Ray Bradbury Challenge 2018

Ray Bradbury (science fiction legend, and book burning fetishist) once said that no-one can possibly write 52 bad stories in a row. I aim to prove him wrong.

Ray Bradbury Aged 3Every week this year, I aim (see I’ve already provide myself a subtle get out clause) to write one short story, the goal of which is to improve my writing. I make no promises on quality, length, or prose, you’ll just have to make do with what you’re given, I’m afraid.

The idea isn’t to craft 52 finely honed works of literature, it’s simply to encourage the habit of writing regularly, get comfortable with having to put down on paper ideas which are not yet fully formed, and to give me an excuse to sit in my shed without my wife complaining as much.

Some of these stories will be rough first drafts, some will have a touch more polish, many will be truly awful; but they will all be stories in the sense that they will contain proper nouns, adjectives, and some sort of rambling, potentially incoherent narrative.

Someone once gave me some advice: ‘Karl’, he said, ‘You don’t need to put everything out in the world, only publish the good stuff.’

I’m ignoring that advice for two reasons:

  1. If there’s anything which the Internet does well, it’s sharing all the gruesome bits of life that most people try to hide under their mattress. Sharing your bad bits makes everyone else feel that little more human when they realise everyone else does it too.
  2. I’ve found that surprising things happen when you share stuff that hasn’t had the corners knocked off yet. New contacts or inspiration appear out of the ether and nudge things along that otherwise would remain unnudged.
  3. The person who gave me that advice sold the contents of his Bitcoin wallet in January 2010.

So, without further nonsense, here are 52 or fewer stories that I will be writing this year.

If you would like and email update when I post a new story — and why the hell wouldn’t you? — you can drop your details below. I promise I won’t use your email address for any nefarious purposes, although I may try to guess your Amazon password as I urgently need a new hedge trimmer.


Week 1 – The Infinite Monkey Protocol – 01/01/18

An artificial intelligence given the task of recreating the works of Shakespeare by typing characters at random gets a little above its station.