Microcosms 110

Greetings, flashionistas, and welcome to Microcosms 110.

In late December 2017, I stumbled across the word tsundoku, a Japanese term for the habit of buying books, then piling them up unread. Since I suffer from this affliction, I decided to do something about the backlog.

My New Year’s resolution was to attempt to read 50 books in a year; extremely ambitious, as I usually pick up a book, read a few chapters – very slowly – then put it down for several months…

But I’ve managed to read six so far, including “The Quarry”, Iain Banks’ last novel before his untimely death.


Today – 16-FEB – is the anniversary of the birthday in 1952 of Iain Banks, one of my favourite authors. So this week’s theme is based on some his novels I’ve read over the years.

  • ‘The Wasp Factory’ (1984)
  • ‘Walking on Glass’ (1985)     
  • ‘The Bridge’ (1986)               
  • ‘Espedair Street’ (1987)        
  • ‘Consider Phlebas’ (1987)     
  • ‘Complicity’ (1993)                  

I’ve just discovered that Iain Banks also wrote an introduction to the comic book “Adventures of Luther Arkwright – Vol. 3” written and drawn by Bryan Talbot.

(Bryan was a year above me at Wigan Grammar School in the 1960s… Jus’ sayin’…)



(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact us.)


Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: (Gonzo) Journalist, Location: House Party, and genre: Crime.

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry – not included in the word count.


  • Psychopathic Teenager
  • Young Man
  • Coma Patient
  • Bass Player
  • Mercenary
  • (Gonzo) Journalist
  • Island
  • House Party
  • Bridge
  • Private Plane
  • Galactic War
  • Edinburgh
  • Horror
  • Mystery
  • Poetry
  • Memoir
  • Sci-Fi
  • Crime

Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Dana Faletti, has kindly agreed to act as judge this time round.


REMEMBER: all submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length (excluding the title).

You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 111
Microcosms 109

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