Six-Word Sci-Fi: Stories Written By You

Here’s this month’s prompt, how to submit, and an illustrated archive of past favorites.
THIS MONTH’S PROMPT

In six words, write a story about an international digital heist.

Submit stories on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or email us at mail@wired.com. We’ll choose one to illustrate.

Disclaimer: All #WiredSixWord submissions become the property of WIRED. Submissions will not be acknowledged or returned. Submissions and any other materials, including your name or social media handle, may be published, illustrated, edited, or otherwise used in any medium. Submissions must be original and not violate the rights of any other person or entity.

MAY 2021

A Story About a Freaky Discovery in Physics

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

GRAVITY WAS A CONSENSUAL, SHARED ILLUSION.

—Mark Crane, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

Schrodinger’s cat is actually a dog. —@tynanwrites, via Twitter

You’re the observed. Not the observer. —@parkerstmailbox, via Instagram

Our last seconds appear the longest. —Paul Hagenaars, via email

It was simultaneously huge and microscopic. —@Cezary_Z, via Twitter

All lost socks found at Cern. —Felix Quarnström, via Facebook

Astonishingly, up was down all along! —Christopher Walton, via email

Actually, the tides pull the moon. —@the4lw, via Instagram

A seventh Infinity Stone is found. —@taayywells, via Instagram

Faster than light announcement scheduled yesterday. —David Cinabro, via email

APRIL 2021

A Review of a Future Work of Art

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

IT TICKLED ALL OF MY SENSES.

—Jacky Reif, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

So that’s an AI self portrait? —Jason Cohen, via Facebook

I prefer Boston Dynamics’ earlier work. —@sscarsdale, via Twitter

Uninspired. Lacking originality. Try again, Earth. —Amanda Bull Chafin, via email

NFT or not, it is great. —Peter Boersma, via Facebook

Not as good as Banksy’s virus. —Simon O Wright, via Facebook

Brave to show an unfiltered canvas. —@Alcestronaut, via Twitter

Not what teleportation was invented for. —@Arturo_thrdez, via Twitter

Shame mortals will not appreciate it. —@asylbek0205, via Instagram

Reminds me of the Before Times. —Jacqueline Jaeger Houtman, via Facebook

MARCH 2021

A Story About a Tech-Centric Religion

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE “WWW” …

—Eduardo Bolívar, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

I swiped right and found salvation. —Conrad Dean, via Facebook

Praying to AI got better results. —@jgmclean0, via Twitter

The prophet revealed the source code. —@the4lw, via Instagram

Atop the hill, sayeth he, “reception”? —@dghutt, via Twitter

The app works in mysterious ways. —Tyler Hughs, via Facebook

Move fast. Break things. Repent. Repeat. —@iampinch, via Twitter

Always back up to be saved. —Tadeusz Walter Misztela, via Facebook

Chip implanted, the new priest rose. —@wlmoseley, via Twitter

“Worship the Apple.” —iBook of Jobs —ThoreauRug, via email

FEBRUARY 2021

A Story About a WFH Office Scandal

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

THEY WERE IN THE SAME ROOM.

—@abhignak, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

He was never a real person? —Ian Schoen, via Facebook

Wife realized my job is easy. —@jchavizzle, via Twitter

Dress code updated after yesterday’s “incident.” @mistermistermistertibbs, via Instagram

He certainly shouldn’t have stood up. —Małgorzata Kuś, via Facebook

“Joe’s the father.” “You’re not muted.” —Austin Craver, via email

Worker’s comp? It is her dog! @thefitzroymclean, via Instagram

It looks real, but it’s not. —Jonathan Goode, via Facebook

The window behind her reflected images. —@chmslady, via Twitter

As everyone’s computer froze, she laughed. —@mcgroup53, via Twitter

JANUARY 2021

A Story About a Future American President

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

AN ALIEN. WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN.

—Maayan Brodsky, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

She won canine vote by landslide. —Janna Dethmers, via email

Future president born today, supercomputer predicts. —Ethan Noll, via email

“Welcome to Earth,” said the President. —@michaelrowley, via Instagram

He died as he lived: online. —D.A. Smith, via email

“Introducing your next president: version 7!” —Ben N, via email

But it won the electoral hackathon! —Zacharie Barrou Dumont, via email

“I still can’t smell,” she whispered. —Sean Fitzgerald, via email

“I hereby pardon all my clones.” —@Morgan, via Twitter

She smiled: Mars is now Independent. —@sepohonpokok, via Twitter

DECEMBER 2020

A Story About a Gargantuan Space Creature

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

Illustration: VIOLET REED

THE MOTH FLEW INTO THE SUN.

—@threepanelcrimes, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

The moon revealed its darkest secret. —@cfx1, via Twitter

“Enjoy,” it said, and ate Mars. —@countgringo, via Instagram

Hand me my iPhone—picture time. —@fogcitynative, via Instagram

On its back, we traveled far. —@_annalysenko, via Instagram

We saw the horizon. It moved. —@mogon_ave, via Twitter

Entrelzidor sneezed. Earth was free again. —John Rees-Williams, via Facebook

And this black hole had teeth. —@devtomlinson, via Instagram

“A little earthy for my taste.” —@brambedillo, via Instagram

NOVEMBER 2020

A Story About the Next Big Security Leak

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

Illustration: VIOLET REED

YOUR GENES ARE MY GENES NOW.

—@_inflexion_ via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

We updated our terms and conditions. —@nisioti_eleni, via Twitter

All of the tokens were useless. —William Nicholl, via Facebook

Four-year-old deletes planet data. —@jutajurajustice, via Twitter

Now your mom knows everything, Phil. —@mvyenielo, via Twitter

Grandma’s secret recipe just went viral. —Kevin Jerome Hinders, via Facebook

So bots were reporting other bots? —Ed Gubbins, via Facebook

OCTOBER 2020

A Story Set in a World Without Paper

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

I KEEP LOSING AT ROCK SCISSORS.

—Anna Jaruga, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

The dog ate my memory cards. —Irfan Darian, via Facebook

Honey, pass me the news tile. —@rainreider, via Twitter

These leaves would have to do. —@eliporteraltic, via Twitter

Christmas morning was never a surprise. —@tony32938627, via Twitter

I wrote it on the fridge. —@apocryphal_x, via Twitter

Museum reports theft of toilet paper. —@joostdouma, via Twitter

The pen is no longer mightier. —@mdeziel, via Twitter

Police say no note was uploaded. —@cwyant, via Instagram

SEPTEMBER 2020

A Story About the Upside of Failure

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

THE RADIOACTIVE COCKROACH HICCUPED, AND GRINNED.

—@rosiestonies, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

Still, the droid’s skin was healing. —David Gerster, via Facebook

“Upload failed.” Phew, that was close. —Assa Naveh, via Facebook

It exploded, but he looked hot. —Anna Rose McHugh, via Facebook

She could see who had stayed. —@pameleen, via Instagram

Humans. Not my best work. Still … —@gg3_scorpio, via Instagram

The worst happened. Now I’m free.—@atpolinko, via Instagram

At least there is no leader. —@guabo, via Instagram

My mom still thinks I’m cool. —@pashutinski, via Instagram

JULY 2020

A Story About an Apocalypse With a Happy Ending

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

THE ALIENS WERE ALLERGIC TO CATS.

—@romer6, via Twitter

Honorable Mentions:

The dogs are the masters now. —@azzour, via Instagram

Deadly virus mutates into X-Men gene. —@redeyedsan, via Twitter

At once, my Amazon dependency disappeared.—@maxacarr, via Instagram

Baby’s voice rose from the cave. —Chakib Mataoui Souleyman, via Facebook

The colony on the moon flourished. —@emoco, via Twitter

In silence, he slept well. Finally. —@patchoo314, via Instagram

So salt water, huh? Who knew. —@andreslohizo, via Instagram

Dinosaurs return—this time as pets. —@deb_shalini, via Twitter

Sun sets. No one posts it. —@jesikahmorgana, via Instagram

JUNE 2020

A Story About Love in the Time of Coronavirus

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

SO I MARRIED THE DELIVERY MAN.

—Hamish Hamish, via Facebook

Honorable Mentions:

Love is sacrificing the last ply. —Kristos Samaras, via Facebook

There is an “us” in “virus.” —Zachy Allec, via Facebook

Feverish desire raged beneath the N95. —@seekingfelicity, via Instagram

You can sneeze in my elbow. —@ralfchardon, via Instagram

Our eyes locked in Zoom yoga. —@jabberwockies, via Instagram

Slowly, window and I became friends. —@jo.onthe.go, via Instagram

“Don’t kiss me,” he whispered gently. —@anna_rchist, via Instagram

The clothes came off; masks remained. —@_v.sh, via Instagram

Casual gets serious way too fast. —@kristinafmiller, via Instagram

MAY 2020

A Story About Digital-Age Autocrats

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

BIG BROTHER, TEAR DOWN THIS FIREWALL!

—@needsomuchvalidation, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

Break up the digital data thieves. —Frank D. Monaco, via Facebook

Digital Guy Fawkes to the rescue! —Kevin Jerome Hinders, via Facebook

Encryption is poison to a dictator. —Marko Berg, via Facebook

Plug exhaust pipe with a potato. —@blume_lee, via Twitter

New feature announcement: “Like” to impeach. —@mina_sonbol, via Instagram

Use ad blockers. Pay for news. —@dechendolker, via Instagram

Print Marshall McLuhan quotes on T-shirts. —@antigraviter, via Instagram

Turn social media into socialism media. —@benzilla_360, via Instagram

Get behind me, technocrats. Game over. —Anastasia Hunter, via Facebook

APRIL 2020

A Story About Saving the Planet

ILLUSTRATION: VIOLET REED

Illustration: Violet Reed

MELTING ICE CAP REVEALS RESET BUTTON.

—@johnjohnjungle, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

Then a ship from Krypton landed. —@marcelo_paixao_almeida, via Instagram

Everyone gets five free international trips. —@clawd2deth, via Twitter

Move all heavy industry off-world. —Stevie Turnbull, via Facebook

Love everyone, and wash your hands. —@brohemian_rapshowdy, via Instagram

Come back, ancient aliens! Reboot Earth. —@sarahk0csis, via Twitter

Genetically engineer cows to fart hydrogen. —Hamish Hamish, via Facebook

Hiring: Sensible planetary dictator. Apply within. —@matt_owczarz, via Twitter

MARCH 2020

A Story About the Next Great Crowdsourced Project

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

Illustration: MAXIME MOUYSSET

EVERYONE ALIVE GIVES ME A PENNY.

—@milked_, via Twitter

Honorable Mentions:

Smelt decommissioned weapons into musical instruments. —@casinclair, via Twitter

Climate app tracks local CO2 levels. —@big_big_love, via Instagram

Global oral history keeps memories alive. —@johnkellybabb, via Instagram

Save the world by planting trees. —Lílá Tückér, via Facebook

Redistribute medical supplies to the underinsured. —@jesmakes, via Instagram

Community-based renewable energy power grids. —@uniquetoybox, via Twitter

Digital democracy with backing in blockchain. —@jackranado, via Twitter

Life after death—donate your DNA. —@beyond_mike, via Instagram

FEBRUARY 2020

A Story About Rebooting Democracy

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

Illustration: Maxime Mouysset

SWIPE UP TO VOTE FOR ME!

—@dmcdev, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

Twitter analytics determines 2040 presidential winner. Alan Grover Daniel, via Facebook

Randomly selected leader is Citizen 42034. @abhshkshtty, via Instagram

For the people. By the droids. Steve Fabian, via Facebook

Mathematics draws districts; cryptography verifies votes. @boomerdell, via Instagram

Turn off the internet for good. Colin Kiernan, via Facebook

Humans vote artificial intelligence to power. @atin.roy, via Instagram

Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. @mistermush1991, via Instagram

Person with the most Instagram comments wins. @jmscml, via Instagram

JANUARY 2020

A Story About a Rosy Future for Facial Recognition

ILLUSTRATION: MAXIME MOUYSSET

Illustration: MAXIME MOUYSSET

YOU LOOK DRUNK—LET ME DRIVE.

—@henriquegeirinhas, via Instagram

Honorable Mentions:

Of course I remember you … Kim! @kanaafa, via Instagram

My twin pays all my bills. @keegan1942, via Instagram

Among myriads, her son was found. @ichbinsubatomic, via Instagram

Vitality low—personalized prescription dispatched today. @leniway, via Instagram

Technological mirrors provide value-neutral feedback. @philosophy_at_work, via Instagram

Your face will become your passport. @sayzey, via Instagram

’80s makeup has a huge revival. @jamesw1981, via Twitter

Smile registered, thanks for your purchase. @mhicheal_l, via Instagram

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