Science Fiction Short Stories

That Was The Week That OWOS

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Welcome to the first of a weekly roundup of each week’s stories, plus a few random thoughts and impressions on the world around me.

Well, the EU referendum was,… well, it’s all gone a bit Fawlty Towers in the ol’ U of K.  Politicians gave the public a vote – sure in their minds that the general public would vote to keep us in the Union – and, true to form, the British voting public did something utterly mad.  And now the people who gave us the vote have imploded.  Spectacularly.

If it had happened in an episode of Yes, Minister or House of Cards I might have thought it a little far fetched.  That it has happened for real is actually pretty depressing.  Which is why its been nice to get away from it all and write 7 more 100 word short stories.

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Spurred on by the vote, Aliki Chapple, a Greek friend of mine, suggested the word “Isolation”.  In my mind I saw someone sat in a prison cell and decided, in view of both the London and New York City LGBT Pride events, to take it topical.  The result reflected my sadness that not all lands were as tolerant as ours.  You can read it here.

Not exactly continuing on a cheerful note, Sunday’s short story was “Remember“.  It had a wonderful reaction from many people, as sad as the subject was.

Monday saw a return to some Science Fiction, with a word suggested by Theatre impresario Jemma Gross!  Her word, “Abundance“, made me think of The Eden Project.  I took it and twisted it – never go for the obvious!

Obsidian” was suggested by Sarah Doughty of Hamstring Eulogies – one of my favourite blogs.  Sarah has been a great supporter of the OWOS project and it was wonderful to be able to write her something 🙂

Yet another Doctor Who alumnus sent in a suggestion on Wednesday.  This time it was writer, actor and professional Dalek Barnaby Edwards who suggested “Hyperbole” – again inspired by the nonsense surrounding the EU.  I seem to be collecting Doctor Who writers and directors – I’ve even got a tag for them now, lol.  My hope is that some day soon I might actually have a Doctor suggesting a word.  Anyone got Peter Davison’s number?

Yesterday’s word came from an actor friend of mine down in Manchester – Barry Evans.  I see him all-too-infrequently, mainly at Equity meetups.  We must get better at aligning our schedules!  His word was “Insights“.

And today’s story was “Intense”.  I wanted to finish the week with a bit of humour.  God knows we need it!  Thanks for Angelica Kidd for today’s title.

That just leaves me to point you towards the newly-begun One Word One Story Patreon Campaign.  You can visit and become a patron by clicking here – It’s not mandatory but it’ll help me to keep writing more stories like the ones above for many months more!  You can see the video for the Pareon Campaign below.

See you tomorrow for more One Word One Stories!

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#78 – Abundance

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Cosmic Timetraveller

The Six year old girl plucked another apple from the tree, her thumb stroking the firm green flesh and sweeping droplets of water from the skin.

She looked into the garden.  Trees were laden, heaving with fruit: rows of vegetables were blooming, leaves reaching towards blazing lightbulbs, far above.  The glass biosphere stretched on and on.  It was Eden and she was Eve.

The wasteland had blackened the boy’s skin.  His hands stroked at his arms as he swayed in the frigid cold beyond the dome, watching the girl through the glass.

She waved as she bit into the Apple.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Cosmic Timetraveller via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word Title comes from Jemma Gross, artistic director of Epsilon Productions – an award winning theatre company based down in ol’ London Town.  You can read more about her at http://www.jemmagross.com/ or find her on Twitter @JemmaGross.  Thanks Jemma!

Don’t be shy: I’m accepting new one word titles all the time.  Just pop your word in the comments with your name or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Enjoy this story?  Show your support and visit the OWOS Patreon page here.

 

#74 – Mimetic

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Verne Ho

“Go ahead, Senator.”

The scientist was gesturing to the wall, smiling proudly.  Gingerly, Senator Steele pressed his palm to the glass.

A wave of light instantly slithered over the surface, melting and shifting into a perfect copy of Senator Steele’s face.  The scientist was almost clapping in his excitement.

“Go on,…”

“I am Senator Steele,” the politician stated.

I AM SENATOR STEELE the computer replied, in perfect mimic to the Senator.

“Is that all it does?”

Behind the glass, banks of microchips were thinking.

I AM SENATOR STEELE.  I AM TARGET NUMBER ONE.  DELETION WILL OCCUR IN SIX DAYS.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Verne Ho via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word title was donated by award-winning TV writer and author Robert Shearman.  If you’re a Doctor Who fan you’ll know him as the scribe of the 2005 story “Dalek” and a number of Big Finish stories, including my personal favourite “The Chimes of Midnight”.  Thank you Robert!

Robert suggested his title on Twitter and you can too – just tweet it to me @timaustin2k

See you tomorrow for “Plunge”

 

#57 – Recovery

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Amber lights flicked, cutting through the darkness and splashing against the grass of the verge.  The tow-truck driver sucked his lip, his hands balled at his waist.

The car was there.  It was running.  There seemed to be nothing wrong with it except the absence of a driver.

“Hello!?”

The driver called into the treeline, his voice struggling over the thundering roar of traffic.

“You called for a tow?”

There was a rustle in the grass.  The driver looked down.

Laying at his feet was a smartphone.  A video was playing on the screen.

“Oh god,…. they’ve come for me again,…..”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Sergey Zolkin via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word title was suggested and donated by composer and violinist Adisha Kariyawasam – his second suggestion for the OWOS project (yes, you can suggest more than one word!)

You can read “Violin”, the first story that he suggested, by clicking here.

YOU can suggest your own word: just pop it into the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k.

If you’re enjoying the stories, make sure you’re sharing the joy 🙂  I’ll see you tomorrow for “God”.

#52 – Tyrant

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The coffee made the General smile: a small taste of home, so far away.  He gazed at the hologram of his wife and kids, watching them smile and laugh as they petted the dog.  Their hair danced silently in the breeze as the recording repeated again and again.  The General sighed.

His concentration was broken by a cough.  A Sergeant stood by the desk, a pad in his hand.

“Yes?”

“Today’s execution orders, Sir.”

He looked at the insect-like faces of the prisoners and sneered.  His thumbprint sealed the fate of each.  Women, children; traitors.

His hologram family kept smiling.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo Image by Nasa via Unsplash.

If you’d like me to write you a story based on a word of your choice, pop your word in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hastag #onewordonestory.

If you’re enjoying the stories, please let me know, share them with your friends and follow the blog here and at the OWOS Facebook Page

#19 -Tendrils

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Colonel Anderson jumped as the beast slammed its snaked arm against the splintering glass.  His hands shook as he lifted his wrist to his mouth, spitting breathless commands to the rest of his platoon.  He had to stay quiet: the alien saw the world in sound. It knew he was there on the other side of the bulkhead.  It knew.  He hissed a second order but it was no good,… they were gone.

“Aaaand I think we’ll call that Lunch, Colonel,” boomed a female voice.  “That’s the Tenth simulation you’ve screwed.  But don’t feel too bad,… it’s Pasta Wednesday”

(c) Tim Austin 2016

If you get it, you get it.  And if you do, let me know!  If you’re enjoying the stories, hit that follow button below (if you’re on WordPress) or like the OWOS Facebook page.  Oh, and share it on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

Tendrils was suggested by my old sparring partner John “Bobby” R Wilkinson (Esquire): Associate Artist at York Theatre Royal and all-round top bloke!  

If you want to suggest a word, pop it in the comments or Tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hastag #onewordonestory.

Browse a few more stories and I’ll see you tomorrow for “Particles”!