Born in the heart of a star, a cure for his daughter—and the Resurrectionist’s own salvation—spiderwebbed through the decaying corpse.

Promising steps have been made using gold nanoparticles as agents in cancer therapy. When I read that researchers at Northwestern University recently developed a technique pairing gold nanoparticles with DNA to fabricate materials that can bend light, I wondered at the future demand of this element. Could gold be so scarce that bodies of past cancer patients will be sought for the promise of life threading through their cells? And perhaps, for the lucky grave-robber, there might just be enough left over to fabricate an invisibility cloak to vanish into the night.

//In a last-ditch attempt at surviving a gold-driven future, Bijou Lin is out canvassing the five-mile radius of a rainbow’s end.//


2018: The U.S. government shuts down, a crisis that has been averted since AIs won a Congress majority in 2032. ~ “Today in History,” entry for Jan 20

I wrote this on the first day of the U.S. government shutdown, which was triggered by lawmakers’ failure to reach an agreement on federal funding. Amidst the overwhelming coverage of this political crisis, my newsfeed offered one potential ray of hope: AIs appear to be better at compromise than humans. Will there come a time when we would be better served by leaving the running of government to our machine overlords? // Statement by the Author

//Bijou Lin is binge-watching the Smithsonian National Zoo’s panda cams. Because in a few days, she might not be able to.//

105 | 2nd Place

“Didn’t think I’d see you here again. Relapse?” The bartender at the Virulent Virus raised an eyebrow. “The usual?”
I grunted.
He slid over a Flutini.

This story was awarded 2nd place in our 48 HOUR FLASH FICTION CONTEST. We typically associate viruses with death, disease and malware. In short, nothing good. This year’s flu season has done nothing to redeem our perception of this infective agent. So when I read how researchers could potentially use genetically-modified flu viruses to cure cancer, I wondered if staving off this disease could be as simple as downing an influenza-infused martini in the future. Perhaps, like how our ancestors tamed fire, something once-thought deadly will revolutionize humanity. // Personal statement by the Author

A SCIENTIFIC NOTE FROM THE JUDGES: Ingesting influenza would probably ‘kill’ it in your gut. However, there are viruses that do use ingestion as their route of transmission like adenovirus, which are also being explored as a cancer treating agent. We have allowed for creative license in this story as it is important to highlight positive uses for viruses.

//Bijou Lin is current on all her shots, of both vaccine and vodka variety.//

Winners | Virology Flash Fiction

Ahhhhh! It’s time to announce the results of our 48 HOUR VIROLOGY FLASH FICTION CONTEST!! I’m thrilled to reveal that once again we got enough submissions for this competition to be worthwhile.
Thank you to all those who submitted and to our amazing judges, Dr. Ben Johnson, Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature and Dr. Bish Marzook, virologist, comedian, and writer. Ben and Bish kindly volunteered their services and as thanks, we are donating their combined $40AUD fee to Virology Comics.


This time around, we have an astonishing result – a tie for first place!

First Place: “Death is Yellow” by Rodrigo Assis Mesquita AND “Arbitrium” by Alex Robinson @pronerdalex

Second Place: “Relapse” by Bijou Lin

Third Place: “The Heist” by Megan Hippler @MeganHippler


Congrats to all our winners and thank you to all those who submitted! The winning stories will be published next Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Want to support Virology Comics?

You can donate funds directly to their PayPal account susan.nasif@cimaza.be. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook

We plan on doing more 48 hour competitions in future, so make sure to subscribe to our Twitter feed and stay tuned for future updates! We also announce competition topics early on Patreon, so for just $1 you can get advance notice of all future competition details.


It breached the airlock, propelling itself purposefully towards the galley. Horrified, we watched eager tentacles crack open our last beer.

In Anhauser-Busch’s first steps towards making Budweiser the first beer on Mars, the company recently announced its plans to conduct experiments on the International Space Station to better understand how barley reacts to a microgravity environment. Given humanity’s affinity for booze and ideas such as the “drunken monkey” hypothesis—which proposed that our primate ancestors came down from the trees for alcohol—it did not seem outside the realm of possibility that another large-brained carbon-based life-form capable of space travel would turn up their noses at such an intoxicating source of calories. // Statement by the Author

//Bijou Lin monkeys around imaginary realms built on hope and bananas. But mostly bananas. She blames all poor life choices on a hardwired evolutionary disposition for ethanol.//