Fantasy and Science Fiction - Competition
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"Watered Down"

For our previous competition, we had writers submit watered-down versions of their favorite books and films. The results were proof that size isn't everything. We had a record number of entrants, and because of this, many great entries were sadly cut. Thank you so much, all of those who submitted.
And thanks to John Ordover, Melissa Lee Shaw, and Andrea Kail for their judging skills.

Original: I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Watered-down: iRobot
A vacuum cleaner may not befilth a human's domicile, nor, through inaction, allow a human's domicile to become filthy.
—Ziv Wities
Givat Shmuel, Israel

Original: Dune by Frank Herbert
Watered-down: Hill
Paul Atreides discovers that sand is rough, coarse, and gets everywhere.
—Taylor Harbin
Walnut Ridge, Arkansas USA

Original: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Watered-down: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prints
After becoming Master of Death, Harry takes up a comfortable administrative role in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office, where he discovers a jinxed copy of Adobe Photoshop which causes all the designs to print their margins with a half inch bleed.
—Heather Krasna
New York, New York USA

Original: 1984 by George Orwell
Watered-down: 2019
It's 35 years later and Big Brother is privatized and automated. Now it knows everything about everyone and what they want, and can ship it for delivery within 3 days. The hero, Winston Smith Jr., has to decide if he wants to rebel against Big Brother or get his stuff faster by paying for Prime party membership.
—Mike Schmidt
Saint Louis, Missouri USA

Original: The Matrix (1999)
Watered-down: The Mehtrix
It's Bill and Ted again, minus Bill, plus now Ted knows kung fu. Turns out there is no spoon.
—Barry Negrin
New York, New York USA





Turn the title of your favorite fantasy or science fiction story from print or screen into an acronym, then use the acronym to describe the plot. Make your plot description as witty as possible. The word count in this competition is limited to number of letters in the original title. Therefore, if your title is "Dune" you only have four words.

Example: Desert Uses New Euphoria

You have six chances to wow us with your entry. Holy uncanny photographic mental processes, Batman. Never forget to include your snail mail address.

(Lovingly stolen from our December 1988 competition.)

Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794, or email entries to Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by July 15, 2019. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.

Prizes: First prize is a copy of Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang, signed by the author, (compliments of Knopf). 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 #98 will appear in the November/December 2019 issue.

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