Chaz’s Blog at Rogerebert.com reveals that when Ebert was hospitalized his wife got him to start a short story.
One day in the hospital I suggested that he take a break from work-related writing and write something creative that made him feel like he did when he was writing science fiction articles for fanzines when he was a boy. He began writing “The Thinking Molecules of Titan”, a story about space exploration set in part at his beloved University of Illinois.
He never finished the story. Maybe you can. Chaz has posted the 2,000-word fragment online and started a contest: Write your ending and send it in. She will post selected finalists and the site’s readers will vote for their favorite. Details here.
Ebert’s story begins —
The text message came as Mason was dipping fried lake perch into the tartar sauce. This was in the Capital, Campustown bar that offered a elementary but cheap menu, on the grounds — the owner McHugh once told him — that if someone left looking for food they might never come back. The message on Mason’s phone said, We have a pattern. He reflected that any pattern by definition would be untold years in age and would not change now that the Titan Listening Lab had recorded it. He finished his perch, his French fries and his canned creamed corn….