Tough challenge after this week’s news — but I’ve seen some folks talk about what fiction can do or say about the (yet another) school shooting, and I think genre fiction has a chance to do something or say something interesting regarding it. Science-fiction, for instance, pretends to be about our future but it’s nearly always about our present.
So, your job is to compose a piece of flash fiction where guns are gone — for whatever reason, made illegal, never been invented, use your imagination. This is primed for sci-fi, but feel free to find a way to make it work as fantasy or horror or XYZ genre, too.
Length: You have ~1500 words.
Due by: Friday, Feb 23rd, noon EST
Post at your online space.
Drop a link to the story in the comments below.
36 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: A World Without Guns”
I have been avoiding these challenges deliberately for the past few months because other projects have been grabbing my attention.
I need to proofread a first draft and get it ready for beta and start lining things up.
…For this, I am clearing my schedule.
This needs to be done.
I’m wondering if we should start calling them something else. “Shooting” just isn’t powerful enough for how serious and terrible and deadly they are. School massacre? School terrorist attack? Local act of terrorism? Help me out, I’m too angry and disgusted to think straight.
Gun massacres? And as writers, can we start writing stories in which guns are not the solution, but instead an impediment/negative force? So often, kids find guns and shoot one another, people are caught in the crossfire, people accidentally shoot a loved one they think is an intruder, etc. Can these be the roles of guns in our novels? As writers, we have the power to help people view guns in a very different way.
Agreed. Because it is an act of terror, by definition. Not only to those directly involved, but now all across the country there are parents afraid to send their children to school and children afraid to go to school. And for some reason, no action every takes place after children are massacred at school, but someone tries to take a shoe bomb on a plane? Bingo…everyone takes off their shoes before flights. No one even died in that instance, yet change occurred. It makes no sense 🙁
Kay, you’re right. The word “shooting” has lost a lot of its power because society, as a whole, has very sadly become desensitized to such senseless violence, which is almost more sadddening than the school massacre’s themselves. Almost.
I decided to write a vignette in the Technophobia universe: https://article94.com/2018/02/16/the-world-that-was/
Makes me want to re-read Stirling’s book Dies The Fire, in which an Event causes gunpowder and explosives to not burn at the same rate and so guns do not work. This results, of course, in hella swords and arrows as Humans are just like that. But no guns.
You are missing something. It’s not the act, but the person behind it. Someone has lost it, and he decides to kill people. He has mental problems! How come no one talks about what happens to these people? If they are seen, recognized that there is a problem with him, could it have been stopped or avoided? No one takes responsibility for getting involved with disturbed people when it could have made a difference. They just wring their hands and resort to rhetoric. People who have literally snapped, are showing signs of things are not right – that’s the issue here. Why aren’t they being stopped before anything happens? These people could just as easily grab a kitchen knife or a fucking hammer.
The GOP finally stepped in to take the guns. It went about how you would expect.
I decided World Without Guns wasn’t enough, and also made it a World of Equality for All Genders, POC and Basically Everyone. It’s Earth, Jim, but not as we know it: https://theurbanspaceman.net/2018/02/16/unity-flash-fiction/
Featuring Earth’s first female president. Woo!
Writing about a visit to any European country will be doing the trick….
Nice example, Tess.✌
The GOP finally takes the guns away. It goes about as you would expect. Maybe a little worse.
This is very quick and rough, and it says something that I felt I had to go back 2000 years into a semi-fantasy setting to imagine a place with no long-reach weapons.
Hmmm. I’m the mom to two daughters and one son. Since my son was a year old he would pick up a stick, stick his index finger out, was always “shooting” and breaking shit because he wanted to. I have to think about this no-guns imagery.
Very nice vignette, Mark. I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing.
Interesting to consider what would have to occur to prevent the invention of the firearm: https://poweredbyrobots.com/2018/02/17/the-curse-of-huo-yao/
Can’t wait to write a piece on this soon. I just created my first blog ever!
Yay, Limbo!! Very exciting!
I ended up creating something to act like a moral compass for human beings in order to borrow a weapon. I’m not even sure that would work, but…
This one had me stumped… but then, I thought of the greatest thing!
[…] week’s Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge is called A World Without Guns. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. He gave us 1500 words, but I only used 495. I […]
This one is short, but it’s as long as it needed to be, Please to enjoy!
Been a long, long time since I flashed anybody.
Wait, that’s not what … eh.
My story is called “Rock Salt,” because it’s about rocks, and I’m salty as hell about it.
[…] theme of this latest challenge, to the surprise of absolutely no one is “A World Without Guns”. I have spent a few days with this going through my head. I don’t think I’m any closer to […]
Oops, I finished writing this last night (my timezone), then forgot to post the link here.
I didn’t come up with any idea I liked, then a tweet by a friend gave me the seed I needed. I’m not 100% happy with the end result, but here’s my scifi take on this.
World Without Weapons: https://medium.com/@VicenteLRuiz/world-without-weapons-58629ba4b699
Thanks for the important challenge. I dont usually participate in these, mainly because English isn’t my mother language. But the theme is so important and i had to try, hope you can find some enjoyment in it.
I had two ideas pop into my head while walking the dog after reading this post. I only wrote one of them:
(Sorry, I missed the “noon EST” constraint — at noon EST I was fixing bugs at work.)
[…] This is another challenge set forth by the great Chuck Wendig. […]
I’m totally late again… this one was tough.
Here be my take on your prompt. I’m late and it’s over the word count but I did it.
[…] take a look at Chuck Wendig’s very useful writer website, Terribleminds, when I noticed a new flash fiction challenge. And a very relevant one, at that. Chuck has asked people to write a story in a world that […]
[…] This is another challenge set forth by the great Chuck Wendig. […]
[…] This is a work of fiction by J. Parrish Lewis, all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce this without permission. A note of thanks to Chuck Wendig for the challenge. See Flash Fiction challenge here: LINK […]
This is late, but hey, better late than never.