Story Words
Very short fiction, written on the fly, from words submitted by readers.
© 2002, 2003, 2004 Jay Lake

Saturday, January 25, 2003
Asia Minor

Long ago, when Asia was big girl, she often regretted the vanished fancies of her youth. With the help of Athena and some disreputable Khazars, she had herself cloned, and the clone's age arrested at fourteen -- Asia Minor. Asia Minor dwells in Izmir today, while Asia continues about her own affairs.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Small children always know who pulled the fluffie, but the one who smells it first is the pewter. As in, "Eeew, pew..."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The phase of an artist's work slightly before the illustration, when the idea comes to them in a white, blinding light and they become invested in the whole business. Also, a sacrament of the paints.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The lesser freep of the Crystal Deserts of Outer Moldava can most often be found by hunters tracking its solitary cry of "dosh, dosh", which echoes over the brilliant dunes. Sadly, those hunters are often blinded by the light and wander to their deaths, lost in the dosh fugue.

Monday, January 20, 2003

A rare fruit from the Elucca Islets, from the Elucca palm. Most noted for its exotic alkaloids that stimulate temporal and calendrical memory, along with visions of a truly righteous evening in the hot tub.

  I've been nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and for the John W. Campbell, Jr. Award for Best New Writer!
Award info | Me

Read the Hugo-nominated story for free at

Q: What is this?
A: A fiction experiment. Every day, people email me words. At some random point in the day, I pick a word, write a quick story about it on the spot, and post it unedited (except for a quick typo patrol).

Q: What did that word mean?
A: Look it up:

Q: Can I send you a word?
A: You bet. Include a definition if the word is deeply obscure -- or not, if you prefer. Send it to

Q: I've got something to say about this.
A: Click over to the Story Words discussion topic.

Q: Who else is silly enough to do this? I think it's kind of neat.
A: David Jones, for one. Surf over there and check him out. Drop him an encouraging word, too. He's a brave man.
A: Jeremy Tolbert, for another, with his Microscopica project. Likewise show him some love.
A: Jason Erik Lundberg with his Mythologism blog.

Q: You're even cooler than KITT the Knight Rider car. Do you have a mailing list to announce your latest hijinks?
A: Of course I do. What kind of self-promoting, narcissistic writer would I be otherwise? Email me. Occasional mailings regarding stories appearing in print and online, weird stuff in general, and appearances of the Greek Chorus.