- Apr 15, 2003
The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.
Because I don't want to forget entirely, and this one's shorter, I skip 3 and do 4 firstAuthor #4
Ode to Victory
Seen has he all, and made known to the lands,
He taught of the descent of mices and men,
Looked at the finches, discovered the hidden,
Published from antediluvian ken.
Talk of the wrath of the nephew of Boney,
Dark and abiding, France’s great bane,
Who threw into hell so many thousands,
Through giving to Helmuth his final great gain.
Answer me fuses, of the many-flowing currents,
That many a light has been burned by throughout,
After the workshop of Ed’s son begun them,
And markets had rendered them hardly real stout.
Speak of the men and machineguns,
Felled there too early, met fate,
who came to the mudlands of Flanders,
at ever a much higher rate.
Right at the start time the revolutions and darkness,
Were crafted to tell us these many great tales,
But in this last octade, the pipeline is rough and is empty,
Taken no form and brought no newer sales.
!The whole of this tale is thus bounded; separate from the all and the iron,
By the revolutions of the Rhone and Danubia,
And from stars and kings by mutual years.
Oh dear, things have reached the point of acrostics. Dark times in poetry corner.Deeper layer 2: so... initially I thought the ! at the start of the last paragraph was a typo. But if not... then it's probably 'a clue'. All the first signs read 'STASR!' which is weird. But ALL the other pieces are about something out among the stars. So I suspect Densley agreed on a secret extra theme with the authors, stars, and this author went 'I can combine that with something not being where it should be'. Stasr! to Stars!.
As promised, some more in depth response.Author #3
One thing that strikes me as possible on this is that the author could have imagined a Doctor Who style ‘automatic translation’ mechanism.But who in his mind would write sentences in a human-readable tongue using asteroids (okay, can't call it right mind. Writing with asteroids would be HARD), if not humans?
And I could buy that, as being deployed throughout a vaguely known set of parameters. But a reality where humans literally don't exist? It seems a bit muchOne thing that strikes me as possible on this is that the author could have imagined a Doctor Who style ‘automatic translation’ mechanism.
I had assumed it was so unlikely /difficult that it was the main character imagining it. Seeing a pattern that wasn't there, because of the stress driving them a bit crazy.And I could buy that, as being deployed throughout a vaguely known set of parameters. But a reality where humans literally don't exist? It seems a bit much
Yep go for it. Sorry I didn't get around to giving critique this round. Read all the pieces and thought the standard was pretty good across the board.Apologies, all. Not been on here as much as usual this past week so quite forgot I'd said I'd close things up last week. Anyway, looks like all critique that's to be reasonably expected has come in. Would anyone object if I were to reveal our authors at long last?
It was certainly written very quickly; I think I got the final version to Densley about 24 hours after they announced the topic and the word limit. I'm not surprised it seemed a little confusing. First of all, I really have to stop writing so quickly and get into the habit of revising things. Second of all, well, it's from someone who's baffled and probably a little hyper and panicked late at night, and maybe not the most organized person in general, so a little of that was intended. But it was probably more confusing then it needed to be, and I really need to take more time to write.Author #1:
This first piece is a fine bit of writing, using humor and snark in certain ways. Always fine. I’m not sure what it gets to outside of the goal at hand, but it does get there. So kudos. Not much character made/created as we’ve no idea who Jen is, nor do we really know who Sam may be. The conceit, as I understand it, as that a star is lost. A lot of jargon is used to confuse the reader in a humorous way. We all know the confusing emails and/or texts we might get at work. But truthfully, it leaves me cold. I do not mean to be harsh, but the piece reads as something written quickly, but with much talent. The word limit may cause some of this (and I applaud you using it DB) and thus the task was brief and so was this.
My guess is @Avernite
Yes, the whole doctor thing was another artifact of writing very quickly and not stopping to review what I wrote properly. The digression was intended to convey that Sam was rambling a bit, and, again, maybe not the most organized at the best of times, but the doctor thing was silly. I know people with advanced degrees! They use first names! What on earth was I thinking? And the social greeting would have made more sense at the beginning, yes. I really need to learn to revise.So, my commentary on piece 1: Guessing now that it was @coz1 who did it Don't know if he is a scientist, but eh, he's commented so he's obviously written something (right? ).
To be clear: the story works for me. Presupposing anything eats stars, and supposing we'd know - this is how it'd go, in my mind. You see it, noone believes it. Of course if anything was munching stars it'd probably munch on the one right next to it too, making it possible someone would look into it later, but well.
It also read a bit Lovecraftian - in the sense of the disaster log. You can almost hear the author being dragged off to abyssal depths for his (her?) forbidden knowledge.
The random digression on Dr. Champlain, while feeling true to live, does add nothing except atmosphere. But as the piece manages to finish within the word limit, that atmosphere is part of the charm (though I, for one, know no places where the Dr. would be added; I'd talk about 'when Champlain was running things' not 'When Dr. Champlain was running things' - stereotypically that should mean a German wrote this)
If there's a thing to criticize - in the modern era I think noone would put the social greetings into the end. They may think of it way at the end, but in e-mail, you have a cut-and-paste option.
"The missed chance warning before the storm" was actually pretty much what I was going for. I was sort of thinking of this as a prologue to an imaginary Stellaris AAR told entirely through memoranda and archival documents of various kinds. I'm very pleased I managed to get everyone pinning it on Avernite. You've also spotted another thing I want to brag about. 55 Cancri is, according to Wikipedia, a real system and 55 Cancri B is a real star which may or may not actually be binary. It also got sent a SETI signal in 2003, which will get there in 2044. 55 Cancri A also does have a lot of metal in it, which may indeed have implications for a bunch of computational models that I can't pretend to understand at all, and the planets in the system do indeed have the names I said they had.#1 - This is very techy, it has got all the lingo and concepts, the author even picked a system which might or might not be a binary (if one believes wikipedia anyway). It has an atmosphere to it, if reads like an email between friends and Sam's' uncertainty comes through. I did wonder if he should be a bit more panicked about it, but then anything that might happen would be decades in the future so that made sense. It did feel like the set up for a story rather than something in it's own right, the missed chance warning before the storm, so I'd have preferred less chatting and more things happening. But that clearly wasn't what was being aimed at, so on it's own terms it worked.
Why break a pattern, let me join those guessing it was @Avernite
That was the only one I was pretty certain on, the others were just some random name-dropping.Well, Swuul, I have just one question - HOW???
I need a new hobby. That of course was partly the plan, but noone was supposed to spot it - and apart from you noone did indeedThat was the only one I was pretty certain on, the others were just some random name-dropping.
As for "how", well, it was pretty obvious, wasn't it? In the various games I have played with you over the years, I have learned this: You have a tendency of putting others in the focus while you try to hide in the shadows. #4 gives very much the feeling somebody was putting the marking arrow on Peter, which was why I was pretty sure it was Avernite behind the text.