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  1. The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.3: Download and Feedback Thread


    #721912014-03-29 15:44:41 *DarkChaplain said:

    This thread is a follow up to:

    For the full project details, please refer to those threads.


    There we go. A day later than I planned, but at least now you also get a solid, nicely put together PDF version, for those of you who don't want proper eReading software on your machines, or don't have a physical reader.

    A whole lot has been tweaked and changed this time around, beginning with the scrapping of the Afterword, continuing with some more edits by me, and ending with the PDF version. Even the cover has been slightly adjusted in the process. Comes to show that this project line is still growing!

    Pick your format:

    • .EPUB
      • Most common eReader format, Calibre might be good for reading on PC)
    • .MOBI
      • My favorite, works natively on Kindle, iPad and co have apps for it. Use the MobiReader for use on PC
    • .PDF
      • Most likely the simplest due to the easy availability of the Adobe Reader, but inferior to proper eReader software. This time it is well-polished, though.

    Please Download your prefered format, and link interested friends here. Please try avoiding sending the files via Skype and co, if possible.
    The reason for that is that I want to observe format-trends and how many people actually access the files. This way I hope to better understand the actual reach of projects like this, and it is nice to give (future) participants an overview of how many people actually cared about their submissions.


    The following users participated in this project:

    A big THANKS to all of 'em. This would not have worked out this well without your participation!

    I will leave you all to the stories now. Please provide feedback on this thread, but do so with respect and without flaming. Unacceptable behavior may get you excluded from this thread!

    I hope everyone's gonna enjoy the result of our combined work!

    Already thinking about the next one...

  2. #721952014-03-29 16:36:05 *Rinneko said:

    http://31.media.tumblr.com/abc2e8d3d1e4bde43cc71ab82ff28031/tumblr_n36snpaLvW1rbnx7io1_500.gif

    Thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears put into collating the stories, editing them and presenting us with this ebook, DC. Thank you to all the participants, for the days spent brainstorming and penning/typing out your complex ideas into one concise piece of literature. Thank you for the support of all who've followed the thread, and future readers. :)

    I'm really happy this has been released. Currently enjoying the shiny PDF version~

  3. #721962014-03-29 16:45:26 *Kuroba_Loki said:

    Congratulations to the authors that actually finished~ I know how hard it is to mix your daily lives with wew and stuff. So congrats!! I'm writing this cause DC said to congratulate the autho/shotshotshotshotshot

    After seeing various authors' confidence in their stories, I'm actually quite excited to read this.

    Feedback:

    @ecstasy's "Posterium"
    PROS:

    -Personally, I liked it, had a great atmosphere to it. I also see it going on and continuing even after the ending :D

    -The protagonists also had a great feeling to them, and had good chemistry.

    -She managed to built a very realistic future environment and was able to describe how it came to said future.

    CONS:

    don't hate me for this @ecstasy :3

    There are actually only two things which I found lacking in this story; namely:
    -Description of the Posterium that was supposed to be the title.

    I found the story had Posterium as a side story, I mean it didn't have much impact on the story aside from making the world as the way as the author wrote it. I just feel that you could explain more of what this Posterium is, I know that you were aiming for a "mystery" effect with it, and I get it, I just feel that as the story title, it deserves more attention. :D

    -Lack of characters.

    Now I know that you're all limited by the word count, but I couldn't help notice that you only focused on the UG and the protags on your story. It felt like your other characters were a bit lacking in their description.

    EG: What happened to Liza, after she vanished? and the like.

    And that's about it, that's all I have to say about your work @ecstasy, hope to see you writing again :D Now onto....

    @kirn's "Following Procedure"
    PROS:

    I liked this story as well, as short as it may have been, I think it is still a good read :D

    -Good characters and settings

    -Good character interactions

    -Very nice descriptions.

    I think this story had what xtc's lacked, but not everything is without flaw.

    So here's what I thought was lacking or unneeded in this work:
    CONS:

    -Too much description of devices and the like lessened the story progress description. For example, you could have elaborated more about the commands new order, but then again it's not the main point of the story so I understand.

    -Too short. I know we have a word limit, but I still think you could have gone a little more longer than what you have written, and if you did, it would be a better story that it already is.

    That's all! Thanks for the good read~

    Next up on the list is @rinneko's "Transposition"

    Firstly, the PROS:

    -vivid descriptions with the use of colors and words which i really liked~

    now the CONS:

    -Lack of characters. Now, I know it's not needed, but I still feel that less than 3 characters interacting is lacking, I know i'm sorry :D

    I'm sorry I've not much to say about your work, but I really enjoyed it :3 -bows-

    I actually wanted to see how Cael interacts with his newfound world :D

    Up next in the list is @--jack--'s "More Machine"

    :D

    Speaking of a next writing contest, I might be planning to join~
    to @kirn's disapproval

    .____.

  4. #721972014-03-29 17:16:26 *kofuku said:

    CONGRATU-FUCKING-LATIONS TO ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND YOUR (without a doubt) FABULOUS STORIES.

    I shall be reading them eventually! ^_^

  5. #722042014-03-29 22:35:53--Jack-- said:

    I've been busy today, but I'd already downloaded it this morning.

    It looks real good and it'll be fun reading it. Glad to be writing with CL yet again.

    Thanks again to the rest of the participants, and to @DarkChaplain, for stapling our work together in a fashionable way~

  6. #722332014-03-30 08:34:39Kirn said:

    Nice. I have started reading this, but not sure when will I be able to finish. Even on a Sunday, things require me to do them. Anyways, will provide some feedback when I am done with all stories.

  7. #722462014-03-30 18:47:38 *evii-chii said:

    Good job guys and gals~ Writing a story isn't really that easy so you did a great job! I still haven't read them but I will pretty soon ^~^

  8. #722692014-03-31 11:23:20 *Rinneko said:

    I have completed reading the anthology, and as previously mentioned, here is my take on the story feedback. For any who have yet to finish reading, please beware the spoilers in this post.

    In chronological order:
    @Ecstasy, with 'Posterium' - I liked the idea of a space-retrieved metal; it was unique, and a fresh read. The setting was developed well, with the United Government and Independent People Organisation disagreement carved out clearly. I also enjoyed the elaboration on Damian's past and emotions over his disability. Conversely, it would have been nice to feel the events from Maxim's point of view more. This story could go a long way if it wasn't constrained by the short story requirements because the setting could be furthered at a more spread-out pace. If you ever want to continue the story, I'd be interested to read it. :)

    @Kirn, with 'Following Procedure' - I really enjoyed the mood creation at the beginning, where Kurt went through the usual daily works and shared a little on his job perks. It felt natural. The idea of the gates was an interesting take on space transport. However, I think that too much time was spent elaborating on the less important events, such as the student tour scene, and too little spent on the unidentified ship's approach event. If the unidentified ship acted more, and shared more of how strange and potentially terrorist it was, that would have been good. Also, the fighting scene was a bit short with a simple narration of the exchange of attacks. Still good though, I was left in suspense of the 'something bigger' to come.

    @--Jack--, with 'More Machine' - This was well-developed, in the sense that the readers learnt about how life in the story's world was like quite extensively. Much information was given, like the temperatures and air concentration. It would have been better to also explain how humans had progressed from life on Earth to this new space world though. Additionally, there was a little of a character inconsistency with how originally space "mercs don't ask questions" to Julian feeling suspicious and questioning throughout the next bit. I understand that it was instinct, but still a little off. The android was nice; would want to see more of her.

    @UmiYuki, with 'Fruit of Knowledge' - A lot of emotional descriptions, which was nice and involving. However, I found this story fairly confusing and I didn't really understand the setting. What was the purpose of the robots, either than being the future's soldiers? Was there a meaning behind the green-eyed woman's scene? I don't know if it was just an expression of Gavin's thoughts or metaphorical. I liked the intriguing plot twists at the end though! :) Got me wondering.

    @johan_5179, with 'Nearsighted' - Interesting writing style, which was a breath of different air from the other stories due its more formal, mysterious feeling. The imagery used, such as the "clock of our collective history", was lovely and vivid. It had a distinctive detective mood to me. The IOR mental information-sharing idea was cool. I actually had a hard time switching perspectives between the ongoing plot and the man's monologue thoughts. Maybe because there were no differentiating font signals or what not, but that's a small matter. The ending was also pretty open-ended and abrupt, and I would've liked to have seen more events.

    @Ucui, with 'Artificial Heart' - This story had a rather medieval, wandering feel. Also, the glass hearts were really sweet. The way you utilised them to transition to the Auto's damage was smooth, so that was a good point. Indeed, the unique formatting I had heard about earlier did not disappoint here and the Auto's screen portions were cool, realistic. Although the ending was touching, I think there was a bit of disconnection from the initial flow of events to it.

    @hellstorm901, with 'The Final Holdouts' - Yes, there was a lot of interesting as well as informative history in here. The fight scenes were also exhilarating, and I really got the sense that true action was going on. The entire story seemed very militaristic. However, it was quite dry. There was many things going on, and logical deductions along with decisions were made. I couldn't really feel emotionally attached to the story though. I don't know whether there was supposed to be a hidden meaning because I didn't see any. I did notice that the title was used to end of the story, and that was a neat touch.

  9. #722762014-03-31 14:26:54DarkChaplain said:

    @Rinneko

    This story could go a long way if it wasn't constrained by the short story requirements because the setting could be furthered at a more spread-out pace. If you ever want to continue the story, I'd be interested to read it. :)

    This was exactly how I felt, and what I told her! There's a lot in that story, and @Ecstasy could easily expand on it. A ton of ideas I'd enjoy to read more about!

  10. #722832014-03-31 18:42:12Kirn said:

    Alright, finally finished. Now, I feel like the stories are about on the same level here, even though very different. So I'd say it would be impossible to really say who is the best here. Still, I may provide some feedback.

    before we start, interesting fact - 3 stories are in a post-apocalyptic setting of sorts. And 3 stories deal with artificial humans. 1 story has both of those elements. Well, let's start.

    @Ecstasy - Posterium.
    Post-apocalyptic story with artificial human there. One thing I can say - there's a lot going on. A lot! And I will support others in saying that the story limits itself by word limit. I mean, there's stuff before war, there's more to know about the metal, there's more to know about how resistance is going... With a lot of things happening you can see the extensive world out there, but the story feels crumpled in a tight space.

    @Kirn - Following Procedure
    Alright idea, I guess. You knew how your story should have went, and you wrote it that way. The main problem here is the style. Your strong points are dialogues, and action, but here dialogues were used mostly just to present characters, and action scene you got was more of a description of an action scene. And you don't do descriptions too well. In the end, it turned out much blander that it should have been. Fun fact though - out of all sci-fi stories here, yours is the only one that is actively about space.

    @Rinneko - Transposition
    Rather interesting concept. Two persons, worlds apart, both probably really mentally unstable in their own respective rights, which provides for such a link. One thing I should say here is that the language was not very easy to follow. Well, at least for me. Another thing, which would be just my personal impression here. This story reminded me of the movie K-Pax, and I kinda hoped that here it also won't be completely revealed if this is real or actually a delusion.

    @--Jack-- - More Machine
    Space mercs. Who doesn't love them, really? This one is solidly written, but I guess the main problem here, which was already pointed out, is inconsistency between the story and the main and final message of it. The merc doesn't really feel like a machine, so android saying that looks... well, plain wrong. Other than that... the story somehow didn't stand out as much for me. No idea why.

    @UmiYuki - Fruit of Knowledge
    In two words - too complex. With complexity falling unto itself. The story of a journey that ends in no real explanation. At least not a coherent one. And without good explanation it's not really as engaging as it could have been. If I was to compare this to something... and I did... this reminded me of the movie AI. There they also had too much of emotions and too little of proper explaining.

    @johan_5179 - Nearsighted
    So, between the first book and this one, it's the second story with detectives on a case. You got a cop fetish, don't you? Actually, I think, this is rather good. You go between the scenes with proper characters and dialogues to cryptic stuff. Last time you had too much of cryptic stuff, this time you are closer to a good balance. I still think the story in the first book was better, but this is pretty good to.

    @Ucui - Artificial Heart
    Nice story here, though this one is also more emotional than anything else. Don't really know what to say. Not really my type of story so I can't judge well. It's well-written... well, maybe dialogues could do with some polishing here and there... but it feels somehow slow in the beginning, and in the end it's kinda fast-forwarded. Uneven pacing? Yes, maybe.

    @hellstorm901 - Final Holdouts
    Solid story, though it makes me question the effectiveness of the army there. They know nothing! At all! Still, the thing here is that this doesn't feel like a sci-fi story at all. This is the army story. Not sci-fi, no. Sure, you have space colony and robots, but you can change them to Africa and any old army drone any time of the day - the meaning of the story, or even the story itself, won't change at all.

    So, that's that. As I said, I can't decide which story I liked the most here. Every story here has something good and something not so good in it. I will say that I wanted to see different ideas, and that I saw. Also, the average quality is quite high here, so good job there!

  11. #722942014-03-31 22:19:50hellstorm901 said:

    @Ecstasy (Posterium) I think as it's been said twice, your story could be really something if it wasn't bound by a word count and you were able to explore everything there is in your setting especially more about how everything went to hell after 2015 and the rise of the Organisation.

    @Kirn (Following Procedure) Reading this story I kept thinking "Air Traffic Tower" and to be honest that's not actually a bad thing. This story explores one of those areas of a standard Sci-Fi universe that you don't think about, the people working behind the scenes to keep Humanity going as it reaches out into space so it's nice to have a story which focuses pretty much on what is the traffic control of space lanes. I think that in place of Aliens the unidentified ship could have instead just have been a new military ship and its appearance was an planned exercise only the Colonel knew about to test the stations reaction to such an event happening.

    @Rinneko (Transposition) Quite an interesting story and I like the idea that two people of different times could swap places with each other as that concept could create some pretty amazing stories, but I actually found myself wishing that Cael was just delusional or living in a second fantasy.

    @--Jack-- (More Machine) I like the whole set up of this with the different groups who each play their own role in the setting with it being a sort of full circle of everyone relying on the other to continue going on, people getting attacked by pirates, pirates getting attacked by mercs and so on. I did think the whole Android thing was a little off though, an Android while wouldn't be an augmented person would still generally be something comparable right? Well regardless we got action so it can slide.

    @UmiYuki (Fruit of Knowledge) This one was complex in its writing but actually quite good, I liked that ending but I think if not limited by a word count then you could have went further with that ending.

    @johan_5179 (Nearsighted) I think I might be the first to suggest that our next short story anthology should be a "Police" setting because you seem to have a knack for this or if we don't go with that idea for the next anthology then you should just make your own character and start cranking out your own Sherlock Holmes type stories featuring that person.

    @Ucui (Artificial Heart) I'm going to say this one gets my personal pick for best. I really liked it, I think I understand what Rinneko meant about Medieval but I would probably say Victorian would be a better description instead. It was a very sweet story and you handled this genre by taking a common idea and making something unique from it. So yeah, last story in the list (discounting my own which is technically last) is my personal favourite, so thanks for making my reading end on a nice one.

  12. #722972014-04-01 00:07:43Rinneko said:
    I actually found myself wishing that Cael was just delusional or living in a second fantasy.

    Care to elaborate, please? :)

  13. #723822014-04-01 21:42:16 *Ecstasy said:

    Alright, took my time with reading, now to the feedback. Overall good stories, sci-fi definitely was a good pick and I enjoyed creating my own setting a lot (in fact, I got so carried away with it I could write a book) as well as reading other participants' creations.

    Spoilers ahead.

    @hellstorm901 - "The Final Holdouts"
    The setting was described well (even though to be honest I did lose myself in it a couple of times) and I did smile at the part where the protagonist didn't even know the military sign signals. Quite a lot of action with a good pace and I actually somehow liked the engineer and the machinegun guy without you giving them any special attention. Also, even though briefly, you did bring up a topic of death on the war, I think it could bring more depth to the story if you elaborated on it, especially considering how many of the characters die.

    @--Jack-- - "More Machine"
    A very developed setting which I really enjoyed. Augmentation is something I was always interested in and it can raise some deep moral questions (like are we really allowed to modify our bodies and so on), Julian is kind of a decisive character too, which is one of my favorite character types. Space pirates and mercenaries is also a cool concept, so I enjoyed reading the story. Also you went a bit into the mercenaries being expendable topic which is actually an interesting thought to write about. So good job here. I kinda disagree with people who say that Julian is a controversial character, he doesn't ask questions, but just keeps himself aware of the surroundings. The only thing is that you don't go in-depth with all the possible deep questions which you could raise. You mostly just describe the events and it is still enjoyable to read but as someone who really liked the setting I wanted to read more about moral side of the setting if that makes sense to you. It might not be my favorite story in this anthology, but this setting is definitely my favorite.

    @johan_5179 - "Nearsighted"

    ‘Dammit I’m mad sides reversed is Dammit I’m mad’ sides reversed is ‘Dammit I’m mad sides reversed is Dammit I’m mad’

    Well done, johan. The concept of a free mind is probably not the easiest thing to write about and I like madness themes, so it was really enjoyable to read. The parts written in the first person impressed me the most. I think this is my favorite story in the anthology, it puts the reader into a certain environment but still gives enough space for the imagination. Also, though Rinneko got confused by it, the transfer from the detectives to the main character (as much as you can call him that) was rather clear for me because you switched from the first person to the third person types of storytelling. But it did leave me wondering about the way he ended up like this, with the woman and his tongue cut off.

    @Kirn - "Following Procedure"
    As always I enjoyed your simple writing style. The story wasn't anything special but it still got me from the very start. I especially liked how you described Kurt's routine and his crew. And I don't know if Victoria name was used for a reason, but it did drew my attention to her. The atmosphere is set nicely, enjoyable read overall.

    @Rinneko - "Transposition"
    I liked the idea of telepathy and the possibility to switch bodies. And Cael's choice is something you can think about. Like if you were asked the same question what would your reply be. I also liked the descriptiveness of your writing style. You could probably develop this trait even more and be one of those authors who can manipulate the reader through descriptions of some small details, but same as Kirn, it was a bit difficult for me to get into because I'm not a native speaker. Also I know my post is TL;DR but I answered to your feedback on my story in the very end of it.

    @Ucui - "Artificial Heart"
    This was touching. I almost shed a tear which means that the story was written well. Also I liked how you told their life story in one newspaper paragraph. It was also much more centered around romance which noone else allowed themselves to do. So it stands out and it did give out a unique atmospheric feeling. Otto is a great character, I really liked him. Without openly mentioning it you made me wonder how his brain system works and how he feels about him being able to outlive his masters. Some details, like glass hearts and paper hearts and the oath, were nice as well.

    @UmiYuki - "Fruit of Knowledge"
    Some of the emotions were described well. But horror would probably fit your style more. I mean the story has some rather shady setting and a couple of scenes are a rather horrific experience for the main character. But then again you did a good job at writing your story right before the deadline, most of other participants had much more time to think their stories through.


    @Kuroba_Loki thanks a lot for criticism. the thing with Posterium was that it influenced the life of the main characters a lot and they both had the metal inside them. as well as the whole world was changed because of the human greed for it, so I chose to call the story that way. but yeah, I agree I could make a better description of its properties. the mystery behind it wasn't really that much intentional, I just wasn't sure how to describe it from the technical point of view. so I came up with a short description that it can be programmed. but then again I didn't elaborate even on that. so now when I think about it, I could throw in a couple more paragraphs about it. Also I agree with the lack of people. I could just say that the ship was crowded with people and stuff and I could also describe Alex and Liza's personalities through their interactions with Max. Especially Liza. I had too many thoughts about the setting and there were characters which I threw out of the story to limit myself somehow, so I ended up too focused on the protagonists I think, trying to tell their stories and motivation. But I'm glad you still was able to enjoy it, so thanks a lot for the feedback.

    @Rinneko I guess with Maxim I was trying to go for a less emotion based descriptions to make him look more closed until the end. Since this is what he was trying to be, thinking that he isn't really a human and I was trying to kinda give him a bit of an antagonist feeling to show his softer side later. He was initially more of a main character than Damian, but Damian was easier to describe afterall, so I just went with the flow there. Also space-relieved metal isn't that new of an idea. Superman did it too xD

  14. #723852014-04-01 21:58:42Kirn said:

    @Ecstasy that name wasn't used with any particular reason. Well, I am not really good with making up names for characters, so sometimes I tend to use some names more often than others just because I don't want to make up new ones. Funny fact - Victor/Victoria would be one of my first three picks if I would want to make a character with good-sounding name ))

  15. #723892014-04-01 22:31:31Rinneko said:

    @Ecstasy - I see what you mean. It would've been lovely to look seeper in to the softer side of Maxim. Great job though. :) Additionally, thanks for your feedback!

    @Kirn - You could always use the random name generator, like me.