Let’s just say I had a busy weekend…
I'd like to begin by thanking each and every one of you who submitted original content to the competition.
Your creativity and talent are truly the lifeblood of this contest and the platform.
There are so many fascinating possibilities littered throughout the various writings that it’s difficult to say which of the myriad of dystopias is truly the MOST frightening of them all.
Once again, I have to tip my hat to the good people of the Writer's Block @thewritersblock for their contributions to the contest. I often find myself blown away by the quality of writing found in this community. Moreover, I don't think there's a community anywhere out there that compares in terms of mutual support and feedback by the collective found at the WB. There's really something special going on over there.
You guys really make it tough for the rest of us. Bravo!
A Quick Word About BLOCK-CHAINS
In selecting the theme for the contest, my intention was never to shit on Blockchains in anyway, on the contrary, I simply wish to ignite some critical thinking on the subject. If cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are to change the course of history we must be prepared for all possibilities.
Personally, I remain optimistic about blockchain technology. I believe it's already revolutionary. There are so many passionate, intelligent and driven people involved in its development who truly hope to change the world for the better.
And yet... there also exists a dark side and we must be aware of it.
Only time will tell whether blockchains will be used to enslave or liberate humanity.
Overall Winner [50 STEEM]
Nothing is Free is a brilliant and beautiful piece of short fiction. Of all the submissions I read, this one had me savoring just about every line and every word. I had the sensation of both wanting to slow down and enjoy the prose and at the same time I wanted to race to the end to know how it all ends.
Not only did @negativer’s writing have me concerned for the characters, the central tenet of the piece also resonated with me deeply. A tale of a completely Tokenized world, a world where everything’s permanently engraved into the blockchain and where every human action must be paid for and from which there’s no escape.
Some may not have liked the dark and horrifying finale, but I felt as though it drove home @negativer's message.
Overall 1st Runner-Up [25 STEEM]
This wonderful submission by @surfknasen about an AI sent from deep space to cull humanity by introducing blockchain technology was one of my favorites. Told from the perspective of the AI, there to monitor humanity as it descends into total chaos, war and despair was an engrossing and thought provoking contribution. The Chain that Binds Them was even picked up by @curie and was certainly one of the most popular entries in the contest. Great to see @surfknasen receiving high praise from his fellow writers in the comments.
Excellent work @surfknasen, you should be proud!
Overall 2nd Runner-Up [20 STEEM]
I was was super impressed by this imaginative and multi-layered story of a world divided into East and West. Int he East, crypto is empowerment and freedom and in the West it's a tool of subjugation. Quartz is physically mined to generate energy for the blockchain Matrix, or is there another source of energy? Agents of the free world are attempting to infiltrate the West and bring an end to the Matrix operating secretly alongside the lower castes. There's so much to like about this story, but don't take it from me (my summary isn't doing it justice), I encourage you judge for yourselves.
Awesome entry @zoeyartanddesign, really well done!
Biggest Mind Fuck 
This author has been mind fucking Steemians for months now with his special brand of deep psychological probings and mind-bending subject matter. With Welcome to the Brave New Blockchain Gang, our guide takes us through the process of creating a truly horrific dystopia of human beings divided into an AI controlled caste system. Even in death, we're still prisoners to the blockchain, just ask Gamma Ray 1138.
Funny As Hell 
The triumphant return of the winner of the very first V4vapid Conspiracy Writing Contest, @pulpworx delivers a vision of the future full of…human pets.
There is no Zukerburg, general Sophia made sure of that. Elon will be spending eons rotating the red planet and God emperor Oz has established himself as earth’s ruler in our blissful future, with man as his lowly sidekick. It took me a second read of this piece to finally get in the proper mindset to enjoy it. The first go around I was 12 stories deep into bleakness. So glad I took to time to reread this gem of a story, had me laughing out loud at the café much to the chagrin of robots in proximity.
I absolutely loved when Satoshi ends up in Mad Max Aus. identified as the Messiah and receiving cold hugs from AI/robot overseers. A ridiculously funny contribution, Dystopia's have never been so fun!
Best Tone / Style Winner 
What can I say? This lady oozes literary style. @geke is such a gifted writer and makes creating lifelike worlds seem effortless. You can almost feel yourself sitting in the same cafeteria as the characters, next to grandma as she finishes her dried up little pork chop at the retirement home. Am I jealous? Ahem, of course I'm jealous. Who isn't?
There are a lot of deserving entries in these contests, it's always an extremely difficult and time consuming process selecting the winners. These honorary mentions are stories that I enjoyed personally and wanted to recognize their efforts.