In the bleak present of the future four authors face off four bragging rights over who is the cyberest of punks. Let’s boot this badboy up.
Yesterday saw the long awaited Leaderboard make it’s way to publication, and while there’s still a bit of fine tuning to do, by and large this is where you can find the names of everyone who has ever won at NiTH.
It’s no surprise that Amber Fernie still holds top spot, despite not competing as regularly as she might like. Amber has currently taken over the NiTH twitter, and there will be a full length interview with NiTH’s most winningest writer coming up in our first Digest later this week.
Don’t be disheartened if you’re not on the leaderboard though. NiTH’s new format this year means there’s stacks more contests, more winners, and more opportunity to climb the ranks.
Martin is busy updating our writing prompt pages, so keep an eye out on those for more prompts. Our next big ‘tidying’ task is to collate the old award prompts into these articles. I’ve heard there’s a few people looking for better ways to access old awards, so we’re getting onto that as well.
Anyway, onto why you’re all readlly here, the Winner Announcement.
Can a genre that deals with obselsence be itself obselete?
The cyberpunk of the 80s and 90s has largely given way to Steampunk and Specultave genres, with few still writing about this hugely influential if niche story type.
Dealing with themes of tehcnology, it’s rising importance in our lives, cultural decay and planned obselence, it continues to thrive in video games and manga. Even if it’s literary champion William GIbson has abandoned it for techno thrillers like Pattern Recognition and The Peripheral, There still remains authors willing to pick up the mantle where they can.
Four authors competed in the Gibson Bigend competition. Each with a unique take on how the unequal distribution of technology influences our lives
Have you ever bought a printer at a steal only to find out the ink costs a fortune? That’s the problem faced by the characters in newcomer Sarah Henry’s Batteries. Only the printer is a replacement limb, and it’s the batteries that are hard to come by. Sarah’s story is also noticeably about the changing environment, with a nice little ironic nod to the acid rain that caused the injury, and the acid in the batteries. That earned ‘Batteries’ a place on our Favourite Climate Fiction Stories list.
Our other debutant this week is John D Pallot. A photographer from Melbourne, Australia with a real eye for detail. Flesh menus, pink plastic handguns and worn our leather jackets. All that’s missing is a Razorgirl. Synth 209 is cyberpunk at it’s grit-noir best, and carries a powerful message about the way technology can be used to appease our basest instincts at the expense of the more vulnerable other.
There was no way Joey To was going to miss out on a Cyberpunk themed short story list. We’ve alerady seen Joey take on mecha and tech related subjects in his past work. CYchopath draws influence from manga like Ghost In The Shell. In a world where just about everyone is cybernettically enhanced, all it takes to shut down an entire building of people is a freeze virus. But if our hero is powerful, his enemy is practically a God.
Finally Lydia Trethewey contiunes to stroll effortlessly onto the short list, week after week. The Strings recently took our first place in the Lantern’s Flame fantasy contest, and this week she shows genre is no hurdle. The Cult of Hard Work feels timely, melancholy, and just a little bit funny.
Four strong stories but there can only be one winner.
Congratulations to John D Pallot for his great story Synth 209!!
John joins our list of esteemed winners, two of which were on the short list with him (and I expect we’ll see Sarah up there one day soon as well)
Thanks to everyone who participated and to the judges who donated their valuable time to score and make comments. As always, feedback is available to all short listed authors on their stories, just drop us a line and we’ll get that out to you.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s short list. The CLONE EBERT Fake review contest is going to be an interesting one, with a couple of our authors from this week making an appearence.
If you haven’t checked out the details for our major contest yet, make sure you do before you start writing.
That’s all from me for now though. On behalf the NiTH team, thanks for being part of this great website, and stay tuned for our first digest, which is coming up later in the week.