11 Characters In Search Of A Time Machine
Sometime this summer or fall, Looney Labs plans to release
a new product, packaged like Fluxx
Blanxx, called Chrononauts: Lost Identities. This will consist
of a dozen or so new Chrononauts
Identity cards, which you'll be able to mix in with the fourteen
that come in the deck. And to help us create this product, we're
holding a 55-word
fiction writing contest, with the prize, of course, being
the publication of your story on a Chrononauts playing card!
Here's how it happened. A few weeks ago, Bill Andel posted
the following on the Chrononauts
A little analysis of the timeline and
the identities reveals the following:
1) All unparadoxed Ripplepoints have
at most one identity associated with them. Those with NO identities
include 1939, 1942, 1962, 1974 & 1999.
2) Most of the patches have two identities
associated with them. The unstable 1945 patches have none, which
stands to reason as it is unlikely such patch could be "protected"
long enough to achieve victory. Those with only one associated
identity include 1868', 1929', 1933', 1952', 1944', 1948' &
1991'. 1962' also had only one identity associated with it, but
that identity is a particular super-evolved cockroach and this
patch is the Uberparadox, so associating further identities with
it is probably pointless.
This data suggests that there are still
more identities possible in the current Chrononauts timeline
and still some 55 word stories left untold. Here's one of them:
Herbert (1868', 1929', 1939)
Seeing Is Believing
When a fellow member of the Diogenes Club told Herbert he'd
actually built Herbert's fictional time machine, Herbert didn't
believe it. Challenged to try it, Herbert did and to his surprise
got a first-hand look at the shape of things to come.
I challenge the other members of this
list to devise identities with 1942, 1962, 1974 or 1999 as their
"true" history headline.
Even though I never wrote back (sorry Bill, this came in at
the start of our DSL crisis), I got a big kick out of this message,
and it got me to thinking. I really liked Herbert and immediately
wished to have a card featuring him; moreover, I couldn't help
but rise to Bill's challenge. Specifically, I couldn't resist
the really tough challenge, of creating another character who'd
be in favor of World War 3. Far from being pointless, as you suggest,
such a character would actually be very useful, since as soon
as someone really starts going after 1962' everyone knows they're
a cockroach. So I wrote this:
(1929, 1948', 1962')
At Long Last, The UFOs Arrived
Tragically, the Earth was a wasteland by then. Nothing remained
of human civilization except a "time capsule", buried
during a "world's fair" 5000 years ago. But those artifacts
inspired us to use time travel to rescue humanity, by preventing
a global atomic war. What we didn't consider was how mankind's
survival would impact our own...
I haven't really settled on calling him Zoltar; in an earlier
draft he was Spa Fon (it's the obvious companion to Squa Tront,
but if you don't get that reference (EC comics from the 50s) then
you won't understand this one either) and for awhile I was calling
him "Commander Zorgquitz" so his name is definitely
subject to change.
Anyway, all this led to the idea of publishing a bunch of new
characters, and letting the fans help me write the Nanofiction...
The Official Contest Rules
- By submitting an entry to this contest, you are freely granting
us non-exclusive permission to publish your story on our website,
as a playing card in a retail game product, and in any other
manner that we see fit. The author's name will be always be included
with the story.
- If we elect to publish your story as part of a product we
offer for sale, we will provide as additional compensation one
display box of the final product (so you have plenty to give
away and show off!)
- The decision over which entries will be used will be made
by our panel of non-impartial judges and their decision will
be final. The judges reserve the right to edit the stories as
they deem appropriate prior to publication.
- Stories submitted must conform to the standard definition
of Nanofiction (i.e. 55 words in length, plus a title of no more
than 7 words, etc)
- Deadline for submission is June 15th 2001. Winners will be
announced at the Origins Game Convention in Columbus, and on
our website, on July 5th 2001. The product will be released this
fall (assuming we get enough good entries...).
- This contest void where prohibited by law.
- Contact us with your entry.
Thanks and good luck!
A few guidelines
- Stories should pertain to time travel, and be appropriate
for use as Chrononauts ID cards.
- Please do not make overt or explicit use of copyrighted worlds,
characters, or backgrounds (Examples: Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor
- Remember: Just 55 words.