Sunday 29 October 2017


After the gods had created the universe, and the multiverse, and Man, they wondered what to do.

“Consider Man,” said one. “Man invents obstacles, then overcomes them. This he calls ‘fun’.”

“What is an obstacle to the gods?” said another.

“This!” said one, and split into a billion stars, each a fragment of the whole.

“This!” said another, setting to study what was, before the gods.

“This!” said a third, and placed a sliver of himself into a Man.

One day they will end their fun and return to themselves, and their creations will vanish like a dream upon waking.

This story — and indeed most of my fiction here — previously 
appeared on Crap Mariner’s 100 Word Weekly Challenge.

Saturday 28 October 2017

When The Gods Were New

When the gods were new, they assembled together to know what they should do.

“I have made a strange thing,” said one. And he showed how out of nothing he conjured a vast universe of whirling balls of fire and rock.

Another said, “I will make a stranger.” And he punctured that universe with many holes, and inside each he showed that self-same universe reduplicated.

A third said, “I will make yet stranger.” On a single tiny lump of rock in that multiverse, he created a host of small figures that fought among themselves, and took themselves to be gods.

“This is the strangest thing,” they agreed. “Let us call it ‘Man’.”

Monday 23 October 2017

My dear Dr. Brezoianu:

I regret that the Journal of Neurosemantic Research must decline to publish your paper, “Obstruction of Remote Memetic Excitation by Aluminized Mylar Composites”. It has been closely read by three referees, all experts in the field, who unanimously recommend rejection on the respective grounds that its results are absurd, well-known, or trivially obvious. Furthermore, I don’t care for the over-familiar manner in which you approached my wife at the Oslo conference last summer.

With best wishes for your publication, but not in any journal I have anything to do with, 

Prof. Dr. Dr. Jarogniew Grzeszkiewicz (Editor)


The sun would soon rise, and in the pre-dawn glim a group of a dozen people were walking down a rocky path. Among them was a woman with a two-year-old toddling along beside her. As toddlers do, she toddled, and wobbled, and fell down, going all her length on the ground, then burst into tears. Without missing a step, her mother bent down and swept her up into her arms, bouncing her on her shoulder to calm her, and walked on.

Just an everyday incident, in a tribe of Homo erectus, a million years ago in the Olduvai gorge.

This story previously appeared on Crap Mariner’s 100 Word Story weekly challenge.

Tuesday 17 October 2017


“Are robots alive?”

——What is life?

“I don't know, but I know it when I see it.”

——That’s easy then, just look at a robot. Do you see life?

“That’s not fair!”

——It’s fair, you’re confused. How about asking one? Hey, metal man over there! Are you alive?

——What do I know about philosophy?

——Whadya think? Lifeless machine, or alive with better things to do?

“I don't know, that's the problem, how could I tell?”

——What about me, then, your perfect drinking partner? You act like I’m alive. What's your real question here?

“I guess it’s... am I alive?”


Sunday 15 October 2017

A Beautiful Thing

People say we lived like kings. Ha! These days, king just means a bigger mud hut and a gang of men with clubs.

We could fly round the world faster than it turned, talk to anyone, anywhere, instantly. We had men on the Moon, nearly got to Mars. We knew the age of the universe, the speed of light. You've never even seen electricity.

You don’t believe any of this. You’re stupid. Everyone's getting stupider, generation by generation.

Sure, we had wars, all that shit. But Goddammit, we had civilisation, and it was a beautiful thing, a beautiful thing indeed.