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April Theme Prompt Winner

Updated: Jun 12

Editors' Choice

The Wittiest Man in France by Philip Apps is the editor's pick as the winning theme story for April/May. Congratulations Philip!

Last month's theme prompt, Meta Sci-Fi, ended on May 15, with the final accepted entry published on June 4th. We published twelve theme stories last month with various forms of twisty-turny, recursive meta-plots. Surprisingly, almost all of them were, in some way, about writing and/or publishing.

Philip's story is one exception to that trend. His tale of futures past proposes a decidedly high-tech and recursive solution to solve an age-old social problem.

About the Winning Story

Visit the opulent world of 22nd-century Paris, where high society mingles in grand salons and time travel can turn a clever phrase into timeless wit. In "The Wittiest Man in France," you'll be transported to the year 2179, a time when the charisma of Louis XXIII reigns supreme and the quest for social prestige leads to encounters as thrilling as they are unexpected.

Follow the protagonist, an ambitious expatriate, as he navigates the dazzling yet treacherous world of Parisian elite. Amidst robotic attendants and breathtaking mansions, he meets the enigmatic Monsieur Cavet, renowned for his quick mind and conversational prowess. But what starts as a mundane introduction soon spirals into an unforgettable night of sharp tongues and sharper turns.

The drama unfolds as wit meets hubris, leading to a climax as shocking as it is satisfying. This tale of ambition, cultural clashes, and the pursuit of social standing will leave you pondering the true nature of popularity and the cost of cleverness.

This is a story where every word counts, but time can change everything.

If you haven't read "The Wittiest Man in France" yet, support our SFS family and click the link below. Don't forget to give a rocket or five if you like it!


Honorable Mentions

Three other theme stories deserve mention this month as excellent examples of meta sci-fi:

"The Sequoia Server" by Michael Barbato-Dunn

"Merely Muses" by Jim Dutton "What's a Meta Phor?" by J. Millard Simpson

Of course, you should read all of this month's prompt stories to appreciate and enjoy the variety of ways our writers chose to treat this common theme. Here's a full list:



Release Date

Dan Leicht

May 3, 2024

B.M. Gilb

May 13, 2024

Jim Dutton

May 17, 2024

Mary Lawton

May 20, 2024

J. Cabral-Jackson

May 21, 2024

James Hornick

May 22, 2024

Philip Apps

May 24, 2024

J. Millard Simpson

May 27, 2024

Nina Miller

May 29, 2024

Michael Royal

May 30, 2024

Michael Barbato-Dunn

June 3, 2024

Jeff Currier

June 4, 2024

Next Month's Theme Prompt

The next theme prompt, Gothic Sci-Fi, was announced in May and will end at midnight on June 15. Check it out, and send us your best dark, brooding gothic horror or romance with a pinch (or more) of science.

To allow sufficient time to publish all the accepted theme stories before announcing the editors' choice, we ask you to please complete any necessary revisions within one week of receiving editorial comments.

If you are a subscriber to our site, you can click on that little rocket icon

at the end of a story (up to five times) to express your appreciation to the author. Each month, we award a cash prize to the story that has the most rocket blasts.

You can read each of these amazing stories, plus a new one every weekday, for less than the cost of a witty riposte. All you have to do is,

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