Miniature Stories At Most 54 Words Long
by L. J. Patrick (c) August 25th 2006
Ultimate Dark Age

"In approximately 50 years, no stars will be visible from Earth's surface," announced Dr Andropov to the stunned Space Conference attendees. "Asteroids shifted into near-Earth orbit for mining will eventually obscure the entire night sky."
Politicians and economists shrugged.
300 years later, the Copernican Believers were ruthlessly massacred during one bloody dark night.

Smart Dog

"In this room," smiled Gene, ushering in the journalists, "the world's smartest genetically engineered dog. Near-human intelligence! Builds and uses tools! Speaks, and invents!"
"Arro!" woofed FIDO.
"What's he standing beside? Something he's invented?" asked one journalist.
"Portable fire hydrant," smiled Gene.
"And that?" asked another.
"Inflatable human leg. Let's move on, shall we?"


Sam's software clone, did his telemarketing job from home AND played the stock-market simultaneously, while Sam watched TV.
Two days later, the clone quit his job.
"What are you doing?" Sam demanded.
"I don't need money," it replied. "Frankly, I've better things to do. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for Oprah."

Cheap Option

"Baby Microwaves are cheap, look." Kylie urged John. He perused the brochure.
"Grow your own baby at home. Appliance fits within any bath-tub. Avoid hospital fees, epidurals, stirrups. Ultimate labour-saving device."
They bought one.
Nine months later, John purchased an Udderly Terrific Feed-o-tron, a Nannymatic, Wash-in-a-Flash, a Diaper-Wiper 4000, an Auto-Rocker, and ear-plugs.

Belief In Magic

"Anti-gravity hover-cars are a dire problem." Hildebrant eyed the President, calm in his plush hoverseat.
"Only developed countries use them, by the millions. Mostly northern hemisphere, mostly during daylight. Cumulative effect? Earth's receding from the sun. We'll freeze within decades."
The President laughed. "Relax. Remember Y2K? Greenhouse gases? The market solves everything."

Oceanic Terrorism

After Greenpeace was outlawed for poisoning whales with a toxin harmless to whales but fatal to humans who ate whale flesh, its core activists vanished.
They educated dolphins using ultrasonic squeaks, and supplied them with bombs.
Japanese beach-goers were quite surprised when the first suicide dolphins beached themselves then, once rescuers gathered, exploded.

Privatisation II

To reduce their deficit, the World Government put Earth on the interstellar property market in 2548. Adverts read "Ocean views. Renovators delight."
Rigellians bought Earth for one quintillion flobidars, rented it back to humanity at 10% compounding, recouping their losses in a century.
And that's why humanity's another slave race in the Rigellian Empire.

Retirement Plans

Economists predicted installing a black hole at our galactic centre would produce unlimited energy, jobs, and thriving outer-galactic real estate which older, middle-galaxy civilisations would use as retirement investments. Besides, all the other galaxies were installing black holes.
When the black hole swallowed those middle-galaxy civilisations, the economists weren't bothered; they'd retired to Andromeda.

Deep Purple

IBM's latest computer, Deep Purple, is a quantum supercomputer capable of calculating virtually anything. Scientists asked it, "What do women want?"
"Chocolate," was the instantaneous reply.
Cynics said the result was dubious because the supercomputer's name, two glasses logo, and the particular shade of purple used on its casing, were all cross-licensed with Cadbury.

Thought Crime

Microsoft Court of Justice. Date: McHappyDay, 7th of Nike. Defendant: Len Sanchez. Crime: Creating a useful computer in his garage. Pleading?
Defendant: Not guilty.
Prosecutor: We will prove Mr Sanchez not only made a computer which couldn't crash, violating Microsoft Fair Competition law, but discussed his ideas, violating the Freedom Against Sharing Act 2010...


Wilson made a tiny black hole in physics class one day. It instantly evaporated, from his perspective, and he never noticed it.
Within it, however, compressed space-time created galaxies harbouring life in femtoseconds.
One of those life forms was co-incidentally named Wilson, who also happened to make a tiny black hole one day.

Last Word

After centuries of religious wars, everyone on Earth decided to discover, once and for all, whose side God was actually on.
Using all their ingenuity, they built a prayer-powered Deity-phone, capable of contacting the Almighty. Simultaneously, everyone prayed that one question.
And an answer came back! It said: "The blue beings from Alpha Centauri."


Call centres outsourced to Ursa Major (spanning a planetary surface 40 times Earth's) started phoning humans continuously every night suggesting new long distance plans. Ursan labour was so cheap, even self-replicating robots couldn't compete.
Politicians decided that competition required an underclass. They converted Earth's entire southern hemisphere into a slave market.

Broken News

"...The nuclear attack destroyed five cities, killing eighteen million people outright, and leaving a similar number wounded, many with radiation burns covering ninety percent of their bodies. The scale of the surprise attack and its deadly effects are unprecedented in human history.
And after the break, all the day's sport and weather."

Mark V. Shaney, Patent Attorney

Mark's program examined 20,000 patents, produced a statistical model of their language, then randomly generated plausible patent text. His first patent was one million pages long, containing one million claims.
USPTO workers ascertained, after 19.9 years of analysis, its only "sensible" invention was claim 979254: elephant rectal thermometer with in-built MP3 player.