What is it about dystopian and apocalyptic stories that is so irresistible? You’d think that dire reflections on the state of humankind combined with portents of imminent doom and destruction might scare some readers off, but it’s exactly the opposite: thrilling stories in which the future looks bleak and uncertain, combined with images of the end of the world (or of society as we know it), are catnip for readers–we just can’t get enough.
Author Dan Wells recently contributed a gripping addition to the genre with the publication of his novel, Partials. In the world he’s created, the worst has, in many ways, already happened: a human-created species of supermen–designed to fight human wars–have turned on their creators and invented a virus that’s wiped out nearly the entire human race. Against all odds, it’s up to 16-year-old Kira to to prevent total extinction.
Given how popular dystopian fiction is, we’re willing to bet that more than a few of you have some killer stories or ideas kicking around. That’s why, in honor of Partials, we’re hosting a flash fiction contest: between now and Friday, March 23 at 4p.m., submit your preexisting or original dystopian story to the Figment editorial team by tagging your work PartialsChallenge. For the contest, we’re particularly looking for dystopian stories with a sci-fi angle, or end-of-the-world stories in which science has gone wrong. We’ll be giving our favorite four tagged stories a big and bright feature on the Figment homepage!