Apologies for the slightly mangled poll code, but apparently I can't force breaks inside an LJ poll tag. The original posts are here if this is too mangled. Grr.
Remember, vote early and vote often! Ties to be settled by judge's choice.
etcet -- As a nascent, if questionably-motivated, literary talent, you, yes YOU, have this unique opportunity to exert an early influence on the career trajectory of etcet! Your influence is already being felt, directly, through the sale of a story crafted for an LJ community you yourself founded! Join such illustrious luminaries as Gibson and Gaiman, Hartwell and Dozois, Datlow and Moore, Lovecraft and... err... King. -- What others have said... -- *crickets* -- *crickets* -- [bored, the crickets leave] -- Also, you would be doing everyone a big favor by killing me off in a grotesque manner, I'm sure. The fictional version of Yours Truly would probably have spent entirely too much time letching on some of the main characters, and they'll be relieved but slightly disappointed to be rid of his attentions. I mean, just ask matociquala or lisamantchev.
princejvstin -- There are a variety of reasons why you should choose me. I will give you two. I'm not clever enough to likely win this contest, but I will try anyway. -- I will review it for you. I've only gotten to read two ARCS in my life (Darwin's Radio, and Scent of Shadows) and like every other piece of fiction that I write, I will write a review. My readership is small, and overlaps with a number of your friends, but I think of that as a feature, not a bug. -- Mainspring and Clockpunk? I incorporated Clockpunk concepts into my Amber PBEM roleplaying game, Strange Bedfellows. The Prussians in one particular shadow were notorious for using clockwork technology in their plans for domination. Clockwork motorcycles. Clockwork soldiers! And even a clockwork tank were seen (and in two cases dealt with). I can get into the Mainspring headspace and buy into the concepts easily.
ninja_turbo -- I need to read Mainspring right now for two reasons: -- 1) Stories with flying ships are my heart and soul. It's the perfect mix of science fiction's technological wonder with the salt-and-spray childlike glee of sailing adventure. -- 2) I'm about to start revising a novel of mine with floating islands and flying ships and I need to find out what you're doing so I can figure out what you stole from me using your crazy reverse-LJ feed-reading trickery. You clever fiend! :)
mroctober -- My rationale: Do I buy my nephew a telescope for looking at stars or a really powerful jeweler's loupe on a tripod?
Jacques -- I should read Mainspring now because I´ll be the FIRST, maybe the ONLY person to review it for the whole Brazilian fandom. A new market opens up to you...:)
goulo -- Sendu la libron al mi, ?ar eble (nur eble - mi ne garantias, kompreneble) mi tradukos ?in al Esperanto. :)
wistling -- I think I should get an ARC, not only because I love clockpunk (and steampunk, just look at my icon), but because I want to see if you can Tuckerize my name (Tony Pi) without it sticking out like a sore thumb in Stemwinder. Think of it as a writer's challenge :)
thexmedic -- Because if you give it to me, it will be one more thing on the bookshelf to distract my son (when he's old enough to read it) from the Dragonlance trilogy (Dragons of Pontificating Badness or something) that is up there as well. -- And in case you feel that anyone who not only owns any Dragonlance Trilogy but displays it on their bookshelf, is not really deserving of ownership of any other book ever, then I concede your point, but want to mention that it's only there to remind me of how bad fantasy can be, and how I must, must, MUST avoid emulating it in any way, even by accident, in my own writing. -- Of course, if you like Weiss and Hickman then I'm screwed.
jeff_h -- Because I want to be ON that bag of air. And I want to be on it NOW!
skidspoppe -- As a current associate of the world of fiction writing academia (and no, contrary to popular myth, those two terms are NOT mutually incompatible) it is my duty to make sure genre fiction is well represented. So far, this has been an uphill fight, with those enemies of the world of flying ships pointing out, whenever I reference something from the past, "sure, but what's been done lately?" -- And thus, we come to Mainspring. Here is my opportunity to rebut and, in fact, gain the higher ground on the argument that stories about flying ships can hold their own against what the so called intelligentsia call Litrachure (with a capital L). So, obviously, the sooner I get a copy into my hands, the sooner the battle is that one step closer to being won by the good guys, fighting the good fight.
deedop -- (This bit of whimsy brought to you by the following exchange: -- Me: "To win the contest I must prove I'm worthy of the ARC." -- Dave: "Well then, obviously you have to slay something.") -- (Enter, a wretched servant, known only as The Cat's Bee. She flings a jumbled tarpaulin at the pendulum's foot, and after a brief picking of nose and a belch befitting a gastronomically distressed aurochs, she speaks.) -- Magister 'Biscus Du'Lac. Behold. I have scaled the Grandfather Perilous and de-gassed the mighty zep. She is slain and farts no more. I therefore beg most humbly and in the puffed verbiage of ye-olde (not tick tock talk, for I fail at that quite completely), I proclaim that I am worthy of your ARC and subsequent Tucker. Yes, I -- who loathe to admit it -- have never once been Tuckered in all my known days, and I -- even more tragic -- without a single ARC to grace my gears. -- Let me now explain further why I am deserving of this prize: -- Item: I am shortly to read your second tale, and if I am to read your second tale, would it not be best that I read your first, well, first? -- Item: Take note! Ta-da, as they say! I've spun a curious corner of web wherein this ARC shall receive full glory of attention and linkage, and... What's this? This whispering I hear in my ear? -- Ah, yes. Item: (Oh, most especial item!) I speak now of feasts. My second half, in a fit of gastronomical fanficcery, will invent a dish of such great whimsy and exactitude as could only befit this wondrous whirring world. It will sing with the music of the spheres and waft o'er the tongue like a tourbillon. It will be indexed, kodaked, dare I say boinged if luck be with us, and-- -- Why does your archangel glower so? What's that you say? I've mistakenly perished the city's imperishable zep? Oh, fuck. Well then, I suppose it's off to the goat mines for me... -- (Exit, pursued by a clown.)
r0ck3tsci3ntist -- God help me, but I'm a fool for a challenge. Thus, for your edification and/or toment (and hence my revenge) - Southern Fried Steampunk:(and a blight on English grammar) -- God’s own brass strut was blockin the sun the day Momma got her hair caught in the trolley door. With a gout of oily smoke the thing took off with Momma while I held little Jiminy and stared. She was clawin at her head somethin fierce and screamin "Stop y'all! Stop Goddamnit!" -- Like a good girl I followed Momma in all her ways and started hollerin too. -- "Stop Goddamnit!" Only my voice was so high it only came out like a little baby starlin’s squeal when the cat gets it. Nobody heard. Little Jiminy was cryin but there wasn't nothin I could do. The station had filled with smoke by then and we was alone in our fear and scaredness. -- I took a few steps after the leavin thing, but then I stumbled and fell. Jiminy hit the ground hard. I waved at the smoke like I was swattin flies and bent to pick him up when I saw what had tripped me. -- It was Momma's shoe. -- I never saw her alive again, but I swore from that moment that I'd keep her shoe with me till the day I died. -- That night when we was alone in the house, Jiminy snorin like a steam pump, an angel came to call... -- May I please have a copy of your book? :p