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Tag: aliens

FakeReview: Under the Honey Moon by Goldiva Stetter

It is true that much of science fiction was founded on white guilt. First contact stories especially imagined a Columbus character but as a good guy, which is pretty wild. Of course, literature doesn’t exist anymore since the drubles annexed our planet, and Goldiva Stetter will be phloxed for writing this book, called Under the Honey Moon: A Retelling of the Invasion from their Side. I feel the need to write a review of her book, of which I have the antepenultimate copy printed before the baible-traz cummoxed the printing press. I feel like perhaps no-one will write a review of this book if I do not, and if no-one expresses their opinions in nuanced but easily swallowed ways, it is a bit like the book does not exist. I grabbed a copy still hot off the presses and ran for all my legs’ worth until I reached the safety of a burbium. Perhaps I own the only copy in existence. Perhaps I’m inviting my own phloxion if I publish this myself. Before you think that: know that I am against this kind of endeavour entirely and I aim to demolish the good reputation of this slanderous book.

Goldiva had found one of those humongous machines they used to print glossy-covered airport novels in, so this slim volume of sarcastic literature-that-shouldn’t-be feels like the ghost of a book. It’s been a decade since I read a new book, but I remember science fiction, and I think Goldiva Stetter does, too. There are all the classic elements of a good military space masturbation fantasy ball of yarn. There’s the excitement of discovering an alien species, there’s the intial misunderstanding, the weird sex scene, the war propaganda, the underlying sense of unease about defining yourself according to your species or defining yourself at all, the dazzling displays of the morally ambiguous achievements of science, there’s a quest, a good ending, and the unanswered question: are we the good guys?

No human speaks himut, of course, so this book is written in English. It tells the story of three imagined diplomats-turned war heroes: Pigeon, Rat, and Flea. In 87 short pages without paragraph breaks we are shown the moral struggle that Pigeon, Rat, and Flea must have felt when they murdered human civilians by the thousands with their pungytien and phloxoi. Their characterisation falls pretty much flat despite all the emotions they talk about having. In one scene near the end of the first act, Flea stops their phloxion and displays a human in exploded view and asks the question, “Are they not like us?” The answer is of course that we are. The human loses structural integrity and dies shortly after.

The Swiftian anger in this narrative is not escaping anyone, I hope. Jonathan Swift, for those of you who learned to read after the annexation, was a very angry man who objected to the drubles of his time, the British humans. He achieved fame, alright, but think of what he could have achieved if he had worked with them instead! At one point, Jonathan Swift poisoned six thousand babies so that when the British humans ate them, they would fall ill. A barbarous act. And Goldiva Stetter will scream her ire like that scene in Braveheart until they kill her for good, I bet. What a shame. Her incredible talent could be used for more productive things, such as galaschet, or moonfarming. Instead she chooses to waste it on writing, on stirring up feelings in the population, of writing coded messages about where the kimmolwoi meet to plan the revolution.

Stetter describes the druble anatomy and vichshen in mundane terms and only when necessary, but spends a disturbing amount of time explaining basic human physiology in an exotic manner. This only adds to the sarcasm which flows from the book so heavily despite its light form. Why on earth would a druble – the intended reader of this book is someone druble who speaks a human language, which is ridiculous as they do not need to communicate with us, but I digress – need to know about the alien concept of “pain”? It is not relevant to their frame of reference. I’m afraid that much like the druble empire I have run out of space and must award some stars now, as is traditional of a review. This book gets one star, no more, because that is the minimum of stars. This may have been the last book ever written. Our sun will shine for a billion long years more. Good riddance, literature.

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As you may be aware, my fake review The Cult of Numbers was recently published by Pamphlets for the Apocalypse! Unlike Under the Honey Moon, the book reviewed in there is an economy textbook. You will not be disappointed: you would love to read about a cult that sprung up around an economy textbook. I know you. You would wolf that shit down. Buy it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/237006205/the-cult-of-numbers-johannes-punkt-with

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Anthropologist vs. Predator

We feel inferior in their presence, but they bow to us. They come in perfectly round ships, and they smile reassuringly, perfectly. They develop a perfect understanding of Mandarin before they dare speak a word. After years in a government bunker, they say: “We are here to study you.”

They mean what they say with their perfect manners. With perfect empathy they love us. What’s more, they become us.

What little empathy we have, we use to become more like them; their stay is marked by painlessness. But they understand us deeper than that, and their perfect smiles turn sinister.

Zombie Alien Invasion Impact

Three doomsday scenarios happened all at once, as if old adages were true after all. But something happened. Malevolent aliens picked up human shamblers infected with the turtlevirus. They couldn’t see the difference between zombies and people. Some of the aliens were bitten, and so the zombie virus spread to the mothership. As the strange ship hung in space, desperately trying to shed its infected parts like a snake sheds skin, a rock the size of Mars hit them and bounced off, giving us a new moon. All the zombies turned toward the moon, walked out into sea, and drowned.

Scream Enough

Scream enough, and they will start to sound like you. They will actually lose the ability to sound like they did before, and their insides will readjust to seem more human. Their genetic codes seem far too unpredictable to be engineered, which suggests that these things have evolved naturally. If you stop screaming, and talk to them instead, they will parrot you. If you sing, they will learn to sing. There is no advantage to hunting like this, they only reveal this after the capture. For all intents and purposes, it is psychological. They are justifying the hunt to themselves.

Home/Sick

Alien psychologists seeing diseases that just aren’t there in your precious human mind. They like you. In your head, one terrapsychologist has decided, there is the feeling of belonging anywhere. The yearning for a specific location, it is so strange and causing you so much pain. You are not, you need not long for Earth, they tell you, you will be okay without it.

“I already have a word for it,” you tell them. “Homesickness. But it’s no sickness.”

There is an expression on her face that you cannot read. Maybe it’s a smile. “And it is not your home.”

A Host with No Guests

Jannu knew the exact spot the visitors would choose. It was in the water. Were the visitors aquatic? He found an island nearby and oared his way out to it, setting up a massive welcoming buffet of all the different kinds of foods he could find. He stayed on the island for three days, gradually thinning the once-impressive buffet. Sometimes he stared at his feet.

On the other side of the world, just a kilometre away from the place Jannu stared at when he stared at his feet, the visitors wondered why nobody came to greet them, then they left.

Touchdown Gently

You come from the sky in a shining ball of gold; you touchdown gently in my corn fields and draw strange crop circles and my eyes roll back in ecstasy. I try to contact you but you speak in maths and I don’t understand, and I tell all my friends and none of them believe me and all of them laugh, but it’s true, I remember you cloudlessly. I stay out late in other people’s fields just waiting, and the other people can tell I’m not really there, my eyes are fixed to the sky. Most of them don’t care.

Voyage

“Find life.”

You were fitted with a chelonian, deliberate kind of intelligence, and all the cameras in the world. You left our system as a living thing; you taught us all we know about extrasolar space. And you fulfilled your mission; you found life.

You aimed your thruster; you set your course.

And you degraded. Micrometeors, particles of dust, stray gamma bursts, bugs that turned up after hundreds of years, data inconsistencies. So you turned into just another inert clump of metal, gathering ice on your journey to this other world. They did not see you coming.

And you crashed.

Plots You Can Have #5, Ambiguous Monsters Edition

[Content Warning: suicide, human sacrifice]

Previous part here: /2012/10/31/for-the-undecided-plots-you-can-have-nanowrimo-edition/

First part here: /2012/08/20/a-few-plots-you-can-have/

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The Dalmour Parasite

a parasite that only infects suicidal people and turns them into psychopaths to make their lives better

Neil Ruthsmoke is a man who makes his friends suicidal. He cannot help it; it is not to do with his personality per se, it is just that his particular body odour trips bad wires in people’s brains; he is a freak of nature undiscovered by science. He is also quite depressed on account of this. Story is about how his psychologist both tracks the spread of the parasite and how it starts to take over hir. There is research into Ruthsmoke’s life, and the point where his friends stopped killing themselves and started becoming sociopaths is found. Good scenes might include: when the psychologist puts forth the idea that maybe, possibly, it’s all Ruthsmoke’s fault; when a friend breaks the pattern by topping hirself; when the psychologist realizes ze has probably been infected hirself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Response Ability

for Existential Elevator of the Mercer Box; happy birthday

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“No, you can’t open that door,” a man told her. He wedged himself between her and the door and slammed the thing shut with a smile. He was missing some teeth and his white hair seemed prehensile. The door was right there behind him. His pupils were of different size.

“You cannot be serious.” The smell of booze rose up from everywhere: the room was large and decorated in red and white. Large banners hung as though thrown in from high windows, where also birds could enter. The place was mostly stone. “When you said ‘welcome party’ I imagined at least one Alien would show up.” Her attempt at pushing him aside met with no success.

“You have to remind yourself: you are the Alien here.” The man grinned. “Enjoy the party. Natives will show up later, when you’re ready for them – in the meantime, you can party like one.” His hair curled up.

She compared their outfits. Herself, she wore the full ceremonial dress of welcome – long ribbons and a dark cope, a silhouette pattern of the mythical beast, small but functional shoes with iron soles. She could feel the weight of her iron earrings on each lobe, and her shoulderblades still itched. This man wore – exclusively – a toga.

She slumped back into a chair that wasn’t there a moment ago. The man relaxed his posture a bit. His pupils synchronized. “It is always pleasant to receive fresh meat,” he said. “What is your name?”

His hair unfolded from the curls and floated outward languidly to where a fly was buzzing. Macro-animals like that had only been theoretical to the woman up till that point, and she stared transfixed at the creature until the white hair snapped shut and trapped the insect.

“Er, Quan Merora,” she said.

“A pleasure to meet you, Erquanmera,” said the man and bowed. His hair parted in the middle to show a surgical scar running along the man’s black scalp. He straightened himself up again. “I am the left, and my name is Demnar Juthuth. I will make sure someone gets you a drink now.”

And he walked away. Read the rest of this entry »