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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Moons for Shambilar

Further to Malcolm the Cynic's post about his stories and ideas for stories, and mashing it up with something Douglas Wilson recently posted:
“Hack writers do not sub-create a world; they simply rearrange furniture in a glibly assumed (and largely unexamined) prefab world. If necessary, they make it an ‘other world’ fantasy by having two moons in the sky or by naming their protagonist something like Shambilar. But this is just moving things around on the surface. There is no deep structure to it — the author is not exercising enough authority. He is being too timid. There is not enough deep structure because there is not enough deep imitation” (From The Romantic Rationalist, pp. 76-77).
I would like to offer an idea -- an annual content for otherworldly hack stories; the only stipulations being that 1) the protagonist must be named 'Shambilar', and 2) there must be two moons involved in some manner with the story's world.

Now, if only someone would volunteer to annually fund a prize for the competition.


Anonymous said...

Oooooh, you're on. Sounds fun. It'll be my next project after "The Vision of the Professor", newly titled "Eternal Twilight in the Metal Empire", is finished.

K T Cat said...

Gads. I'm filled with nausea at the thought of the tripe I might submit.

Ilíon said...

After the idea came to me, while I was still laughing about it (that is, before making this post), the further thought came to me that if there ever were such a competition, someone would eventually make one or both the 'moons' be the prank of "mooning". So I wrote the stipulations to not rule that out.

Ilíon said...

At the same time, I wrote this post because I wanted to share the quote, which I think makes an easily over-looked point explaining why some stories are flat.

Ilíon said...

"Gads. I'm filled with nausea at the thought of the tripe I might submit."

But that's the whole point of a hack-writing contest. Though, I'm sure it's a fine line the contestants would have to walk. After all, they want their stories to be bad, but not too bad, for the badness is the charm of the story.

B. Prokop said...


I can't believe I'm actually directing someone to Skep's website, but I think you might find the ongoing conversation under the heading "Historical Arguments for God" quite amusing. You can find it HERE.

Ilíon said...

"Oooooh, you're on. Sounds fun ..."

Twenty years from now, when you're a famous (and rich!) author, will you fund my competition?

Anonymous said...

If I'm famous and rich twenty years from now I'll even hire sculptors to design the trophy. Something like a caveman looking nobly into the distance, club raised overhead. A double moon shines in the background, perhaps one partly eclipsing the other. It's all very classical reconnaissance.