of the crew aboard the platform, or how he could maneuver around the bay blind-folded if he had to, or that he knew that if he left now, he would be leaving behind a part of his life that he could never get back.

PART 1 – ACT 1

As if losing his job wasn’t enough, after the engagement was over all of the vendors aboard the Terra Platform were given strict instructions not to sell nicotine-based products to the low-and-behold Fred Kirby. While walking the green mile back to his quarters, Fred remembered his life on Terra, what he had learned, and why he had left.

He hadn’t any family, he was an only child and his parents had died in the Terra confederacy when he was three. He had spent most of his life living and working with his uncle. When he was old enough, his uncle hired him to begin working in his citizen-class ship bay, adjusting fuel lines and bolting down metallic plates until he could be trusted outfitting engines. Eventually, Fred had outdone his uncle. Much like a blacksmith’s apprentice must make his masterpiece before exceeding in rank; the lowly-repairman had begun refitting engines with the precision and speed of an entire crew.

Things were going smoothly and his work had become his one-and-only passion. His uncle had taught him everything he knew, and from his example he had become a master of his art. His uncle was proud, and set him up with a job interview on the Terra platform when he was nineteen. They gladly hired him after watching him repair a civilian-class engine faster than their overseer did when he worked the line.

After a year had passed he felt truly comfortable in his new home. He had a sense of belonging, and the pressure did him some good. He was fit from lifting engine parts for examination and repair every day.

His uncle had died on Terra three weeks after the anniversary of Fred’s departure. It was from there that things had begun to go downhill.
 
Level 27
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
4,787
Posting this as 'Proof of Ownership'.
The title of the story is Ironbound Angel, and this is NOT the final version of ANYTHING.


Hello? Is anyone there?
Leif stopped in his tracks. It was not just a malfunction, there really was something calling out.
”Who are you? Where are you?” Leif said out loud, looking around the dome, but unable to spot anything apart from the plants and scattered animals.
Someone is here...
A heavy sigh of releif was heard in the dome. Leif felt something moving towards him.
He spun around, looking in all directions for whatever was approaching.
”Show yourself! I'm heavily armed and WILL fire! Do not attempt to attack!”
Leif yelled, his brain notifying him that a human would feel fear in this situation.
Do not worry child, i will guide you into the light. I come from a place far beyond the reaches of space that you know of, i am...
Leif felt a strange sting in his brain. A strange feeling felt the air. He knew it, but couldnt remember what it was... something about... Disappointment. He remembered it from the humans that had built him. Every time he'd done something wrong he could feel it in them, disappointment, and it stung in his body every time.
Oh, You are not human... A machine, in the guise of a man.
That feeling again. The sting turned into artificial pain in Leif's body.
”Oww... That hurts.” Leif said as he instinctively moved his right hand to his head.
Oh, i'm sorry. It's just... I was expecting a human, someone able to ascend.
”Ascend? What are you talking about? Are you some sort of ethereal blob of religiousness?” Leif said as his systems purged the pain from his head.
That... You... I mean, that's REALLY rude you know.
”Well, so far all i know about you is that i cant see you and that you're very disappointed that i was created as an android. Not much moral ground you have here.”
Good point.
 
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