Today’s writing prompt comes courtsey of a Wired Magazine article from 2006. Ernest 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. In the article, Wired asked sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers from the realms of books, TV, movies, and games to take a shot themselves.
Dozens of auteurs put their words to paper.. Sure, Arthur C. Clarke refused to trim his (“God said, ‘Cancel Program GENESIS.’ The universe ceased to exist.”), but the rest are concise masterpieces.
Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
– William Shatner
Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
– Eileen Gunn
Vacuum collision. Orbits diverge. Farewell, love.
– David Brin
Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
– Joss Whedon
Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
– Stan Lee
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
– Alan Moore
Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
– Margaret Atwood
His penis snapped off; he’s pregnant!
– Rudy Rucker
From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
– Gregory Maguire
With bloody hands, I say good-bye.
– Frank Miller
Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
– Steven Meretzky
“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
– Ronald D. Moore
Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
– Vernor Vinge
It cost too much, staying human.
– Bruce Sterling
We kissed. She melted. Mop please!
– James Patrick Kelly
It’s behind you! Hurry before it
– Rockne S. O’Bannon
I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
– Stephen Baxter
1940: Young Hitler! Such a dancer!
– Michael Moorcock
Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
– Richard Powers
I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?
– Neil Gaiman
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
Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
– Paul Di Filippo
“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
– Howard Chaykin
Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
– Stephen R. Donaldson
TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! … nobody there …
– Harry Harrison
Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
– Neal Stephenson
Write 6 of your own 6 word stories. Try to pack as much action, adventure, romance, humour, pathos, passion and mystery into those 6 words as you can.
At the end of the 20 minutes, I’m going to ask everyone to share their best one.