Wow. So Telegram Sam announced the results of this year’s Pod and Planet contest. I submitted three entries, two of which won prizes. I’ll talk briefly and spoiler-free about my submissions, the category winners, and some others I liked from the contest in this post. I also wrote a post with “behind the story” details,
Intercession, in fact, won the Grand Prize. The judges gave it a score of 39 out of 40, which amazed me. This was a little wormhole story that I thought might interest me, a handful of fellow lore nerds, and some wormhole geeks. I also worried that it would be less accessible than my wormhole winner Escalation from last year. In addition, I (and I suspect others) expected that the Grand Prize would come from the “official lore” category, and this one was in the “freeform lore” category. I was really surprised and honored. It may even get a read-through by Zendane of EVE Reader (I think it would be a challenging one to do a reading on, since there is significant play on the written word. I’m also not sure if he was slated to read the Grand Prize winner or the “official” category winner (Gauss, below)).
Homecoming won one of the two Second Prizes in the same category. This was one that was a story I always wanted to write after reading some of Rixx Javix’s 1v1 comics. That’s all I can say for now without giving spoilers – it’s a quick read, go check it out! I had a lot of fun writing this one and am glad the judges enjoyed it.
Stationside, my “official lore” entry, was the one I put the most work into of the three, and of course the one that didn’t win (much like last year’s For the Children). I really liked the concept, but I had a lot of trouble getting it to flow in a way I liked. In the end I think I had some interesting vignettes (I really would love to hear what people think of how I’ve characterized what “real capsuleers” might look like) but not as good a story. There were some really good entries in the “official” group this year, so I’m not surprised it wasn’t one of the winners.
Gauss, by Da’iel Zehn, won the “official” category. It’s a story about the benefits and perils of a love affair between a capsuleer and someone who is … not. You’ll have to read it to find out more. He even made a YouTube video to go with it.
A Toy Amongst Giants, by Jalep Malukker, won the “freeform” category. This is a hilarious and fun retelling of the adventures of a newbie. While Jalep doesn’t have a blog and posted the story in the EVE-O Forums, it’s a read that will bring a smile to any EVE Vet’s face (it did mine). He ninja-loots wrecks in Jita, shakes in his first death, and exults in 2 million ISK victories. And for an encore, he steals from The United. With a light veneer of fiction over the top of a real “Day in the Life” story, his style reminds me of a mix of the early writing of Space Noob Cherenadine Harper with the fiction overlay of my own early stuff.
The Briefing, by Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships won in the “humor” category. I particularly love that Drackarn won this category. I really like his sense of humor throughout his blog posts, and bugged him in the final days to write something because the humor category had a lot fewer entries than the other two. As usual, he did not disappoint. Anyone who has ever cursed cloaky, stabbed frigates in Faction War plexes will appreciate this piece.
Go Read These Too
Sugar Kyle of Low Sec Lifestyle writes fiction I really enjoy and deserves a special call-out. While she didn’t walk away with any top awards, she grabbed Second Prize in all three categories – official, freeform and humor, and every entry she submitted was a winner. She was the only writer awarded in all three categories. Her story Blood Money, about the life of a CONCORD DED officer in charge of exchanging tags for security status, was my favorite this year and took a prize in the “official” category. Her winner alongside me in the “freeform” category, Economics, continued the story of one of my favorite of her characters (my reigning favorite story of hers, last year’s Jita, stars the same character). While not as much to my personal taste, her “humor” category winner, ECM Nightmare, was well-spun too. She also got an Honorable Mention for her fourth entry, Boots on the Ground; Fire in the Sky, tied to the Faction War / Dust link.
I was surprised and disappointed that Kirith Kodachi of Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah didn’t win anything, even Honorable Mention, for The Life of Nina Cruse in the “official” category. I thought it was brilliant and highly recommend that you read it.
I hope to read some more of the entries during my downtime this week.
Thanks again this year to Telegram Sam for running a great contest with amazing prizes and celebrity judges. Thanks to CCP Eterne and CCP Falcon for lending their extensive background in EVE Lore and their time to this player-run effort – it’s particularly gratifying to me that they enjoyed some of my work in their lore world well enough to give it an award. And thanks to CSM rep Mike Azariah for supporting the lore and RP audience that he ran in part to support – Mike probably felt wrong about participating this year given his CSM status, but as a judge he contributed at an even higher level.
Thanks too to the sponsors for their incredible generosity. Congratulations to all the winners. I’ll be back later in the week with some spoilers and background on my entries.