The second part of our Trilogy Award for 2016 gave authors the chance to extend on their stories with one simple provision, to include a sentence from another author’s part 1 story.
The short list remained largely unchanged, with only the addition of Chinthaka Nanayakkara’s A Tall Guy With Three Holsters, which referenced Amy Short’s Two Yards Below. Amy meanwhile was absent from the short list this time around.
A Tall Guy was Chinthaka’s first published story at NiTH, drawing on classic action spy thrillers, we are introduced to Monsieur Dayanan, a retired army officer running his own security firm in the suburbs of Colombo.
He was tall and well built, clad only in a bright white sarong tied round his waist that reached his ankles, permitting only a fleeting glimpse of his feet. His well muscled torso was naked if not for twin black leather belts that held two holsters under his armpits. It appeared like he had been summoned to conduct an execution at a time when he was getting ready to bed.
“Good evening, Monsieur Dayanan” he greeted.
Meanwhile, Nick Lachmund continued his Kookaburra College cycle with Evelyn, a new narrator to fill us in on this menacing drama.
My friends kept asking why I didn’t go out anymore. They noticed that I used every excuse imaginable to avoid leaving home. What could I tell them? The truth? I’d rather die than let them know the truth.
Last time we alluded to the fact Alicia Bruzzone’s Just Another Wednesday Afternoon (Part 1) took the best elements of the smarmy, action driven urban fantasy (think Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and distilled them into quick fire flash fiction. Part 2 continues along those lines, combining school hall humour with fast paced action.
It felt like being stuck in one of those maths problems they give you in primary school. You know; John takes twenty dollars to the cafe. If his friend Jenny takes six dollars, and Kenneth takes twice as much, what does John have? I’d say he’s probably got hunger pains as he now only has six dollars for lunch, and deep seated psychological trust issues to boot since his friends keep stealing from him.
And I had five potential stab wounds. Well, three. Cam had followed, and they were split between us.
In Part 1 of Mimic, Barry Quinn showed us how do to Space Opera in less than a thousand words. Now the British author takes us to the terraforming (and terror forming) efforts to colonise, as well as the obvious problem of what people do when they are stuck millions of miles from home with people they just don’t like in Mimic Part 2
The three astronauts descended beneath innumerable layers of gasses to reach the hidden core of Jupiter.
“Where’s the base at?” Ursula asked, her voice muffled from her astronaut suit. She looked around. Jupiter wore a rocky landscape, ethereally wreathed in mist.
“You don’t know?” Ursula queried. Another shrug. “Well then turn your locator on.” A further shrug. “What’s wrong with you?”
Sean Crawley is back with Lattes, Lunch & Layoffs, part two of a modern satire about the anxieties of corporate employment and it’s far reaching effects in our cultural and personal lives. Now at work, our protagonist comes to terms with his own fears and neurosis, making a choice to fight back against the root cause:
I drank the boss’s very kind Latte and ducked out to the tea room to make a coffee with three heaped tablespoons of International Roast. I couldn’t take it any more. I couldn’t stop thinking about Gino and his bucket of water, and the sun, and the smile on his dial. I couldn’t help thinking about Bettina’s list and how I likely moved up it when she noticed my broken shoe lace earlier.
If I had control over one thing at all in my life it could be to strike first and get sacked before they lay me off.
Meanwhile Lyida Trethewey introduces a police procedural element to her gritty futurepunk thriller, Black Ice
At the police station Josh had explained the nature of the SOS to a bored officer.
“The message wasn’t permanent. It’s only visible for a limited time, about two hours, and then it’s gone. It’s how the mind-pirates notify each other if something goes wrong, if they need to clear out. They don’t like to leave footprints.”
The Trilogy Award has presented some interesting challenges for our judges. Not only do they have to look at each story along their merits as both part of a whole and readable on its own, but how to consider new authors who join the contest, and what value to place on earlier part of continuing trilogies. Who knows how they will deal with part 3, where authors have to write the final part of someone else’s trilogy
In second place this week we see another tie, this time between two of NiTH’s most prolific authors, Sean Crawley and Lydia Trethewey both come in just shy of our winner this week, with two very good stories that, in different ways, build towards an interesting climax.
Our winter this week is an author who, regardless of whether they claim ultimate honours, always seems to be around the top. Nick Lachmund has taken on serious subject matter for his trilogy award, but as we switch perspectives to Evelyn, a broader, more complicated story has begun to unfold.
Well done Nick for your win this week!
This week we’ll see authors take on the challenge of the Scene Of The Unseen Obscene Award. Part 3 of the Trilogy Award will return next week! If you’re looking for a contest to enter, it’s open to all authors regardless of previous comps, so why not give it a try.