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

Saturday, February 19, 2005

RadCon - radiation condition normal, fans wired up, people in black flooding the halls, badges, buttons, posters, stickers and t-shirts -- RadCon.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I misanthrope, but I know he'll be back. Brachiating is one thing, tool-using and developing revolving credit plans is another. And I don't care how much hair he loses, he'll still be an ape. Love him or hate him, the little beggar.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The obverse is the flip side of the universe, the place where rules are suspended and politicians are honest. Here, the rats live in sunlight rather than sewers, dragons eat carrots rather than maidens, and peace is possible. Once I've saved enough money to tank up my magic carpet, I'm going to visit. I won't be back before Wednesday at the earliest.

(Today's storyword by guest author RuthN)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The phototropics are where all the best pictures are from. Cameras grow on trees there, and the oceans are filmed over with, well, film. The best part is that the sun comes in so many colors, while at night the moon is high-contrast black-and-white.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Canucks live in Canuckistan, a land of birchbark canoes and breweries far to the North where the howling arctic wastes are barely habitable. We must honor our Canuck neighbors, for without them hockey would be a form of synchronized swimming and Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza just wouldn't be the same. We love our Canucks here in Americastan. Just ask them.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The power of love is a curious thing, causing hearts to burst forth from their chests, spreading and shattering ribs to go rush forth in pursuit of their inamorata. Every year we celebrate this curious phenomenon, feting the trails of blood and tears that are left behind in the tumbledown world of love.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

We pileated the woodies until they pecked us bloody, but the little read heads still got away with the second degree of separation from murder. Word to the wise, don't tangle with a meter-tall bird with jackhammer reflexes and a brain the size of a peanut, even if it is packing three kinds of heat and a federal license.

  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.