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Officer’s Guide: Top Sims Contest for Beginners

This week’s topic is on the Top Sims Contest, what it takes to win, and how to go about doing that. While the “Writing Challenge” is more of a personal contest, the “Top Sim Contest” shows pride in your ship and it’s writers, She’ll start with some Submission Guidelines to get you started.

Quick Tips

  1. You can submit ANY sim from your ship, or another ship. All sims are welcome, including command staff (Captain, First Officer, etc.) sims.
  2. Please find a balance between nominating too few, or too many. Don’t submit every good sim — instead, post every great sim!
  3. Also encourage your fellow crewmates to submit at least a few sims a year. If you want your crew-mates to win more often, you have to nominate the best sims, and encourage others to write higher quality sims.

It’s well said and understandable, but I still wasn’t sure what to think about how to choose properly, and it made me ask around. My first choice was Captain Kalianna Nicholotti; I wanted to see what her thoughts were in this matter in regards to a more personal approach.

  • “The Apollo, a lot of the time, is a great example. Top Sims shouldn’t be just dialogue; they should show deep into the event or the characters in the sim allowing the readers to really ‘feel’ what’s going on. Usually the sims I submit get an emotional response from me when I read them. Like a part in a book that is so good you want to laugh/cry/cheer/get mad/etc at the characters.”

Service Ribbons for June

Service Ribbons are In Character awards presented to characters for acts of heroism and participation in plots and campaigns.

Ribbons can be received at any time, but are generally presented alongside crew promotions. It is not uncommon for all members of a crew to receive campaign ribbons.

These brave and honorable members of our group received them in June; please join us in congratulating them.


Writing Challenge Tips: First Person Fortnight Competition

This round of Writing Challenge is a bit different than usual, it doesn’t have a standard theme; instead, all stories must be written as a first person narrative . The deadline for this challenge is July 21st and instead of our regular 3000 word limit, this time you have some more space and can write up to 5000 words. Though unusual, first person narrative is not foreign to science fiction, on the contrary, some of the best stories are written in the first person. So if you don’t have idea what to write about or how to approach to the Challenge and want to write for it, here are few stories that may help you.

My personal favorite is  “Forever War” by Joe Haldeman. Also awarded, “Forever Peace“, which is kind of a sequel, is written partly in the first person. “Forever War” is a story about the William Mandala, a former physics teacher, who is drafted into the war between Terrans and Taurans. He goes to war, and when he returns,  twenty seven years pass on Earth, when to him it’s only been a year. He becomes unable to cope with the change, so he returns to the army.  “Forever Peace” is a story of the “cold war” with the use of remotely controlled robots. While I really loved Forever War, Forever Peace – despite its ideas and visions – didn’t satisfy as much as the first one.

Another famous first person story in the SF genre is “Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand” by Samuel R. Delany. It’s a space fantasy about the industrial diplomat and star traveler Marq Hyeth, the narrator in the story. In some segments it’s hard to read, with  reflection on complicated unresolved philosophical questions, but this story belongs to some of the best SF works of all time.

Prey” by Michael Crichton is a story based on a nano-robotic threat to human-kind. The book is full of action and features lot of modern nano-technology.

Roadside Picnic”  by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky was one of the first SF stories I remember reading. What I remember mostly is all of the wonderful artifacts. For a long time I was dreaming of being an archeologist, just because of this book; always expecting to maybe one day prove “they” visited Earth, to uncover something fantastic and unbelievable, no matter how dangerous.

Stanislaw Lem’s short stories about Ijon Tichy  with books like The Star Diaries, Memoirs of a Space Traveler, The Futurological Congress, are also told in first-person, although Tichy is mainly operating as a dispassionate observer.

I hope this will help you in your endeavor.


Officer’s Guide: Un-fogging the Writing Challenge

Writing challenges are usually designed under the premise of being… well, challenging. As an Ensign, or as Commander Kells has shown us – a cadet, it may be more challenging than one might think at first. Knowing the ins and outs of the process and how the challenge works can be the key to getting started. LTJG Vid-Lotilija of the USS Apollo has compiled just the article for any prospective Challenge candidate. Take it away Lieutenant!