Two returning authors, two very different stories. Who took first place?
As a genre, cyberpunk has been enjoying a bit of a resurgence lately. Netflix has two interesting shows. An entire season of Altered Carbon (based on the book of the same name by Richard Morgan) and Mute, a feature length film by Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie). And who could forget Denis Villenueve’s long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner. For fans of the genre, we’ve been spoiled for choice in what is a traditionally starved genre.
Dear Diary | Sachin Sharma
The Daft Chunk Award asked writers to image a character part machine, part man, and more than the sum of those parts. In Sachin Sharma’s Dear Diary, the idea of being something more is both frustrating and inspiring. Told in a series of diary entries, our protagonist must look inward to find a solution to what lies outside.
I do not know what date or year it is. The only thing I remember is waking up in this eerie white cabin yesterday. I want to record my experiences, keep track of things. Hence I made a diary with paper sheets. There are thousands of sheets that are lying in one corner. Along with hundreds of crayons, scores of bottles of colours and brushes. I tried shouting for help but I guess I have been muted as I cant speak.
Auribus Teneo Lupum | Darajabi Nnamani
Darajabi’s tale for the Daft Chunk award also posed an interesting problem. In a future where misery is universally denied, is embracing pain the ultimate act of transgression?
That one thing for which I had sacrificed my body, my dignity and my sanity sounded simple;
Crude, plain, authentic suffering.
Our sole bargaining chip left in this utopian world. Misery was the single ordeal orbis was programmed to never offer nor provide, therefore posthumans sought to explore it through Unemployables like me.
A tight fight for the right to claim first prize. A handful of points decided it, with Sachin Sharma claiming what I believe is their first win for Needle in the Hay. Congratulations Sachin!
As you may know, we’ve just finished up taking submissions for our major prize. But there are still contests open, check the short story contests page for more and keep an eye out for more fantastic shortlists coming soon!