CULTURE & ARTS

In Six Words, Sci-Fi Comes Alive

Get your flash science fiction fix for the day.

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." 

The tragic story told in these six, simple words -- a story often, though perhaps apocryphally, attributed to Ernest Hemingway -- carries more emotional power than many entire novels. Six-word stories have become a popular, Twitter-friendly form of flash fiction, encouraging writers to think creatively about how to employ their words. 

Science fiction, a genre often driven by mind-boggling imagined technology and jarring future changes in society, lends itself particularly well to the six-word treatment. The sci-fi blog io9 periodically encourages its readers to write six-word opuses of speculative fiction. 

On Thursday, the hashtag #sixwordscifi briefly trended on Twitter, with tweeters conjuring their own futuristic worlds in a few well-chosen words. Some writers got goofy; some took it to a dark, dark place; and some even openly nodded to the classic "baby shoes" tale, with a speculative spin. Here are some of our favorites:

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