February 9, 2012

Titles Forever

Kinda hope you read that as "titties forever".

The James Earl Jones link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_kGtQmvrVI

The sci-fi link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/disaster-apocalypse/colum-paget/inconstant-nature

Late Facts: I forgot to mention the '50s-on movie that doesn't have a "Watch for the mutant" mentality. That movie is The Day the Earth Stood Still (if you're thinking of the Keanu Reeves remake, I am ashamed of you). That movie picked up the "embrace the mutant" idea and displayed the inherent danger of the arrogant (and kinda narcissistic) idea of "watch for the mutant". 


  1. I can't hear the podcast because it's swf rather than mp3, but 'watch the mutant' wasn't what I was going for. I was reacting to stories that always depict the current normal as winning out. If there is threatening change in most SF, then eventually there is a return to the 'old normal'. Except, of course, for those stories that depict threats from the past (neanderthals, silurians) who want to return things to *their* old normal, in which case it's the 'new normal' of homo-sapiens that wins out.

    Some people who commented on the story said they didn't like the end, but they 'liked the bees'. So they were perfectly happy with a return to the 'old normal' which would extinctionate (I needed the word so I made it up) the adapted flora and fauna, but they didn't like me supplanting the human race with homo-extrematans (I may be being unfair to them, but that's how I read their comments). It is exactly this attitude that I wrote the story against.

    However, 'watch the mutant' is a fair reading of the story, whether I intended it that way or not. 'Death of the author', and all that. But the concept of 'mutant' is maybe a strange one here. Don't we expect people in the future to be different from us? Are they mutants on that basis, or are they just our descendants who have adapted over time? As we all have unique DNA and a unique range of abilities, are we not all mutants, each of us a wild experiment? But now I am rambling.

    I'm not too sure about your reference to 'The day the earth stood still'. Klattu is not a mutant, but an alien. Gort is a machine. Are you sure you're not thinking of another movie?

    1. Thank you for commenting! I'm sorry you can't hear the podcast. I'll work on making it more compatible. As to your story:

      "Watch for the mutant" is an idea I read about in Danse Macabre by Stephen King. It's on a plaque in a sci-fi story, and the idea, in horror and sci-fi, is to keep an eye out for anything not normal. Klaatu qualifies, as does Gort. The humans in "Day" have a "watch for the mutant attitude" (seen when they shoot Klaatu [who is oddly understanding]), but the message of the movie is "embrace the mutant". This is what I saw in your story as well. Humanity is replaced, but there is something else, something new, to pick up where we left off. The humans in both "Day" and your story have to adjust to the idea that the universe is not theirs alone anymore, and it's why I liked your story so much. This is also why I dislike "watch for the mutant" as the norm in stories. The "mutants" are often much more interesting, and stories that feature them are able to do more than ones that center on "vanilla" humanity.

      Your story (and if I'm wrong, I say sorry) I saw as "watch for the mutant" turn into victory for the mutant - which I liked. Even if it wasn't us, some kind of intelligent life continued on.