My fellow PANELista writers and I entered our 350-word stories into this year’s New Scientist flash fiction contest, and the winner and runner ups have now been posted, as selected by none other than Neil Gaiman. Unfortunately, it seems we all misinterpreted the theme for this year’s contest, so none of our short stories made the short list. Their entry pages said “Send us your very short stories about futures that never were.” But apparently what that really meant was “we asked for very short stories about worlds in which scientific theories we’ve long since dismissed turned out to be true after all,” as they noted on their site after the fact, when the winners were announced.
Oh well, it’s just like being in school again. You not only have to know the material you’re being tested on, you also have to read the test questions properly. Or maybe our stories just weren’t good enough, I suppose.
Anyway, the winning story “Atomic Dreams” and the two runners up, “Gaius Secundus ER” and “Starfall” can be read here. Interesting to note that this year’s winner and last year’s winner “Body Search” (as picked by science fiction writer Stephen Baxter) share something in common, in that they’re not told in the traditional way, but rather as a collection of headlines and search result topics, respectively.
Oh, and don’t forget that every Friday, we’re featuring our our flash fiction here on the blog. You can read the previous posts by selecting the PANEL 350 category on the right.