Saturday, 1 June 2013

Short Story Saturday: Tell a story in six words

Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words - "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." - and is said to have called it his best work.

Here are some other six word (very) short stories by some of the brightest and best science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers around.

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
- Joss Whedon

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
- Gregory Maguire

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
- Ronald D. Moore

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
- Vernor Vinge

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
- Rockne S. O’Bannon

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
- Stephen Baxter

Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilisation collapses.
- Richard Powers

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
- Orson Scott Card

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
- Kevin Smith

To save humankind he died again.
- Ben Bova

We went solar; sun went nova.
- Ken MacLeod

- Harry Harrison

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
- Neal Stephenson

Easy. Just touch the match to
- Ursula K. Le Guin

New genes demand expression -- third eye.
- Greg Bear

WORLD'S END. Sic transit gloria Monday.
- Gregory Benford

Epitaph: He shouldn't have fed it.
- Brian Herbert

Batman Sues Batsignal: Demands Trademark Royalties.
- Cory Doctorow

Heaven falls. Details at eleven.
- Robert Jordan

Bush told the truth. Hell froze.
- William Gibson

Nevertheless, he tried a third time.
- James P. Blaylock

Help! Trapped in a text adventure!
- Marc Laidlaw

Thought I was right. I wasn't.
- Graeme Gibson

Rapture postponed. Ark demanded! Which one?
- David Brin

Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back.
- David Brin

Bang postponed. Not Big enough. Reboot.
- David Brin

Temporal recursion. I'm dad and mom?
- David Brin

Death postponed. Metastasised cells got organised.
- David Brin

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned.
- Charles Stross

Ships fire; princess weeps, between stars.
- Charles Stross

Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod

Cryonics: Disney thawed. Mickey gnawed. Omigawd.
- Eileen Gunn

Finally, he had no more words.
- Gregory Maguire

There were only six words left.
- Gregory Maguire

In the beginning was the word.
- Gregory Maguire

Corpse parts missing. Doctor buys yacht.
- Margaret Atwood

Starlet sex scandal. Giant squid involved.
- Margaret Atwood

He read his obituary with confusion.
- Steven Meretzky

And to finish, here's a ten-word short story by the late Arthur C Clarke: "God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist."

1 comment:

Nicholas Harvey said...

Stuck in a rut? Get out!