As a short story writer the greatest challenge is telling a complete story with a limited word count. As someone who often loves to write in genres renowned for the sprawling world building, at times that can be quite the word-dancing damnation. So it’s rather fantastic to see the New Yorker post up a series of micro fiction sci-fi short stories that are both enjoyable to read and which leave a sense of satisfaction once complete. One of my favourites is below. You can find the rest over at the New Yorker.
The galactic federation had rejected the Treaty of Agreement. The Outliers had withdrawn their negotiating squadron, despite the best efforts of the Trade Council. And in the Unoccupied Sector a call arose for punishing tariffs on intersystem trade.
Engineer Wilson didn’t know what any of this meant, but he knew that it probably wasn’t good. After two more commercial breaks, the news ticker began to repeat itself, so he turned off his TV and went back to sleep.
It’s not all breaking the laws of physics and fighting alien species. Sometimes the best sci-fi takes the tedium of today and just adds epic nouns.