The first time I mentioned the Wordmongers' Masque to anyone, I said that it would be “so much fun it couldn’t possibly be good for you.” Now I think I was wrong. Over the last three weeks, we’ve followed 28 anonymous writers with almost 80 entries covering more genres and styles than you can shake a red pen at. The daylogs have overflown with powerful characters and ideas. People who haven’t written in ages have been writing – and finishing – three pieces a week. How could that not be good for you?
And the most amazing part is, the vast majority of it was damn good stuff. The kind of writing that wouldn’t disgrace any fiction magazine out there. People of E2, we’ve got some serious talent around here.
I apologize for any technical problems caused by my lack of clarity. I did a few things wrong. If I was going to do it all over again, I would probably say yes to poetry. I would require that writers submit titles for their pieces, to make things easier to follow. And I would put things on a schedule, so we didn’t have seven pieces one day and none the next. Hopefully none of these things ruined the atmosphere for anyone.
Okay, if this was one of those industry deals, we’d unmask everyone first, let the audience sweat through two hours of introductions, cheesy performances of middle-of-the-road rock songs by middle-aged stars, some horrendously bad outfits, and then finally the awards. But I did this thing for fun – the awards are secondary. So I will now present the awards.
THE AGATHA: My thanks go out to all the people who thought I was one of the really good writers. Unfortunately, you were all wrong. In fact, the only noder who correctly identified anyone was junkill, who tagged Mo’Nizzle as artman2003 with the words “if Mo’Nizzle isn’t artman, someone’s been stealing his ideas”. Junkill, take a bow.
THE SPIRIT: for my totally subjectively judged “Spirit of the Masque” award, I was looking for a standalone story (no serials) with a strong presentation of character and a complete story. This was an incredibly close call, because we had a lot of very strong entries, but two of them really shone out for me. In the end, I just couldn’t decide between them, so I’m giving Spirit bookmarks to “Ruthless” by Calypso’s Dream and “Jane Loves Birds” by CuppaRust.
THE NUMBER SIX: the award for the single entry with the highest rep goes to Mantits’ untitled piece on September 10, 2006 with a score of 34. Snapping at his heels with a 29 we find Dermot Reilly’s August 31, 2006.
THE KEYSER (BEST COSTUME, IDENTIFIED): since there was only one correct identification, there is only one candidate for the Keyser. That arch-criminal is Mo’Nizzle. Oddly enough, Mo’Nizzle is also the one writer that the most people tried to identify, but only junkill got it right.
THE NEMO (BEST COSTUME, UNIDENTIFIED): another close contest, this time between PersianLoveBomb and, again, Calypso’s Dream. And Calypso wins this one by a margin of three points! Thanks to both of these prolific and excellent writers for their contributions.
Now, aside from these guys there were a ton of stories that were truly awesome, so I’d like for every one of the Masquers to take a bow. Guess that means I have to introduce them. So here we go....
(Drum roll, please!)
Man-of-many-beginnings Carrow was XWiz.
- Sheltered, AKA Becca, AKA Beaker, also goes by Jack.
- Cathartidae “Code Name Harbinger” was really Damodred.
- sniffet’s Real Name is pjd. Awfully short real name, dude.
- FOUND! Demon-Haunted was eien_meru. For a long time I had no idea who DH was. Between unannounced battery failures and other puter glitches, a glut of messages clogging my inbox while I tried to juggle multiple Firefox tabs and multiple Wordperfect documents, and the perpetual lack of organization that is my life, I lost a couple of Masquers’ identities. Demon-Haunted was lost for the longest. Mea culpa, guys.
- Mo’nizzle, AKA The Man Who Killed September 1, was artman2003.
- The very Southern Dermot Reilly was the very not-Southern RangyJoeyHondo.
- Hard as nails Adamantine was bewilderbeast.
- The poetic ElizabethH, whose submissions were regretfully withdrawn on grounds of being mostly not-prose, was and is an enigma. Sorry, guys. Hopefully that means she has more diabolical litcrimes to commit.
- The vampiric padiddle was Chras4.
- The other spook, another ghost, was Augustine.
- LiverCell “I did not have sex with the man in the Nemo costume” was SciPhi.
- Legokhamen (not affiliated with LEGO Systems) was Flomius.
- CuppaRust was litlebertha, having narrowly escaped being “JustOlive”.
- “Say Hello to your new Alien Overlords” PersianLoveBomb was Sontra.
- lavell was the.web.hermit, who might also be the Man in White but we aren’t sure yet.
- The oh-so-jaundiced Mr. Orange was Bitriot.
- Aptly-named MorbidThread was FeltTips.
- La Maschera was the inimitable LaggedyAnne.
- The very snaky TheGrocersApostrophe was Lord Brawl. Waddaya know, he writes, too!
- obscuraobscura was sirspens. He claims he actually still has his pinky toe.
- eyeofthebeholder, master of the well-placed Banshees and SOM quote, was junkill.
- Bexaruv, Apex survivor, was GhettoAardvark.
- Calypso’s Dream, who submitted more words than anyone else (and some damn nice ones, too), was Evil Catullus.
- Oliveira the Very Enigmatic was Nasreddin.
- Fan fave Mantits was Timeshredder.
- The alluring and alliterative Advocatus Angelicus was Apollyon.
- And “can we steal any more ideas from Lovecraft and Donaldson?” Squirrel Venom? He’s a guy whose right eye is actually blind, but has as little as possible to do with the astral plane. Namely, ME.
So now you know which totally fictitious identities go with which slightly less fictitious identities. I hope you all had a good time, and I hope this has encouraged a few of you that there is a place for fiction – yes, even YOUR fiction, not just EBU and the guys who already have book deals – on E2.
Good night, all. Love, DM