Three authors showed up to work this week, each bringing their own toolbox, with their own set of tools and their own special skills.
The goal? To construct a finely tuned, runs-like-clockwork masterwork of structural storytelling.
Who were these three bright, brave starlights?
First up, newcomer Wally Nadir made his NiTH debut through the omnipresent eyes of a sentient artificial intelligence onboard a colony ship filled with different species.
Wally took omniscient narrator to a new level with The GroupNorm, where our AI shared many human characteristics, and possibly many discrete personalities. Filled with wry humour and frank observations, it’s a short, sharp piece of work that makes me think we’ll be seeing more from Wally in the coming weeks.
Wanting to atone for last week’s ‘near defeat’, Lydia Trethewey returns to the short list with a single-minded purpose, to join, and eventually unseat, our incumbent leaderboard winners.
Lydia’s output and dedication to writing is matched by her ability to tell rich, memorable and complete stories with almost nothing to spare. Engineering Uncertainty took us into the philosophy and authority of authorship, one part steam punk acid trip, one part SciFi literary mindbender, Lydia continues to surprise with stories that lift off like balloons and whisk you away like the wind.
Hot on Lydia’s heels, and looking to make it two in two, Ash Warren’s Soul Speed takes the core elements of the Space Opera (there’s even a cello) and distills them into tender and personal read that makes you wish these competitions were just a darn bit longer. (Who can we talk to about that?)
As always the competition was tightly contested, with judges split by the merest of margins over who was their favourite. And as usual there can be only one winner. So let’s release the balloons and set sail for stranger shores with Lydia Trethewey, our winner for this week’s short list!
This win takes Lydia to the top of the Leaderboard, now equal first with NiTH favourites Amber Fernie and Debb Bouch. It’s an amazing achievement, given that Lydia has only been with us a few months, but the real question is, can Lydia make it 5, and claim first place all for herself.
With so much on the line (The first person to claim 100 wins gets a donut), Lydia’s brash challenge might signal to some of the others that it’s time to step back into the area and show us what they’ve got.
Congratulations to all our competitors. It’s a pleasure to show the world wonderful stories week after week in a format that’s perfectly suited to reading on the internet. Coming up tomorrow we have another great round of stories for the Warren’s Ashes Award.