Two days ago, to celebrate reaching 500 followers on Twitter, we launched a Twitter short story competition. The rules were: Write a single-tweet short story about a robot – any robot – and Tweet it. The tweet must include @angryrobotbooks so we can see it.
Simple, yes? Not so much – just try writing a story in 140 characters or less! Nevertheless, we were inundated with entries! So many, in fact, that we had to have our submissions ‘bot recharged halfway through the judging process.
So, huge thanks to everyone who took part. Here are a selection of the best (the Twitterer’s name is in bold):
Best Philosophical Stories
jasonlblair Had he ears, they would be deafened. Mind, worried. Heart, broken. But he did not so the sound of war meant nothing to him.
djelibeybi_meg Xa stepped out of line, the others remained unmoved. “What’s the point of sentience if I don’t use my choices?” it thought.
jaredsorensen Her titanium hand held flesh, then bone, then dust. She sits there still. A romance to last forever, even if he did not.
Best Tales of Gore
m_Robertson_UK “Why did no-one tell me what ‘nil by mouth’ actually meant?”, muttered the rookie nurse-bot, as it wiped the bloody walls.
garethlpowell Her metal hands dripped with blood. She had reassembled the human child but for some reason, it still wouldn’t breathe
phil_lunt Gax tore off her arm and scratched a face on it. A crude substitute baby for a robot. Gutteral shudders replaced sobbing
Best attempt at currying favour
_owl_ Once upon a time … We all read @angryrobotbooks and lived happily ever after. 😉
m_Robertson_UK “Listen” says PC99, “Here’s a good one. A1 D6 5F 83 E5….” “I need to stop you there,” says C64, “I hate hexist jokes…”
davidalanmack LG969 had learned there were only 10 types of humans: those who liked binary-language robots and those who didn’t.
tsrosenberg “I’m a combination of Apple and Asimov!” “You’re what?” “I, iRobot!”
Best dance number
mpettitt You put the left leg on, you pull the left leg off, you do the robo-cokey and you reverse the polarity…
Best original programming
10 INPUT “HUMAN? Y/N”, Z
20 IF Z=Y THEN GOTO 50
30 PRINT “You are free to go!”
40 GOTO 10
50 PRINT “DIE!”
60 GOTO 10
Best Möbius tale
jhunterj “How is this a short story about a robot?” asked T11U. “We’ll say you wrote it,” replied 95V5. “Then it’s recursively so.”
Best story from an Apple user
petertubbs Power up. Gather weapons. Travel. Target acquired. Safety Off. Aim. Error: Critical Windows Exemption. Powering down. Fail
Best tales of anticipation
jrobertking Some people would forget their heads if they weren’t attached. KR0n5 forgot its body. Then the rugby team arrived.
AlasdairStuart The Forest had been built as a joke, metal trees with fibre optic roots. When they found the seeds, the laughter stopped
mpettitt The steady tone from the oscilliator changed to white noise. “I’m sorry” said the technician “There was nothing I could do
Best Angry Robot advertising pitch
jay_lake Biomechanical serial killer? BDSM ‘bot? Droid with a duct tape fetish? @angryrobotbooks, for when three laws just aren’t enough.
skippy_2 Though ‘Made in Japan’ / There’s no robots in haiku / It seems such a shame.
Best “something we might need to check when we get home” story
coffeewithkate The staff at @angryrobotbooks were neither angry nor were they robots. At least, that’s what their masters programmed them to believe
Best tale of Doh!
davidmbarnett “I still can’t believe we didn’t give them an off-switch,” said the last human to fall before the robot army’s onslaught.
and the winner is…
Best environmental story
punktorian Every day moved them closer to a planet without nature. To the amusement of the robots, they had not had to do a thing.
Punktorian – please DM us your address in Twitter and we’ll get a goody-bag out to you, including copies of our first 6 books and a couple of other cool things!
To everyone else who entered, thank you. This has been a huge amount of fun! We must do something similar when we reach 1,000 followers on Twitter…