Radium Age Apocalyptic Fiction – Getting Rid of Writers’ Block

April 7, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Part of my new year’s manifesto was to get rid of a long time writers’ block that has been plaguing my fiction writing ambitions. Recently, thanks to my pal Ripa, I ran into a micro fiction contest hosted by Hilobrow.com. The idea was to write 250 word long apocalyptic story set in the radium age, meaning roughly between the years 1900 and 1935. So, I grabbed my laptop, headed off to one of my favourite bars, grabbed a pint and set to work.

And yes, it was worth it – didn’t win the competition, but got into the top three. Mine can be found here, and also below.


The windows of the zeppelin’s bridge were opaque with frost and rime. The captain of the airship stood half out of the cabin door on the walkway, shouting instructions to the pilot. Sudden gusts of arctic wind made the slowly descending airship sway and their howl fought with the roar and whine of the ship’s engines.

Professor Väisälä sat on a bench in the back of the bridge, trying to stay out of the way.

The sun winked out, leaving the widows milky white instead of painfully bright panes of golden light. There were shouts, the air anchors were lowered and the ship lurched when they caught.

“Arctic circle plus ten, approximately 20 kilometers out of the former city of Rovaniemi”, the navigator intoned.” Väisälä stepped out to the catwalk outside the bridge to survey the shipwreck, which spanned hundreds of meters of the shadowy arctic landscape.

The wreck of the previous expedition had been spotted by the steam plume of their zeppelin’s Fermi-pile, which was still melting through the ice. Parts of the airship FZ Aino still hung on the kilometer high ice wall that loomed over Väisälä’s ship. The captain scratched his beard covered with hoar. “In the night, with the snowstorm, it must have looked like a cloud bank.”

Professor Väisälä let out a wavering sigh. “But they have proved the theories and confirmed the terrible conclusions. The holocene is over, and the sixth ice age is upon us. God save us all.”

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One Response to “Radium Age Apocalyptic Fiction – Getting Rid of Writers’ Block”

  1. […] One of the finalists from our most recent contest claims that HiLobrow’s micro-fiction contests are a terrific cure for writer’s […]

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