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"It's All Relative"

In our most recent competition, we asked you to give us the plot of a science fiction story, as told by a well-meaning but ultimately ignorant relative. Wow, there are some strange uncles out there. We sympathize. And we list the winners, below. Be sure to pass them around at your next family gathering.

1984 by George Orwell
It's set in England, back in 1984, and it's all about how horrible things were under Margaret Thatcher.
—Sean Flanders
Rochester, MN

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Guy with major daddy issues gets religion after he gets out of prison.
—Mindy King
Leavenworth, KS

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
The meat in the freezer wakes up and wonders if the power has gone out.
—A.J. Miller
Urbana, IL

Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh
You know cat ladies? Well, this is about a cat guy and his cats.
—Lissanne Lake
North Bergen, NJ

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
It's about a society where anybody can be on top.
—Rayson Lorrey
Rochester, MN

Magic Kingdom for Sale…Sold! by Terry Brooks
I think that one is a documentary on the Disney/Pixar merger.
—MaryJo Hickey
Clifton, NJ




Science fiction has been known to predict the future. But anyone who has seen Star Trek—with its now-dated 1960s tech—knows the future can pass the world of science fiction by. For this competition, we want you to update a science fiction/fantasy story for the twenty-first century. So you can either 1) Reproduce the original sentence/sentences of a published story, then give me the update, or 2) Write out the plot synopsis of a story, then update it from there. This way, everything from the future will be new again.

Neuromancer by William Gibson
Before: The sky above the port was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel.
Updated: The sky above the port was the color of an HDTV tuned to hex color=#808080.


Update a story in 100 words or less, with a maximum of fifty words for "Before" and fifty for "Updated." You have a maximum of six entries (either in one email/letter or six separate ones, it makes no difference). Make it funny, and win a fabulous prize.

For the love of all that is holy, include your snail mail address.


Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794, or email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net. . Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by July 15, 2016. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.
First prize will receive a copy of Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, signed by the author (compliments of Mulholland Books). Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels. Any Honorable Mentions will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF. Results of Competition #92 will appear in the Nov/Dec 2016 issue.

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