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  3. This reminds me of an entry in Forrest J. Ackerman’s Ackermanthology, a wonderful collection of short stories edited by SciFi’s biggest fan.

    Here is the complete entry, including introductory essay. If you want to read the other stories you’ll have to buy the book, which I highly recommend. I’ll put the “story” and intro in blockquotes and have some comments following.

    The late Fredric Brown for some years held the record for authorship of the world’s shortest sci-fi tale — and it had an O. Henry ending to poot. Or, as Bill Shockspeare onces said, ‘To boot or not to boot.’
    Brown’s succinct classic: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. (Watch out for horripilations as the implications sink in.) Sometime thereafter someone shortened it by one letter: There was a lock on the door.
    Later, Weaver Wright wrote: The last earth on man. (Who burried him?)
    Ray Bradbury, in a fanzine, came up with a 12-word tale of Earth’s fate in World War 3, the 3-hour, maybe 3-minute war; the nuclear one:
    The Year 2150 A.D.
    In the year 2150 A.D. instead of one sun, there were two. THE END
    Then I came up with a two-worder: ATOMIGEDDON 2419 A.D. THE END
    The Shortest SF Story Ever Told by Forrest J Ackerman

    Title: Cosmic Report Card (Earth)

    F

    All of the attempts discussed in the above section are interesting, but I only really like the Brown one as an example of how a short narrative can be thought provoking.

    As for yours…first, it’s bloated. You could remove two words and have the same effect.
    Second, it is a wonderful horror story that has everything you need because it grows out of imagery that is so much a part of the collective conscious of modern American (and Italian) moviegoers. It also has a naturally downbeat 70’s horror ending befitting of its subject matter.

    As for the shortened version, I am sure you can figure that out.

    “Hey, nice costume!”
    STAB
    “Gurgle, Gasp!”

  4. This reminds me of an entry in Forrest J. Ackerman’s Ackermanthology, a wonderful collection of short stories edited by SciFi’s biggest fan.

    Here is the complete entry, including introductory essay. If you want to read the other stories you’ll have to buy the book, which I highly recommend. I’ll put the “story” and intro in blockquotes and have some comments following.

    The late Fredric Brown for some years held the record for authorship of the world’s shortest sci-fi tale — and it had an O. Henry ending to poot. Or, as Bill Shockspeare onces said, ‘To boot or not to boot.’
    Brown’s succinct classic: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. (Watch out for horripilations as the implications sink in.) Sometime thereafter someone shortened it by one letter: There was a lock on the door.
    Later, Weaver Wright wrote: The last earth on man. (Who burried him?)
    Ray Bradbury, in a fanzine, came up with a 12-word tale of Earth’s fate in World War 3, the 3-hour, maybe 3-minute war; the nuclear one:
    The Year 2150 A.D.
    In the year 2150 A.D. instead of one sun, there were two. THE END
    Then I came up with a two-worder: ATOMIGEDDON 2419 A.D. THE END
    The Shortest SF Story Ever Told by Forrest J Ackerman

    Title: Cosmic Report Card (Earth)

    F

    All of the attempts discussed in the above section are interesting, but I only really like the Brown one as an example of how a short narrative can be thought provoking.

    As for yours…first, it’s bloated. You could remove two words and have the same effect.
    Second, it is a wonderful horror story that has everything you need because it grows out of imagery that is so much a part of the collective conscious of modern American (and Italian) moviegoers. It also has a naturally downbeat 70’s horror ending befitting of its subject matter.

    As for the shortened version, I am sure you can figure that out.

    “Hey, nice costume!”
    STAB
    “Gurgle, Gasp!”

  5. Bloated? Possibly.

    I used “Brains!” three times to show there are three zombies attacking. Then there are how many bullets in the gun? BLAM! BLAM! Click.

    Sure, I could shorten it to:

    “Brains!”
    Click.

    But give a novelist a bit of room to breathe.

    By the way, that’s my version of the World’s Shortest Horror Story right there.

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    Bloated? Possibly.

    I used “Brains!” three times to show there are three zombies attacking. Then there are how many bullets in the gun? BLAM! BLAM! Click.

    Sure, I could shorten it to:

    “Brains!”
    Click.

    But give a novelist a bit of room to breathe.

    By the way, that’s my version of the World’s Shortest Horror Story right there.

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