« Week #306 - Strange, Familiar Intelligence (corvids vs cephalopods) »

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Date: 6-11-2018
Word Limit: 1200
Words Written: 20,996

Judges (crits):
Sitting Here

Audio Recap: Week 306
Week Archivist:

Oh cool, I won, it's my turn to preside over the parade of fucking failures that has come to characterize Thunderdome.

I considered trying to come up with something gimmicky and wacky to squeeze tepid blood from the idiot stone, but I think this week you're just going to write about stuff I like.

Okay so anyone who talks to me for longer than five minutes quickly learns that I fucking LOVE corvids and cephalopods. They're fucking smart, and probably represent the future of intelligence on Earth when we've all died from cancer of the funko pop, or whatever. But who will reign supreme once the apocalyptic dust has settled? Will it be the crow and the raven, with their mastery of the sky? Or it be the squid and the octopus, those strange lords of the deep?

When you sign up, you should select Team Corvid or Team Cephalopod. If one team gets an unfair number of entrants, I'll step in and we'll even it out. But mostly I want people to write about the animals they wanna write about. If you choose corvids, you're gonna write about crows, ravens, etcetera. If you choose cephalopods, you're going to write about squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, etc. I hope this is obvious, but one can't be too sure.

Your stories should explore the familiar, alien intelligence of these animals. I expect you to at least glance at a Wikipedia article.


  • An animal figuring out obvious human stuff. I'm not interested in reading your laborious description of "a building" or "a boat" through prosaic, ignorant animal terms.
  • Anthropomorphic animals. The point of this prompt isn't to write human-like animals, it's to write about animals who are intelligent in their own way.
  • Stories through the eyes of a human. Again, this is a prompt about exploring other kinds of intelligent life on Earth.


  • Ask fun questions: What sort of spirituality might these animals have/develop? What would their "cultural" values be? How would they express creative urges? How might their internal dialog differ from the internal dialog of human brains? Etc etc etc.
  • Think about voice. Not every animal protagonist/narrator needs to be distant, humorless, or (again) prosaic.
  • Feel free to explore the modern day intelligence of these animals, or speculate about a distant future where corvids/cephalopods are the dominant life form. Either approach is awesome!

Hopefully, you'll all do your very best, and at the end of the week we will have irrefutably settled the matter of which animals will inherit the Earth when humans are gone.


If you include a cool/cute picture of your chosen animal type with your signup post, you get 100 extra words.

If you :toxx:, you get 200 extra words.

18 Total Submissions, 2 Total Failures:

Failures who signed up but did not submit: