Flash fiction: The Dog at the End of the World by Nancy Jane Moore

Paul Raven @ 02-08-2011

Flashes of Illumination by Nancy Jane MooreI like to do what I can to support the writers we’ve published here at Futurismic, so when Nancy Jane Moore asked me if I’d post a super-short story of hers to promote her ebook anthology of flash fiction, Flashes Of Illumination, how could I refuse? Continue reading “Flash fiction: The Dog at the End of the World by Nancy Jane Moore”


Bam!

Paul Raven @ 04-01-2011

Bam! by Luc ReidThings have been quiet from Luc Reid here of late, but his Brain Hacks for Writers column will be ramping back up again in the coming year. Luc’s been busy, y’see… and here’s one of the things that has contributed to that busyness:

Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories throws normal people into strange circumstances in stories that can each be read in a few minutes. Cinderella tries to get a grip after her divorce; inventions go horribly wrong; robots rise up against their human masters; a thinking teddy bear is trapped for decades in a toybox; love blossoms in a hotel corridor unmoored from time and space; dinosaurs invent the steam engine; girlfriends blink in and out of existence; and Very Bad Things happen that might be worth it in the end. Writers of the Future winner Luc Reid’s stories bridge science fiction, fantasy, humor, and the unclassifiable.

Bam! ($2.99) is available for the Kindle on Amazon at http://amzn.to/grEHH4 and for all eReaders on Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35395 . A printed edition is planned for release in February.

If you’ve been wondering what to put on that ebook reader you got for Christmas, wonder no more…


New Scientist announces flash fiction contest

Paul Raven @ 23-10-2010

… picks Neil Gaiman for the judge’s chair, and – as far as I can tell – puts no geographical restrictions on who can enter. In the interests of promoting one of their projects, I’m going to presume that NS won’t mind me repeating most of the announcement here verbatim:

Send us your very short stories about futures that never were. Tell us where we’d be today if the ether had turned out to exist after all, or if light really was made up of corpuscles emitted by the eyes. You don’t have to be scientifically accurate, but the more convincing your story, the more likely it is to win!

[…]

Your story should be no more than 350 words long, including the title – do watch your word count, we hate having to disqualify good competition entries because they’re just a bit too long – and should not have previously been published anywhere else. Only one entry per person, please.

Here’s the small print: the upshot is that by submitting your story you give us non-exclusive rights to publish it now or at any future date, in whatever medium we choose. The closing date is 19 November 2010.

So no prize beyond the glory itself, but even so, I think I might just have a crack at this myself. 🙂


Near-future geopolitical flash fiction: The Free Freeways

Paul Raven @ 15-09-2009

tall shadows on Route 66Moving on neatly from Tom’s post about solar freeways, here’s another road-related story… only this one really is a story. It’s a little speculative near-future slice of geopolitical flash fiction at a blog called Quiet Babylon, and it’s about the US highways system seceding from the rest of the country:

The seeds of the secession were sewn in, of all places, Afghanistan. Amongst the unconquerable mountains was waged an eternal game of cat and mouse. Pitting patrols against insurgents and drones against IEDs, the military demonstrated that even if you couldn’t control the territory, you could keep the roads clear. Much as with flack-jackets and APCs, it was a matter of time before drone hardware trickled down into law enforcement and private security.

In the past, borders had been fixed to natural geographic or political points. If they weren’t cut along a mountain range or a coastline, they were drawn along the arbitrary geometric divisions of longitude and latitude. These conveniences for cartographers and generals were 20th century relics.

Automated smart-defences changed the rules. Borders of arbitrary complexity became possible, as demonstrated by the almost fractal Jerusalem Solution. The new question became whether a territory was worth defending. For the Freeway States, the calculation shifted to tolls, traffic levels, and ROI per mile.

It’s a fun short read; go check it out, and then browse around the rest of the site, which seems to be full of interesting stuff. When you’re done, thank Justin Pickard for the Twitter tip-off. 🙂 [image by Caveman 92223]