Quick Contest Update

First, thanks to everyone who entered my “naming” contest last week. There are about 750 qualifying entries, which a) is awesome, b) makes me glad I limited it to haiku, since I now have roughly 12,750 syllables to consider.

Second, I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday. This will give me enough time to read through the entire list of entries, pick finalists, accept bribes, and so on.

Third, while there will be one primary winner, whose name will replace Merkel’s, I may ask some of the finalists if I can use their names for other minor characters, because, hey, why not. As a warning, these characters might also die, too. Because that’s life in my universe. As a god, I’m kind of a dick.

In any event. Thanks again, everyone.

40 thoughts on “Quick Contest Update

  1. It was fun. Also, I’ve got a 20 pack of coke zero sitting here and an express shipping container should I suddenly get the urge to send it somewhere.

    Just saying.

  2. @John Scalzi

    As a god, I’m kind of a dick.

    More or less of a dick*, in that sense, than George R.R. Martin?

    *Not to imply that either of you are dicks in any other fashion other than giving your characters the life expectancy of a suicidal Ensign Ricky.

  3. Could you put up a post after the competition with some of the best entries? I only read a few when I entered and some of them were hilarious.

  4. As a god, I’m kind of a dick.

    Meh. I’ve seen worse.

    I know when you announced the contest you said if the winner’s character had to die you’d try to make it heroic, subject to the needs of the story. Well, thanks, but if my number comes up I’d rather go in a unique and memorable fashion. Ingested by voles is fine, but I’ve seen you do better.

    I guess what I’m saying is if I have to go, I want you to be the one to whack me.

  5. Regarding Matt’s comment at #2:

    Ha! I just made a Newest-Favorite-Author-Quote-type Facebook status with John’s line and I made the same comparison to GRRM. Well, mostly the same. I’m of the opinion that John’s got absolutely nothing on Mr. Martin’s Game of Thrones et al for dickishness toward beloved characters.

  6. “As a god, I’m kind of a dick.”

    You could have worse things on your tombstone.

    I use to tease in my college days that I would have BYOB on my tombstone…except that it would be in latin to make it more intellectual.

  7. “But Calvin is no kind and loving god. He’s one of the old gods. He demands sacrifice!”

  8. @#5, Preston

    Seriously. That’s one piece of advice I tell people when I suggest reading his series: don’t have a favorite character because that’s pretty much the kiss of death.

    That and don’t ever complain about the series not being finished. Everytime someone complains about that GRRM kills another Stark…

  9. If you’d limited it to sonnets, you’d probably have had far few entries. The haiku is a easy, short format that anyone can take a whack at.

  10. @#1 by ben
    If that works, well there goes my chance of some kind of quasi, limited, semi-sort-of literary immortality via character death.

    I wish I had thought of it first.

  11. This is a much more interesting if more time/effort intense method of naming characters than I use (i.e. just sticking in whatever name comes to mind in that instant between realizing that I’ve just quoted someone speaking who doesn’t yet have a name in my story and typing “said Wendel Oliver Jones the Third.”) Maybe when I’ve got reader, I’ll try something similar as part of the prewriting process and then just arbitrarily pick my favorite names from among those of my entrants . .

    Anyway, good luck with all those syllables, and like the others, I’d be really interested in seeing the verses of your selected finalists posted, so, once again, we can profit from your hard work.

  12. Hmmm…. bribes you say. Would you accept homemade chocolate turtles? To be delivered this November at SFContario?

    Oh who am I kidding. I’ll probably bring the turtles anyways, even if I don’t get in the book.

  13. John, if I won a slot, I’d be terribly disappointed if my character didn’t die in the bloodiest and most awful way possible. I’d want any other characters hearing the news to get a slight pallor and perhaps some trembling of the lip, until one of them whispered something like, “His whole thorax?” or “Was there anything left for the organ bank?” or “To shreds, you say?”

    Though I wouldn’t mind my character’s survival if he got used as part of an experiment involving some variety of spider-monkey-based monster.

    Not too many monkeys, though.

  14. #18 – You did read OMW, didn’t you? The protagonist basically keeps a torso company in his last minute of life. And it’s beautifully, weepfully sad. Don’t worry; Scalzi gives good death.

  15. If my name is chosen, I’d like Death by Fart-o-Tron from Android’s Dream. I know, I know, ya used it once, and that’s it. And the two books probably ain’t even in the same universe. Still, it’s how I’d want to go out, as the object of a slapstick gag.

  16. I disqualify myself. I changed “Pall Mall” to Lucky Strike” at the last moment because I got a better brand name offer. One too many syllables. But I rake in the dough anyway, which is the most important thing. Nike baby! Kellogg’s Corn Flakes! And, you know, this blog response is brought to you courtesy of Yum! brands :) (Sorry, Scalzi, couldn’t resist.)

  17. Hm. As bribes go, I got nothing. I have the same birthday as you, though; does that count for anything? I’m guessing not.

  18. If I win I’d like
    Beheading, old fashioned, and
    My head on a spike

    dang, I actually read too many of those…

  19. I wouldn’t care if my namesake character died, it would be kinda fun but I don’t picture myself going out with an heroic ending. I’m the type of guy who’s last words would be “what does this do?”

  20. To be fair to GRRM, I’ve heard him complain about his characters having minds of their own, leading to author-unauthorized bloodshed and mayhem ….

  21. I’d rather be dead in a Scalzi book than alive in a few of the places I’ve been…

    roger@27 – is that kind of like the last words of a redneck? “Here, hold my beer. I want to try something….”

    (what’s the last thing the redneck hears? “Dude! You’re doin’ it! You’re doin’ it!” )

  22. Well, if you ever need a name, no matter how despicable the character may be and how horribly he or she might die, you are welcome to either of my names. :)

  23. I make some freaking awesome chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. #notabribe #okaynotreally

  24. Scalzi: free tickets to my next band’s first concert. I might even let you play in the band too!

  25. @11 Cheryl – If you’d limited it to sonnets, you’d probably have had far fewer entries.

    On His Garmin

    When I consider how my life is spent
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide
    I offer up one plaintive last lament
    That GPS has led me to the side

    Of a large canyon, walls of dusky red
    And jagged stones that offer up sharp edge
    I’m pretty sure that I will soon be dead
    My car lies balanced, rocking on the ledge

    Was trusting instinct really such a leap
    Oh why did I turn left instead of right?
    I curse the GPS and then I weep
    The sun dissolves and day turns into night

    The car tips up and slides towards the depths
    It’s over now, I can but sit and wait

    I always figured my minor in English Lit would come in handy, but I never quite figured out howl.

  26. Too late for the contest, but still worthy of a capital sentence:

    Period. Space. Space.
    It is Everything that’s wrong.
    And bad in this world.

  27. Ahem. That should be “figured out how“, not howl. Although I never really understood that poem either.

    Is it cocktail hour yet? I appear to need one.

  28. Oh, I’d have no problem with my character dying (perhaps by a pack of roving rabid gerbils because it’s just so unique) ;)

  29. From what I’ve read on this site over the last year or two, you needn’t limit your self-described dickness to when you are acting as a god. You seem be a pretty good prick when you put your mind to it. Entertaining? You bet. Funny? Lots of the time. Interesting? Oh yeah. Snarky dick? Yepper. It is part of what keeps us coming back.

  30. Oh Man! Too late to enter as I just found your site today. So why bother with rules? Here are my two cents.

    “There once was a lieutenant named Dan
    who was really a fine looking man.
    He was fit as a fiddle
    ’till he was lased down the middle
    and now all he’s good for is jam.”

  31. Russell, cut that out.

    A lively young writer named Scalzi
    With whom many desired to get palsy
    Will have ground into goo
    A chap named after you
    An action that many think ballsy

    Not much rhymes with Scalzi. Sorry about that. Palsy (in this case) is like palsy-walsy (i.e. friendly) and not a medical condition.

  32. Scalzi proved why (in using his trick
    Of persuading his readers to pick
    How their namesakes expired)
    As a scribe, he’s admired,
    But as God, he’s, well, kind of a dick.

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