It all started with a story I wrote called Infinite Variety which I sent to Alex Shvartsman for a critique.
While reading it, he tweeted:
Alex Shvartsman And, in the critique I got later:
@loldoc Dude there is a 90-word sentence in your story. I had to go find a snack in the middle so that I could get through it! :)
This is an enormous run on were-sentence that makes me want to go out and find stakes, and garlic, and whatever else kills were-run-on sentences.Which I then Tweeted.
There was much speculation as to exactly what kind of sentence would warrant termination with prejudice, and as a result, #1ss was born-- The One-Sentence Story Contest.
Look for the #1ss hashtag on Twitter for details (and keep in mind it probably means something different in other languages) - in the meantime, here is my 242-word entry.
Good Thing I Did Not Tell Them About The Dirty Knife
by Anatoly Belilovsky
While it is true that most people believed in space aliens long before there was any compelling evidence of their existence, and many thought such features as empathy and sense of humor might turn out to be universal to all sentient beings who achieve spaceflight-capable technology; while many wondered what bands of the electromagnetic spectrum such aliens might monitor from afar to gain an understanding of Earth culture and human psychology, and what conclusions they might reach from their exposure to, inter alia, Hitler’s speeches, the dead parrot sketch, and “boldly go where no man has gone before;” while waves of frenzied speculation inundated all informational channels and filled all Terran minds with awe of one kind or another in the weeks after the alien spacecraft, retros blasting incandescent across the vacuum of space, was detected as it crossed the orbit of Saturn and tracked the entire way to its rendez-vous with history -- with all that has been said and written and considered in preparation for first contact between mankind and extraterrestrial civilizations -- it did, nevertheless, render the hand-picked, all-star, international reception committee dumbstruck and speechless when, upon landing on a dry lake bed in the New Mexico desert, the alien exited his ship and, facing an enormous, silent crowd, produced a battered volume marked “Hungarian-English Phrasebook,” peered into it intently, and intoned, in English but with a faux-Eastern European accent: “I will not buy this record, it is scratched!”
And, yes, I did reuse the punchline.
PS: Here is the latest link farm for the contest:
- “The Bloodline Is Only as Strong as Its Last Generation” by Jake Kerr (133 words)
- “Good Thing I Did Not Tell Them about the Dirty Knife” by Anatoly Belilovsky (242 words)
- “De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est” also by the overachieving Anatoly Belilovsky (289 words)
- “Inevitable” by Carrie Cuinn (476 words!!)
- “Untitled” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
- “Mr Fix-It” by Don Pizarro (350 words)
- “Epic Win” by Anatoly Belilovsky (a slim 55 words)
- “One Thousand and First” by Alex Shvartsman (243 words… or is it?)
- “The Ghost and the Machine” by Suzanne Palmer (534 words)
- “Untitled” by Spencer Ellsworth
- “And Yes” by S.R. Mastrantone
- “GLORK” by Amanda C. Davis (150 words)
- “Object of My Affection” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (347 words)
- “Dear Kyle” by Brenda Stokes Barron
- “Great-Uncle’s Visit” by Michael Haynes