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.

Now I know what a post-apocalyptic scenario refers to.
Yes, it was the Telegraph Sunday Magazine. I've got "The book of Mini-sagas II" (published 1988) with a preface by Brian Aldiss and quite a few beautiful 50-word shorties inside.

PS- Do you have anything against the Post Office? :)


Bom dia Luis! Bome dis Joao!
No I don't really have anything against the Post Office, it just seems that way!
But yes, that was the book I was thinking about!
I meant "bom dia" of course!
I have no idea what "bom dis" means!!!!!!
isn't bom dis the opposite of bom dat? we'll never know!
Have we all forgotten our latin?

Bom der
Bom dim
Bom dem
Bom dis
Bom dat
Bom dose
Bom dese

Gold star now please.
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