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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of science fiction short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
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We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
So… apparently there’s this situation, or feeling, called the overview effect. The first thing it made me think of when somebody (I don’t recall who it was but it’s not important anyway) described it to me was something horrific, on-the-edge-of-the-world=like, nauseating. Yes, I felt immediately sick to my stomach, dizzy, like I was about to fall off the edge of the earth. Major vertigo issues. All right, so I admit I’m afraid of heights, really afraid of them, and can end up with major panic attacks in airplanes if the going gets even th...
Back in 2079, a big shift happened in the outlining of our states in this country. Since hardly anyone lived around family anymore, it didn’t make sense to live near people who didn’t agree with you in your basic philosophies of life. The idea of keeping civil peace became so important that where you called home became a crystal-clear indicator of the beliefs your dearly-held beliefs. Gun advocates lived in states with other gun lovers, anti-abortionists lived among their believers while Jesus followers gladly called each other neighbor.
It felt something like a roller coaster, only so much more intense. Months of training may have prepared me to handle this, but there is no feeling on earth that quite illustrated how it would feel to be shot up into outer space. As the G forces eased up and the shaking calmed, we were suddenly weightless. It was not the light-hearted kind of weightlessness you feel walking outside on a sunny spring day. It was more like what you feel the second you find out a loved one has died – like you are floating away from the ground, and there is n...
In the middle of the world there is a place that no one goes to, land long forgotten by the maps or the books, land that does not want to be remembered. In the middle of the world there is a place that would not fit any and all definitions there is of beauty, land empty of anything but monsters, land filled with all the ugly things that stained God’s creation. The monsters, however, are anything but stupid, they have heads full of ideas and hungry bellies, so when food runs out in the middle of the wo...
The world is filled with absolutes, though humans tried to deny it. So much of the human experience was already made up of relatives that they wanted everything to be flexible, malleable, open for negation. Truths could always be spun, perspectives changed, feelings reframed. But there are certain things that do not slide on a scale, aren’t open to interpretation and can’t be argued away. Time. Math. Life. Death. From up here, I see the entire globe. A small, blue marble. All alone in the dark.
Who do you want to be with if you were one of the last people left on Earth?I woke up to a meadow under a clear blue sky, as if I was in heaven. As far as my eyes could perceive, there was nothing else seen but a full-grown tree. Its branches were round, and drooping, covered by elongated leaves. I was a few feets towards the tree, when suddenly a voice broke the serenity.“Stay where you are,” urged the voice.
That morning Alex awoke to find an aeroplane in her parent’s back field. It was balanced nose to tail, fuselage crumpled, the only thing keeping it upright an old cowshed it had landed on top of. It reminded her of a giant cigarette stubbed out on the grass. One of its wings had broken off and was embedded in a nearby tree. Alex looked up and pictured it losing control, going into a nosedive, crashing through the thin layer of clouds above and on to their property. Alex couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like...
She had lost her family. Her father and mother. Her baby sister. It didn’t happen all at once. Each of them fell away from her, one at a time, flying far beyond her reach. She could not call them back. She had tried. Her sister was a small baby. She could still remember the feel of the infant in her arms. Seeing that she was there, but if she lost sight of her, the nearly nonexistent weight of the child fooled her mind to the notion that she was merely holding air. Simply a wisp of a being. Hardly there at all. That same ni...
The pandemic had taken a toll on humanity, many perished and for what reason God knows, he kept me alive. My wife, my only child, my parents, my friends, and everyone I knew died. Doctors who initially tested me said that I have a certain rare genetic disorder due to which the virus is unable to harm me, and since I heard that prayed to God that my toddler should also have that disorder, a prayer which in normal conditions would make me consider a sick person. Those were hard times and I think God’s also don’t listen to your prayers then ...
I think we got time wrong.I think we got time wrong because in that moment I stood still yet felt the entirety of my existence, pour in and out of me, in and out. I think we got time wrong because this doesn’t seem to pass and because everything that supposedly did pass is back as I hold, rather cling, on to it.I know we’re moving in space but I can really feel the space moving in me. My mind is beginning to spiral and it feels as if I’m no longer here. They said it would feel amazing, they s...
It wasn't a bunch of different disparate parts like the alien ships in a science-fiction movie. Agent Durer could see why writers and artists would think that it would be. He could also see the International Space Station, with its inelegant fans of solar panels jutting out to either side like wings on a bird that just kept flapping without ever getting off of the ground. That was the pinnacle of human technology and space exploration for now, and considering current events, always would be. But presuming it w...
He wandered down the hall, marveling at the sensation of being the only one still alive. It was an occurrence he had heard about possibly happening in the future but he’d never thought it would happen in his lifetime. The Absence had taken out a lot of people, all of them in fact. That’s what the occurrence had been referred to when people had talked about it in the past. The only reason he was still here was that he had hidden in the basement of the institute in whic...
"Help me!" "Help!" My cries were inaudible as I felt myself tossing this way and that. Nobody else seemed to notice me, and passed right through me like I didn't exist! Hoping for some sort of rescue from this terrible fate, I managed to steady myself enough to grab the controls. Someone yanked me from the back and pulled me into the capsule, but I was too overcome in shock to realize who it was. "None of us will survive if you don't listen to me. Right here, right now." The mysterious stranger sh...
A movement in the bushes caught my eye. I was up a tree in a flash with my bow and arrows in hand. I pulled the large leaves gently to cover me. If I ran into another person, I would simply do what I had done to the rest of them. I nocked an arrow and aimed my bow toward the bushes. The rustling continued. A foot poked out of the bushes and was immediately followed by a man. He looked like he had never done a day’s work in his life, and I was very surprised to see him in the forest. I might as well talk to the guy. I have nothing better t...
Life fades from black to a dim, cool, light. Her eyes strain to fight the rays of color and blurred images as we all do when roused from a deep sleep. Our eyes adjust; seeing our immediate surroundings, while our brains slowly comprehend what is going on. She looks up at the slowly rotating objects that hang before her field of view, moving ever so slightly above her head. These objects look familiar, she has seen them before, but her newly awakened mind is working to put the pieces together from her previous viewing. A few blinks to...
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