Discuss Avek, Who Is Distributed by Steven Peck

AMV hosts a discussion of Steven Peck’s 22nd century Mormon story Avek, Who Is Distributed as part of the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest.

Wm says: I’m pleased to host a discussion of the penultimate story in the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. Here’s a guest post from the contest organizers to help us kick things off:

You may have heard of the “Four Centuries of Mormon Stories” contest before, or even smelled its aroma rising out of Minnesota, the Middle East, or Pleasant Grove. If you haven’t, the conceit is simple: we’re featuring very short stories about Mormons in the 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd centuries, then holding a vote for the best of our twelve finalists and giving $400 to the winner. We’re also holding a blog tour of discussions, bring the people to the stories and the stories to the people. Or something like that.

Seriously: if you haven’t read these stories, take half an hour to catch up. Or at least take three minutes to read Steven Peck’s “Avek, Who Is Distributed” and discuss it today and one of the world’s oldest Mormon arts & culture blogs.

Some questions:

  1. What are your initial reactions to the story?
  2. How much would you pay for a StraythoughtAssist device?
  3. What role might all the Mormon Literature ever written have played in Avek’s intense desire to join the Mormon panth
  4. If you could have lunch with Avek, what questions would you ask him? And what drink would you order?

A poll for those entering Everyday Mormon Writer’s upcoming contest

With just over 10 days left to enter Everyday Mormon Writer’s , I thought I’d see if we can get a sense of which centuries AMVers are focusing on. If you have entered or are planning on entering the contest, please answer the following question.

If you have no idea what I’m taking about, read my interview with James Goldberg on the contest. Or click the link in the first sentence of this post.

Full disclosure: I have entered the 20th, 21st and 22nd century contests.

[poll id=”8″]

Wm and James talk the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest

By now, most AMV readers are likely (and hopefully) familiar with the contest. And many have probably also read the James Goldberg self-interview at or  his guest post at Modern Mormon Men or his reasons behind running the contest Dawning of a Brighter Day. All good stuff. But seeing as there were still important gaps to be filled — in particular for those who intend to submit — James and I concocted the following conversation. Enjoy!

So James, exactly how good is your paneer masala? And will it be served with rice or naan?

Our paneer masala produces a feeling of elevated well-being and sensory satisfaction that could drive drug cartels out of business. It will be served with both roti and basmati rice, after two courses of appetizers, along with two other dishes and a cool drink of mango lassi, and before a gulab jamun dessert. When it comes to cooking, we don’t mess around.

We don’t mess around with guests of honor, either. If Eric James Stone is not coming up with an alternate system of evolution from another world, he’ll be imagining myths that men might carry (or that might carry men) across the stars. Meanwhile, Mel Larsen will be immersing herself in another culture, showing you how the things people take for granted show where they come from and who they are.

Obviously, we’d love more dinner ticket money in the prize purse. But the dinners are also opportunities to bring together people with healthy appetites and voracious imaginations. We hope an AMV reader or two can join us for what I’m confident will be two incredible evenings. Continue reading “Wm and James talk the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest”

Please vote in the Mormon Lit Blitz

All 13 Mormon Lit Blitz finalists have been posted and voting is now open. Please do read the finalists (if you haven’t already) and cast your vote, which involves selecting your top five favorites and ranking them.

Note that I’m not asking you to vote for my story. I’m much more interested in the friends of AMV actually reading each of the pieces and making aesthetic and/or emotional choices. I think the experience of doing so is much more interesting and valuable than whatever the final results might be. Besides I already have most (perhaps all) of the works that will be loaded on to the Kindle. So please do take the time to vote. This is one of the best things to happen in Mormon letters, and I’d like to see it be a success.

Thanks!

A preview of my Mormon Lit Blitz contest entries

Read them and despair fellow Mormon Lit Blitz contest entrants. Wm eats your puny entries for breakfast. Behold: Zombie Porter Rockwell sniffed the air. etc. etc.

Read them and weep, people. I’m so winning that Kindle

Entry one:

Zombie Porter Rockwell sniffed the air. The smell of singed hair slowly triggered the synapses in his decaying brain. He needed brains soon. But he had business to take care of first. He was on the trail of Cain, and this time, he was going to take the hairy wanderer out.

He jiggled the tank strapped to his chest. It sloshed reassuringly — still at least half full. His bulbous, unblinking eyes scanned the dessert. Cain had managed to survive P-Rock’s trap, but little did the large-footed fellow know that fire, which was his only weakness, was now portable. Zombie Porter sniffed the air again and fell into a jerky, but surprisingly fast lope. It was bbq time and [MORE]

Entry two:

The rain always made her sad. It reminded her of her grandmother. It also reminded her of her dead husband. And that cat she had had for two weeks in seventh grade. The rain was coming down in sheets now. It made her feel like the world was crying. She was crying too. But even though she was crying, she knew that she was not alone. The footprints in the sand were not hers. The battered violin that was her soul could still produce a beautiful tune in the master’s hands. So she decided to cheer herself up by firing up her Provo Craft cricut and breaking out her brand new six-inch by 13-inch Cuttlebug Cutting Mats. [MORE]

Entry three:

Truth was a complex, ever-evolving thing for an educated man like Walter C. Habermavinaseiggeridastraullard. Nuance was his watchword. Context his Title of Liberty. Which was why he spent so much time commenting on blogs.

Walter loved his fellow Saints with a pure love, but he also knew that too many of them were in danger of having their simplistic testimonies fall to pieces at the slightest breeze of opposition, the tiniest crack in the correlated shell. In short, they were in need of maturation, and it was up to him to be the sunshine, the water and the soil — not to mention also taking the role of the fertilizer, the pruner and the grafter. [MORE]

(Obviously these aren’t really my entries. Revealing the real ones would be against the rules. Also: you have two weeks to polish up your entries and get them in.)

A Mormon Lit Blitz plea

A guest post from Scott Hales explores common reactions to Mormon fiction and makes a plea for submissions that depict contemporary Mormon life.

Wm says: Scott asked me to post this. I was loathe to do so because I’m going to enter the contest so why would I want more competition? But I have a reputation of magnanimity to uphold so here it is…

A New Plea for Fiction

by Scott Hales

The other day, I posted on Facebook that the publication agreement for a review I wrote of Angela Hallstrom’s Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction had come in the mail. Among the comments that followed was one that suggested the book should have been called Latter-day Fiction: Disposable.

Now, I doubt the guy who made the comment had ever read the book–even though I know he’s no stranger to Mormon studies. More likely, his comment sprang from the common misconception among Mormons–and we all know it’s there–that fiction written by Latter-day Saints about Latter-day Saints and for Latter-day Saints isn’t worth reading. Not by anyone over the age of fourteen, at least. And even then, it’s still disposable. Continue reading “A Mormon Lit Blitz plea”

The Mormon Lit Blitz Contest: show us your best 1k words

AMV reminds its readers to get writing for the Mormon Lit Blitz Contest, which we endorse although we aren’t official sponsors.

Wm– Although not an official sponsor, AMV is definitely on board with concept of the Mormon Lit Blitz Writing Contest, and we are happy to promote it. Ya’ll should enter. I daresay some of us AMVers or friends of AMV will be doing so. It’s only 1,000 words!

CALL FOR CONTEST SUBMISSIONS

Now announcing the first ever Mormon Lit Blitz Writing Contest organized by James Goldberg and Scott Hales. Send up to three submissions by 15 January, 2012 to mormonlitblitz@gmail.com for a chance to win a Kindle and more.

What we want:
Short work for Mormons to be published and read online. Continue reading “The Mormon Lit Blitz Contest: show us your best 1k words”