The SciFi Ideas website has announced the winner of the 2015 Alien August competition.  The alien that was given the nod this year is this little bugger to the left, the Mindswarm: A species of insect-like organisms that communicate with vibrations and can join into groups to manipulate their environment and maybe even share higher concepts.  The winner, as well as descriptions of the best of the entries this year, were discussed by Mark and David Ball on their podcast (listen to all of it—you should—but FYI, the part where they describe the Mindswarm starts at 25:00).

Now: Guess who’s got two thumbs and is the guy who submitted this one to the competition?

That’s right—this guy’s the winner of Alien August for 2015!  There were lots of great entries, and I really am surprised and pleased to have won this year.  But besides the judges, I received a lot of accolades from the members of the SciFi Ideas website for this one… people really enjoyed it!  In fact, Mark and David indicated in the podcast that this was one of the few times when the judges were all in agreement as to the best submittal as well!  (Gad, but it’s nice to be appreciated.)

I submitted the above graphic as well, basically a beetle with a little photoshopping done to fit the profile.  It may have helped to sell the concept (Can I haz Photoshop skillz?)…

They also enjoyed another “pseudo-entry” I’d submitted by invitation from Mark and David: The Monoliths, another popular entry with members, reconceptualized what most SF fans know as the Monoliths in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 series, and described them as an incredibly-advanced life form that may have created itself from whatever there was before the Big Bang, and has a mysterious directive to manipulate life wherever it is found, possibly in order to guarantee its own future.

Considering that I was borrowing from a fairly popular item that’s probably copywritten to Arthur C. Clarke and trademarked by 20th Century Fox, this was not really eligible to win the contest.  But the Monoliths was supposed to be an example for writers to think a bit outside the box; and it seemed to accomplish that.  And as with the Mindswarm, it was just plain fun to write!

So, I’d like to thank the SciFi Ideas judges, its members, and everyone else who regularly (or even occasionally) encourages me to keep writing… because you never know what may come of it.

Looking forward to 2016!