The deadline for submission is Monday 10th April, 2017 at 1:00pm via a PDF sent as an email attachment to

The elements you need to use.

These include:

  • The TITLE for your story
  • A piece of DIALOGUE that must be incorporated somewhere into the story
  • An optional scientific idea or theme

Easy…half your work is done! You then have 48 hours to write your story.

The deadline for submission is Monday 10th April, 2017 at 1:00pm via a PDF sent as an email attachment to

Other things you may be curious about should be covered in our FAQ -


  • Standard manuscript format: in a serif font (Courier/Times New Roman/Garamond etc) + 12 point size + double spaced lines + single column layout + no illustrations.
  • Include your name and full contact details on the first page AND list the cues you were given on entry: Title + Line of Dialogue
  • Manuscripts to be submitted digitally in PDF or MS Word or Apple Pages file formats only as email attachments.
  • Please also include your word count - note the maximum is 2000 words.


Dialogue: Five minutes, that’s all it takes.

Science (optional): Human ‘black box’ recorder tracks movement and interaction



  • person is repeatedly awoken and asked for choice to be fully awoken or returned to stasis
    • done brusquely
    • increasingly confusing language
      • language changes, new terminology
    • too quick to understand
    • had chosen cheap stasis option
      • woken every 50 years
        • only partially
      • max 5 mins per consultation (since animating is expensive)
    • always awakes in confusion, nausea, vertigo
    • then awakenings become very smooth/slick/instantaneous
      • takes several awakenings before realises not physical
      • elapsed time is then measured relative to speed of mental functioning
        • years become minutes
    • questions asked
      • voices
        • Artificial
        • human
          • bored
          • foreign accent
          • delay/long distance
        • charity takes over
      • what is your name?
        • confusion, since is first question received
        • used to
          • indicate mental competence of patient
          • id
        • mandatory
          • no progress until answered
      • you have 3 options
        • return to stasis
        • awake fully
          • not offered initially
        • euthanasia
      • do you have any further questions in your allotted 5 mins?
        • time does not roll over to next period
    • elapsed time
      • 50 years
      • then 50 minutes
      • then 5 minutes
    • memories
      • why enter stasis?
        • current political situation boring/annoying
        • mentally fit
        • government offered tax breaks for working with longevity institutes
          • by entering stasis, forgoes rights to state pension, covered by long-term investments
        • no family, boring dead-end job, no prospects, not poor, will never be rich
      • recalls some of previous awakenings,
        • only early answers in session, not later answers
    • voices
      • background chatter
      • silence, person asking questions, no answers
      • click then quick apology
        • “this is the supervisor, just noticed you were speaking after opting for stasis. The system decouples from your brain and starts putting you into stasis. The process has begun. I see you have asked lots of questions. No time to answer them. You’ll be out in a few seconds. Sorry I can’t help. Perhaps mentally prepare a couple of questions now for when you next wake up, I think that might work for you. Good luck.”
    • changes
      • human voice, bored, accent odd
        • impatient
      • human voice, remote, accent very odd
        • computer voice giving countdown
      • smooth, clear voice, good accent, no hurry
      • hospital room
        • becomes clear is VR
        • consequence of breakdown/poor design in stasis machine,
          • each awakening causes increased loss of short term memory
            • no coherent memory of why entered stasis
          • mind and memories uploaded into virtual storage
            • incoherent memories available for browsing, with caveats
            • recordings of awakenings’ conversations
          • criteria for awakening no longer relevant
          • online, passage of time is consensual, relative to speed of thought
            • much faster than real time, hence time passes slowly in real world