Print Story WFC5: Voting o'clock!
So Kellnerin gave us a recipe. Have a look at what everyone cooked up, and report back on what was tasty.

These are the offerings, served up by our esteemed 256:
  2. Nine Panels
  3. Desired
  4. The Review
  5. Fusion
  6. What Do You Want?
  7. Almond Torte
  8. Dream Logic
  9. Knock Knock
  10. Taste Test
  11. Con Queso
  12. The Snow Cake
  13. Sushi Time
  14. The Leaving Agent

And we've got three entries for covers:

Due to a confluence of drug-related events--none of them the entertaining sort, unless you mean laughing at crazy patients--I didn't enter a damn thing. Not even a cover, which is my usual plan B (not levonorgestrel). But given the crazy constraints, I'm surprised there's as many entries as there are. I look forward to tearing into them.

The usual rules apply: vote for up to three story entries and one cover. And run a bloody word count next time, you 20% of you who didn't actually meet the lower bound. Update [2007-1-23 19:5:36 by persimmon]:Poll fixx0red to be multi-select. Update [2007-1-29 19:6:24 by persimmon]: HAY EVERYBODY voting closing in about 48 hours, which means Wednesday night on my coast.

< Update | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
WFC5: Voting o'clock! | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden)
Google should have entered ... by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 01:57:31 PM EST
Actually, 14% missed the lower word limit and 7% blew right past it, but the reason I'm writing this comment is to note was that one of the items on the "Ads by Google" list is "Gorge Bush." Now that is a pun/typo/theme I am glad we didn't see this round ...

Thanks to all the writers, cover designers, my co-host, and 256. Vote on!

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

Standard Appeal for My Fave by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 3) #2 Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 03:36:38 PM EST
Before all the mini-reviews start up, I just want to say that you, the voting public, should read every story with careful attention. Put each tale under the withering glare of your personal aesthetic scrutiny. Account for every theme, nuance, and allusion. And then throw your first vote to "Con Queso."

This slice of South of the Boarder lit-pulp is an ass-kickin' good time. Self-conscious without being  detached, badass in that humble way on real badass stories can be.

This is the one I wish I wrote.

Not only is it the best, but a vote for "Con Queso" is a vote for a literary future we can believe in. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, the Buddha, Johnny Cash, and that chick that played Lily Munster on the Munsters would all have wanted you to vote for "Con Queso."

When you vote for something else, you vote with Hitler and Chuck Klosterman.

Do the right thing that feels so right when you do it: Vote "Con Queso."

Message brought to you by the Friends of the Freakin' Geen-yus Whoever They Was that Wrote "Con Queso."

mini-reviews by fleece (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 12:53:47 AM EST
 i'm tired and crabby from work so it's probably poisoned my judgement a bit.

FIRST POST! - mmmkaaay
Nine Panels - I'm struggling to get it. so he didn't die, but he made time-bomb art?
Desired - alright
The Review - like FIRST POST! I wonder if you're just taking the piss
Fusion - this was okay
What do you want? - Yeah this was okay too. I think the way the food was used as a segue into the life-stories worked. I think the idea could've been expanded further for even better effect.
Almond Torte - the scaled up a third idea is cute I guess but i was looking for some meaning or twist which I don't think is there?
Knock Knock - okay
Taste Test - okay
Con Queso - loved it, but i'm too lazy to google language all the spanish
The Snow Cake - saw the title and thought it was going to suck, but how wrong i was! Really good.
sushi - alright but there's always something offputting for me about a story that starts with a description of a breath-takingly beautiful woman. it makes the author come across as desparate/stalkerish. It's also a bit amateurish pointing out what happened instead of letting the story tell it with the Unknown to him it’s the same street car she just got off to get to the restaurant!!! ZOMG!!!
The Leaving agent - words hang together well but, i don't know, too mills and boon or something.

taste test, knock knock, the review by 256 (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 01:05:52 AM EST
i'm too drunk to comment further except to say that i wish all three of them had had titles that did them justice.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
gah! by 256 (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 08:20:54 AM EST
somehow, though i thought i'd read them all, i missed snow cake. it wasn't until reading praise for it in the mini-reviews that i realized people were talking about a story i hadn't read.

so, after going back and correcting that, i'm sad that i've already cast my votes.

reminds me of stanislaw lem, which is pretty high praise so far as i'm concerned.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
I'm impressed by Phage (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 02:43:32 AM EST
But the odd surrealism of snow cake won me over. I am not sure why.

Spoilers by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 04:40:29 AM EST
First Post!! - This reminds me of the "Gravy" series of experimental short stories once dumped from the k5 queue. I genuinely liked them myself.
Nine panels. I didn't mind this, though it made me want to see the graphic / film. I'm also wondering what explosive or fuse would both be easily hidable in furniture and reliably explode forty something years later. Like many of these stories, I suspect the answer might be hiding a pun I didn't get.
The Review. This effortless skewering of the restaurant critic is not revolutionary satire, but it certainly got my vote.
Fusion. Smug, too short, and occassionally funny.

The authors of 7-12 all seem very at ease in the narrative voice they're using. There's a real self-coherence in their styles.

What Do You Want? This is the first in a run of heartwarming domestic food preparation scenes. What Do I Want? What a horrible question, but reheated lasagne is a fine answer.
Almond Torte. There's much to like about this story, but I was horribly distracted by the easiness of the question. These are highschool students, right? Non-retarded ones?
Dream Logic. Like a lot of these, I'm unsure of the pun location. Something fishy about calling on a Sunday? The detail I liked here was actually the mother smoking in the flashback, it was this detail that suddenly gave me a cinema-like flash of the scene in my head.
Knock knock. At one point in highschool I got it into my head to say "trust me, I'm a Jewish doctor", even though I'm neither Jewish, nor a doctor. I think I was under the impression it was funny. The Eskimo thing is better.
Taste test. Similarly, in my youth, there was a bitter contest between Smarties and M&Ms, M&Ms playing the role of the trumped up American outsiders that think they're so much better than us. Overpaid, oversexed, and over endowed with alphabetic annotations, that was the sentiment. Um, sorry, don't have much to add to that beyond the stylistic coherence thing.
Con Queso. Never bring a gun to a cockfight. I mean a cock to a knife fight. I mean, what can I add after Crwm's sales pitch?
The Snow Cake. +1 surreal fable
Sushi Time. Has anyone else wanted to ride on the sushi train? It looks kind of fun. The last sentence could be one third the length.
Leaving Agent. This pun is fairly ambitious, it's pun-as-metaphor, or I might be missing another internal pun. This is good but a little disjointed. Perhaps a longer story made shorter by cutting?

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

everyone's a (food) critic (victim) by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 06:28:18 AM EST
As always, I'm impressed by all the different takes on the theme, though some of the stories didn't follow the recipe (recipes are made to be mangled, but seeing as I wrote it, I feel I have to at least note the deviations). Overall, I think restaurant food lost out to homemade food in the entries. Just like in real life, I guess.
  1. FIRST POST!! Is there even a title? I read the first line thinking, "This is going to be slashdot fanfic" but by the time I'd read the last line, I was thinking, "this would have been better with hot grits."
  2. Nine Panels Nearly 200 words too short, no food, no pun? I'm not sure it needed to be in comic script format, unlike "The Idea" from WFC2. Cute idea, but I feel like it wandered in from a different *FC.
  3. Desired Has all the required elements, but in the wrong proportion, I think. Hard to feel sympathy for the narrator.
  4. The Review I liked the format and the restaurant names. Think this may have had the best use of puns. Revolting descriptions of food made it hard for me to vote for it, though, despite being the intended effect. Sorry.
  5. Fusion Mostly agree with Scrymarch. This combined with "Nine Panels" would have had enough words for one entry, though not the same entry, probably. The idea of the "most incomprehensible wine" amused me.
  6. What Do You Want? The story of a relationship and its turning points told through food. Nicely done.
  7. Almond Torte I think that the original recipe called for 1.7 eggs, but I've probably done my math wrong. Should have used metric eggs.
  8. Dream Logic Like "What Do You Want?" the food in this story is actually of central importance, instead of just there, and it plays into my weakness for nostalgia.
  9. Knock Knock Good banter. Features my favorite light bulb joke.
  10. Taste Test I liked the dialogue. Good party atmosphere -- at least, as seen from the POV of someone who doesn't want to be at the party.
  11. Con Queso This may be the best one of the lot, but going over the word limit by 500 to do it is slightly unfair. However, keeping within the parameters of the challenge wouldn't have yielded this story, so I can't complain too much.
  12. The Snow Cake Very cool story (no pun intended, honest). If the bureaucrat had been named Herr Hulver this would have been a nice amalgam of all the WFCs: you've got little people (children), a snowy apocalypse, the rebirth of the rebels into snow-people, and the pointed lack of sex (or anything else) between the narrator's parents and, of course, food -- all within the narrow word range of WFC5. But independent of all that it's a good story on its own.
  13. Sushi Time A bit unpolished, but the kernel of the idea wasn't bad. +1 origami.
  14. The Leav(en)ing Agent Hey, someone really did write about sex instead of food. Well, OK, it's about food too. I liked the tour through the narrator's previous occupations.
Finally, while I like Scrymarch's cover at least as much as mine (and for the very different take on it that he did), bo's cover totally kicks ass.

"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn
Huh by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 06:43:24 AM EST
It's always interesting to find out what other people liked. Once again I find myself out of step with what others are voting for (which is good, right? Different strokes...)

Anyway the story that had me glued to the screen, in which each sentence compelled me to read the next and wouldn't let go til the end was The Leaving Agent. Why exactly, I don't know because I'm not even entirely sure what it was about, but the words never failed to carry me wherever the narrative decided to meander.

With Con Queso however, I'm back in step with the voters. This was indeed a spectacular piece of writing. The pace was breathless, and there's some truly hilarious stuff in there. Excellent!

It gets harder to pick a 3rd, as I liked many of the others and thought there were a lot of clever ideas. A dream, a farcical review, a play on a phrase or a word, a missed connection... Still not sure which I'll vote for.

ALSO: My offer still stands to do a spot illustration and a one-page layout for the winner. Unless of course the author would prefer that I didn't, in which case I'll do one for the 2nd or 3rd etc.

past winners? by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 06:43:22 AM EST
Be cool to see what you would do with The Egg.

-- Do the math.
[ Parent ]
Might do by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 07:41:26 AM EST
If Kellnerin's book of past WFC winners comes together and if they want illustrations.

[ Parent ]
Sooo.... by ana (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jan 24, 2007 at 07:56:53 AM EST
lemme see here. I'll just transcribe a few notes I made to myself whilst reading & deciding which ones to vote for.
  1. First Post: Um, huh.
  2. Nine Panels: Not sure if it fits the wordcount limits. I'd like to see it drawn up.
  3. Desired: Poignant.
  4. Review: Nicely written, but like Kellnerin, I found it hard to read because the food descriptions are so disgusting.
  5. Fusion: Going along well and then it just kind of ends.
  6. What do you want? I liked this vignette where neither party cares all that much.
  7. Almond Torte: is there a point?
  8. Dream Logic: This is a really powerful story.
  9. Knock, Knock: Nice relationship vignette. Nearly got my vote.
  10. Taste Test: Nice enough, I guess.
  11. Con Queso: What CRwM said.
  12. Snow Cake: Surreal fable of dissidence
  13. Sushi Time: Keep working on your style.
  14. Leaving Agent: kind of left me unleavened.

Regular, or decaf abomination? --Kellnerin

Thoughts: Some more coherent than others. by aethucyn (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 03:38:38 PM EST
First Post: You lost me with the title as it reminds me of those people on blogs who claim first post and then have nothing to say. Troll names were the second hit against it. Use of 'mortal coil' doomed it. Petty of me, I know.

Nine Panels: Just didn't work for me. The panels I envisioned looked like a poorly done cartoon. Going minimal in describing something that's meant to be visual just doesn't play for me.

Desired: The one I now wish I'd voted for. The more I think about it, the more it grows upon me.

The Review: You had me eating out of your hands when you described the mug, but utterly lost me with the pubic hairs. The parts where the food presentation was artfully careless (textured with shells and scales) worked for me as if bidding for the ultimate in authentic. The rest, ick.

Fusion: Neat idea, but ending was ho-hum.

What Do You Want? Like the idea. A bit cutesy. Suffers from being so brief.

Almond Torte: I think you might have finally taught me the number of teaspoons in a tablespoon, if only I can keep in mind which one is bigger. I always buy metric eggs, and leave the other two on the shelf.

Dream Logic: I was skeptical with the Gaiman quote at the beginning, but I really liked this one.

Knock Knock: I guess I've known enough people of mixed heritage that the opening bit didn't intrigue me, and Brianna's disbelief simply annoyed me.

Taste Test: This one reminded me that the best part of a lot of parties is being anti-social at them.

Con Queso: I must be an idiot, because I must have missed something. It was good, but I just didn't see the raving. Also, the massive over-run on the word count makes it seem like a middle-weight fighting a bunch of feather-weights.

The Snow Cake: I loved this one. The story was completely filled out, and the whole feel of it was beautiful. Why aren't you voting for this?

Sushi Time: I don't think I could count the missed connections, and lost opportunities under my belt. This one just didn't seem to have the poignancy they have. And I can't feel too bad for him. Getting a stranger to meet you for dinner is hard enough when she knows she's been invited. Then there's a reasonable amount of time to allow for lateness, so by my figuring, he would have ordered, and eaten in 20 minutes.

The Leaving Agent: If I didn't like this one more, it's from having seen "Stranger Than Fiction" last Friday, so I had a recent vision of an overly intelligent baker. It is sad that my brain can't juggle two different depictions. I promise to like this one more in a week.

Reviews: by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Jan 28, 2007 at 10:24:38 AM EST

  1. First Post: Um. The prose is an bit too purple for my tastes, and I'm not really sure I understand the characters or why there was a steering wheel embedded in the crotch of one. The anthropomorphic condiments were a bit disturbing as well.
  2. Nine Panels: I think this would make an excellent comic, though I'm not sure how it fits into the theme of the WFC.
  3. Desired: I want to like this more than I actually do. "The food was terrific, the grammar just terrifying" is an inspired line, and the scene is evocatively written. In the end, I think I wanted it to do more.
  4. The Review: This is a highly amusing story, and I like the tone throughout. It's an interesting take on the "food" theme, though I must admit that the disgusting dishes turned me off just a bit.
  5. Fusion: Interesting concept, but I didn't feel any connection to the characters. I wasn't sure why I should care that Jeb wouldn't eat, except that, like the food, he was a bit insufferable.
  6. What Do You Want?: I liked the way the food argument was interspersed with the trajectory of their relationship. The first couple of paragraphs were brilliant.
  7. Almond Torte: I really like the voice in this one. I felt that it didn't really go anywhere, though, and Mr. Stark seems a solitary character. Why, exactly, would he need to scale the torte up by a third? This story feels like an excerpt from a larger piece.
  8. Dream Logic: I cringed at the Gaiman quote at the beginning (what is this, a research paper?), but I liked this story more than I expected to.
  9. Knock, Knock: Good dialogue, and this story has my favorite lightbulb joke in it. I liked the ambiguity of the relationship and of Jude's character. I felt like it was a cut-down version of something longer and more complex, though.
  10. Taste Test: I liked this story, and I'm surprised it doesn't have more votes (as I type this). It's kind of an ideal vignette for a story this length. The ending could have been stronger, but the dialogue was excellent.
  11. Con Queso: I'm with a lot of the other reviewers on this one. The details picked were perfect, and I could almost smell the sweat and the chickens. Amazingly well-done story.
  12. The Snow Cake: This story started out with a strong premise, and the writing has a sort of fairy-tale quality that is both charming and terrifying - reinforcing my dislike of snow. The ending kind of trailed off, though. I'd rather have seen life return to normal - or not - without the entrance of the replacements so soon before the end.
  13. Sushi Time: This story had a lot of potential, but I found it hard to care about the main character. This sort of missed-connections story is hard to tell well, since missed connections are the rule rather than the exception.
  14. The Leaving Agent: I liked how this story wound around itself. The writing was engaging, and the narrator really drew me into her view of the world.

inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
perhaps ... by BlueOregon (4.00 / 1) #14 Sun Jan 28, 2007 at 12:59:19 PM EST
I'm not really sure I understand the characters or why there was a steering wheel embedded in the crotch of one.

Punchline: "It's driving me nuts!"

Or so the old pirate joke goes.

[ Parent ]
Ah. Thanks. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun Jan 28, 2007 at 01:03:18 PM EST
I seem to have repressed all the jokes of my junior high days.
inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
[ Parent ]
a few thoughts by BlueOregon (4.00 / 1) #13 Sun Jan 28, 2007 at 12:27:48 PM EST

my 0,25 by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (4.00 / 1) #16 Sun Jan 28, 2007 at 04:53:38 PM EST
  1. FIRST POST!!  This made me laugh.  Total shaggy dog story.
  2. Nine Panels   Nothing in the rules stated the story had to be about food, and this does have an implied pun, but, um, no.  I liked it, but there was no food, just food serving dishes.
  3. Desired   I have a problem with the second person thing.  It has the opposite effect from the desired one.  Pops me out of a story faster than anything.
  4. The Review   I am shallow.  I was put off by the third paragraph that I stopped reading after in the fourth.
  5. Fusion Clever food ideas, and I liked the line about Canadian nachos being "..the same as before, but with extra maple syrup and moral superiority."  But, such doesn't carry a story.
  6. What Do You Want? I should like this more than I do.
  7. Almond Torte   Not sympathetic. Again with the shallow on my part.
  8. Dream Logic The pun diminished a fine piece of writing.  But, I only saw it on the second read, so it might go unnoticed by someone unaware of the rules.
  9. Knock Knock  Thank you for resisting the temptation to use "chew the fat" in this story.  More lasagna, which should be expected at a pot luck, I guess.  Good dialog.  No story.
  10. Taste Test I liked this.  It could be better, but I can't put my finger on what would make it better.
  11. Con Queso Missed all the bilingual puns, I'm sure, but the story had that great edge of madness that makes an impossible subject make so much sense that I now feel the need to go find a badass chick to rear.
  12. The Snow Cake   I admired this, but did not like it.   Sheer matter of taste, not quality.
  13. Sushi Time Um, okay.
  14. The Leaving Agent I liked many parts of this.  Ideas.  Sentences.  It didn't hang together for me, though.  Some of the problem was technical, in being sure who was saying what, and part of it was my attention span.

-- Do the math.
incidentally by 256 (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 06:58:27 AM EST
the default setting on the wfc page will reveal the authors one week after submissions close.

that's in about seven hours.

let me know if you want it pushed back.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

oh, hey by persimmon (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 01:12:18 PM EST
Let's push it back an extra 48 hours. I've been wallowing in midterm and I have a paper to write, and I'd feel bad about not anouncing the end of teh voting.

Which I shall do, shortly.
"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."

[ Parent ]
Yeah. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 01:19:03 PM EST
I want persimmon reviews, dammit!
inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
[ Parent ]
done by 256 (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 01:58:50 PM EST
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
it's not easy hating everything by persimmon (4.00 / 3) #23 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 02:01:46 PM EST

Salt doesn't harden arteries; atherosclerotic deposits do. Salt causes water retention, increasing volume and therefore intravascular pressure. The only contribution of salt to atheroma formation would be the possibility of increased microinjuries (and hence inflammation) due to the increased pressure. Anyway, uses "there" wrong. Apparently Gritmog has his own anatomical mortal coil. Story goes nowhere; -1, would not read again, except to mock in a review.
Nine Panels
That's nice.

No wait, that's dumb.

Though I have an idea from the intro what the narrator wanted to say, I don't catch a hint of it during the dinner scene. Flows well. Voted anyway.
The Review
A parody of a genre I'm not familiar with, I'm guessing.
Somehow this reminds me of ni. Probably because of the drinking.
What do you want?
Isn't goyim plural? Not bad; not good either.
Almond Torte
If it's in Norwegian, how is she supposed to know the 1 1/3 eggs doesn't make sense? Reason for disgust is not adequately established for me.
Dream Logic
How again is it more powerful? Tells without showing.
Knock Knock
This story is about bad jokes, not food, and it reads quite similarly to the next one.
Taste Test
Con Queso
Hey, a narrative of the sort I keep failing to come up with when I actually enter something. Voted, although when I can see errors in the Spanish then I know it's bad.
The Snow Cake
Magical pastry realism. <3. Voted.
Sushi Time
She was beautiful girl, you say? Shifting tenses and bad punctuation, but not actually a bad story.
The Leaving Agent
I really wanted to like this--not least for the para-scientific tidbits--but thought the ending didn't hang together with the rest of the story.

"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."
for the record ... by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 06:46:14 PM EST
Here's the (page-widening) poll snapshot at the close of voting:

Authors are (mostly) unveiled on yon hosting site. I'll leave the official announcements and fanfare to persimmon, but in the meantime, to quote yicky yacky, "Phat props and thanks to all who entered. Anorexic props and thanks to everyone who voted." Additional thanks 'n' stuff to those who posted reviews and feedback. I can't wait to see what the next round brings.

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

WFC5: Voting o'clock! | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden)