Flash Fiction: a complete story
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Anniversaries: Twilight Zone and Monty Python

There are two anniversaries this month: the fiftieth anniversary of Twilight Zone and the fortieth anniversary of Monty Python. They're both speculative fiction, right? TZ obviously is. MP has angry Frenchmen catapulting cows over a castle wall at Englishmen. That's speculative, right? Here's a silly tourist tossing a cow from Duone Castle on Monty Python Day.

TZ, the American classic TV show, has been in first-run or reruns nearly continuously for fifty years. It is the inventor of many a trope that annoys fiction editors these days, but inspires new writers and amuses others. See the Jar of Tang writing trope at the SFWA.org's Turkey City Lexicon article, and check the "surprise or twist ending" section in Strange Horizon's excellent Stories We've Seen Too Often article.

Monty Python is a generic term for a the British too-funny television series and movies. They are an excellent distraction from writing or reading. Oh, you're from Mars and never heard of it? Here's the Dead Parrot Sketch. The text is good, but you must see/hear John Cleese and Michael Palin performing the sketch.

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