Despite the rigours of holidays and CoViD restrictions in 2020, Tim, Rick and Paul (Warlord’s Head of Studio) managed to read through and judge the entries for the Antares Action Fiction Competition. There were more entries than anticipated, which made the judging process rather more daunting that originally expected! Key aspects that were examined in each story were the pace, voice, action and, of vital importance, its ‘fit’ within the Antarean technology and universe.
When the dust settled, we had a clear first, second and third place with two more ‘honourable mentions’.
1st place: ‘Opportunity’ by Adam Murton of ‘Raider of Bronvar’ fame. His story pits an Isorian Phase Sniper against a Renegade NuHu and a protective horde of misgenics.
2nd place: ‘Beating the Odds’ by Kevin Stotts & Laura Marinchek, Kevin being one half of the Tabletop Warlords. A Concord commander takes on battlesuited Ghar and in desperation takes inspiration from a well-known Concord hero.
3rd place: ‘Spill’ by Marc deSantis, in which Isorians explore an infected sleepership which turns out to be overrun by Virai.
Highly Commended: The judges felt that two more stories deserved an honourable mention primarily for their brave explorations of very different voice and viewpoint whilst staying strongly within the Antarean universe. These two were:
- ‘Demon Hunters’ by Adam Murton (again!) in which a very primitive group of Ferals face off against Tsan Ra who they consider little more than ‘demons’; and
- ‘Z342’ by Benjamin Buxton in which a Virai assault drone defends a captured ship against incoming biologics.
Congratulations to the winners and praise to all for attempting the difficult task of producing something interesting and exciting in less than 1,000 words in the tightly-bound confines of the Antarean universe and technology.