The Champion is Travis Burnham. Heard of him? We have.

That’s right, all, the 2016 Gauntlet has concluded, and we’ve just crowned a new champion! Along with stellar, ironman performances from Alexis A. Hunter and Michael Anthony Ashley, the Final Round saw Travis Burnham walk away with the title. Travis becomes the 10th champion in WYRM’s Gauntlet history, and just the fourth of the new age. Let me introduce you to Travis. In fact, let Travis do that in his own words, then be sure to check him out elsewhere on social media and around the web.

Travis Burnham is an SF/F writer and science teacher. His work has previously appeared in Far Fetched Fables, Bad Dreams Entertainment, South85 Journal, and SQ Quarterly. Originally from New England, he’s lived in Japan, Colombia, and the Mariana Islands, and currently lives in Upstate South Carolina with his wife and pup. He’s a bit of a nomad, having bungee jumped in New Zealand, hiked portions of the Great Wall of China, and gone scuba diving in Bali. He’s got some novels looking for homes and can be found online at travisburnham.blogspot.com and travisburnhambooks.com.

Right now, you can check out a sample of Travis’ winning story “The Long, Small Hours”.

Winner’s Sample “The Long, Small Hours” by Travis Burnham

The Long, Small Hours

Travis Burnham

            It’s a dark night for dark deeds, and the avatars of seven gods of chaos are scattered across my lawn. They look human enough behind their masks and through the filter of the security cam, but they aren’t fooling me.

            Some young prepster with his blond hair slicked back is the first to step up to the front door and taps the mic plate before talking. The second he opens his trap, I know it’s Abhotehath, the Hundred-Tongued God, because he’s so polite when he says, “Please don’t deny us, James, or I’m afraid we’ll have to kill all of you.”

Creepy windbag.

He rambles on a bit more, says they want the homeless guy, but I can read between the lines: they want me. They’ll take Mary and the kids, Charlie and Zoey, too.

And then the gods of chaos cut the power.

Final Challenge

Here’s what the remaining three Gauntleteers now face.

Final Challenge: “Trailer for Your Muse”

Your Final Challenge is to watch the following movie trailer, and craft a short story based upon it. Your goal is to create a story different than the movie itself, but one that has stemmed from the same material. One that is—we hope—much better.

When life gives you tomatoes, make ketchup: movie trailer for The Purge.

Final Deadline: Thursday, December 8th @10PM EST


“Regarding Fanfiction”, 3rd Challenge

Your next challenge is to review the following fanfiction piece entitled “A Particle, a Wave” by Archive of Our Own user kvikindi. It was published on 08-18-2014, and is based upon Captain America, set in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. We want to hear all of your in-depth thoughts on it, up to and including commentary on fanfiction itself.

“A Particle, a Wave”

Deadline: Sunday, Nov. 20 @10PM EST

Round 2 Results

If you haven’t been to visit our forum, these are the competitors who made it. Believe us, it didn’t come easily.

Congratulations to:

Michael Anthony Ashley
Shawn Proctor
Daniel Ausema
Alexis A. Hunter
Pendergast Smith

And thank you to all who competed.

The Second Challenge

The next challenge of the 2016 Gauntlet is here!

Second Challenge: “Tell My Story”

Your next challenge is to write the story of a fictional character who has recently died or disappeared. Relate to us this person’s tale in a speculative fiction story of any length, with any amount of graphic content you wish. Tell us about what led up to their disappearance, and what may be coming next. The narrator’s relationship with this character is for you to decide. There is only one real catch. This story must be written in second person POV.

Deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 9th @ 10PM EST

Round 1 Over, Sign-Ups Closed

To our brave Gauntleteers, and everybody else watching out there, thanks for helping launch the Gauntlet in 2016. That’s a wrap for sign-ups, and we enter our first judging period. First Round results to be posted Tuesday, Nov. 1st.

First Challenge: “Times Like These”

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”

Things Change

It’s us. We’re back. Thank you for taking the plunge. We don’t think you’ll regret it.

First, a welcome goes out to all of you newcomers passing through Gauntlet City. And a hearty ‘welcome back’ goes out to those of you we’ve seen, and whose work we’ve had the pleasure of reading. Now, noting the sudden influx of entrants (we’re approaching 30), we think it’s time for a spray of bullets.

  • (Yes, these kind)
  • If you haven’t already, please visit the Gauntleteer Forum! This is your place to hang out, talk trash, post clever memes, and get into impromptu rap battles. [Checks watch] It may be a good time to introduce yourself. Along with right here, the forum is another place where we make announcements, and that’s where we prefer to hear all of your questions.
  • Email is another tool at our disposal to answer questions about the Gauntlet, remind you of deadlines, or just prod you in general. We won’t spam you. Our emails often contain a link to posts made over in the forum. We also utilize email to obtain the right info in order to pay finalists money, and review their work.
  • The judging make-up of the Gauntlet has undergone some changes as well. We lost two originals, but gained a shiny new judge. Her bio, along with the bios of us all, can be found here. Whatever you glean from it, I can guarantee she will not be easy on you.
  • Finally, our webmaster (who rocks it like a hurricane) has just emerged from the winds of Mathew. This may mean that yours truly (an ill-qualified part-time blue dinosaur) may have to step up. I urge you to communicate any problems you may encounter here immediately, either via the contact form, or by posting a message in the forum. And, if you stumble across any glitches in coding or broken links whilst pursuing the site, you may communicate those to us also. But at least communicate them with sarcasm.

Remember, we’re going to be so close over the next couple of months that we’ll practically be family. And you know what they say? Familiarity breeds contempt.

You may win. You may lose. But you’ll remember you were here. All the best.