I was browsing my Mastodon feed tonight when I came across this picture, posted by user Henri:

A Cookie Monster wave!

I liked it instantly, but as soon as I gave it a second look, the image looked very familiar to me, and I started to think why. The first thing I noticed was some Japanese kanji on its side. Having my older son studying Japanese, my first reaction was to show him the image, so I could be certain it was really Japanese.

His answer not only confirmed my suspicion, but also revealed why I found the image so familiar. That’s the same one — or nearly — which’s stamped on my Kindle cover:

My current Kindle cover

I talked to Henri on Mastodon trying to figure out who created the original image, but he didn’t know. What I did find out talking to him, though, was that the image he posted was generated by someone who used AI to accomplish the feat.

As I wouldn’t be satisfied until finding out who authored the original, I started to look for answers, and fortunately it wasn’t a difficult search. The image happens to be featured in Wikipedia, and is named The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Created in 1831 by Japanese painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, the image is the artist’s most famous piece, and also possibly the most reproduced image in the history of all art, having been featured in t-shirts, shoes, videogame controllers… and Kindle covers like mine. Now, learning that was certainly unexpected to me — but going down that rabbit hole from a Mastodon post was really cool.

I’m so disappointed that I only came to know about it this week — but, as they say it, better late than never, isn’t it? The thing is, Twitter user small worlds is creating tiny sci-fi stories in 2023, and publishing each one as a single image, one per day.

As someone who enjoys both reading — and, quite once in a while, also writing —, I was immediately drawn to the tiny pieces, both because they are science fiction micro posts, and because they follow the likes of Black Mirror, a satiric British TV series mixing sci-fi and the idea of modern technology, such as AI, running out of control and making humanity dive into obscure, alternative near and quite dystopian futures.

From all the pieces published so far, I’ve selected 10 that, to me, are very interesting, and I’m sharing them in this gallery below:

They’re all very good, don’t you think?