October 16, 2016 at 1:40 am #78120
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They had their choice of venues. They could have gone anywhere, seen anything in the big wide world. But they chose us. It would have been elections, or American football, if not for us. It would have been some God forsaken talent show on network TV if not for us. Can anything really convince them they made the right choice? Maybe later on, and further in. Maybe after a few all-nighters, or a round that really pushed them. Maybe then they’d ‘get’ the intensity, and know they’ve done something that enriched them. That is, until things get so tough, so competitive, and so hot that WikiLeaks itself turns its gaze from candidates to the one tournament that stands alone. Something they can’t explain. Not unless they were to see it firsthand, of course. They better look over their shoulder. They’re here now. They’ve made their choice. They don’t know what’s coming. Maybe that’s half the fun.
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Welcome, Guntleteers of 2016! Without further ado, we begin with a matter of time.
First Challenge: “Times like These”
Your first challenge is to read and review the following article about one of science fiction’s notorious tropes, time travel. The article, “The Foolish Errand of Time Travel” by Colin Dickey, appeared in New Republic on September 19 of this year. It is itself a book review. The piece discusses Time Travel by James Gleick, asking scientific questions, and pulling from most every popular time travel story we’ve heard of. We want to know a) what is your opinion of the article? And b) what do you think of time travel, and how it is used in science fiction?
Article: “The Foolish Errand of Time Travel”
So, let’s talk about a). Not all book reviews are created equal. Yet, this one goes further than discussing a single book. We want to know whether you found it effective. If you think the article is perfect, we want to know why. Or if, for example, you think it meanders too much, tell us how. Were you able to separate the opinions of Dickey from the opinions of Gleick? Have you by chance read the book? Great. What has Dickey missed, if anything? Whatever you think, the important thing is that you explain yourself.
As far as b), we’d like to know where you stand on the trope of time travel itself. Some lovers of hard science don’t believe it is possible, and therefore shouldn’t be used for its lack of realism. Others cannot help but speculate about altering the past, or visiting the future. ‘Think of the possibilities!’ Do you fall in with the physicists, or do you count yourself among members of pop culture fandom? Gleick and Dickey certainly give us enough examples to chew on, but what are some of your own? Give us some proper examples of time travel in fiction, and give us some lousy ones, too. And why are they good or bad? Assuming that time travel is possible, should it ever be used due to the inherent consequences we all assume come with it? These are just some of the questions you might ask in trying to complete this challenge.
This challenge does not ask for any particular format or word count, but it does ask that you check your spelling, cite your source material, and cover all your bases. Technically, it is a ‘review’ round, but you may end up producing something closer to an essay. And that’s just fine with us.
You may ask us questions about the challenge, but you may not ask for extensions. Our deadlines are firm. In essence, you have two weeks to build a time machine. So, tell us if it works.
Deadline: Saturday, Oct 29 @10PM Eastern Standard TimeOctober 16, 2016 at 1:50 am #78121
20 minutes early, yet. Madness!October 16, 2016 at 1:54 am #78123
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.October 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm #78126
Wooooo boy, you’re asking me to stretch some long-unused, English writing assignment type muscles. And I love it. ^_^October 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm #78129
Question: what are the rules as far as getting outside eyes on our entries before the deadline? That is, can I let a friend glance over my entry beforehand or is that not allowed?October 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm #78131
Oh, Lord of Penguins, we’re doing time travel?!
There is no emoticon to capture my joy!October 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm #78132
That is ok with us, Alexis. So long as your friend doesn’t become the one actually competing. 😉October 17, 2016 at 10:17 pm #78133
Personally, I plan to have a doppelganger of myself from an alternative future timeline review my essay and tell me whether or not I won.
Is that okay?October 17, 2016 at 11:55 pm #78134
I mean, I don’t think we’d have any way we could stop you, so why not go for it? But know 1 thing. In all eventualities, you fail.October 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm #78137
Some encouragement for my fellow wonderful gauntleteers!October 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm #78138
I mean, I don’t think we’d have any way we could stop you, so why not go for it? But know 1 thing. In all eventualities, you fail.
To keep with Shawn’s theme:
October 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm #78146
If I used a time machine to go forward in time and learned Mr. Fibble wins the Gauntlet this year…(Puts hand under chin)…does that mean I wrote an essay and lost to Mr. Fibble OR I went forward in time, saw that he won and never wrote anything?October 22, 2016 at 12:10 am #78152
[stabs finger at you] Don’t mindfuck me.October 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm #78189
Is Colin Dickey a member here?October 29, 2016 at 7:52 pm #78190
I don’t think he’s part of the contest. And, in the past, the judges have said that submissions would only be shared with the person if the submitter okayed it. So assume that whatever you write is between the judges and you. (Judges, feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken.)
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