2nd XRadianZ Sci-Fi Short-Story Writing Event 2014
Theme: "Space Tourism - A New Frontier in Human Adventure"

India launched its 300-day mission to the Red Planet, Mars, in December 2013. The Mangalyaan or the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was designed to demonstrate our technological capability to reach Mars orbit. It will cruise for 680 million km setting up an encounter with the Planet in September 2014. Earlier, in 2009, the discovery of water on the Moon spurred imagination about the possibility for mankind to settle in space.

However, big challenges remain. There is no air, atmosphere or food in space. Conditions are extremely unfavorable, with extremes of temperature, pressures, and unpredictable and violent natural phenomena of the kind we have never seen on the earth, making the entire extra-terrestrial space extremely unsafe and treacherous. Given the hostile environment, how will we breathe? What will we eat? What will we need to wear? What kind of houses will we live in? How will we travel? What will a typical day be like in space?

This short-story sci-fi writing event was intended to lead students of science into a journey of imagination - not wild enough to be impossible and not completely scientific to be scholarly - but a balanced combination of science and fiction. Above all, it was meant to encourage children to write an interesting, entertaining and engaging narration of how human beings can achieve their goal to better understand and tame this mysterious dimension called space.

2nd Sci-Fi Short-Story Evaluation Criteria

Stories were evaluated on the basis of the following criteria -
1. Relevance to the stated science fiction theme
2. Creative expression and narration
3. Original writing and story-building
4. Plot, character and script development
5. Overall innovativeness and message of story

Last date for submissions was 15th Feb, 2014. Prizes were presented in March 2014 during Raman Science Center Anniversary Day Celebrations.

The top entries are as follows -

Category I - Grades 5-8
»»1st Prize - Jinanshi Mehta, Centre Point School Wardhaman Nagar
»»2nd Prize - Hrushikesh Dongre, T.B.R.A.Nís Mundle English Medium School
»»3rd Prize - Sanskriti Kapse, Bhavanís B.P. Vidyamandir Srikrishnanagar
»»Consolation Prize - Divya Kranthi, Centre Point School, Amravati Road

Category II - Grades 9 - 12
»»1st Prize - Sayalkumar Hajare, Somalwar High School and Jr college Nikalas Branch
»»2nd Prize - Devayani Shriram Dhond, Pt. Bachharaj Vyas Vidyalaya
»»3rd Prize - Aishwarya Rathore, Dinanatha Junior College
»»Consolation Prize - Apeksha Kothe, M.N.P. Br. Sheshrao Wankhede Vidyniketan

Congratulations to all! We request all authors to email us their stories for publication in Flash O'RadianZ.