Week 1, Story 48 by @tom_mendelsohn and @ewasr

This story features one of my favourite tropes: dilapidated tech that is somehow still working on autopilot. @tom_mendelsohn’s description of an automated defence-grid falling apart at the seams is both charming and endearing. I just want to hug those poor...

Week 1, Story 22 – @stefmowords & @danielmbase

While some #SFSwap prompts (I’m looking at you, ‘Alien Booze’) leave enormous room for interpretation, others are highly specific – such as this one from @danielmbase. And while author @stefmowords may have followed the brief to the letter,...

Week 1, Story 19 – @aspeed & @GinBroguesHats

PULP! PULP! PUUUULP! RULES STALIN adores a good pulp story, and this little treat by @aspeed and @ginbrogueshats could be right out of a 1960s paperback. I can almost see the cover; a man with immaculate hair and a jaw like an anvil, fighting off waves of crabs with...

Week 1, Story 16 – @allwrongthink & @mikeisbrill

This prompt by @mikebrill was beautifully brutal (brutiful?) in its simplicity, and I knew it was going to lead to something fun. It could not have fallen into better hands than @allwrongthink. The story that follows is deliciously overloaded on a conceptual level, in...

Week 1, Story 15 – @whimworm & @benton_dan

Last story, we saw an author pull out the stops to sidestep the purpose of their prompt. This time, @whimworm shows us an entirely different strategy, charging headlong into a brilliantly ludicrous brief by @benton_dan and tackling it with a straight face. The...

Week 1, Story 14 – @jonnywaistcoat & @eph_bee

RULES STALIN appreciates cunning and guile, and so enjoyed this story by @jonnywaistcoat which – aside from being a solid tale of struggle against an alien invasion – was a wilfully cheeky attempt to subvert the genre expectations of the prompt. When you...