August 27, 2018 at 1:47 am #79020
Welcome, welcome. Come one, come all.
Thank you for participating in a wild quest for treasure, the kind that would make Ernest Cline and the producers of Ready Player One proud. As promised, here is the one and only literary tournament dedicated to writing, reviews, and all the right kinds of anxiety. In the weeks ahead, you will be challenged to respond to prompts while mean-mugging, and to produce your best work while under pressure.
New and up-and-coming writers: you are here for a reason. The Gauntlet is tough enough, so don’t psych yourself out.
Professional writers: do you think you’ll win just because you’ve popped up in a few magazines? We’ll see about that.
Writers who don’t care to be labeled, categorized, or herded into groups: we’d say you’re halfway to the center of this labyrinth.
So without further ado, Vance Joy, we can lay it all on you now:
First Challenge: Harlan Ellison Memorial Round
This past June, Science Fiction, Television, and anyone who cares deeply for storytelling, lost one of their trailblazers. A highly talented and often controversial figure was Ellison. But there is a George Eliot quote that comes to mind when we think of him: the important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men. We know this much because when this contest was a lot smaller, and less well known, we ran an Ellison review round to great and comedic effect.
Your First Challenge is to read and review “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes” by Harlan Ellison.
The story appeared via Subterranean Press in 2014, and can be found here: “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes”
In this review, we would like to know first and foremost your honest opinion. Do you like the story? Dislike it? Are you indifferent to it? What we want is an in-depth look at this. Take us through the tale, and tell us why you feel the way you do. And, such is the nature of the story that we would also like to know what conclusions about the plot you’ve come to, if any, by the end of your reading.
Use our submission form to enter your review by Sunday, September 9 @ 10 PM Eastern Standard Time. That’s two weeks to write. Deadlines are firm. Nearly 20 individuals have signed up to compete so far, but only eight can advance to the next round.
Finally, please use this forum for any questions about Round One, or about anything at all.
Good luck to everyone,
WYRMAugust 28, 2018 at 12:27 am #79035
Hmm, the site to read this story won’t load. I shall check again tomorrow! Good luck, fellow Gauntleteers!August 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm #79036
Anyone else experiencing problems? It just loaded for me.August 29, 2018 at 12:04 am #79040
I checked again like an hour later and it worked. Maybe all of us were just trying to read it at once and killed it! 😛September 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm #79050
Is there a word limit to the rant- i mean review. (Pardon me, I read the story thrice but…So lots of angst in me, non-existential type mostly :D)
NishankSeptember 4, 2018 at 11:08 pm #79051
No word limit. 🙂September 5, 2018 at 1:32 am #79053
You know, given how much Ellison courted controversy, I bet he’d be amused if half of us loved the story and half of us hated it.September 6, 2018 at 11:33 pm #79060
I think you are right, Nina!September 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm #79064
I’d guess more than 50% hated it!September 9, 2018 at 7:39 am #79066
Yeah, hate is a strong word, but probably dislike.Yes, I disliked it. Wait, no I hated it. Anyway, have submitted it. Had a great time. Thanks for getting me to write, somehow!September 9, 2018 at 10:07 am #79067
Ok. Hate is not the right word. Dislike! I am trying to find his other stories to read and see if this was an aberration. Has anybody read his work before?September 9, 2018 at 7:24 pm #79068
Does a bear shit in the woods?September 10, 2018 at 2:00 am #79069
haha. Okay, let me ask it another way. Can you suggest the stories by him which you liked the most?September 10, 2018 at 2:05 am #79070
@nishank: Have you ever seen the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of Star Trek? The one where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy go through this big time portal into the 1930s and Kirk falls in love with a woman there? Ellison wrote the original screenplay for that. I think he also did episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.
He also wrote “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.” (I actually reread that one recently; it was in Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s “The Big Book of Science Fiction.”) “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” is pretty famous as well.September 10, 2018 at 2:33 am #79074
Yeah, I totally second Nina’s story suggestions. He did write for Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, too. If you’ve seen the first Terminator, his screenplays heavily influenced that. I’ll add one more recommendation, a nonfiction book about TV from the 60’s called “The Glass Teat.”
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