*sigh* All good things must come to an end. There are so many good writers on Authonomy that's it's no disgrace to finally lose a match (please see my previous posts for details). However, the ref for my game admitted that he simply doesn't like traditional fantasy creatures like elves and dwarves. That's a sad way to lose!
At least my second book made it to the Elite 8, and it was paired against a book that many in the forum consider to be one of the best on Authonomy and certainly one with far more buzz than mine in the forums. The judge for this match was the person I consider to be the best writer on Authonomy, having written an amazing book called Dropcloth Angels. I encourage any horror fans out there to check it out, as you'll be seeing this author in bookstores in the future.
Here was his review:
Shit. this is gonna be a tough decision. Yes - I've read a bunch of both books, but can't place one above the other. Both are very unique - even within their own respective genres (and I mean that in a good way) - and both are uber readable.
Ted's work is straight to the point and pitch perfect. He describes technologies so well you'd think we've lived with them every day of our lives, keeps the plot going like a motocross race, and writes characters with the precision of a literary marksman.
Dear Ted: F*** you for being so talented.
Rob's story is as different from Ted's as a shoe is from a baseball cap. I was able to flow along with Rob's narrative and sink deeply into the pov character's psyche. His prose is introspective, bursting at the seams with imagery, and meandering, but remains steadfast with the thread that carries it through to the pay off plot point or rounded-out description. At the end of each chapter so far (with the except of chapter 1), I'm left with a very crisp picture of what and who I've been reading about, and marvel at some very nice turns of phrase.
Dear Rob: F*** you too. Fantastically drawn characters.
Ted, Rob - I spit in your general direction. I'm so out of sorts I likely won't eat for the next day now, and today is taco day here at Casa del Fornicate. Thanks for that.
I'm gonna read on for a couple more chapters, but - and I hate like hell to have to do it - but this may come down to technical issues. I'll be back to post my results after a motorcycle ride (how could I not? It's beautiful out there today), dinner (I was only kidding about not eating - I'd sooner set myself on fire), and three more chapters of each.
Well, I'm ready. (Not really, but as ready as I think I'll be to judge between these two novels.)
This was like trimming nose hair with a steak knife - not something that should be done by mere mortals. (Bruce Willis, of course, gets a bye here, as he is more than a man. Eh, remember Bruno?)
My seemingly impossible task: Pick a winner between two very fine writers.
Ted Cross - The Immortality Game
Rob 1969 - Fink
Winner: The Immortality Game
BUT I want Rob to know my decision was reached after reading everything posted by both of you. I think I'm probably more upset than you, and would gladly give you my spot (if I go on) because I think yours is truly a worthy story. By the time I reached chapter twelve and their run in with the Beemer (I have that exact same zippo, btw), I was well hooked and would pay cash money for a copy once it's finished. No, I don't just say that to anyone.
For me, and I hope you forgive me if I'm a singular voice in this, my decision goes all the way back to the first chapter. The opening paragraph hit me like a bag of coconuts, and I had to read it a few times to get going. It (chapter 1) feels slightly out of sinc with all that follows, like something written after the fact, but not yet sculpted to match the precision of the rest. There are many tremendous lines - as there are throughout the entire upload! - but I felt somewhat removed from the action of the scene, of their getaway in general, and specifically, Shannon. Chris makes mention of her, but only in passing. I wanted to know about her, since he spoke of their (both Lynda & Shannon) situation briefly, and that both had to lie to friends and/or family to get away, but gave a brilliant description of his feelings for Lynda. After reading all the way through, I went back and reread the first chapter. It did feel more comfortable the second time through, and I felt I got more out of it while reading. Therein lies the problem, tho - that it took the second read thru for me to see what I eventually did. I think what it needs most in the opening is a mention of what's at stake, or even an alluded to act that they might be fleeing. That, and a tiny description of Shannon. <---As I write this, I feel this seems flimsy, but that's how close this was. Seriously. Paper-fucking-thin margin.
That said, you have a new fan - you both do. Ted, Congrats; Rob, my apologies. If either of you want or need a reader for anything you're having trouble with (or simply need a pair of eyes), call on me. Rob, I'd love to go over your chapter 1 in Word and do an in-line crit on it to give a more detailed version of the stammering, not very insightful explanation I posted here.
I'm excited for both of you, and I'm not blowing smoke up your cracks. Contest or no, both of you are gonna make it big someday.
This game was won after 2 quarters of o.t. If this were a real basketball game, this would have been the final (very impossible) score:
Team Ted 317
Team Rob 316
And ... I'm spent.