Flash Fiction Challenge: Smashing Sub-Genres

Last week’s challenge: “Five Random Sentences

Below is a list of 20 subgenres.

I want you to roll a d20 twice — or click a random number generator twice between 1 and 20 — and that will give you two subgenres. (Sure, you can choose them instead, but that means YOU HATE FUN.)

Smash those two subgenres into one story.

Write that story. Around 1000 words. Post at your online space. Link back here through the comments. Due by next Friday, May 17th, at noon EST.

Here’s the list of subgenres.

  1. Men’s Adventure
  2. Splatterpunk
  3. Fairy Tale
  4. New Weird
  5. Space Opera
  6. Southern Gothic
  7. BDSM Erotica
  8. Superhero
  9. Sword & Sorcery
  10. Noir
  11. Dystopia
  12. Sci-Fi Humor or Satire
  13. Lovecraftian
  14. Haunted House
  15. Cyberpunk
  16. Steampunk
  17. Detective
  18. Post-Apocalyptic
  19. Weird West
  20. Technothriller

153 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Smashing Sub-Genres”

  1. Steampunk-Technothriller… What-how-who-why. Although I like the sound jreinmillers “Lovecraftian Men’s Adventure” – Drink, Brawl, Climb, Discover, Fall-Down, Go-Mad, Wait for the darkness. End. I’d read it!

  2. EVERYTIME I try to do these one of the random generated genres is BDSM Erotica. Which means I can’t write it at work and then forget about it. I’ll try to get something up…but yeah, Safe For Work it ain’t gonna be. (Got Fairy Tale BDSM Erotica >_>)

  3. There are a lot of genres in that list that I am not terribly familiar with or comfortable dipping my foot in, so this challenge intimidates the hell out of me. The random number generator was kind (I think), spitting out “Sword & Sorcery” and “Splatterpunk”. Seems easy enough, but I suppose I should look up “Splatterpunk” and find out what the heck it is before I start writing…

  4. Dystopia – Steampunk.

    this shall require some drinking, i mean THINKING! Thinking, not drinking. Oh what the heck, drinking it is. See y’all next week!

    • Good story, very gory and visual. I liked the description of the demons, they sound quite horrifying. Your characters were surprisingly well fleshed-out, for such a short piece.

      • Thank you! The nice thing about these flash fiction challenges is it forces you to be economical, boil it down to what you absolutely need and get rid of the rest.

    • I enjoyed this! I haven’t read much in the Weird West or Splatterpunk genres but the mash-up was great. I thought you could have gone for more splatter and gore…but then again I’ve always been interested in the blood and guts. Good description and character development!

      • I haven’t read much splatterpunk in years (read a bit of Clive Barker back in high school/college, some Joe R. Lansdale, and I think only one Poppy Z. Brite novel), so this was a bit of a stretch for me. The Western element was a bit easier as I tend to watch and rewatch spaghetti westerns quite a bit.
        Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    • You really packed a lot of good stuff into the story; good descriptions, characters. action, and gore. I thought you tied the two genres together well.

    • I love the tone of the story, your very wry descriptions of The Hawk (reminded me of the wonderfully cheesy tongue-in-cheek superhero computer game, Freedom Force) and the interactions between the PM and Chambers.The idea of people having to sell their entire countries to pay of debt is both funny and poignant. Kudos!

    • You’ve blended the genres together very well, and I really liked the quiet, muted tone of the graveyard, how casually your protagonist went about his business. My one little tiny niggling criticism is the word ‘anyways.’ I hate that word. I’d like to knife it to death in its sleep and bury it so far underground that nobody could ever bring it back as a zombie-word, to be used again (before it eats everyone’s brains). But my irrational hatred of that word aside… cool story. 😉

    • Hmm, a little more Detective Sword & Sorcery than Fairytale, I would have thought, but an interesting story nonetheless! I’ve always felt that you can’t trust a sorcerer as far as you can throw him.

    • Tried to reply on your site but the comments authenticator seems to just be hangin’. So here’s roughly what I remember writing: Definitely got the Sword & Sorcery vibe from this story, but I’m a little unclear on the Steampunk angle. Your characters were very well developed for such a short piece. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read!

      • Damn! I hate it when things online do that! I’ll see if I can fix it – if not, I’ll complain to Google.

        I don’t normally write Steampunk; so I did my best at it… and it turned into a time travel one… I think I had been watching too much of re-runs of ‘Merlin’ last night 😛

  5. (A) I’m so glad I still have my D&D set of dice from the early ’80s. Right in my desk drawer where I write.
    (B) This is a great list of subgenres. This could exercise could turn into a hobby. 🙂

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