Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

#Litmash 2

It’s Day Two of the Twitter Fiction Festival and the second round of #litmash, the literary-mash-up-story-in-one-tweet game, was freaking awesome and got a mention in The New York Times coverage of the festival. 

Out of a ton of inspired and diabolical suggestions for genre mash-ups, I went for: @newageamazon’s “Cold War Fairy Tale”, @FrancineToon’s “sex and the dystopian city” and @jpsmythe’s Gritty prison drama meets Muppets.

Here are my stories, followed by my favourites from other people. (Follow the #litmash hashtag on Twitter for more).


Cold War Fairy Tale

He opened up the warhead and found her heart. All glass and nuclear love. *

The Soviets found that it didn’t matter that your tanks sucked when you had Baba Yaga on your side. **

The sad truth was that magic gets mired in bureaucratic red tape, same as everything.

Muppet Prison Drama

They shaved Animal to reveal the map, Gonzo picked the lock. But Warden Piggy was waiting for them. “Going somewhere, Frog?”

Sex & The Dystopian City

Picked up the most adorable bespoke pink tutu. Only had to gun down eight people. #win #summersales

Meeting eligible straight guys was tough in New York even before you had to screen for mutation.

And a three parter:

Miranda was the first to go. All the laywers up against the wall is normally the way of these things.

Samantha ran a brothel for a while before she was disappeared. Carrie was executed for looting.

As for Charlotte, or rather Supreme Leader General, she came out okay. She always was the ruthless one.

(*Nick Harkaway is now demanding that I write this up as a full novel, as one of the items on his wishlist for Santa)

(**A correction: RT @BrendanCByrne: WWII Russian tanks were actually the highest quality, better made than even German Panzers. #litmashedit)


And here are some of my personal highlights from the other storytellers who participated. I’m gobsmacked by the creativity and inventiveness and killer ideas.

It’s pretty bloody hard to tell a succinct story in a tweet, let alone one to a crazy theme.

Cold War Fairy Tale:

RT @RMAuthor: For sale: irradiated glass shoes. Worn once. #twitterfiction #litmash (thanks, Hemingway)

RT @newageamazon: According to the Prince, “They all lived happily ever after” always sounded like commie bullshit. #litmash #twitterfiction

RT @SandiV: Red ventured into the woods, her destination Grandmas’s safe house. In Red’s basket, proof that Wolf was a double-agent #litmash

RT @WigtownBookFest: once there were 3 bears with different size bowls. No way, said Commissar Riding Hood. 2 bears went to the gulag. #litmash

RT @mattlibrarian: @laurenbeukes The superpowers kept building ever larger beanstalks in the arms race. Eventually giants climbed down & ate them #litmash

RT @mandyjwatson: Cold War Fairy Tale: In Soviet Russia grandma eat wolf. #litmash

RT @newageamazon: When she didn’t make it home before the Doomsday Clock struck midnight, she really put the “cinder” in “Cinderella.” #twtterfiction #litmash

RT @GammaCounter: Cold War Fairy Tale: Hansel & Gretel found the shelter door shackled, frozen in rust, as the silver flakes of fallout rained down. #litmash

RT @FrancineToon: @laurenbeukes Now she knew why the stiletto heel was named after the blade of a knife #litmash

RT @galoot: Cold War Fairy Tale: The Princess awoke, and summoned her advisers. “You spent ALL the kingdom’s money on WHAT? NUCLEAR WARHEADS!?” #litmash

RT @weird_prophet: In the well swims a nuclear powered submarine, inside which is a safe. Use the decryption key and find the giant’s heart inside. #litmash

RT @nwsocialist: #litmash”Tinkerbell? A bourgeous US.symbol of the emasculation of women!”said Olga Fairy,her pointed wand changing a cabbage into a Trabant.

RT @Hellzapalooza: Was she dead? Wasn’t she?? Seven small men argued.  She kept her eyes closed, and waited for the perfect moment to strike. #litmash


Sex And The Dystopian City

RT @MJStarling: Today I saw a pair of Louboutins and they were on sale. On. Sale! Civilisation is officially over. #litmash #twitterfiction

RT @daninfragments: Carrie pulled her sharpened Prada heel out of his heart and looked down. “All the good men are dead,” she sighed. #litmash

RT @newageamazon: Carrie wrote about seeking love in rebel bars, until The State censored her column via a bullet to her expertly coiffed head. #litmash

RT @DennisMLane: As she orgasmed she wondered if her shoes would be in focus on the CCTV tape that Mr. Big Brother would receive. #litmash #sexindysopiacity

RT @newageamazon: The hardest part of shoe shopping had become TASTEFULLY slicing Manolo Blahniks from the feet of the shambling undead. #litmash #twitterfic

RT @liewelise: #twitterfiction #litmash I derived grim gratification bashing in the brains of a coiffured skeleton with a nasty grin. Was she famous once?

RT @just___nick: @laurenbeukes The diversities in NYC excited Carrie. “Oh, my, a woman with eight feet. A jimmy choo for each one. I’m jealous!” #litmash

RT @kentsbike: Carrie Bradshaw hefted her bag. The caviar tins clinked against the Perrier. She set out for the western lands in search of shoes.


Muppet Prison Drama

RT @missokistic: Muppets filled the prison day room, shivs in hand. Taking Manhattan put them here, and taking Cellblock C was gonna get them out. #litmash

RT @weird_prophet: Beaker had been sent to solitary after he freaked out & attacked the professor. We could hear his faint mimimimimi all night. #litmash

RT @NateCrowder: It was only after Warden Statler took down the poster of Jim Henson that he found Kermit’s tunnel. #litmash #muppetprison

RT @liewelise: #litmash Obviously fresh meat, juicy, even if those yellow feathers clashed with the orange jumpsuit. The inmates stepped forward, eager.

RT @RicharddeNooy: “It took me 25 years to realize I could squeeze between the bars,” said Fozzie. | #MuppetPrisonDrama #litmash

RT @damiengwalter: The Sesame Street Redemption. #litmash #MuppetPrisonDrama

RT @al9na: Miss Piggy had no choice. She had to engage in the cigarette trade if she did not wish to become prison bacon. #litmash

RT @HelStocks: #litmash Gonzo’s nose slid through the bars of his cell as it reached out for the keyring. He stumped out his fag. The Piggy was on patrol.

RT @mattlibrarian: That night the pigs brought in a dead frog walking! Kermit T. Frog stars in: The Green Mile #litmash


And after that, people started riffing off their own mash-ups.

RT @RicharddeNooy: Hercules Poirot adjusted his monocle, primed both vibrators, then spurred the Nazgûl into the vortex. | #litmash #50shadesofAgathaTolkien

@nakedsasquatch took off with a brilliant series, worth reading in full, including MuppetNeuromancer, CasablancaLovecraft, LastExitToSesameStreet, RidleyScottHobbit and DavidLynchHobbit. I’ve RTed my favourites here:

RT @NakedSasquatch: The dex hit Kermit’s syste, as he stroked the mirrored insets over Piggy’s eyes. Careful, fingerprints, she said #muppetneuromancer #litmash

RT @NakedSasquatch: I know the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of severed heads in this crazy mixed up cosmic horror #casablancalovecraft #litmash

RT @NakedSasquatch: “We’ll always have R’lyeh.” #casablancalovecraft #litmash

RT @NakedSasquatch: Bert found Ernie in the bathtub, the rubber ducky on his stomach, the needle still in his arm. #lastexittosesamestreet #litmash

RT @NakedSasquatch: Thorin danced in Bilbo’s red room, speaking backwards about the Smaug. #davidlynchhobbit #litmash

RT @NakedSasquatch: When ET burst out of Elliott’s chest, he was hardly surprised. #ridleyscottset #litmash


Want more? Try your hand at some of the other suggestions that came up this round:

@SandiV:  J.D. Salinger+Wizard of Oz, @EricaDaleP: Wuthering Heights x Watership Down, @Marc_Gascoigne: “50 Shades of Grey” and “I Want My Hat Back”,  @silverstreak20V Mills & Boon + Economic History, @markking1974 Victorian telenovela, @daninfragments: Virginia Woolf does the Famous Five, @gillyarcht: Mother Goose & Joseph Heller, @harkaway: Borgesian 50 Shades, @RMAuthor: kerouac teen horror and @LeeAHarris: Julia Donaldson torture-porn.



Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    November 30th, 2012 @07:53 #

    This is terrific fun :)


Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat