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Sam Wilson

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Genre Stories 4

Here’s the latest collection of Genre Stories, condensed and edited for your reading pleasure.

Social Drama: He listened to new music and hung out with new people. He told his old friends that they just didn’t get bald culture.

Spiritual: “Only by shutting down all thought can you achieve happiness,” said Michael Bay.

Somnambulist Detective: Idunnit.

Horror: My soul haunts the spot I died, cursing those who enter the building. But someone turned it into a Home Affairs, so no one notices.

Fable: The prince climbed the tangled hair and heard swearing from above. Legend said Rapunzel’s hair grew long. It never said which hair.

Drama: His tattoos were stretching. His piercings got caught on his wife’s doilies. He had lived fast, but was bad at following through.

Dickensian: “I may lack fancy clothes, but helping strangers gives me something more valuable.” The stranger’s pocket-watch, for starters.

SciFi: “Laugh at me?” said Dr Zarxo. “I’ll show them! I’ll show them all!” So he did a double-blind study and got the results peer reviewed.

Sequel: All things considered, a spoonful of sugar wasn’t the wisest way to encourage Jimmy to take his insulin.

School Memoir: “Think quick!” his friend shouted, so he did a differential calculation and got hit by a cricket ball.

Apocalyptic: Meteors. Explosions. Lava. It was a terrible day to have (a) drunk lots of coffee and (b) worn white trousers.

Action: “Anyone on board have pilot training? Or played Flight Simulator? Or had flying dreams on absinthe?” And Philipe’s hour had come.

Drama: Moral dilemmas are like birthdays. Even if you ignore them, they add up. He sighed, and blew out the candles on the skull-cake.

Medical: He isolated the virus responsible for procrastination. No one believed him except the makers of Angry Birds, who made millions.

Fantasy: Gromud raided the ruby mines of Xethi and foiled the Greed Kings. This alienated his friends, who worked in finance.

Creepy: Hundreds of dead butterflies, each labeled with the name of one of the girls who’d seen his collection and left him forever.

Political: “Well, I didn’t WANT to be grand dictator for life and exulted father of his people anyway.”

Crime: The museum paid the consultants millions to install laser sensors and pressure plates. Minutes later they were gone with the diamond.

Mild Horror: Biologists studied the outbreak of zombiedom in the turtle population with interest, but not alarm.

Hedonistic: The pills kicked in. The music filled his mind with joy. He raised his hands up towards the lights. And crashed the ambulance.

Drama: She thought he called her “Lightswitch” because she turned him on and lit up his life. Actually, it was the on-again-off-again thing.

Apocalyptic: “At least I’ll get thin now,” thought Bob. He hadn’t counted on the stress-eating.

Tragedy: Swimming at night. The riptide was strong. He had been drinking. He even kept his shoes on. He didn’t die. Darwin wept.

Chick Lit: She stood on her own two feet. She didn’t want to get swept off them. High-heels.

History: Isaac Newton made an important discovery in that orchard: Birds sitting in apple trees don’t always control their bowels.

Fantasy: The spell took him to a strange world. The ground was pink and covered in fine hair. It was unfamiliar, like the back of his hand.

Horror: “Bind Them Forever!” chanted the eyeless ones, holding a rusted needle. And the couple began to regret having a themed wedding.

Coming Of Age: He learned a lot that year. Laundry won’t do itself. Deodorant is not a bath. And scurvy is still an actual thing.

Modern Romance: “Why do you still sell AA batteries?” he said. “What devices still use them?” The cashier’s blush gave her away.

Fantasy: The scientist uncovered the wires that the mystic used to fake levitation. And Tlazotl the God of Skeptics grew powerful.

If you want more, here are the previous collections:


And if you still haven’t had enough, you can follow @GenreStories at


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