Art Challenges for Infinity Fan Art (Challenge 4 - An Infinity Short Story - Ended! - Winner: ThornEel!)

My vote goes to @ThornEel for his reunion story. I’m a sucker for…

(Spoiler)... a happy ending!

Oh no, you have glimpsed how my mind works! I should have stuck with past tense, I thought present tense might make it feel a bit more edgy.

How about “The Tools of Advancement” for a title.
Thanks a lot JB47394 That was very constructive criticism :smile: /pats back

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I thought contestants shouldn’t really participate, but oh well, let’s do as romans do :smile:

My vote goes to @ThornEel.
Probably the story with the best flow, consistent from one end to the other. The only minor hump is that the flashback is not immediately presented as that, but one can get it quickly (and see why it is there). Also, too bad there’s no Starfold faction, but hey, you can’t include everyone to the party right ? ^^
I think we all got too focused on the combat aspect, but he does manage to get military tension without actually getting any action. But still gets the action go on, if you follow me :wink:

My preference for the other contestants is in the following order.

I may have hesitated with @dekaku for the first place, but the absence of any faction made me decide for @ThornEel. The story is wonderful and breath-taking, but it could have been a story for any space game, somewhat. Also, I think a story doesn’t have to get a “sharp” end. A story, especially this short, can very well leave you panting for more or make you wonder what could come next.

@Crayfish lays his story as the whole report of an event, from the sparkle to the final military action. There are some inconsistencies though: “Yolande” is at first a military commander, then at the end she’s a doctor (or I presume from “Dr”?). The military scene seems to me a bit blurry as the team “teleports” across corridors and rooms. The plot is really nice.

@JB47394’s story got me quickly confused with the italic sentences. I’m still not sure if those are his thoughts, some voices he creates, memories of before being hit, or a mix of all this. There’s no use of any faction, so I felt like thi story could be laid for any space game.

The story submitted by @Bentware was without hesitation the hardest to read. Almost a block of text, it could use some formatting. The story goes too quickly and without real explanation.

Anyway, GJ everyone as writing a story with less than 2k words is a real challenge :wink:


  1. Another useful technique is to use italics to format thoughts, which is an effective tool when thoughts and spoken dialogue are interspersed. This technique is becoming standard practice among publishers—and for good reason. The different type style makes it quite clear when a person is thinking versus speaking aloud.

Not going to vote. Memory too bad. Cerebral implant failure. code: 405

You have almost 2 weeks to re-read all the stories :wink: I am also going to vote only after re-reading them all at once. Haven’t had time so far but perhaps next weekend.

Go dog go is my limit. The running hat joke, the dogs going then all the sudden it changes with a twist to all the dogs having to stop. Ok I don’t want to ruin it for you but the end is just great!!!

I’m also voting @ThornEel’s Reunion.

It kept me in it’s grip from start to finish. I really liked the buildup of tension before the encounter. Go curves and ceramic armor! :slight_smile:

If I had to pick a story for a 2nd place I would pick probably @Crayfish’s The Ryann Blockade. I really liked the level of detail and consistency with the old lore. The segmented structure worked pretty well and managed to show many sides of the same story without getting a “wait… where are we now?” kind of feeling.

@dekaku’s Silent Space was also captivating. Heavy on the technical detail but I think that was part of the charm. Although I have to agree with Tjafaas. It could have been from any fictional universe. Having at least some elements from the old lore ranks high on my scale.

@Tjafaas’ and @Bentware’s stories were a bit thougher to read. The former felt like having a few smaller stories loosely related to the same series of events stitched up together. And the latter… well I actually had troubles figuring it out at all. A mechanic getting mixed up in a gladiator-like space tournament death match?

@JB47394’s story would have probably been on my top 2 had it been the right length. Really enjoyed reading it anyway.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I think we might have to try this type of a challenge again some time in the future since we have so many talented writers here.

My vote goes to @Crayfish.
Great story. I liked the use of the present tense.

I enjoyed @JB47394’s and @ThornEel’s but felt they were a little bit predictable.

@dekaku’s was kept me glued but felt a little anti-climactic. Reminded me of Interstellar a bit.

I liked the plot of @Tjafaas’s story but felt it wasn’t very cohesive and might have been better if focused on a particular dimension of the story.

@Bentware’s was difficult to read - severely lacking grammar and spelling. There was barely a story - it seemed like it was just a vehicle for voicing your opinion that Battlescape needs more than one faction art style.

Thanks to all entrants.

My vote goes to @Tjafaas.
Interesting plot, which is a good vignette from the SFC independence war. And while it could maybe have felt a bit more cohesive (though I’m not sure with what changes), I still liked how it showed the different angles and how they are set to collide.

@dekaku was a very close second. The story was pretty gripping, nicely written and just kept me reading.
The plot may be a bit difficult to reconcile with Infinity’s lore, are there are no active aliens in the galaxy, though not impossible. Remnants of a long-extinct species? From ancient Earth humans, maybe?
What made me ultimately decide was the lack of ending. What’s next‽ What happens to Dol‽ Needless to say, I’m very interested in reading the rest of the story.

@Crayfish’s story is also pretty good, and again is a nice vignette in the 'verse. The use of the present tense is a nice touch, though for some reason I felt it could have worked better with a slightly more immediate, “stream of consciousness” style, even more immersed in the subjective immediacy of each character. But maybe that’s just me.
However, I felt like the opening paragraph was unnecessary and needlessly spoiled the story.
Similarly to The sparkle, I felt that it didn’t feel quite cohesive enough, but again without knowing what to do to fix that. Maybe it’s simply due to the length, because each fragment is too short?

@Bentware’s story has an interesting plot and uses a nice first-person narrative, making it feel right in the immediate events as they happen.
However, it suffers from style problems (and words not always being the good ones, but I’m forgiving for that). Also, while it is fine to be inspired by the felt lack of faction styles, it does transpires in the tone of the story, which deserves it.

@JB47394’s story is actually my favourite one, with the more open alternate ending. Gripping, tense story with a great ending. I’m actually a big fan of powerful, well-chosen closing lines (as in 1984 or The Stranger), and this is one.
If it hadn’t been out for being pas the word limit, it would probably have had my vote, though I can understand why you didn’t want to cut it down, maybe it was simply not possible to tell it in so few words.
(One little nitpick, Bream is first described as being at gun mount B, but for the rest of the story, is at mount C. It did throw me off a bit the first time I read it.)

Thanks you, I did enjoy reading them all!

I can see how that would be confusing. Sorry about that. I’ve changed the story text to consistently refer to C Mount.

[quote=“hrobertson, post:558, topic:546”]
@Bentware’s was difficult to read - severely lacking grammar and spelling. There was barely a story - it seemed like it was just a vehicle for voicing your opinion that Battlescape needs more than one faction art style.

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Kickstarter campaign thread:

OP can be edited again, @LucasFIN.

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Indeed, I wanted to write the happening of a big war starter, seen through the three faction angles, as it unfold its inevitable course. Guess my patchwork wasn’t sewn strongly enough with the red line ^^ I probably wandered away from the plot in each of the vignettes, which can make it hard to understand the binder between everything.

In case someone has problems finding the entries, here’s a link to the first entry (after which it is just reading to get all entries): Story Submissions for Art Challenge 4

I’ll also vote for @ThornEel with his Reunion story. All stories were enjoyable, what made me choose ThonEel, was that it wasn’t a warstory, but a story about exploration, which is my favorite aspect of sci-fi.

I admit that I left it too open. The main idea was, that Dol Remarro was a descendant of the inhabitants of the Oraodol system. As they are the first independant solar state, they don’t belong to any of the faction. Also as they were mostly isolated as dissidents, they also had to develop high technical skills and be quite money-focused in order to survive, explaining why Dol was even interested in spending multiple years in developing a new type of sensor array, and dumping it in the face of profit without a second doubt. I’ll also assumed that the inhabitants of Oraodol where all terrible people who liked puns, which is why Dol called his ship Orao’s pride, so that he could always hail to other ships: “This is Orao’s Dol speaking.” (They omit ranks mostly because of their dissident history).
I didn’t write it out in the story because I thought it didn’t add to the story itself, as the focus wasn’t Dol’s history with his solar system, but a story about him ^^’

Voting will close very soon.

Ah… I totally forgot to count the votes 4 days ago! :slight_smile: Have to go to sleep now, but I will try to do so tomorow.

So yeah… voting closed.


I have counted the votes. The clear winner of this challenge is:

@ThornEel with his story Reunion

A shared 2nd and 3rd place goes to:
@Crayfish and @Tjafaas with their stories Infinity: The Ryann Blockade and The Sparkle

Congratulations to ThornEel and all the contestants and thanks to all who voted!

Edit: The 2nd post of this thread now works as a shortcut to all challenges as well as the winning entries.


Wow, thank you people! I’m struggling to write those days, this is one of the best encouragements I’ve received for a long time.


For what reason? It felt natural to me, but English is not my native language, so I must miss something.

Yeah, that’s also how I saw it, and I would have in a longer story. But I simply couldn’t fit it…

I was not sure how to tackle that. A sentence, telling he remembered for example, felt it broke the flow (and hard to fit wordcount-wise). I hesitated to put it in italics, but wasn’t sure if it looked good. So I went with trusting the reader in the end!

Indeed, there wasn’t even a Starfold faction at this point!

Ooooh, the early Centauran exiles! I had completely forgotten about those guys - but one has to ask what happened to them. They got centuries to grow on their own before even the Reunion (I’m sticking to that name), but there is no word about them. Did they reunited with the Centauran? That could bring an interesting cultural variation to the Centauran; more unruly, maybe less efficient, but also more akin to think outside the box. Did they were conquered? Assimilated? Did they choose to join back? When did that happen?
Did they go extinct? Did they stay independent? Did they become a special autonomous region? They didn’t grow enough to be considered a new core, nor even being mentioned again, so they at most grew to a few systems. But still, pretty unique situation in the Centauran history.
So good catch there, @dekaku

And please tell us if you write the next chapter!

“Ark people” has the same ring as “Ark guys” or “Ark persons”. I would have expected something a bit more whimsical to be used to refer to the long lost legendary people of the Ark. Many years had passed since their departure, making for an interesting game of misunderstandings, exaggerations and so forth.

“Ark People” would be the academic version, but that refers to a group of people of a separate culture. There’s nothing special known about the people of the Ark, so there’s no reason to use that term.