Magister Ludi (4): Microfiction

By: Patrick Cates
April 12, 2010

An imperceptible quiver in the quantum sludge; a chain-reaction of neuronal firing; the transmitted thought arrives: “It’s time for another microfiction contest.”


The theme is mysteriously general: TELEPATHY. Take it literally or loosely. Situate your story in any world, real or imaginary. Situate it in any era, past, future or present. There are no other thematic constraints. And nothing else will be written here, for fear of shrinking creative scopes.

THE GUIDELINES: No more than 250 words. Only one story per person. Stories featuring explicit/hardcore/extreme sex and/or violence will not be considered. Curse words OK, though, if necessary. Stories replete with spelling and/or grammatical errors will not be considered. Do not include a title.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY: In previous contests, readers have been invited to add their submissions to the comments section of the original post. For this contest, the mode of submission has changed. Please email your story to The deadline for submissions is 9p.m. EST on Sunday, April 25. NOTE: Content published on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

THE JUDGES: The stories will be judged by editors Matthew Battles and Joshua Glenn, and HILOBROW’s Magister Ludi, Patrick Cates.

THE PRIZES: The Victor Ludi (contest winner) will be sent a HiLobrow t-shirt and his or her story will be published on The story will also be featured on the fourth episode of HILOBROW’s Radium Age Science Fiction podcast, “Parallel Universe: Pazzo.” The episode’s theme: TELEPATHY. editors Matthew Battles and Joshua Glenn would be delighted for any Boston-area readers to join them at the recording session. It will take place at 6:45pm on Friday, May 7 at: PAZZO BOOKS, 1898 Centre St., West Roxbury 02132. In addition to recording the winning entry in this contest, HiLobrow contributors and friends will present excerpts from Radium Age telepathy novels like Homer Eon Flint’s “The Devolutionist,” H. Rider Haggard’s “When the World Shook,” J.A. Mitchell’s “Drowsy,” Herbert Clock and Eric Boetzel’s “Light in the Sky,” and A. Merritt’s “The Face in the Abyss,” Edwin Lester Arnold’s “Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation,” Edmond Hamilton, “The Man with X-Ray Eyes,” Garrett P. Serviss’ “A Columbus of Space,” and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “A Princess of Mars.” Peggy Nelson will accompany the readings with an original theremin score. Beer and wine will be served. For driving or public transportation directions, click here.


LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD previous episodes of “Parallel Universe: Pazzo.”

READ the winning story from our first Radium Age SF microfiction contest.

READ the winning story from our second Radium Age SF microfiction contest.

READ MORE about Radium Age telepathy fiction.

READ MORE Radium Age science fiction posts on HiLobrow.

READ MORE science fiction posts on HiLobrow.