tagReviews & EssaysEarth Day Home Stretch Review

Earth Day Home Stretch Review

bysr71plt©

There were only seven Earth Day Contest entries, either in single-segment stories or completions of series to review in the last week of the contest, but they were all interesting and worthy contest entries. two of them, Munachi's "For a Better World" and SlickTony's three-part "Panic" series, were competitive with the best in the contest, in my opinion, and one of those stories made my final top five picks.

In addition, I thought two were standouts as humor pieces—gauchecritic's "Red Riding Hood" and sarahhh's "Hell Night"—and there were enough good humor pieces in the contest as a whole that I'm adding a "best of humor" list to the other categories (see listings below).

I think Munachi's "For A Better World" presents one of the better uses in the whole contest of theme in a complete story. (Anyone who is curious about what I really think can be done in sustaining the Earth Day theme throughout a complete story can check out my own "From Sky and Sea to Earth," which wasn't entered in the contest. Subliminal commercial now over), and SlickTony's series is not only a well-written story that does a double whammy on the reader, turning from something earthly to something distinctly not, but I think it also has some of the hottest sex—of all varieties—in the contest.

This essay includes my overall picks in all categories and in the contest overall. I'm duty bound to establish the parameters (again) of my judging of comparative quality, but if you've read these already and/or don't really care what my criteria and method were but still would like to see my "best of the best" lists, you can skip the next couple of paragraphs.

This review provides one reader's assessment of the best reads in the Earth Day Contest 2008 offerings. This is the third, wrap-up review posted within the contest voting period. I have read, comparatively assessed, and voted on 38 of the stories (including series completed, with a completed series constituting one entry) posted in the contest. (As noted in a previous review, I could not include one of the entries in my review, "The Beloved Children," by Sabb, because I had read and commented on that one before it was submitted to the contest.)

Concerning the partial stories submitted separately in the contest, I have not counted them as entries for comparative review unless the series was completed (three series were not completed during the contest) and then I counted them as a single story. I don't think it fair to compare completed stories against uncompleted stories, and I also don't think it fair to give equal consideration to each segment of a series against a single-segment story entry. Doing so increases the raw probability of winning the contest unfairly, I think, merely because the story was chopped up into multiple parts. This doesn't assume that the uncompleted stories are not written as well as the stories I included or that they aren't worthy stories for readers to continue to follow beyond the contest.

As noted in the initial reviews, I used the range of scores from 3 to 5 overall in rating the stories. The story ratings pretty faithfully followed a bell curve: seven 5 ratings, eighteen 4 ratings, and thirteen 3 ratings.

Since this is a contest and the stories needed to be as clearly differentiated from each other as possible, I stuck closer to the Web site's recently redone rating criteria than I would for a casual read. The Web site's ratings make "3" pretty much the average "good" read point). The criteria for ranking of story entries (in descending order of importance) was (1) Use of/relevance to the Earth Day topic (clever or particularly strong affinity to the topic received extra credit; merely convenient or cursory linking—or hackneyed application—got negative marks); (2) story line/storytelling; (3) writing proficiency; (4) technical presentation. I personally think that, this being an erotica site, stroke quotient should be a criteria too—but there seems to be some disagreement on that as a requirement, so I haven't assessed on that criteria. (I have, though, identified my favorite picks in my listings below on the basis of heat in greater depth than I have the other criteria.)

Herewith are the "best of the best" listings across the 2008 Earth Day contest in my estimation (listed in descending order of "best of the best"). They are listed first by official category, then by "heat" and "humor," and finally by combined criteria (and thus arriving at five stories I think are the most competitive for the three contest awards, based on overall story quality).

Best in Theme Use and Integration

"The Tree Hugger," by Fatwa_Morgana
"For a Better World," by Munachi
"Woodn't ya know," by Anthonybthomas
"The Gift," Tarakin
"Saving the Planet Tripletit," oggbashan


Best/Most Complete Story

"The Tree Hugger," by Fatwa_Morgana
"For a Better World," by Munachi
"Frost Heaves," by davidwatts
"Woodn't ya know," by Anthonybthomas
"Lost," by Varian P


Best Demondstrated Writing Prowess

"Lost," by Varian P
"The Tree Hugger," by Fatwa_Morgana
"Frost Heaves," by davidwatts
"Woodn't ya know," by Anthonybthomas
"The Tree House," by warmAmber


Most Heat

"Lost," by Varian P
"A Land Far, Far Away," by theMaven
"The Tree Hugger," by Fatwa_Morgana
"Another Fishing Trip," by TxRad
"Panic," by StickyTony
"Rhonda's Garden," by furryfan
"The Tree House," by warmAmber


Best of Humor

"Red Riding Hood," gauchecritic
"The Greening of America—2021," by Jenny_Jackson
"Shag the VEEP, Save the World," MarshAlien
"Hell Night," by sarahhh



Overall Winners

"The Tree Hugger," by Fatwa_Morgana
"Woodn't ya know," by Anthonybthomas
"Lost," by Varian P
"For a Better World," by Munachi
"Saving the Planet Tripletit," oggbashan

Although rather slim in numbers for this contest, I found the entries in the 2008 Earth Contest to have made an attempt to write to theme, with some of the takes and angles on Earth Day being quite clever. And I think many provided a complete story, written at least competently, and uniformly presented with at least satisfactory grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The contest list should provide good reading for most readers at Literotica.

I do think that segments of a series should be accepted into the contest only if they complete a whole story and that the ratings, for purposes of contest ranking, should be averaged over any segments of series submitted.

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