*Click to see a list of all the winners!*
*Click this link to read all of the 22 entries of TalesFromTheVoidContest on FF.net*
Today I have a special post for you, a Feature Interview with the Winner of the Tales From The Void Contest - it was An Anonymous Twilight Sci-Fi Contest. As part of the prize packages, I offered: 1st Place Judges Vote - A Feature Interview on the Rob Attack and 1st Prize Public Vote - A Feature Interview on Rob Attack.
I am thrilled to present Alby Mangroves, an author who has written 15 stories for Twilight, and Merlin; she is the winner of both the 1st Place Judges Vote and 1st Place Public Vote categories with her excellent One Shot entry of Anomaly. CONGRATULATIONS!
Summary for Anomaly: A chance discovery on an outpost planet shows the woman with a brilliant mind how to find her long neglected heart. Sci-Fi, Romance
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Sci-Fi/Romance – Chapters: 1 – Words: 7,599 – Reviews: 41 – Updated: 3-17-12 – Published: 3-15-12 – Bella & Edward – Complete”
Tales From The Void Contest – Excerpt from the beginning of Anomaly
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Word Count: 6956
Pairing: Bella and Edward
Summary: A chance discovery on an outpost planet shows the woman with a brilliant mind how to find her long neglected heart. Sci-Fi, Romance.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Twilight
LDE-8 is not the most hospitable of planets.
Terraforming has made huge headway into giving it a breathable climate, but it has not improved the generally unpleasant, hot and windy conditions of the outpost world.
There is little evidence left of the water that once covered much of the landscape. Now, there is only fine sand that permeates everything, gets in everywhere.
It will be another few years before the place is truly ready to colonize, but in the meantime, it’s still a hellhole buffeted by fierce tornadoes, some spanning as wide as two miles.
Deep underground, inside an extensive cave complex, palaeontologist Dr. Bella Swan, head of a small archaeological offshoot of The Company’s science division, scratches away at a dig site protected from the elements.
Below the surface, the air in the caves is many degrees cooler, though the heat lamps needed for the digs burn above like fake, halogen suns, make it a little stifling and stale.
An undetermined electrical anomaly deep within the planet’s mantle prevents comprehensive scans of the soil, so Bella’s team works blindly in the worst affected area, hoping to manually find signs of prehistoric organic life in the maze and perhaps discover the origin of the strange readouts.
Others might find this aggravating, but Bella is grateful for whatever makes most scans they’ve tried to perform here almost completely unreadable; it necessitates work on the ground. To Bella, who’s a little old school, there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty.
She works happily here, alone with her thoughts, the satisfying quiet broken only by the honest sounds of hard work and her own occasional humming.
Kneeling on the ground, Bella ponders a strange find made a couple of days ago, a pit which appears deliberately sunk into the rocky soil. She opens it up meticulously, probing its limits with scalpels and trowels. Deep in her gut, she knows this pit is not a natural formation.
Bella can’t help feeling like she’s on the precipice of something important with this strange hollow in the cave floor. She sits back on her haunches, trying to calculate where the edges might be by the way the fine dust has settled. It shimmers with the same granulated minerals as the rest of the caves, and she sifts it through her fingers, watching it drift like glitter from her hand.
Interview by Midnight Cougar with Alby Mangroves
So, to start, before I ask you a few questions about Anomaly, is there any additional information or a personal note you would like to add about the story?
I would like to thank everyone involved with the contest, the organizers and judges, the writers and readers, and of course, anyone who thought my story was worth voting for. With so many interesting stories in the contest, I wasn’t surprised to find out that the results were close- I’m sure it was by a nose. My win was very lucky indeed, and I would like to congratulate everyone who entered the contest and wrote such amazing stories for us all to read.
Questions (MC) & Answers (AM):
#1) Congratulations Alby on winning both 1st Place Judges Choice and 1st Place Public Vote in the Tales From The Void Contest; how excited were you to find out you had won for both the public and judges votes?
Thank you very much! Actually, excited doesn’t seem to cover it. I was in the middle of serving dinner when my phone started lighting up with tweets. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I turned into Dances With Lambchops. It was a little overwhelming to realize that people really DID read the story, and actually liked it enough to vote for it. If the Judges’ Choice was based on technical aspects such as grammar and structure, then ysar and ms-ambrosia should be getting this award, though I’ll gratefully accept it on their behalf.
#2) Anomaly really is well-written and very creative – the plot, the characters and the setting; where did you get the idea for the story?
Initially, my inspiration came from my own favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies and books. I’m sure anyone who likes the genre will recognize my inspiration to have come from various mythologies spanning movies like Alien, right through to the Arthurian Legends. Of course, I’ve referenced Twilight quite heavily, but the initial idea came from the image of Edward as an astronaut as used on the contest website. Immediately, I wanted to set my story in space and have the hero be an explorer of new worlds. Then, I wanted to kill him and give the focus to a clever, team-leading, female scientist.
Basically, Soapy’s banner made me do it.
#3) When I read the story, it felt quite scientifically technical to me, with Bella being a paleontologist, therefore we see subsequent palaeontological and archaeological observations and elements throughout the story. Did you do much or any research when writing Anomaly, and if yes, what exactly did you research and how did you determine what was relevant for your story?
I really wanted it all to be logistically and realistically possible, so I did a ton of research on the different kinds of archaeology and its related sciences and their methods and tools, for instance, the digitizer is rooted in an actual machine which creates 3D resin molds of scanned objects. It was too good an opportunity to pass up. I definitely wanted Bella’s profession to be viable in terms of being sent on such a mission, and to have it all take place within realm of possibility. Then, I wrote in Mike and Angela to fill other scientifically relevant roles so I could have Bella concentrate on a certain part of the mission, which would see her in the right place to find “Edward”. I really hoped to make it sound authentic, the way all my favorite science-fiction novels do when I fall into the entirely new worlds they create so effortlessly. The ones I love most are the ones that seem possible, and perhaps even probable because they’re not ridiculous.
#4) I’m just curious, does “LDE-8″, the name of the planet in the story, stand for or mean anything specific to you?
The name of the planet in itself is not significant, however, the inspiration for it came from the Alien movies, where the Nostromo sets down on LV-426 – a small planetoid where the alien eggs are first discovered. This planet was not significant enough to be named- it’s simply one of thousands such worlds to be mapped. A generic-sounding name felt more authentic.
#5) And, do you have any plans to expand or continue the story in any form?
In all honesty, I write everything with an expansion in mind. It helps me figure out plot holes and problems to see the bigger picture. In my head, I know exactly what happens after the end of the oneshot, but as far as writing is concerned, I’m not sure if I will continue. It feels quite rounded and finished to me, though obviously their story continues past that last moment in the caves.
I would like to thank Alby Mangroves for joining me today and for the lovely interview. Congratulations to her again on both her wins; it really is a wonderfully interesting Sci-Fi story! Anomaly is a great read, please enjoy, and I would definitely read more of it if she chose to continue!
Also, thank you to my friend SoapyMayhem for the opportunity to collaborate with her and the Tales From The Void Contest by offering prizes here at Rob Attack.
Happy FanFiction Friday! Midnight Cougar