The Weird Universe explores a human and natural cosmos that is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine. The usual suspects are Paul Di Filippo; Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes; and Chuck Shepherd, purveyor of News of the Weird.
Items Tagged: blogging
- Woolf in the (Counterfactual) Sixties June 30, 2016
- Short Story: "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" June 29, 2016Note: I'm having a hard time posting this, possibly because I used a word LiveJournal doesn't like, a word starting with P and rhyming with shmornography. Now that everyone knows what it is, I'm going to replace it with astericks and see what happens.And so we come to Chuck Tingle’s “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” — and I find I have nothing to say. This is probably because “SRBI” isn’t science fiction but gay dinosaur ****, and while I know a bit about the former, I know nothing at all about the latter. Still, if you’re looking for gay dinosaur ****, this story is probably for you.Okay, I do have something more to say. Other books by Tingle, listed at the back, include “Taken by the Gay Unicorn Biker,” “Seduced by Doctor Bigfoot: Attorney at Large,” and “Turned Gay by the Living Alpha Diner.” (This last is not about a person who dines but an actual restaurant.) Chuck Tingle, whoever he is, certainly doesn’t lack for imagination.I have no idea why this story was on the Rabid Puppies’ slate.
- Bishop in the (Counterfactual) Sixties June 29, 2016
- Heinlein (Counterfactual) in the Sixties June 28, 2016
- Short Story: "Seven Kill Tiger" June 28, 2016This review contains spoilers.“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao is a disturbing story, but maybe not for the reasons the author thinks. We start with a deeply unpleasant main character, Zhang Zedong, a company man sent from China to Zambia who needs to improve his production numbers and who is prone to thinking things like “Africa would be a glorious place were it not for the Africans." “What he needed was more Han people,” he thinks, and the solution he comes up with is to wipe out the native population of Africa using genetic warfare.Dr. Philip Thompson, a scientist at the Center for Disease Control, gets some information about a disease in Zambia that is killing only Africans, leaving the Chinese people in the area unaffected. But as he’s thinking about reporting these statistics, and his uncomfortable conclusions about them, he gets a visit from a Chinese man who threatens him with his death and the deaths of his friends if he shares his suspicions with anyone.Spoilers ahead.And then the full epidemic is triggered, and all the Africans die.One of the weirdest things about this story, of course, is that it’s nothing like what Puppies say they want, narratives fraught with conflict, excitement, tension, and with good triumphing over evil at the end. There’s no tension whatsoever, just a straightforward account of what would be the worst genocide in human history. Good doesn’t triumph over evil here — it doesn’t even get out of the gate.And there are no likable characters, another thing Puppies say they want. The closest is poor Dr. Thompson, who folds completely when he’s threatened.Then there’s the unapologetic racism. Not Zhang Zedong’s racism, which is understandable for the kind of character he is, a colonizer who doesn’t understand why the colonized are refusing to get with the program. I mean the story’s racism, where the murder of nearly an entire race happens without even a passing remark. (People do think about genocide in the abstract; it’s the kind of genocide, specifically of Africans, and the horrible historic implications, that are passed over as though they don’t matter.) “Seven Kill Tiger” is presented as a thought experiment, an attempt to show that, as editor Jerry Pournelle says in his introduction, “once something is possible, it is only a matter of time before it becomes real.” But surely the genocide of over a billion people overshadows any detached, logical thinking on the subject. I know I didn’t come away from “Seven Kill Tiger” thinking, “Wow, genetic warfare, pretty scary.” Instead the story functions as a kind of genetic weapon itself: anyone with the least bit of empathy will be left feeling sick to their stomach.
- Russ in the (Counterfactual) Sixties June 28, 2016