Home Forums Gauntleteers 2017 First Challenge

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Steven Lugo 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    Steven Lugo

    A total eclipse of the sun.
    The threat of nuclear warfare.
    The first hundred days of a ginger presidency.
    Literature’s G17 tournament a.k.a WYRM’s Gauntlet.

    These are just some of the most noteworthy events of 2017, and the last item to tick off that list is just getting started. Sometimes, to understand the present, it is necessary to look into the past, even the not-too-distant past, to learn from other events, to gain perspective. We are the WYRM, and we have a ride we’d like to take you on. May your experience here be worth every moment of your time, and may it reflect the effort you are about to put in.

    First Challenge: “Paper Tiger”

    In 2011, author Ken Liu was considered one of the fastest rising stars in the genre of science fiction. Today, he is an established SF author, and when one talks about award-winning genre fiction or any of the pro-level magazines, his name will not be too far behind.

    There was a story known as “Paper Menagerie” published that year in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which became the first story ever to sweep the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. It could be argued that, with this story, Ken launched his career, or at the very least, altered its trajectory many degrees higher. Such was the story’s acclaim at the time (much to our benefit) that it was reprinted online, available on the website iO9. Fast-forward to 2017, and here’s where the Gauntleteers come in.

    Your first challenge is to read and review Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie”, and offer your insights as to why the work was so significant, beyond the obvious but vague answer that it was ‘well-written.’

    Is there something in particular in the story that readers needed to hear, or that they identified with? Or was it pure coincidence, and could any ‘well-written’ story published at the right time and place earn this kind of affection? We are looking for your opinions, and opinions won’t be judged as right or wrong. We just want those opinions to be fully explained, and supported by details found in the story.

    Remember first and foremost to be honest. Did you like the story? Did you dislike it? Does the story deserve its reputation? These are all good questions to ask. Again, providing us with reasons to support your views means more to us than your personal tastes as a reader (though, please include those tastes because we are interested)! Also, this review challenge is not calling for your skills as a line editor, so the strength of your ideas will factor more heavily into judging than any technical comments you make.

    Keep in mind that if you have any questions about reviewing this story you can feel free to ask us in the forum. Take heart that all submitted reviews will be kept private, for the eyes of Gauntlet judges only, and will not be shared with the author, or anyone else.

    One other thing. Don’t be intimidated. True, this story made history, and is highly-regarded, but it’s just a pile of words on a page, right? Nothing to worry about. Nothing but a paper tiger.

    Submit entries here via our submission form.

    Deadline: Friday, Sep 8th @ 10PM Eastern Standard Time

    Best of luck,

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Steven Lugo.

    Chy Burch

    Oh yeah, now it’s real, Gauntleteers.



    And Storm of the Decade, from what I’ve heard…



    So, this, pretty much.

    paper tiger


    Steven Lugo

    Yes, Lonestar. That.


    Chy Burch

    That better not be your review, Shawn! 😄



    Great prompt!


    Such an incredible story.

    And I guess Ken Liu’s isn’t bad, either… 😉


    Steven Lugo

    I’ll never hold you back
    And I won’t force my will
    I will no longer do the devil’s wishes
    Something I read on a dollar bill
    A paper tiger can’t tell you where he stands
    We’ll go back tonight the way that we came
    I’m not dumb, just want to hold your hand

    Paper Tiger by Spoon



    Some inspiration for my fellow gauntleteers!

    tiger cat



    So yesterday a massive oak fell on my property, thankfully not crushing me in my office. It did, however, take out my fence and my Wi-Fi. Still got the challenge in with edits! Thank goodness for cell phones! No cool GIFs to accompany this post though. 🙁

    Good luck to all!!!


    Yikes! Hope your fence and wi-fi were the only things that needed repairing, Travis.

    I almost forgot about this challenge, but had enough time to make it in–just under the wire, as usual. (Not bad since I also revised and submitted a 3000-word story this morning.)


    Steven Lugo

    More like tripping over the wire there, Bizarro. 😉

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