The Clown Apocalypse
Years later, the survivors discovered the Bozo Virus got its start at Escola de Clown de Girona, near the end of semester.
The “Esclowna” was a kind of university/prep school for the international clowning set. The buffoons-in-training lived in common dorm rooms, and shared everything, so the virus spread easily within the school. There it incubated. (The school was at least 30 kilometers from the nearest village in Spain.)
They developed flu-like symptoms, and then recovered, but of course, everyone at the school was a clown, or a clown-in-training, already. So the worst of the symptoms went unnoticed, until after they matriculated. When the school year was over, the faculty, staff and students went to their respective home countries, throughout the world, and began to perform as clowns: at birthday parties, in old folks homes, in circuses, at rodeos, and on the street.
Why Dr. McCoy Was Not a Whiny Bitch
McCoy, Kirk and Spock are all about to die as their bodies are de-atomized over a period of several agonizing seconds.
Everyone in the original Star Trek was quite condescending to Bones whenever he got fretful about using the transporter.
Yet Dr. McCoy had solid, philosophical reasons for being freaked out by the device. Basically, the transporter disassembles all your molecules, and then reassembles them somewhere else. (Assuming something doesn’t go horribly wrong in the process, as it did in pretty much every other episode.)
It’s an existentialist nightmare.
Why Everyone Should Read Cat’s Cradle
“Now I will destroy the whole world.”
– What Bokonists say when they commit suicide, Cat’s Cradle, Chapter 106
You’d think a story about the end of the world – not just the world of one person, or human civilization, but all life on the planet – would be a grim affair, but Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle is replete with wit, wry humour, and a touching compassion for human frailty.
Vonnegut’s book is no bright dystopia, like the one portrayed in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, nor is it as unrelentingly dark as George Orwell’s 1984. It’s our world that Vonnegut so amusingly satirizes, a world in which human beings are awfully good at creating doomsday devices (atomic bombs, religions), and lying to themselves.
Dreamscapes: The Stars Go Out
In the dream, we know something is wrong when I notice the constellations have all disappeared.
All that remains in the night sky is the deep black of space, and a few sets of stars — in triplets and doubles, shining like it was the dead of winter.
The stars are going out, and we’re not certain what that means, except we know that something is happening in our sky.
Is the atmosphere changing? Is it space? Time itself? Are we living out a Robert Charles Wilson novel?
We’ll probably never know.
We can feel the effects on our skin first. Like a mix of hoarfrost and gooseflesh, we can feel our flesh freezing and drying; it’s almost painful.