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“First Galactic Table Tennis Championships” On

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larrytt View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06/16/2024 at 6:06pm

First Galactic Table Tennis Championships,” by Larry Hodges, is likely the world’s first science fiction table tennis novelette. Published by New Myths Magazine on June 16, 2024, the 10,000-word story has aliens from around the galaxy converging on Beijing for the Championships. The story is online and free to read.

The story takes place about a century in the future and features Li Yi, the #1 woman in the world and a member of the Chinese National Team. She has trained long hours since she was a child. But now she faces her greatest challenge – aliens! Table tennis has spread to the galaxy and alien players now dominate the sport. The best are the giraffe-like Ith, with their dominating champion Egrayu. Their ancestors snatched flying insects out of the air for food. Smacking flying ping-pong balls is second nature for them. 

But Earth isn't part of the galactic community, not since the cowboy Americans tried colonizing a moon in the Ith home system, which led to a blockade of Earth. The Chinese hope to reopen trade with the galaxy with "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" – by running the first Galactic Table Tennis Championships in Beijing. Li, her teammate Fan Xin (#1 man in the world), and the American champion Danny See – a literal cowboy – take on aliens of all shapes and sizes, including the seemingly unbeatable Egrayu, as they battle the biggest cash prize in table tennis history, with Open Singles the only event. But Li is drawn into a corrupt conspiracy that will shake the very foundations of honor and sportsmanship. Plus, there's that problem with the Chinese dumplings…

Hodges is a USA Table Tennis Certified National Coach, an ITTF certified coach, and a member of the US Table Tennis Hall of Fame. Twelve of his 21 books are on table tennis, mostly instructional. He’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, and has sold over 200 short stories and four novels. He’s also had over 2,200 published articles and nearly 2,000 blog entries, mostly on table tennis – his table tennis blog goes up on Mondays. Here’s his bibliography. He joking claims to be the best table tennis player in SFWA and the best science fiction writer in USATT!

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cole_ely View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2024 at 9:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2024 at 6:01am
Lol. 

I'm glad a there's someone out there writing this stuff. If Larry wouldn't be doing it then it would be someone even weirder. 

I just hope this wasn't written with AI?
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larrytt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2024 at 8:31am
Originally posted by Simon_plays Simon_plays wrote:

Lol. 

I'm glad a there's someone out there writing this stuff. If Larry wouldn't be doing it then it would be someone even weirder. 

I just hope this wasn't written with AI?
I guarantee I didn't use AI with this or any of my other writing! Also, there is a huge backlash in the science fiction writing community against AI writing, and they have all sorts of software that detects it. While AI can now write passable fiction for the masses, at the moment they can't write any substantive pieces that the software and editors can't immediately identify as AI writing. 

And if you liked this story, I also wrote "The Spirit of Pong"! 
"Andy "Shoes" Blue wants to be a table tennis champion, but he’s just another wannabe American. And so he goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis. He is trained by the mysterious Coach Wang, and begins an odyssey where he learns the secrets of table tennis from the spirits of Japan's Ichiro Ogimura (who helped spawn China’s greatness), Rong Guotuan (China’s first world champion in 1959, whose tragic story Andy must relive), and others, and must face the mysterious "Dragon." Can he overcome treachery and learn the final secret of table tennis in time to defeat his ultimate nemesis?"
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, US Table Tennis Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
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stiltt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/20/2024 at 10:54am
One day I had the weirdest dream, I was playing a Scromodykon alien. Those are not a mammals, they lay rather soft eggs in the form of ping pong balls. At each point, my opponent was pulling an eggball off his bottom and served with it. The table and paddles were inflated. They seemed alive and super bouncy, reacted to to the contact with the eggball to absorb it and sling it back. When one of them was touching the hard floor, it cracked, and a baby Scromodykon was running away towards the correct side of the score board and it was funny to see those babies then turning their heads from right to left and back during the exchanges, they seemed genuinely interested. At 10-10, the sudden death rule was applied and they all showed a round mouth in the middle of their expective faces, describing the ongoing climax. I woke up in the middle of that match point and went "WTF???". I tried to go back to sleep to keep the fun going but, as usual with the interesting dreams, it did not work and I'll never know who won.

Edited by stiltt - 06/20/2024 at 10:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/21/2024 at 10:42pm
Do they allow force users or force-sensitive players from a galaxy far, far away? 😁😅
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolevtt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/23/2024 at 7:41am
Thanks for the story! Big smile
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