“Folks!” the bodyguard announced. “In…”
David Brin — Toujours Voir from The River of Time
I quote only five words from this short story because as a precision short story it is only 250 words long. Quoting 50 words would therefore be quoting a disproportionate amount of the story.
David Brin describes a precision story as “a fable written to very exacting standards.”
This 250 word version is one such fable, something that can also be called flash fiction and also constrained writing. I don’t much care for flash fiction, which sometimes seems pointless, but I do like constrained writing and I might try this version someday.
People don’t do such things.
That’s the last line of Hedda Gabler, and Ibsen makes this chap say it out of a sort of bewilderment at finding truth stranger than fiction. I know just how he felt. I say it myself every time I come up against the hard reality…
Ruth Rendell — People Don’t Do Such Things from Collected Short Stories
It was just a luckychance that I had been defrosted when I was—the very year that farprobe 992573-aa4 reported back that it had found a goodstar with a shattered crystalsphere. I was one of only twelve deepspacers alivewarm at the time, so naturally I got to take part…
David Brin — The Crystal Spheres from The River of Time
At first Potiphar Breen did not notice the girl who was undressing.
She was standing at a bus stop only ten feet away. He was indoors, but that would not have kept him from noticing; he was seated in a drugstore booth adjacent to the bus stop; there was nothing…
Robert A. Heinlein — The Year Of The Jackpot from The Menace From Earth
The incident happened in the spring after his sixth birthday. His mother always referred to it as ‘that dreadful evening’, and always is no exageration. She talked about it a lot, especially when he did well at anything, which was often as he was good at school and at passing exams.
Ruth Rendell — The Fallen Curtain from Collected Short Stories