Are Y’Ready For The Vote?

Okay, I’m annoyed! I erased my own spectacularly brilliant intro!

Fine.

Now pay attention, and hear ye hear ye! All participants in my recent TV Time-Travel Meme, plus Tom Bondurant, are required, not to say hardwired, but required, to VOTE! For four, yes not three but FOUR, of the following pitches!

Rank those bastards!

So, here ya go:

Tontine, by Matthew E.

Bill And Ted’s Excellent TV Show, by Joncormier

Star Trek: The Great Disaster, by Tom Bondurant

Rip Hunter: Time Master!, by Shane Bailey

Velvet Curtain Of Night, by Sean Witzke

The Sisters Weirde, by Erin Palette

Time Out Of Mind, or “Here Comes Mr. Dylan”, by Formerly Mikesensei (although F. Mike, please…with so many great Dylan titles and lyrics, work a little harder on this one, I beg you as your editor and friend. Hell, “Quinn The Eskimo” would be a better title)

Threshold, by Matthew E.

In A Pinch, by Sean Kleefeld

Distant Mirrors, by Formerly Mikesensei

Quantum Leap 2, by Tom Foss

Entangled, by Jonathan Burns

Tourists, by RAB

Lo, geeky people! And forsooth! Verily, the gauntlet has been cast down! RANK THY FAVOURITES! and don’t make me send you any threatening e-mails!

Okay, I’m gonna send some threatening e-mails. LO, I HATH SPOKEN! AND SO SHALL IT EVER BE!

Afterwards, I’m gonna get a little Odinsleep. In a big bed shaped like a horse, with a lotta pillows. AND YEA, THERE WILL BE A RECKONING! After I’ve had my coffee.

Okay…DO IT! I look forward to seeing these rankings like you wouldn’t believe.

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38 responses to “Are Y’Ready For The Vote?

  1. Surely Tourists is still in the running?

    I’ll presume it is; if I’ve missed something, I’ll correct.

    1. Tontine, by Matthew E.
    2. Velvet Curtain Of Night, by Sean Witzke
    3. Tourists, by RAB
    4. Time Out Of Mind, by Formerly Mikesensei

    And, like Odin is judging this?

    Excellent! [Wyld Stallions air guitar riff]

  2. I fixed it…damn it, I knew I was forgetting something important!

    And yes, Odin is judging this, the All-Wise…although he’s feeling a bit peckish, so while he makes himself a sandwich he’s decided to give all his power over to Quisling the Betrayer, because, you know…heck, why not? It’s just for five minutes, after all…!

    “All-Wise”

    Odin’s the best!

    Just stay in that Odinsleep, Papa…you’re big trouble when you’re awake…

    From you only, Jonathan, I’ll accept a pick without an accompanying explanation! But I am surprised, maybe not surprised, I don’t know…that your picks are basically the same. Tell me, did you feel more confirmed in Tontine since Matthew elaborated on it, or less?

    Anyway, Odin has registered thine picks. But now he is sleepy. Maybe he should give temporary kingship to his untrustworthy son Loki? Yes…that seems like a really smart idea…

    Well, but maybe he’ll eat that three-day-old tuna sandwich from Subway that’s been sitting out on the counter first…or run with scissors…honestly, Odin can’t decide. But he will punch Rock-Man, that Odin knows. Because Rock-Man thinks he is stronger than Odin. Puny Rock-Man, no one is stronger than Odin…! YEA! LO!

  3. You also forgot Formerly Mikesensei’s Distant Mirrors.

    Are we also guessing which one you secretly wrote, or did that ever actually happen?

    I’m going to have to consider my votes carefully. There are a couple I know I’m obviously going to vote for; after that it’s a horse race.

  4. Accompanying explanations coming right behind, my liege!

    I’ve already said why I dig three out of my four. But here are my implicit criteria.

    (a) It has to be a novel concept.
    (b) The novel concept must have enough angles to afford a plot elaborate enough that it works logically but can’t easily be anticipated.
    (c) There must be characters either engaging in themselves or being made so through the plotting.
    (d) There should be a kind of numinous edge to it, where the time travel has its own sense of wonder and is not a mere plot machine.

    I originally voted for Tontine first because of the potential I saw in it. Then Matthew went and realized that potential, in spades. For one thing it has time-traveling pirates, and not just any pirates but historical figures. For another thing, it resolves the awkwardness I saw, the disjunction between the time-hopping schemers and the managers of big financial institutions; this it does by featuring a commission agency, a wild and woolly bunch of hypercompetents who’ll tackle problems around the globe. Tontine scores on at least (a), (b) and (c), and the Newton’s Longitudinal Helm is a worthy (d).

    Velvet Curtain is still in second place, because of the affection I have for the verve with which Sean tries for all four criteria in one burst of invention. It scores big on (d), by projecting as spooky and glamorous at once.

    Tourists makes its pitch squarely on (c), and RAB makes me believe he could realize it.

    Time Out of Mind scores on (b) and (c), but mainly for sheer audacity. This is Not Spinal Tap, it’s more like Jerry Cornelius. Formerly Mike is making a claim on the musical core and vision of the ’60s, and I for one have spent my life parsing those but in vain. It’s worth any number of blunders to see a genuine attempt made on those heights.

  5. Okay, here we go. The entries, and why I am or am not voting for them (I will spare all of us the embarrassing spectacle of me rating my own submissions):

    1. Time Out of Mind. Let’s-fix-history is a time-travel plot that has always worked and will always work, and the setting/subject matter here are dear to my heart.
    2. Distant Mirrors. When I read the pitch for this one, I was going, yes, yes, this is all fine, we’ve seen it before but it’s fine. Then there was that twist at the end and I was all, Dude. What’s. Going. On. Awesome idea.
    3. Entangled. One thing I like about this one is the sense of confusion, mystery, of not knowing what the hell is ever going on that, to my way of thinking, would necessarily be present in any world in which time travel was a possibility.
    4. Wyrd Tapestry. I know Erin has disowned this one on her own blog, but I like it anyway. I wonder which Wyrd Sisters she has in mind… the ones from Macbeth or the ones from Discworld? (Or some I don’t know about?) I hope it’s the ones from Discworld; after all, they did a bit of temporal engineering themselves once…

    5. Velvet Curtain of Night. Highly stylized and uniquely conceived; it’s not like anything else, which is one of the highest compliments I know how to pay. One thing that puts me off about it is that the world seems a little too amorphous. This may sound like a contradiction of what I said about ‘Entangled’, but I tend to like knowing where I am when I’m in the middle of a narrative.
    6. Bill and Ted’s Excellent TV Show. Whatever happened to Alex Winter, anyway?
    7. Rip Hunter, Time Master. I know, it’s the DCU; I should probably rate it higher. Nothing against Rip, but I wouldn’t buy a comic book with him as the star…
    8.-9. Quantum Leap 2 and Star Trek: The Great Disaster. I’m sure they’re fine ideas, but I wasn’t a fan of the original shows so I can’t see myself showing up for the sequels.
    10. Tourists. It’s an intriguing idea, and much could be made of it, but I can’t see myself tuning in to watch it every week. It would make an awesome novel, though; I’d buy that.
    11. In a Pinch. This is actually an idea that I like a lot. But the problem is, I’d have to wait until the last episode to get to the stuff I liked, and that’s no way to do a TV show. It would make a great movie, though.

  6. Final self-referencing before voting:

    “Time out of mind” – sorry for falling down on the title…I was paralyzed by the breadth of Dylan song lyrics to choose from. I briefly considered “Froggy went a-courtin” (It’s on Under a Blood Red Sky–Dylan’s tribute to Crisis on Infinite Earths).

    And is it too late to get “Distant Mirrors” onto the post that lists the candidates?

    Okay, back soon with my votes. So many choices!

  7. This is almost as fun as the original thread.

    I fixed “Distant Mirrors” — crip-crap-crippity-croo, how in the hell did I forget it in the first place?

    And what do you mean Erin has disowned the “Wyrd Tapestry” thing?! WHY THEN I CLAIM IT AS SALVAGE, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW SUPPORTS ME!

  8. F.Mike — like that? It’s all TODAY — “Distant Mirrors” is on there, and I wouldn’t forgive myself if I left it off, it is (as my grandfather used to say) a humdinger.

    Okay, he actually never used to say that. But it is one.

    Another Dylan line: “The Land Of Permanent Bliss”.

    I should ask my friend’s daughter. From what I know of the younger generation, they’re heavy into Dylan.

    And please, anybody else, if I’ve forgotten to list a contestant, tell me so! Scrolling back and forth in that old thread is damn time-consuming, and I forget things as soon as I see them. But I want to include the whole shootin’-works, so don’t let me mess up.

  9. Well, actually what’s wrong with the song that “The Land Of Permanent Bliss” is off of, and one of my favourite songs of the later Dylan…”Sweetheart Like You.” It’s wry.

    Okay, that’s probably no good. He did like two decades of intense excellent and evocative songwriting, and I have like three albums of that only. What we need is for a Dylan scholar to parachute in and settle the question…

    Unless we can take it from “Like A Rolling Stone”, that is. So how ’bout:

    “The Jugglers and the Clowns”

    “No Direction Home”

    “The Pretty Steeple”

    Or maybe:

    “Rabbit On The Run”

    Or

    “Madly Across The Sun”

    Actually I quite like “Madly Across The Sun”, but clearly I’m only drawing from Grreatest Hits.

    Are there no Dylan geniuses among us??

  10. No, I think they’re all there now. The eleven I voted for, plus my two, that’s thirteen. Unless there’s another that somebody put on their own site that I missed.

    I ask again: plok, are we still trying to figure out which one you did in disguise, or did that ever happen?

  11. I read that as “SAVAGE INTERNATIONAL LAW”, which would be a great title for an adventure series (yoink!), I’m voting later as I want to reread everything — 69 comments! Sweet Christmas!

  12. In the other thread, I nominated ‘How Many Roads’, ‘You Don’t Know What It Is’ and ‘Vandals Took the Handle’ as titles. Or how about ‘Need a Weatherman’? Did Dylan have any lyrics or titles about birds? Because Charlie Parker.

    Um, what else… ‘Younger Than That Now’? I don’t know.

  13. 69 comments?

    I may have to invoke Savage International Law…

    And, hmm, yes, I suppose we ARE still trying to figure out which one I did in disguise, Matthew…sorry, I dropped the ball there a bit.

    Yes, one of you is a traitor.

    It’s true.

    But, we’re not there yet. First we vote on who wins the main prize for best TV show (for which the traitor is not eligible), and then we try to figure out who the traitor is, and then Jeff Probst flies a hang glider over the Statue of Liberty and we all have a big Survivor hoedown and celebrate my EXTREME CUNNING IN FOOLING YOU ALL. Ha!

    And there will be rules, to ensure that prizes are awarded appropriately.

    As soon as the votes are all in, that is. So let’s just do that first, eh?

    Fun!

  14. Yes, one of you is a traitor.

    It’s true.

    But, we’re not there yet. First we vote on who wins the main prize for best TV show (for which the traitor is not eligible), and then we try to figure out who the traitor is

    I’ve gone back and looked at this and that, and I have formed a couple of suspicions, one of which seems to me a little more likely than the other. But I’ll keep ’em to myself for now.

  15. Time to vote:

    1. Tontine – a unique plotline that has now been so well developed in the earlier thread that Matthew could just forward the whole thing to Warner Bros. I’ll be checking the listings in September.

    2. Tourists – Science fiction, among many other things, is a way to to defamiliarise and explore issues of the here-and-now. This proposal has the potential to do this in spades. I have a personal connection to the “expat” POV, too.

    3. Rip Hunter: Time Master – Oh, yeah! DCU teases/references could be fun, but could also be a stumbling block if done with a heavy hand. With all of time and space, plus alternate timelines, I don’t think we need to see Bruce Wayne’s father as a med student. But that’s just me. You had me at “Apes with lasers.”

    4. Entangled – “Adventure, romance, tragic responsibility and man-eating venus flytraps,” in the author’s own words. I’m in. When imagining any of these proposals, first I get hooked on the story…and then I have to force myself to back up and reimagine it in the framework of network television. In this case, for some reason, ways that the network “suits” could botch this kept occuring to me, but I’ll pretend that Jonathan is granted total creative control and an appropriate budget.

    – – –

    Any, ANY of the others could make a great series, and if I’d had a slightly different ratio of cream-to-coffee this morning, one or two of them would have gotten into my personal top 4. (And of course, in an alternate timeline, they did.) This has been the most fun I’ve had on the nets in ages, and I thank you all, particularly our host.

    In a future thread, we should kick around our personal favorite time travel/alternate timeline moments from from books, comics, TV, etc.

  16. Okay, might as well do traitor-rules now, just to make sure no one jumps the gun.

    Rule 1: One email, one guess; only emailed guesses will be A) counted and B) replied to honestly.

    Rule 2: In the event of a tie, the guess stamped closest to midnight (my time) on the designated day of guessing will be deemed to be the winning guess.

    Rule 3: Incorrect guessers will be permitted a second guess.

    Rule 4: In case of a time-tie, first guesses will be preferred over second guesses.

    Rule 5: Only guesses made within the designated guessing day will be answered yes or no, or counted as potential winners.

    Rule 6: The designated guessing day will be set, defined, and announced by me after (but not necessarily as soon as) all the votes for main contest winner are in.

    Rule 7: Ultimate ties (that is, ties in time, accuracy, and rank), should there be any, will be adjudicated by me and may involve a skill-testing question.

    Rule 8: My speed of reply to guesses will be catch-as-catch-can, although I’ll try to be prompt.

    Rule 9: Ice cream may be eaten during the designated guessing day.

    There. That oughtta do it.

  17. F.Mike, we should totally do that (although you know we’ll probably fight over it), and this has been hugely fun for me too, and quite unexpected — wow! As Sean said, like 70 comments on the other thread! And the only clunkers were from me not being patient with WordPress. It’s been awesome, so many good ideas. I’m knocked out.

  18. And Matthew, when you quote it back to me like that…Christ, I sound like Bendis, don’t I?

    Now there’s a tontine for you. A tontine of sadness.

  19. Rule 1: One email, one guess; only emailed guesses will be A) counted and B) replied to honestly.
    Rule 5: Only guesses made within the designated guessing day will be answered yes or no, or counted as potential winners.

    I guess Chrolonel Mustard in the Time Tunnel with the Omni.

  20. Okay, I’ve revised the Weirde Sisters here, and now would like to submit it for nomination.

    After reading that, I am letting my ranking stand.

  21. After reading that, I am letting my ranking stand.

    I’m flattered, thank you! :)

    My votes:

    1. The Sisters Weirde — I wrote it, I have to love it.
    2. Tourists
    3. Velvet Curtain of Night
    4. In a Pinch

  22. Sisters Weirde is awesome! I already cast my ballot, though. Can I please, please have a fifth–? :^) (I don’t mean of whiskey, although that would be welcome too.)

  23. Oh, why must we have the voting? I hate the voting and the winning and the losing. Can’t we just let a hundred flowers bloom?

    I can’t resist any sort of meme or writing challenge — whenever anyone says “everybody go and write a 300 word story incorporating a root vegetable, a dachshund, and the color blue” I am so there — and I love the feedback, but I hate being placed in competition against other people. I much prefer competiting against myself…or against some predefined external standard so that every entrant who meets or exceeds the goal wins.

    All that said, I got major enjoyment from “Entangled” by Jonathan — and his comments here on the other entries should get a prize of their own, though I respectfully but forcefully disagree with one of his comments about my own entry — and “Tontine” by Matthew. Formerly Mikesensei needs to write “Time Out Of Mind” as a novel because I want to read it. “The Sisters Weirde” by Erin deserves props for grasping better than anyone else a critical element of the challenge: that it should be a time-travel based television series.

    The long form serialized and densely plotted tv drama has definitely altered our perception of what can be done in the medium….but the occasional success obscures our recollection of the spectacular, crushing disappointments and failures we’ve actually gotten most of the time when people tried this. There’s room for the occasional television novel, sure…but it needs an extremely delicate touch and constant sensitivity to the realities of holding and keeping an audience. A lot of the entries were impressively well-crafted and intricate stories and would make fine novels but didn’t seem like they were constructed with the hazards of television in mind.

    Saturn Girl, I mean Erin, voting for yourself violates Legion tradition!

  24. Saturn Girl, I mean Erin, voting for yourself violates Legion tradition!

    Perhaps, but the voting has already started, and I don’t want to lose… so I felt I needed to vote for myself.

  25. “The Sisters Weirde” by Erin deserves props for grasping better than anyone else a critical element of the challenge: that it should be a time-travel based television series.

    The long form serialized and densely plotted tv drama has definitely altered our perception of what can be done in the medium….but the occasional success obscures our recollection of the spectacular, crushing disappointments and failures we’ve actually gotten most of the time when people tried this. There’s room for the occasional television novel, sure…but it needs an extremely delicate touch and constant sensitivity to the realities of holding and keeping an audience. A lot of the entries were impressively well-crafted and intricate stories and would make fine novels but didn’t seem like they were constructed with the hazards of television in mind.

    It’s true. And when I was writing up ‘Threshold’ aka ‘Time Travel Agency’ I did have that in mind; I wanted something that could easily be broken down into episodes. But with ‘Tontine’ I was just happy to get a coherent narrative of any kind out of it.

  26. The Dylan thing. I ransacked my brain, but all the apposite lines I could think of seemed too deeply allusive. For instance, “The Arrow on the Doorpost” would sort of work, if you’d dug into the implications of Blind Willy McTell, but only on certain readings.

    I’d still stick up for “The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse”. I think it’s confounding and uncompromising and gets the feel of the mutual outrage and paranoia of the times.

    But my last best shot, because everyone knows the verse it’s embedded in, is “Bleachers in the Sun”.

  27. 1. Rip Hunter. This has legs like crazy, it’s put down clearly and quickly, and I’m not even a DC guy.

    2. Velvet Curtain of Night. (Because damnit, I’M Saturn Girl).

    3.In A Pinch.

    4.Tontine.

  28. Okay, great! We’re only waiting on Sean K., Shane, Joncormier, and Tom Foss, possibly on Tom Bondurant as well — think I’ll just shoot those fellows an email.

    And after looking at the results so far, I’ve decided to simply make my votes count triple, as I think that’s a more equitable weighting.

    Okay, back soon! And Saturn Girls, your voting for yourselves is highly irregular, but on reflection I’ll allow it…also Formerly Mike, you can have a fifth spot for Sisters Weirde.

    We’ll have a result shortly, I believe.

  29. Okay, what the hell, might as well start guessing who the traitor is. So email away, and remember you get two cracks at it, but the correct answer submitted closest to midnight my time tomorrow will be the winner.

    Moving right along…

  30. You really want me to vote on this, do you? I’m with RAB — I was more interested in seeing what kind of things I can spit out once I get my brain churning. Okay, fine, here’s my top four…

    1. “In a Pinch” — Yes, totally my own ego talking here. I didn’t see anywhere that said I wasn’t allowed to be biased.
    2. “Entangled”
    3. “Tourists”
    4. “Rip Hunter”

  31. I’ll vote for Rip Hunter, then go back in time and rig the event to make sure my entry wins. See you soon – or perhaps you’ve already seen me….

  32. Such fun. I can’t wait to see who wins in this great slate of candidates, and I have no clue as to which one is our host in disguise. I’ll email a guess, though.

    Meanwhile, keep those Dylan lyrics-based titles coming. Who couldn’t love “The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse” as the title of a TV series?

    “Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial/Voices echo, this is what salvation must be like after a while…” (from Visions of Johanna). Thinking outside the Dylan box, a friend emailed what is in retrospect another obvious choice: “What About Bob?”

  33. Posted in the other thread…

    1) Rip Hunter: Time Master!, by Shane Bailey
    2) Threshold, by Matthew E.
    3) Tontine, by Matthew E.
    4) Tourists, by RAB

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