[The Critter Captain's Tesla FAQ]

Bonsai Story Generator

Bonsai Story Generator

The Bonsai Story Tree Generator takes coherent text and turns it into... well, I'm not sure what. It's not GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) -- it's more like QIGO (Quality In, Garbage Out). Only, the garbage often makes a sort of strange, surreal sense... Judge for yourself. :-)

(Note that a Bonsai Story was published in a literary magazine! It was in LIT in 2011. Hmmm...!)

To generate Bonsai Story Tree sentences, copy&paste the text of several (short) manuscripts here; three or four passages of 1000 words each are recommended for best effect (note that this box won't hold text longer than about 6,000 words total):

...and please prove you're a human, to prevent spammers from using the form...

Then click the button...

Why is it called the Bonsai Story Tree Generator? Okay, here's the history.

At each December holiday party of the Northern Colorado Writers' Workshop, members exchange gag gifts; the more unique the better (and nothing costing more than $13.13). In 1998 my entry was the Bonsai Story Tree -- a pencil with strips of paper taped to it in the shape of your typical Christmas tree, each with one sentence on it, generated mush from some software I wrote to turn readable text into text that almost makes sense. I'd fed in stories from the workshop during the year to generate the oddly garbled text. The instructions told the recipient (possibly Alex Irvine received it? I can't remember) to prune delicately at the words to create a story. :-)

(In January 2005, Bonsai'd text was published as chapter 34 of the hoax book, Atlanta Nights, ostensibly the worst book ever written.)

I put up this web interface so others can create their own Bonsai Story Trees. Or just have a good laugh.

--Andrew Burt

Own a Square Inch of South Park
Where does Mr. Hankey live?
On Kickapoo Rd — visit online or IRL
Great for Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa / Festivus


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