CONTEST: High Concept Challenge #9: The Red Planet

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at
Wed May 5 16:38:30 PDT 2010

On Weds 5/May/2010 Tom Russell replied:
>>      As I said in the notes, I just took the Concept and used it to 
>> hang a generic superhero story on it.  Perfectly good story; worked 
>> better than the previous time I took that route; but if I had been 
>> asked to bet money I would have laid it on Tom's story.
> That's very kind, Saxon.
Possibly, even probably - but further reflection makes me suspect that 
it may also be me being reactionary.  As in: while I like my story I 
also think it's a good-but-run-of-the-mill example of superheroism genre; 
and it may be that while I enjoyed _Journey Into..._ #11 (for a number 
of reasons, which I'll go into in the EoMR) my real reason for 
automatically assuming that it would win was that it was so different to 
standard superheroics.  In other words, on a subconscious level I was 
reacting against what I had produced, and by coincidence what you had 
produced was just the right antithesis at just the right moment.
>> And now the Concept for the 9th Challenge.  I've spent the day toying 
>> with ideas, and have settled on 'the red planet'.
> Cool concept, one that kept me up all night world-building. Here's 
> hoping some of that effort finds its way into an actual story. :-)
I spent most of Tuesday thinking about what to nominate as a concept.  I 
think I was influenced a lot by the latest Diane Duane 'Young Wizards' 
novel _A Wizard of Mars_, which has a sequence where a series of 
illusonary tests are activated, and the forms the illusions take are 
influenced by the minds of four different characters.  The first creates 
a scene based on a *very* B-movie SF pulp film one character had seen 
on TV as a child; the second recast the Orson Wells radio play so that 
the characters were fighting Martian tripods in modern New Jersey; the 
fourth illusion was a brief glimpse of Marvin the Martian.  The third 
illusion created a Martian civilisation similar to Barsoom, which covered 
a complex trap that drove the plot for the rest of the novel.  All told 
a rather good parallel for the High Concept Challenge.
Then after I had posted the concept, I started getting story ideas. 
Something with Ares, but I don't think it will fit in the LNH.  The LNH 
never realy had a Dark Age/Iron Age...
Saxon Brenton
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