Saturday, July 15, 2006



I have just finished reading an early Brian Aldiss novel -- Non-Stop.
Like most of Aldiss' books it is clever, unusual and stuffed with conceptual breakthroughs.

Aldiss is one of my favourite writers.
He is also the fellow who invented the literary genre known as the 'Mini-Saga'.
A 'Mini-Saga' is a complete short story with a beginning, middle and end told in exactly 50 words.
The title is not included in the word count.

Many years ago, probably as far back as the 1980s, a British national newspaper (I think it was the Daily Telegraph) regularly held 'Mini-Saga' competitions. I submitted quite a few over the years but I never won anything. I was never even a distant runner-up.

All the 'Mini-Sagas' I wrote for those competitions are long gone, but I do have a single intact example that I wrote more recently -- I can't remember when exactly but sometime within the last decade.
It has never been published anywhere.
Here it is:

A Post-Disaster Story

Scientists had no way of stopping the asteroid. A postal worker had an idea. He went into space in a rocket and fixed a stamp to it. Now it was the responsibility of the Post Office. They typically failed to deliver it correctly. It struck Mars. The Earth was saved.

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