For those of you who attended the Science Fiction Title Chain at Baticon this year, a few people, including panelists, were impressed with the speed I came up with some of my stories, for which I am grateful and humbled. It became kind of a joke where people said, “I JUST WANT TO SEE HIM TYPE THAT FAST ON HIS IPHONE!!” and “I BET HE SELLS THIS STUFF BEFORE THE END OF THE CON!” You guys flatter me, but honestly, I do this sort of thing a lot in my own head as a mental exercise, and have for YEARS ever since I a friend gave me an old copy of Microsoft’s “Creative Writer 2.” It was a kid’s creative writing program, and despite being almost 30, I gave it a joke trial. They had something called a “Sploit Machine” which was pretty clever. It randomly made three sentences, like “The helpful butler operated high above a freshly painted park bench,” or “Despite everything, the embarrassed mountain climber had a slumber party” or “Don’t crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers.” Then you’d make a story around it. There are online tools now, some which I use.

Here are some online ones of many:
Wondermark Fiction Generator
Plot Scenario Generator
Seventh Sanctum
One Word

So, two people have mailed me so far, asking if I actually wrote these stories in the last week and sold them for profit. No. But I still have the notes on my iPhone, which I mailed myself. Here are the actual entries, and my responses. The only thing I have altered is corrections for spelling, grammar, and a few changes to make more sense. I swear on my life I wrote all of these in less than a minute. The words were randomly given by audience members.

The words: Cyborg, cheese, midnight, bacon
Title: Midnight Cheese, Cyborg Bacon
Synopisis: Cheesy romantic comedy of a former orthodox Jewish robot who is a reformed Jew. How reformed? The falls in love with a pork rending machine. Zany madcap antics when the robot’s processing unit (mother) visits her progeny unexpectedly and he has to hide his romance while his mother goes into hibernation mode.

The words: Corpuscular, unicorn, shoes
Title: The Shoes of the Unicorn were Corpuscular
Synopisis: A man in a virtual reality chases a unicorn vision he dreams about, which leads him to the core if the master computer. Old and steam driven, the central computer turns out to be built by alien masters that exposes the real human history explorers and the legends of the missing Incan gold at El Dorado.

The words: Petrified, tetrahedron, chair
Title: The Chair of the Petrified Tetrahedron
Synopisis: Future corporate ruled society is run by an Illuminati empire represented by the tetrahedron. The chairman, a mysterious voice with only the lower half of a face exposed in a monolith, reflects how society is dying. Only one person can stop it, a small child of the chairman. This is a dystopian anime.

The words: Opulent, glasses, fire
Title: The Opulence of the Fired Glasses
Synopisis: An eyeglassmaker in colonial America stumbles upon a crystal that explains the mysterious disappearance of the colony of Roanoke. This leads to a column of red light that opens a portal to an alien menace that threatens early American colonies.

The words: Goatee, dwarf, Cheetos, evil
Title: The Dwarf’s Goatee is Full of Evil Cheetos
Synopisis: A sad, meek elf cosplayer is forced to take care of a depressed overweight cosplayer dwarf in a modern New York setting. Their poisonous friendship leads to dark comedy, like a fandom version of “Arrested Development.”

The words: Defenestrate, escalator, gneiss
Title: Defenstrate the Gneiss Escalator Repairman
Synopisis: In a post-apocalyptic Chicago, lone building formerly known as “The Gneiss Building,” is empty except for two robots named the Landlord and The Escalator Repairman. Due to an error in programming, they have been fighting for millenia, only to be reset and repeat their pointless war every morning. A man from the future discovers this preserved battle, and gets involved after he accidentally gets the Repairman tossed from an open window, and is doomed to either repeat the battle or stop the Landlord and interrupt its programming.