404 Words is Accepting Short Stories for Publication Until September 1st!

booksSo I was on the writing subreddit and I found a link to something called 404 Words which all short story writers should start paying attention to, especially if you are looking to get published with the possibility of winning $200.00 USD.

You can find out who they are on their About Us page, but more importantly, click the next link to find out about their contest.

They are accepting fiction story submissions until September 1st (I know, not much time left). All accepted stories will be published on their site, and the author of the top submission wins $200.00.

The contest is international so anyone in the world can enter, however all stories must be submitted in English.

The other trick is all submissions must have a word count of no more than (you guessed it) 404 words including the title. Click the link I provided above for the rest of the details.

I just thought I’d throw this out there in case any authors visiting my blog have a short fiction story 404 words or less ready, or you can put one together very quickly (actually, they’ll accept up to 3 submissions per person).

Just spreading the love. I submitted one story already and I’ve got five more days to decide if I want to write one or two more.

Cheers, and if you submit a story or stories to them, good luck.

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Falling and Bouncing

flat ball

Image: printactivities.com

I recently submitted an original story (one that hasn’t appeared on this blog) to a website that publishes flash fiction of a thousand words or less. Wow! Less than a thousand words for an entire story. That was a challenge.

I took a creative writing class in high school (back at the dawn of time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), and we called those kinds of stories “short shorts”. You start writing a story as close to the ending as possible.

Anyway, I cranked out my story and it came out to just a few words shy of a thousand in the final draft.

I’ve noticed that when I write something for (potential) publication on another person’s site, I really have to go over the story again and again to shake out all the flaws. I’m a tad more lax when I’m posting my wee tales here on “Robots,” probably because I’m impatient and hey — I’m the site owner. I just want to write and press the “Publish” button.

So, I went over “Killing Juliet” repeatedly until I thought I had it in really good shape. Then I followed the publication instructions laid out on the publishing site I had found and sent it in.

Part of the instructions said it would take up to thirty days for a response, so I figured I wouldn’t hear back from anyone until the end of August.

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see an email from the publisher. Basically it was “interesting concept but not a good fit for us.”

I clicked “Reply,” typed the one word response “thanks,” and hit “Send.”

But I couldn’t leave it alone.

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Uncooperative Neighbors

lanning

Dr. Alfred Lanning, played by James Cromwell in the film “I, Robot” (2004)

“One day they’ll have secrets… one day they’ll have dreams.”

Dr. Alfred Lanning
played by James Cromwell in the film
I Robot (2004)

Six Weeks Ago

“You both have been called heroes because of the people you helped here at NRC in the aftermath of last March’s quake. How do you feel about that?”

Grace had been interviewed by the press on several occasions since her activation, but this was the first time George attended a press conference with her.

It was inevitable that, once the world realized there were two functional Positronic robot prototypes in existence, the National Robotics Corporation would have to release some sort of statement about them. After Professor Noah Abramson, NRC’s Vice President of Research and Development and Director of the Positronics Project, had convinced company CEO Richard Underwood that George would be as ‘well-behaved’ as Grace was typically when interviewed, he agreed to have both robots answer questions for the news media.

“I believe I can speak for Grace when I say that we are gratified to be able to serve human beings in any¬†capacity required of us.” George and Grace were constantly communicating in “robotspeak” through their radio link and had agreed to take turns answering questions unless one of them was specifically addressed.

“What are your plans going forward?” asked the reporter from The Washington Post.

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Book Review of “God, Robot”

god, robotI promised Anthony Marchetta that I’d write a review on Amazon when I finished reading his book God, Robot. It went online yesterday. You can find it here.

However, for your convenience, I’ve reproduced my review below. Enjoy.

I feel a little like I’m proverbially biting the hand that has fed me. I heard about “God, Robot” several weeks ago from a friend of mine and was intrigued by the concept. After a bit of “Googling,” I found Anthony Marchetta’s blog. Before reading and reviewing his book, I wanted to take a crack at writing my own story based rather loosely on his concept of robots being programmed with the “two greatest commandments” rather than Asimov’s three laws.

With Mr. Marchetta’s permission, I have used his base concept to write and publish two short stories on my own blog and I’m currently working on a third. Now that I’ve finished his book, I’m here to write my review.

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A Reader’s Analysis of “The Robot Who Loved God”

One of my regular readers on my Morning Meditations blog took the time to read The Robot Who Loved God and render a detailed analysis. He emailed me a 35-page Word doc not only correcting my typos (I’m amazed I missed so many after making multiple passes through the story – all typos have been corrected here but not in my original story at A Million Chimpanzees), but offering numerous editorial comments.

I’m including those comments here as well as my responses. I hope you’ll find them as illuminating as I did.

Quotes from the referenced story will be indicated as such in bold text and the content itself in italics. Editorial notes will be in red-colored text. My responses will be in regular text.

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