This has been another fantastic contest! Let’s share a moment of sympathy for those writers who fully intended to participate, and then Life happened to them, as it does. “Mensch tracht, und Gott lacht,” as the saying goes. But there’s always next time, isn’t there, until Nyx actually attains her natural height and obliterates us all from existence.
Speaking of, my deepest apologies to Nyx for somehow typo’ing her name in the voting section. How do you spell a three-letter word wrong? By forgetting one of the letters: “Ny.” At least that didn’t factor until guessing who wrote what, so, no damage done to voting on the anonymous stories. As well, apologies to BizyBoy00 for momentarily regressing to BizyBee00. What can I say, but that I don’t have anyone copyediting my own material. Lastly, I achieved a hat-trick by getting RobClassact’s name wrong nearly everywhere, calling him “RobCoolguy” for no apparent reason. I’m very sorry about that, RobClassact.
What made this contest different from past events is that more people took advantage of the option to submit two stories! That made for a greater range of material to read, which is awesome, but it also diffused the vote (24 stories in total, 18 evaluators). And that’s not bad, of course, since a diversity of readers will nominate their favorites—someday we’ll attract a larger body of readers/voters, and then we’ll see a serious throw-down—but for now we’ve got a lot of tied positions.
And, yeah, some people pointed out to me that a few of these didn’t strictly follow the rules, featuring tiny people rather than giants or giantesses. I didn’t disqualify these, even though I nailed one poor writer to the wall on the word limit. Why didn’t I disqualify them? I guess I left that up to the voting readers. Next time I should really put my foot down, to make it fair for everyone.
Are you ready to dive in?
Which Gentle story engaged you immediately?
The largest winner in this was Nyx’s “Aftermath,” commanding one-third of all votes. “The Giantess that Lives Next Door” by RobClassact took second place with three votes, and third was a tie between “Beauty in This World” by Aborigen and “Damsel” by Nat Edgecomb earning two each.
Also placing were “A Kind of Magic” by Ryan the Rebel, “Salty” by Njord, “Tortue” by Grildrig, “The Visitor” by Pixis, and “You Are Not Alone” by Taedis.
Four readers successfully pegged Nyx as the author of “Aftermath,” though three people suspected Aborigen wrote it, and two thought it might be CrushedBoyWonder’s. Readers also attributed it to PerspectiveShift and Taedis. “Tortue” was written by Grildrig, which two people guessed, but three thought it sounded like CrushedBoyWonder. Other good guesses included Aborigen, Nostory, PerspectiveShift, and RobClassact. Three people knew Pixis wrote “The Visitor,” two thought Aborigen did, and three others thought it sounded like Nyx, Ryan the Rebel, or Smollfairy.
Which Gentle story expanded your concept of gentleness?
“Beauty in This World” got this one with 22.2% of the vote. Tied for second place were both of Nyx’s stories, “Aftermath” and “Infinite,” as well as ProphetofGreed’s “A New Friend.”
Also placing were “Damsel,” “Death Knight” by PerspectiveShift, “The New Pedi Procedure” by BizyBoy00, “Salty,” “She, Possibly It,” “Tortue,” “An Unconventional Relationship” by Cross1364, and “The Visitor” by Pixis.
Only one person guessed Aborigen wrote “Beauty in This World.” Other readers thought it sounded like Cross1364, CrushedBoyWonder, Nyx, Pixis, or Taedis, but most people thought it was Curvy the Fly’s work. Wonder why?
Any time you can get more than three people to peg your work, you have a strong writer’s voice. Four people knew “Infinite” was by Nyx, two thought it was Curvy the Fly’s work, and other people supposed Njord, PerspectiveShift, RobClassact, or Taedis might have done it. Similarly, nearly half of those who voted identified ProphetofGreed as the author of “A New Friend,” with one guess each for CrushedBoyWonder, Nat Edgecomb, Nostory, Ryan the Rebel, and Smollfairy.
Which Gentle story had the best normal-size lead character?
This category saw fierce competition, with a five-way tie for over a week. At the last minute, however, the smitten maintenance worker in “Beauty in This World” and the playful, self-assured boyfriend in “Salty” broke ahead to tie for first, with “A Giant Proposal” by BizyBoy00, “She, Possibly It” and “The Visitor” holding third place.
Also placing were “Death Knight,” “The Guest” by Nostory, “Infinite,” “It’s You I Want” by Aborigen, “A New Friend,” and “Tortue.”
The identity of who wrote “A Giant Proposal” was a three-way tie between BizyBoy00 (correct), Nostory, and RobClassact. Also supposed were Grildrig, Njord, and Sophia Thornton. As many people thought Nostory wrote “The Guest” as did ProphetofGreed, while a few others attributed it to BizyBoy00, Pixis, Ryan the Rebel, and Taedis. Aborigen wrote “It’s You I Want,” as three people knew; two guesses each went to Nostory, PerspectiveShift, and RobClassact, with one person guessing Taedis as the writer.
Which Gentle story had the best macro character?
Readers will connect with different themes of stories, and different characters will resonate with them. If anything, it takes an exceptional writer to make someone attach to a character or plot they don’t normally go for, and usually preferences will stand out. In this case, three stories tied for first place with favorite large-size characters: the repentant scientist in “Aftermath,” the aquatic kaiju girlfriend in “Salty,” and the decommissioned robot in “She, Possibly It.” Tied for fourth place were “Damsel,” “An Unconventional Relationship,” and “You Are Not Alone.”
Also placing were “It’s You I Want,” “A Kind of Magic,” and Sophia Thornton’s “Swear to Tell the Tooth?”
Eight different authors were guessed, with one vote each, to have created “A Kind of Magic”: Aborigen, Grildrig, Njord, PerspectiveShift, RobClassact, Ryan the Rebel (who actually wrote it), and Smollfairy. “She, Possibly It” was Taedis’s craft, as one person guessed, while everyone else thought it could have been done by BizyBoy00, Cross1364, Curvy the Fly (wonder why?), ProphetofGreed, RobClassact, Smollfairy, or Sophia Thornton. Even guesses all around for “An Unconventional Relationship,” shared between Cross1364 (who actually did), Grildrig, Nyx, ProphetofGreed, RobClassact, Ryan the Rebel, Sophia Thornton, and Taedis.
Which Gentle story makes you want to read the author’s other work?
This is an important category. The anonymity of the writer’s identity opens the reader up to stories they might not look for otherwise, either out of unawareness or sticking to personal tastes. Now, however, the reader gives every story in a pile of submissions a fair chance, and they can be surprised by who surfaces to the top. The correct follow-up action, of course, is to run out and find the rest of their work because you’re bound to find more material to enjoy.
Particularly motivated readers should contact the authors they like and let them know how they feel. One reader had a completely acceptable complaint about this category. “I feel the question is unfair: several of the stories in this batch made me want to seek out their writers’ full bibliographies.” Well, don’t let me stop you.
Taking first place by one vote was “Aftermath,” with a three-way tie for second place: “Infinite,” “Salty,” and “You Are Not Alone.” If you voted for these, please do seek out other work by Nyx, Njord, and Taedis.
Also of interest were “Beauty in This World,” “Damsel,” “The Forest Spirit” by Curvy the Fly, “Hani Stumbled” by Smollfairy, “A New Friend,” “She, Possibly It,” “Tortue,” “An Unconventional Relationship,” and “The Visitor.”
Two people recognized Smollfairy’s fingerprint on “Bertha Sara,” and two thought it was Grildrig’s style. Other readers guessed Aborigen, BizyBoy00, Curvy the Fly, Njord, Ryan the Rebel, and Sophia Thornton. Most people thought Smollfairy also wrote “The Forest Spirit,” a few people guessed Nat Edgecomb, Njord, Nostory, and Pixis, but one person thought it sounded like Curvy the Fly, which was correct.
Which Gentle story used size differences in an interesting way?
What does this category mean? Its qualifications are as disparate as the people reading it. Does it mean the story was interesting? Does it mean size relationships were used or drawn out surprisingly? You’d have to ask every single reader: questions like this are entirely left up to the consumer.
And that resulted in a four-way tie (two votes each) for first among “Damsel,” “The Giantess that Lives Next Door,” “Infinite,” and “Swear to Tell the Tooth?”
Also placing were “Aftermath,” “Beauty in This World,” “Death Knight,” “A Giant Proposal,” “Hani Stumbled,” “It’s You I Want,” “A New Friend,” “The New Pedi Procedure,” “Salty,” and “You Are Not Alone.”
Two people thought “Damsel” was by Nat Edgecomb, two by Gridrig. That’s a good person to get confused with. People also guessed it was written by Cross1364, Njord, Nostory, PerspectiveShift, Smollfairy, and Sophia Thornton. “Hani Stumbled” was written by SmollFairy, as one person identified, but readers also guessed it was by Grildrig, Nyx, Pixis, RobClassact, or Sophia Thornton, though most people thought it was Nat Edgecomb’s style. Three people knew BizyBoy00 wrote “The New Pedi Procedure,” two thought PerspectiveShift might have, and three others guessed Aborigen, Cross1364, and RobClassact.
Outside of Gentle and size-fiction, which was the most satisfying story?
This is also an important category, because the erotic material, the personal predilections and beloved themes should all rest upon a solid foundation of storytelling. If you asked a dozen people what makes a good story, you’ll likely get several different answers, but I think most of us share a similar feeling when we’re in the middle of a well-crafted story.
Most people felt Nyx’s “Aftermath” was a great story in general, earning nearly a third of all votes. In second place came “Salty,” “She, Possibly It,” and “You Are Not Alone.”
Also placing were “Beauty in This World,” “Death Knight,” “A Giant Proposal,” “The Giantess that Lives Next Door,” CrushedBoyWonder’s “Ticket,” “Tortue,” and “The Visitor.”
Two people identified “Salty” as Njord’s style, while eight others supposed it might be BizyBoy00’s, Curvy the Fly’s, Nat Edgecomb’s, Nostory’s, Nyx’s, PerspectiveShift’s, Ryan the Rebel’s, or Smollfairy’s doing. Two people attributed CrushedBoyWonder to “Ticket,” and others hazarded Cross1364, Nat Edgecomb, PerspectiveShift, Pixis, Sophia Thornton, or Taedis might’ve done it.
Which Gentle story was the sexiest?
What’s a Gentle size story without an erotic frisson? A well-structured plot and relatable characters are important, but why are we all in this? To experience a special thrill that our current world cannot provide, only hinting at in the best of circumstances. So we rely on size fantasy writers to conjure this realm we dream of, and we remember the writers who do so ably, reliably.
In this case that’s Taedis, with “You Are Not Alone,” earning nearly half of all votes and possessing the lead for a couple weeks. Tied for second were “Salty” and “An Unconventional Relationship.”
Also arousing were “Better Lake than Never” by Grildrig, “Damsel,” “The Giantess that Lives Next Door,” and “Swear to Tell the Tooth?”
Most people thought BizyBoy00 wrote “Better Lake than Never,” though it was actually Grildrig, as one person knew. Readers thought it might be the work of Cross1364, Nyx, Pixis, or Sophia Thornton. Two people thought Aborigen wrote “Swear to Tell the Tooth?” one person knew Sophia Thornton did, and others guessed Cross1364, Grildrig, Pixis, RobClassact, or Ryan the Rebel.
Which Gentle story fulfilled this theme the best?
This is what it boils down to: the whole contest could be reduced to this one question. Evaluating these stories isn’t an exact science, of course, it’s entirely up to the vagaries of whomever stumbles upon the ballot and feels like answering. There’s no controlling that, all we can do is shout and retweet and share the contest among our audiences and over our various channels, to get as many people reading as possible.
The story that readers said most aptly fulfilled the requirements of GentleApril18 was “Aftermath,” by Nyx, with “A Giant Proposal” in second and “Beauty in This World,” “The Giantess that Lives Next Door,” and “You Are Not Alone” sharing third place.
Also placing were “Damsel,” “Infinite,” “Salty,” “She, Possibly It.”
One-third of voting readers thought “The Giantess that Lives Next Door” sounded like Aborigen’s style, two readers attributed it to Sophia Thornton, and a smattering of others guessed Curvy the Fly, Nat Edgecomb, ProphetofGreed, but of course it was RobClassact’s work, which one person knew. Three people thought Aborigen penned “You Are Not Alone,” two estimated it was Njord’s work, and others guessed Curvy the Fly, Nostory, RobClassact, but one person knew it was Taedis’s story.
Finally, out of 18 voters, many people did leave a few notes on some of the stories. I always leave this part optional, but I try to stress to readers how much the writers appreciate feedback. Special thanks to those readers who provided it!
“Aftermath” by Nyx
Engaged immediately: “The vivid description to start with. It was very good at painting a picture with words and implications.”
“The insane intro with people wiping blood and soot off their bodies really made me want to read more. I was hooked, I had to know what it was. An alien planet? Giant monsters? Tiny civilizations? Enrapturing.”
“The subtle descriptions.”
“I liked jumping into the middle of the quest and the rapid world-building.”
Expanded gentleness: “The idea of kindness to smaller beings as a total surrender to their mercy and trapping oneself in their environment was revelatory.”
“It didn’t expand my concept of gentleness, as it’s quite broad, but I was pleased to read about gentleness to be found in what seems like a void of horror and utter destruction.”
Best macro character: “Her commitment, even at a cost to herself.”
Other work: “I absolutely need to know more about this world and I love the way they wrote about the little interactions. Getting light headed from doing minute work, scooting carefully down a street, it was those little moments that really helped me identify with the main protagonist and I would love to read more by the author.”
“[I liked] the idea that it’s after a rampage, and the main character was trying to fix their mistake.”
Size difference: “It wasn’t a giant person interacting with normal people, and it wasn’t a tiny city: it was kind of a confrontation of physics, which was the most interesting device among the stories.”
Satisfying: “It was very descriptive, good at painting a vivid picture.”
“It has tension, and it has an ending that encourages additional thought.”
“I love the sci-fi setup, the development and build-up held my interest beyond Size stuff.”
Theme: “This story gets that the best, with a giantess moving through the ruins of a city, trying to help people.”
“Because the best kind of gentle is being aware of the alternatives and choosing to be gentle in the face of them.”
“The main character trapped herself in the world her colleagues had ravaged and committed herself to reparations, sacrificing herself.”
“Beauty in This World” by Aborigen
Engaged immediately: “The description of environment and machinery and maintenance of the building of a giant creature. The human tending to her.”
Expanded gentleness: “[I was surprised] with weird fusing.”
“Beauty was clearly not the death machine the military had wanted.”
Best normal lead: “A good patriot who sacrifices himself to save his love from his country, a perfect arc.”
“Mikhail was willing to give every part of his being to the giantess, choosing permanency in a relationship that’s far more beautiful and committed than most conventional unions.”
Theme: “A giantess built for the/as a war machine ends up an equation for love. It’s perfect.”
“Better Lake than Never” by Grildrig
Sexiest: “A nice sexy romp between a master and a pet dynamic with some very detailed descriptions of everything going on. Just good old fashioned giantess body adventure erotica.”
“Damsel” by Nat Edgecomb
Engaged immediately: “[I liked] the twist on convention.”
Best macro character: “She was strong, but kind and beautiful.”
Size difference: “That Princess Brayna’s new size not only puts her beyond the control of human politics but makes her large enough to keep a fearsome dragon as a pet (which whom she seems… very, *very* intimate) gives ‘Damsel’ an automatic novelty advantage. I say novelty rather than originality because a medieval princess growing larger than armies and dragons can handle was so memorably written in 1997 in ‘Tasgeni’ by Scott Grildrig, who I’m confident also wrote ‘Damsel’.”
“[I liked the] addition of the dragon.”
“[I liked] the use of dialogue.”
Sexiest: “I just like confident, strong, yet gentle giantesses.”
“Death Knight” by PerspectiveShift
Expanded gentleness: “It didn’t have any interaction beyond conversation, and the small old guy died, but it was still very gentle.”
Best normal lead: “I liked the exploration of a weary adventurer at the end of his path, how his experience had shaped him.”
Satisfying: “[I liked] that it could sit on it’s own as a good fantasy story, outside of giant-related fiction.”
“The Forest Spirit” by Curvy the Fly
Other work: “I enjoyed the alternating wisdom and playfulness of the characters. The scenes played out very clearly and I wanted to experience more.”
“A Giant Proposal” by BizyBoy00
Best normal lead: “A sweet, lovable guy that shows tons of love for his soon to be wife. Shows great personality and care for the person he loves. Just a wonderfully written character to fit the narrative the author was going for.”
Other work: “It felt the most real.”
Theme: “A nice gentle story narrative between two nicely written characters deciding to get married together, even with a huge size difference between them. Even the ring being one for the foot makes it even sweeter between the characters. ”
“It was completely destruction-free.”
“The Giantess that Lived Next Door” by RobClassact
Engaged immediately: “The idea of a “real-life giantess” written from her perspective that has fun with the idea of anonymity and the mechanics of her growth, and which treats size change as a fun hobby. What a fun little story!”
“The sexyness of it.”
“The use of first-person, its conversational style.”
Size difference: “The way the giantess next door talked about her size changing and how she kept it a secret while still fulfilling a fantasy of hers was interesting to read.”
Sexiest: “It’s self-indulgent, restrained, but promises to go further.”
Theme: “It’s about how much the woman likes to grow, and it’s all told from her perspective and the sensations she experiences using her power.”
“The Guest” by Nostory
Best normal lead: “[I liked] that this wasn’t his first encounter with massive creatures, nor his first time being held captive.”
“Hani Stumbled” by Smollfairy
Other work: “Very well detailed in its story telling, sense of scale, clear narrative and clear personalities of the two main characters. The author clearly knows how to establish a character and how to help visualize a narrative so I’d to see more from them since their writing standard is very good.”
Size difference: “[I liked the] drunken giantess unintentionally causing destruction and forgetting the person she had been talking to.”
“Infinite” by Nyx
Expanded gentleness: “It’s always difficult to write a god like character, especially when you’re going to make that character gentle. Yet the author managed to succeed in making a clear force of nature be gentle but only in its care for the mortal he loves. Even if he is learning how a mortal could see something small in its actions could be shocking to the mortal.”
“It was interesting to see gestures of affection from an amoral being with no sense of perspective.”
Size difference: “[I liked] that it was just one aspect of his power.”
“The giant character being a god-like force of nature was very different and unconventional for a gentle story. Especially when the god-like character can very much manipulate their size in interesting but terrifying ways. Being more like a force of nature instead of a mortal, but big being.”
Theme: “The restraint of power on a cosmic scale ordinarily reserved for comic book deities and Lovecraftian monsters for the sake of romantic intimacy with a mere mortal? That is gentleness on a macro scale.”
“It’s You I Want” by Aborigen
Best normal lead: “They felt so real, especially in the little things like breaking out a whole bottle of vodka to fawn gaily in front of a window. Iconic. Although it may have helped that it was told in first person.”
Best macro character: “She is me, in many ways. How can I not love me?”
Size differences: “The descriptions of the giantesses appearing in the city, causing utilities disturbances. Friggin’ brilliant.”
“A Kind of Magic” by Ryan the Rebel
Engaged immediately: “[I liked] the idea of using magic with the fetish.”
Best macro character: “A vivacious witch who enjoys her temporary power and celebrity, and has such a good time with being big that she decides not to spoil it by wreaking destruction? What an adorable character turnaround, and a welcome subversion of giantess tropes.”
“A New Friend” by ProphetofGreed
Expanded gentleness: “Several sizes in one world is pretty cool!”
Best normal lead: “His nervousness is relatable.”
Other work: “It just flowed the best.”
Size differences: “[I liked it] having several sizes.”
“Salty” by Njord
Best macro character: “[I liked her] showing herself off.”
“Very playful and fun personality but clearly a caring person, especially for the man she’s in a relationship with. Well-written dynamic between the two main characters as they tease each other. Even if it’s a man and beast-type of relationship from land and sea.”
“She, Possibly It” by Taedis
Expanded gentleness: “The use of stylistic repetition.”
Best normal lead: “Just based on the character’s actions, and the reveal at the end that they were actually three different characters across generations.”
Best macro character: “They were interesting. Their inconsistent perspective, speculating on their own creation using tropes, was an interesting read.”
“I love that this character was so far from normal. Like the Golems of Jewish history, they stood the test of time and only responded to commands. It was interesting hearing their point of view.”
“The telling was so subtle and poetic, it was a riddle to figure out what was going on. I appreciated the surprise as the character unfolded.”
Reading other work: “It was interesting. I’d read other, non-fetish stuff by this author. Or just more stuff about the golem and his friend.”
Satisfying: “The pacing and structure was so interesting to read and it really kept me engaged throughout the entire story.”
Theme: “I feel like the gentleness of the main character and the purity of the other humans who come to wake him really exemplify the themes of gentle stories.”
“Swear to Tell the Tooth?” by Sophia Thornton
Use of size difference: “Two words: Tiny Dentist. Never would have thought of that.”
“Ticket” by CrushedBoyWonder
Satisfying: “It used interesting points of Japanese trivia and created a fascinating context around these. The main character was very real, and the exposition was vivid and compelling.”
“Tortue” by Grildrig
Engaged immediately: “The narrative starts out simple enough but becomes more nuanced and complicated as the relationship between the characters becomes much more complicated than at first glance. ”
Expanded gentleness: “This was an absolutely beautiful read and I honestly wasn’t expecting that sort of story. I really want to know more about the two of them, how she found him and why, what happens now after they’ve mended their relationship? I want more!”
Other work: “ ‘Tortue’ (torture?) is my favorite story. I won’t be voting for it because it’s a micro story when all stories are supposed to be about macro characters. Read the rules, writers. That being said, I absolutely loved it. It’s exactly what I love to read.”
Satisfying: “Grabbed my attention early and ended wonderfully with a nice turn of events to the narrative with something you have to discern yourself, reading between the lines of the story. It ends in a satisfying way that shows a development for the main character and a new beginning for the two main characters. ”
“An Unconventional Relationship” by Cross1364
Best macro character: “She was destructive yet not deadly.”
Sexiest: “It had a cute couple in it.”
“The Visitor” by Pixis
Best macro character: “[I liked] that he rolls with the situation he finds himself in.”
Other work: “[I liked the] lighthearted playfulness.”
“You Are Not Alone” by Taedis
Other work: “I awarded this accolade by default to the story I felt was the best, though I feel the question is unfair: several of the stories in this batch made me want to seek out their writers’ full bibliographies, even if I suspect I’ve already dug through several of them.”
Satisfying: “The protagonist’s ceaseless growth as a metaphor for alienation, the musicality of her inner monologue, and the spare efficiency of the prose that unfolds her blossoming romance with her college paramour would see the story do well as a non-realist short story even outside the real of size erotica, give or take a couple polishes.”
Sexiest: “It was very descriptive in… other ways.”
“The realness of their relationship and the descriptions were so lovely and the guy seemed hot as hell through that description. You don’t usually see such a focus on the smaller male protag but he seemed so suave and hot through this lens even while small, I loved it.”
“New love and well-written sex? Doesn’t get much better than that.”
“It did a great job of creating and exploring a character within the setting of post-coital pillow talk.”
“ALL THE SEX.”
Congratulations to all the writers! You’ve done it again, you’ve completed an entire story within a one-month period and can do with it whatever you like: post it on your preferred social media channels, rewrite and expand it, or even submit it for publication in a speculative fiction magazine.
Special thanks to all the readers! I hope this was a treat for you, a couple dozen fresh-from-the-oven stories by your favorite authors and some exciting new writers. Doesn’t this feel like a new opportunity? There’s so many people to read and follow up on, to add to your library and encourage as they produce more work you like in the future.
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