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Story challenge

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  • Story challenge

    A lot of people seem much enamored of the Jerry Cornelius stories and the techniques Mr. Moorcock employed there. A few people here have even posted their own JC stories, such is their enthusiasm.

    To those interested in giving it a try, I want to lay down a challenge: invent a new character who seems as emblematic of our times as JC seemed in '65 when The Final Programme first started appearing. Run him through an adventure that shows these features (which is to say, don't TELL us about them, dramatize them).

    Anything up to a novella for the opening salvos.

    By the way, as a wrinkle, I'll lay down the condition that the character's initials cannot be JC.

    LSN

  • #2
    I am working on formulating the ground rules on another challenge that would use as a starting point some notions derived from Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer.

    Shall it be Gothic, or do we Go for Baroque?

    LSN

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    • #3
      Here's a ghastly thought: a neo-conservative emblematic figure, reviled and fawned upon by others, sexually transgressive yet given to spouting pap on "moral values" for the consumption of the Lumpenproletariat. He should, of course, possess all the "technological toys" suitable to such a creature (and mirror image of JC circa '65).

      Does he go on an adventure to Iran? Is there a prologue meeting in Bagdad? Do people of this sort already serve in the U.S. government?

      Someone could use such stuff as the springboard for some ironic / sardonic comedy.

      Not to be taken seriously, of course. Unless someone actually tries to pull it off!

      LSN

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      • #4
        Re: Story challenge

        Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
        To those interested in giving it a try, I want to lay down a challenge: invent a new character who seems as emblematic of our times as JC seemed in '65 when The Final Programme first started appearing. Run him through an adventure that shows these features (which is to say, don't TELL us about them, dramatize them).
        Hmm, okay, well I've got an idea but whether I can translate that idea into anything more substantial I'm not entirely sure. Give me a week or so to see whether or not I can turn it into anything. :|
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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        • #5
          Good, we'll look forward to it. I'm surprised no one else has taken up the challenge. CandyFlossCow ought to be interested, I would think.

          LSN

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
            Good, we'll look forward to it. I'm surprised no one else has taken up the challenge. CandyFlossCow ought to be interested, I would think.
            Aha! :) Yes, sounds good. A new new messiah. Or antichrist? I'll definitely give this a go. Thanks, LSN :)

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            • #7
              That's two.

              The goal -- in part -- is to get all of you JC enthusiasts to think beyond Mr. Moorcock's Cornelius template and to devise your own idiosyncratic templates. Clearly, a number of you are capable of doing something interesting. The trick here is to get your own vision of the Zeitgeist into the story. That's what Mr. Moorcock accomplished with The Final Programme.

              Think of the process as a Hegelian dialectic between you and Moorcock's stories, where you say, "No! That's not it at all!" If you wish to turn the Cornelius tropes on their head, that's one way to approach it. If you wish to define your own view of these matters without reference to the JC Weltanschauung, that would be excellent, and a slightly different way to deal with things.

              Whatever works.

              LSN

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              • #8
                While I'd be interested to take part in a project like this, I have to mention that I'm one of those who has not yet read JC beyond The Final Programme. Does this disqualify me from taking part? I might be able to assay the weltanshauung thing from an idiosyncratic angle but would be unqualified to present it as a reaction or complement to JC. I already have a template, so to speak, though it means ressurecting and fleshing out a character concept from my long distant past...:o

                As for trying to capture a zeitgeist, for me that would be like a man in a life raft having aspirations to capture a battleship.

                Which is not to say that I wouldn't try

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                • #9
                  Mouser, all you really need is a desire to participate. It might even be a hindrance to be too well-acquainted with the JC canon.

                  So go for it.

                  LSN

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                  • #10
                    I'm no author or poet,but I have a desire to toy around with that idea. Do you want the outline first or just write it and post it somewhere? That sounds like alot of fun.

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

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                    • #11
                      Just write it the way you want to read it.

                      If it's short enough (under 8-10,000 words) you can post it here. If you want to post a link here, that's fine.

                      If it's good enough, we can go to the next phase: should it be included in a future dot-release of PX?

                      But let's handle one thing at a time. Just do your best, and we'll sort out the rest later.

                      LSN

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                      • #12
                        So that's 3 or 4 possibles.

                        Where is Mr. Sizemore? He is a Cornelius enthusiast, I gather. I'd think he would relish a chance to see what he could do within the bounds of this challenge.

                        LSN

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                        • #13
                          Note when I say "if it's good enough," that decision may not be mine -- it could be your own.

                          If your experience proves anything like my own, some completed stories just don't seem to "have it." One is just dissatisfied with one's own performance, and shrugs it off. This isn't a science here, so not every story idea works out the way we would like.

                          The first editor and critic is always the writer.

                          LSN

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                          • #14
                            OK I've decided that I'm not so much going to try to capture a zeitgeist as hang on to it's little toe for dear life. If I can manage that much it will be a start...

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                            • #15
                              Grabbing onto the Zeitgeist's metaphorical ectoplasmic toe is good enough.

                              A narrow focus is necessary if you want to keep the story within reasonable bounds.

                              LSN

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