Every now and again I submit something to one of the online magazines that publish very short pieces. It’s partly the challenge of condensing down to so few words, and they’re often a lot of fun too.
Recently, I submitted on the theme of Unicorns. I wasn’t surprised when they turned down the piece as I did stretch the intention behind the theme, quite a bit. But, from their feedback, I’m not sure they got the humour.
Oh well, here it is for your enjoyment…
Reg throws another rock. One rock that joins the many pelting the deniers’ citadel.
Angry mob or legitimate protest; choose your side.
The Unicorn exists and it’s far too dangerous to be kept secret.
We, the protesters, protest and the rocks hail down.
Why was it brought into existence? It’s incomprehensible.
‘No GM. No GM,’ we chant.
A man steps from the glass fortress and is struck on the head by several rocks. The blood is disgusting. And, so is he.
Releasing Unicorn, the genetically modified corn designed to wipe out all other corn is unforgivable.
Reg throws another rock.
photo credit: Madame Licorne photos officielles via photopin (license)
It’s a well-known saying among writers that you have to read to write. I imagine that’s the same for any craft – the more you see of other people’s work the better your own becomes.
I’m in the fortunate position at the moment of being the lead-curator for a series of science fiction events themed around the near-future (links to them are on my future events page). This means that not only do I get to read all the submitted stories and choose the best with my co-curator, I also get to hear the authors read their stories on the night.
And, it may sound like a cliché, but it really is a privilege.
Talking of which, it’s also incredibly pleasing that Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association, has published an article on the thinking behind these Near-Future Fiction events.
During my visit to the Bristol Robotics Lab I heard about the danger of human shaped robots because we naturally attribute them with human qualities they don’t have.
This got me thinking about artificial intelligence that’s embodied in non-human forms but still shows human type behaviour. After all, it’s coded by humans and learns how to behave from humans.
That was part of the inspiration behind The Mythical Moss.
Over the past few months, a film of me reading this story has been in the exhibition, Only Human: Believing the Strangest Things, Loving the Alien. The exhibition recently ended so I can now share the exhibit with you.
I hope you enjoy the story and it doesn’t cause you to spend too much time wondering about what might be lurking in the nooks and crannies of your life.
photo credit: dreaming_of_rivers Intimidation via photopin (license)