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"Crime Blotter"

For Competition #96, "Crime Blotter," where entrants had to write up the deaths of their favorite characters, we had a record number of submissions. Thanks for coming out to play. Although we had suggested a police-report style of writing, the funniest entries took on the POV of the dead character; in other words, they thought outside the murder box.
Hat tip to the many, many writers who envisioned an STD-related death for Star Trek's Captain Kirk or a DeLorean-related mishap for Back to the Future's Marty McFly and/or Doc Brown. And thanks to Melissa Lee Shaw for her judging skills.

Star Trek
As James Kirk succumbed to the laser fire from the reptilian aliens, he deeply regretted borrowing Scotty's shirt while his own was being mended.
—David Minerley
Antioch, Tennessee, USA

"The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin
As Barton fiddled with the radio dials, Marilyn Cross crept up behind him and jabbed the sharpened pencil into his ear, pushing it into his brain. Even in the fractional gravity, it was hard to get him into the airlock, but she calculated how much weight it would save.
—Bryan Cholfin
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Gandalf stands accused for the accidental death of Boromir. According to witnesses, the late Boromir had shouted "Give me the damn ring!" The accused swears Boromir shouted, "Throw me the Glamdring!"
—Clifford E. Clark
Berea, Kentucky, USA

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series by Fritz Leiber
Fafhrd the one-armed barbarian swordsman was found strangely dead as though strangled by his own hands. Police Commissioner Greymouser states that they have no current suspects, but acknowledges that it is difficult to understand how the decedent could have caused his own death single-handedly.
—Jim Lockhart
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Gytha "Nanny" Ogg was found in Tir Nani Ogg yesterday evening surrounded by pictures of her legion children and grandchildren and two oddly cheerful daughters-in-law. Upon closer investigation, the Lancre guard discovered her to be less dead than she appeared. Our sympathies are with her daughters-in-law in their continued plight.
—Sasha Strader
Charleston, West Virginia, USA





Take a science fiction/fantasy story, either from print or on screen. Water down the title—and water down the plot. For example:

Example: A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin:
A Meal for Crows
In the Vale of Arryn, Sansa drinks a deep breath of fresh air, followed by a filled-to-the-brim cup of water, along with a healthy slice of lemon.

You have six entries of fifty words or less to make us laugh. The ones who make us laugh the hardest win a prize.
Important: Include your snail mail address. We need it like George R.R. Martin needs a deadline.

Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794, or email entries to Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by January 15, 2019. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.

First prize will receive The Books Of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, signed by artist Charles Vess, compliments of Saga Press. Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels. Any Honorable Mentions will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF. Results of Competition #97 will appear in the May/June 2019 issue.

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