Print Story WFC6: and i ride and i ride
Puzzles & Riddles
By 256 (Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:38:40 AM EST) (all tags)
VOTING COMMENCES NOW, SEE INSIDE

so here's the thing: aside from our mutual love of pornography and whiskey, there's really just one thing that connects us all. hmmm... well maybe not one thing, because it's a plural and--if i had just blurted it out a sentence ago--it would sound weird, but one collection of things: roads.

i can walk out my door, turn my heel to Hoge Naarderweg, and follow the roads all the way to your house (unless you live in australia or north america or on an island or zeppelin or something, but you get the idea).

when i sit and think about how amazing is the world we have created for ourselves, it is the incredible network of roads that awes me the most.
EXTENSION UPDATE: apparently, the upload site has not been working properly. i've been in ireland, so i was not aware. the original deadline was arbitrarily set to coincide with my return to Canada. that date has now been pushed back by two weeks, so it seems fair to arbitrarily push back the WFC deadline by the same margin. i will try and fix whatever is wrong with the WFC site in the next day or two. silly me for not testing it after doing the server re-install. cheers.



and what better theme for a WFC? roads and literature both are about escape.

so, simply put, your mission is to put a story about the open road which is less than 2500 words in length here by sunday august 12.

note 1: use of the New Jersey Turnpike as a setting/metaphor-for-the-human-condition is recommended but not required.

note 2: driving while on lsd is a really bad idea in real life, but pretty funny in fiction.

note 3: motorcycles as protagonists are awesome and have definitely been insufficiently explored in modern literature

cheers.

*Vote now. Choose your top two or three.*

< Thunderbolts and lightning | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
WFC6: and i ride and i ride | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Need I say... by ana (4.00 / 0) #1 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 05:01:14 AM EST
VS2FP!

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

ooer by Merekat (4.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 06:00:25 AM EST
This'll be good for my imagination (looks up wtf a turnpike is).

this might help by 256 (4.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:44:28 AM EST
turnpike
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
NJ Turnpike by yicky yacky (4.00 / 0) #5 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 03:29:35 PM EST

is for pussies.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Oh, how cute by ucblockhead (4.00 / 0) #10 Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 12:51:22 PM EST
Here's a real interchange.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Heh by yicky yacky (4.00 / 0) #11 Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 01:16:53 PM EST

That would be a lot more impressive if you hadn't had to zoom out in a poor attempt to exaggerate localized complexity.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
what by ucblockhead (4.00 / 0) #12 Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 02:01:17 PM EST
Like this?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
have you two by komet (4.00 / 2) #14 Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:28:38 PM EST
finished comparing traffic engineering cocks?

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
[ Parent ]
bah by ucblockhead (4.00 / 0) #16 Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 06:44:36 AM EST
/me slaps komet with his big traffic engineering cock.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Heh. by ana (4.00 / 0) #13 Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 02:06:26 PM EST
Welcome to Danvers, MA, a town that was built around an interchange.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
I think this one's prettier. by ambrosen (4.00 / 0) #27 Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 01:04:07 PM EST
A little too regular for some, I guess. But I use the previous one more than anyone else on this site, so I guess I'm allowed to denigrate it a little.

[ Parent ]
VSTFetc by blixco (4.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 01:38:31 PM EST
Hrm.  If I have a few hours, ever again, I shall enjoy this wfc.
---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
cool theme by fleece (4.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:06:24 PM EST
ouch@2500 words. I feel compelled to take advantage of the generous word limit now.

Yay by Scrymarch (4.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:15:27 PM EST
See subject.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Gah! by aethucyn (4.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:15:02 PM EST
I've been saying that we need another WFC for weeks and weeks, and now, when I'm finally devoting some significant brain space to a project, now you finally announce one. Ah well, an excuse to ponder while paging through the Rand-McNally.

no fair by Kellnerin (4.00 / 0) #9 Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:47:28 AM EST
blixco has already won. But I'm looking forward to this in any case.

In the absence of a hour/time zone component, I assume this is the traditional "submissions are closed when it is no longer August 12 anywhere in the world" deadline?

Thanks for getting the challenge rolling.

--
"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn

Meh. by blixco (4.00 / 0) #18 Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:20:57 AM EST
I sent you an email, BTW, that had some quick nonsense related to this WFC.

I don't think I can write any more.  Not like I used to. More on that, later.

But for this, I think anything I'd say would quickly give me away.  Doesn't mean I won't enter, but anyone who has read my writing will know it's me, right away.
---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I got it by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #19 Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 04:10:38 PM EST
and if I don't write back soon, hit me with a tuna. A whole one.

If there weren't an unofficial rule that submissions have to be written between the announcement and the deadline, then you have, in all honesty, already won.

I've gotten pretty relaxed about whether people can guess which story I wrote. I've had fun trying to disguise my writing, but people always figure it out, and it doesn't really matter in the end.

--
"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn

[ Parent ]
Concerning the notes by wiredog (4.00 / 0) #15 Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 06:40:27 AM EST
Note 1: Springsteen called it "The Golden Roadway of the East" and it figures prominently in his music. I've driven it. It's not that exciting. The Pennsylvania Turnpie is where I got pulled over for speeding. By a helicopter.

Note 2: Tried that once, couldn't get out of the parking lot.

Note 3: Christine re-explored as an old Indian?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

i'm tempted by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 0) #17 Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:03:45 AM EST
to enter this one, it'd be my first, and i'm sure i'd lose in spectacular fashion...but it'd be fun.
---------
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
I bet.. by toxicfur (4.00 / 0) #20 Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 08:22:11 AM EST
you'd do better than you imagine you will. And, if you do lose spectacularly, then you'll be in good company. :) (Well, if you consider me good company).
-----
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
[ Parent ]
you're by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 09:17:25 AM EST
definitely good company. i've started, but am having trouble making it longer than, say, 1000 words. i suppose this calls for some revision and verbosity.
---------
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
first plea for extension by Kellnerin (4.00 / 0) #22 Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 10:10:58 AM EST
The upload site claims that the deadline is actually Saturday the 11th in this hemisphere. Can we move it to 12 noon UTC, Monday the 13th instead?

--
"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn
yes by 256 (4.00 / 1) #23 Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 11:07:31 PM EST
-nt-
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Second plea. by ni (4.00 / 2) #25 Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 08:37:26 PM EST
The upload site claims that the deadline is actually made entirely of mustard. Could we change it to BBQ sauce instead?


"Not of this world..." -- 256, on the subject of the New Jersey Turnpike
[ Parent ]
yes by 256 (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 11:09:35 PM EST
what's the hex color code for barbecue sauce?

i went with #660000, but please inform if there is a better alternative. i want to address this important issue as promptly as can be done.

--management
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
Third plea by ana (4.00 / 1) #30 Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 06:25:41 AM EST
Yo, how 'bout an extra week, dude? Maybe somebody'll submit something.

Also, see elsewhere in this comment set re: cover uploading bug.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
I may give it a shot by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #24 Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 11:43:13 AM EST
I seem to have some spare time right now.




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
(Comment Deleted) by randomxs (2.00 / 0) #28 Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 06:38:15 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by randomxs



Cover upload == borked by blixco (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:48:37 AM EST

Warning: move_uploaded_file() [function.move-uploaded-file]: Unable to move '/tmp/phpEW68km' to '' in /home/vhosts/duff/256k.org/wfc6/insert-cover.php on line 58
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
so, um... by ana (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:28:55 PM EST
pssst... the upload site's still broken.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

i don't know what you're talking about by 256 (4.00 / 1) #32 Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 12:21:05 AM EST
also, we have always been at war with Eurasia.
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Road stories by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #33 Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 07:30:19 AM EST
Like any good theme, this inspired a cool variety of approaches. No two entries are doing the same thing, and many of them do their thing well.
  1. Lines on a Map I like the 30,000-ft view. This touches on a lot of angles, and maybe feels just a bit scattered as a result, but I'm totally stealing that use of "tectonic" sometime.
  2. The Road Home Temporal travel instead of spatial travel. This was worth it if only for the line, "it began to hum in that familiar 52-cycle bass voice that’s common to all idle Lorentz-Thompson rotators." I mean, haven't we all been there?
  3. Verse For The Self-Pitying Construction Worker Nice take on the "open" road, though if a third terzanelle appears in a WFC I'll count that as a disquieting trend.
  4. Directions There's a neat idea here, but I think to make it really work takes a balance that this piece didn't quite hit.
  5. Escape from Redwood City I like the "Choose Your Own Adventure"-ishness of it where there isn't actually any choice. Good ending.
  6. Telling This With a Sigh About halfway through the third section I was reminded of my fleeting thought of riffing off the "Kyrie" section in House of Leaves/"Hey Pretty," and then this story became that. I enjoyed it up until "Andrea asks if I want to take a ride in her rebuilt 1970 Karmann Ghia convertible." Not sure if the extended homage made me like the rest of it more or less, but I wish the story had ended before the last line.
  7. Road Movie Like "The Road Home," it'd barely be on theme if it weren't for the title, but I liked it, despite the fact that we never find out what books she's reading.
  8. Another Way To Get Through The Day In some ways, this feels like the opposite of "Directions" in the way the story's told, but as with that story, I'm not quite sure if it entirely hit its mark.
  9. Drop the Weapon I almost feel like having Simon's motivation spelled out undercut the effectiveness of the road rage/vigilante angle. Editor-bitch says, "Punctuation has a purpose; it's not for randomly scattering among your words." Tech-writer-bitch says, "Standard character encoding is your friend."


--
"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn
Mini-reviews by blixco (4.00 / 1) #34 Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 09:52:00 AM EST
in the spirit of the challenge, less than ten words.
  1. Lines on a Map - a mess, scattered, overwrought.
  2. The Road Home - This wants more words, has a great dictionary.
  3. Verse for the Self-Pitying Construction Worker - Really very good.
  4. Directions - For something that should be precise math, there's fiction.
  5. Escape from Redwood City - VERY good, great ending, reads like a found notepad.
  6. Telling This With a Sigh - My favorite of the bunch; very tidy and dense.
  7. Road Movie - the dialog is too witty, more sitcom than natural.
  8. Another Way to Get Through the Day - needs more story.  Feels like a good start.
  9. Drop the Weapon - commit to the format and point of view and punctuate

---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
Mini-reviews by ana (4.00 / 1) #35 Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 11:18:27 AM EST
I suppose maybe it's the theme, but I liked the very specific sense of place in most of these stories. You might not recognize it right now, but if you ever were there, you would.

Lines on a Map This is a clever idea, complete with overheated kid-brain monologue.

The Road Home First person younger meets elder. Isn't the universe supposed to combust or something when that happens? Like the twist on the "Car broke down; have to thumb home" plot.

Verse for the Self-Pitying Construction Worker I like this, a lot. The sort of switchback, winding self-parallelism reminds me of some roads I've known.

Directions I laughed out loud. What should be precise information becomes Art. And the different styles of directions for different intended audiences is fun.

Escape from Redwood City This is breathtaking. The big gaps making one page down before reading the next entry make it more like a diary. It ends very well indeed.

Telling this with a Sigh Very nicely done; a whole relationship in 2k and 5 words; dialog without quotations.

Road Movie Neatly sidesteps the premise of the contest. But then cheating is encouraged, so what the heck.

Another Way to Get Through the Day Delicious twisting of the knife; death of youth, etc. Nice.

Drop the Weapon Um, really. Use some kind of standard character set so I don't have to imagine what punctuation you had in mind. Interesting idea, as far as it goes, I suppose.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

The Bloggs report by Phage (4.00 / 1) #36 Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 12:40:27 AM EST
I have not one atom of creative skill or taste, so take this with a pinch of salt.
  1. Lines on a map - Nice. When you've made big moves and decisions, the killer is that you can never go back.
  2. The Road Home - Reminded me very much of the SF I used to read as kid. AE van Vogt or Heinlein used to write like that, where the idea is more important than the script.
  3. Verse for - Brilliant. Loved this, I could almost smell the hot eucalypt.
  4. Directions - Errrrm. left me cold I'm afraid. I'm probably being stupid.
  5. Escape from R.City. - Fun. Whilst the topic was silly/schlock, I was gripped in what happens next.
  6. Telling this with a sigh - Just couldn't get into this at all. Probably says more about me than the story.
  7. Road movie - Not really on topic, but a great read. Yes, probably too witty, but then that is not necessarily all bad. Great writing style.
  8. Another way - I was enjoying this but found the ending too much of a cliche. I would have liked to have seen the contrast between the happy meeting and the vicious parting. Words can convey more pain than any knife.
  9. Drop the weapon - Fun and competently written, but I couldn't feel the people the way I could in some of the other stories.
Thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to submit a story. I enjoyed reading them all very much. <applauds>


enjoyed reading these by fleece (4.00 / 1) #37 Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 02:33:59 AM EST
linesonamap - enjoyed reading this. easy to read and consistent tone

The Road home - okay

verse for SPCW - like it

directions - i'm not sure i get it. is she having an affair?

escape from redwood city - very WFC3ish

telling this with a sigh - okay

road movie - good

another way to get through the day - strange. good.

drop the weapon - okay

Some mini-reviews by BlueOregon (4.00 / 1) #38 Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 09:54:13 AM EST

I can't add much to Kellnerin's, blixco's and ana's mini-reviews, with which I mainly agree. None of these stories knocked my socks off, but I think the quality was more consistent than in many other WFCs.

Lines on a Map a sense of place but no real sense of character or action, more an amalgam of psychotic ramblings, the ringing of tinnitus forever and ever. "Your heart breaks, tectonic" is a nice phrase, and more than any of the others this one reminded me of growing up in the west.

The Road Home engaging, a tad flippant with its techno-babble, and far enough from hard-sci-fi that I actually wanted it to embrace its zaniness more completely.

Verse for the Self-Pitying Construction Worker well-written, though it didn't really grab me. At first, and then I read it again. I tend to think of stanzas as comparable to sentences (not paragraphs) and the entirety of such a poem as the same as a paragraph -- I don't want a paragraph, I want a story, so I want a full cycle of poems, especially with such a classical form at play.

Directions it's full of gaps. I want to know what happened (or didn't happen) between October, 2005 and June, 2007. This is the only entry that feels as if it is more, that it's just a snippet, an excerpt. That's not a bad thing.

Escape from Redwood City yum, zombies. The breaks/gaps were important, even though this is really just a diary/journal. When I get near the end of a chapter in a book I'm reading and I know there is a twist, a cliffhanger, something coming up, I refocus my eyes and make sure I don't look down and accidently get information too early. This piece solved that problem.

Telling this with a Sigh I agree with Kellnerin about the last line; it feels tacked on. Another concrete-location piece, again California, though not quite the evocation of environment as in "Escape from Redwood City." Yay, got the New Jersey Turnpike included.

Road Movie witty banter, perhaps a bit precious, but it keeps going at a nice clip and you get a grasp of these characters. Cheating is encouraged. There are plenty of nice details that make this rather technicolor, and I can relate to the factoid guy scene in the theater.

Another Way to Get Through the Day Kellnerin is on the money with the comparison to "Directions." Perhaps its un-dated entries fill in those gaps. Not an author(s)-intended manner to read them, I admit. Somehow Allie and James are just names to me, even though they shouldn't be, and perhaps I'll have to reread it.

Drop the Weapon a) codepagges and b) punctuation ... got on my nerves. Otherwise well-written enough. I agree that spelling out the motivation (a flimsy one at that) at the end cheapens it, and then I think, hrm, taking that away there's not much of a story, really just an outline of a serial killer.

Reviews: by toxicfur (4.00 / 2) #39 Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 03:49:17 AM EST
I feel a bit bad about posting reviews, since I didn't even manage to get anything written this time. I blame brain chemistry and cats. Without further ado, though, the reviews:


-----
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
Notes by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #40 Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 04:53:54 AM EST
  1. Lines on a Map - The start of this reminded me of an article cam pointed out, an interview with photographer Simon Norfolk. It has some good passages on the brutal linear effectiveness of military roads too.
  2. The Road Home - I am a sucker for this sort of disorientalist SF, +1
  3. Verse - You really don't like roads, do you.
  4. Directions - I liked the obliqueness of this approach; it sounded right.
  5. Escape - Nice abuse of the medium. Whitespace is cheap, why not spend it? Kind of wanted it to become a choose your own adventure though.
  6. Telling This With A Sigh - This seems like an anti-Cheers anti-sitcom ending in an anti-road trip. (Trying to imagine Ten crying out with grudging affection: "Lens!". Actually it kind of works.) Also wonder if I'm missing a structural joke about people walking into a bar.
  7. Road Movie - I don't know if it's deliberate, but the beginning of this is very close to a homage / lift from Goodbye Red Dragon Inn, itself a meta-movie. This one has a happier ending though, and a more action filled plot. And doughnuts.
  8. Another Way - Picking out the English backpackers by their sunburn.
  9. Drop The Weapon - The exaggeration of road rage into road psychosis is quite a cool setup. I also liked the detail on the victims, Blur  .... something about the structure seemed to hold it back though.


The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Results... by ana (4.00 / 1) #41 Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 07:23:33 AM EST
As of the time the authors were revealed (8 AM Eastern US time, Sept 7, 2007)


Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

thanks ana. by 256 (4.00 / 1) #42 Tue Sep 11, 2007 at 05:45:44 AM EST
you've always got my back.

official wrap-up forthcoming.

---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
WFC6: and i ride and i ride | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback