A Trollable Story Contest - Submit by 11/01/21

A while back, JMG mentioned trolling a pretentious "cli-fi" story contest by submitting a story that conforms to the contest's explicit requirements while subverting its implicit assumptions. I recently found a similar contest being held by Myriel Media and thought writers here might be interested in doing the same thing to it.

Here's what the contest is looking for:

We have had enough of stories seeking to discredit action, curiosity, and conviction. Instead, we wonder: what are the risks of stasis, incuriosity, and excessive hesitancy? We have been inspired by breakthroughs like the development of mRNA vaccines and their ability to dramatically improve people’s lives when things looked most dire, and we hope the stories we receive will help encourage the next generation of innovators to dream up solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges.

The implicit assumption, of course, is that the solutions to our greatest challenges involve ever-more-complicated gizmos — i.e. Progress. But explicitly the contest only calls for scenarios where "statis, incuriosity, and excessive hesistancy" are pitted against innovators.

So a world where a faltering high-tech civilization has, e.g., forgotten how to grow crops outside of tightly-controlled hydroponics labs, or how to train horses to drive carts and buggies, or where renewable energy sources like windmills are tied-up in bureaucratic red tape because they aren't considered safe or reliable enough (what will we do when the wind isn't blowing?) — any of these would technically fit the contest's explicit requirements but subvert the bejeezes out of its assumption that innovation means Progress.