Sunday, April 22, 2012

Take Me to Your Tweeter

Take Me to Your Tweeter

Okay, I have to admit I'm a sucker for short, gimmicky word games. I've even had a couple of sentences published in the Dark and Stormy Night competitions. So, when I saw that the Brits were running a Twitter science fiction and fantasy competition, I had to take a shot. Sudden fiction with a 140-character limit (actually, a 134-character limit—every entry has to include the #TBSFA hashtag). Sounds damned near impossible, you might say after reading the page of rules governing the competition. And you'd be right, judging by most of the entries.

There were some real stinkers. There were some really brilliant pieces. More to the point, most entries didn't satisfy any reasonable set of conditions of what might constitute a story. Think about it: a story has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has to have a primary conflict, and it has to have a resolution. Clearly, you can't spell all of these aspects out in 134 characters, so that means you have to imply some of these parts. Success, to me, entails accomplishing that degree of implication. I'm sure there will be quite a few arguments about these successes as the balloting continues. I just wish the BSFA would tell us when and where they plan to announce the winners. The rules page says that they will announce a winner on their website, but that covers a lot of ground. Where on their website? And they still don't say when. The rules  also hint that other entries might be published in future BSFA publications.

Whatever that means.

Anyway, here are my entries, in no particular order. The first one is embarassingly close to the so-called World's Shortest Story (The last man on earth sits reading a book. There is a knock at the door.) And the second one is just a bad joke (also with that embarrassing whiff of plagiarism).

#TBSFA He opened his veins in the tub, unwilling to live as the lone last human. As life ebbed, he heard her voice: "Hello? Anyone there?"

#TBSFA "Only one wish," said the genie. "Wealth? Power? Eternal youth?"
"I wish I had a thousand of you."

Kathy's and Ansel's favorite (and the only one that got responses): 

#TBSFA Exiting the time pod into the present, he was surrounded by hideous

bare-faced giants. He tried to call out: "Meow?"

And my personal favorite:

#TBSFA Please, someone reply. The vile Hryq can't read our words. If you're human, you're not alone. I have food, weapons. Please, reply.

Next time, more novel development.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting contest. I still like the first one, that is the irony of life some days. I also find the last one cool. That could be the first lines of a book.