Ask General Kang: As a world-conquering potentate, what is your policy regarding instant gratification?

Ask General KangWell, I’m totally against it.

From what I can see there is too much instant gratification happening here on Terra; and this is at least some part of the reason why I am conquering this world soon.

I’m a fan of a system of gratification we call The Rectitude on my home world.

The Rectitude started out as philosophical movement of neo-utopian bonobos, but it eventually caught on within the simian population at large, and I hope that someday it will catch on amongst the primates of this world too.

What is The Rectitude?
It sounds kind of proctologist-y, but essentially, to have some kind of physical gratification, the idea is that first you have to earn it. (Yes, just go ahead, say it just like John Houseman.)

The best kind of Rectitude to earn is through intense physical effort. For example, if you climb a mountain, that earns you lots of Rectitude – at least a week of all kinds of debauchery. Walk to the store instead of driving, and that probably earns you enough Rectitude to eat the Cheese Doodles you were going to get in the first place.

Once Earth is fully under my control, every sentient being on the planet can look forward to a lifetime of earning and expending Rectitude.

Stop groaning! It will be good for you humans to learn a little self-discipline!

Next time: How do you handle unwanted sexual advances, particularly from another species?

You know who has rectitude? Hard working humor writers. From my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

The Giganto-Schism

giant woman in fountain

The Giganto-Schism occurred sometime just after the establishment of the Trans-Vatican and the first RoboPope, Clagnor The Irrefutably Lethal. (This was during the first years of the Genetic Fruit-Topping Wars).

While the people of St. Tropezia were somewhat bemused by the dire calamities promised by the Trans-Catholic Church, they found themselves drawn irresistibly to the gigantic women of the saucy little planet, and formed the Giganto Creed.

In particular, they loved Our Lady of the Massive Legs and Leopard Skin Camisole (particularly when she was bathing).

The Giganto-Schism further widened when the Victoria Secret Galaxy joined the Corporate Imperium, and they unleashed their first catalog of “Euretro-Genita Coverings for the Monumental Goddess” collection upon the unsuspecting Trans-Vatican.

And when the RoboPope discovered that several of his Death Cardinals of Extreme Planetary Retribution kept copies of the catalog under their mattresses, the church never recovered.

Alltop also has big dreams. Originally published in 2007. Photo by Odegaard

Apocalypse Cow

apocalypse cow

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.

And me? I was off the boat the same time as Kurtz. Sure, I’d been obeying orders, but my mind was gone. I was in fields of green and clover. With milkmaids.

Oh man, those bullshit milkmaids…

But I had a job to do, and there would be no welcome, supple fingers pulling on my teats when we got to the end of the river. Only charcoal briquettes.

The barbecue … the barbecue.

Alltop is the catastrophic cattle baron of humor. Originally published on Name Your Tale, 2009.

Under the Blue Curve (Short Fiction)

pacific ocean and sky with curved distortionWhen Elisa sat down for lunch, Henry Overduin had no idea how much she was going to change his world.

She and her colleagues from the Department of Corporate Oversight sat in Henry’s section, but he would have noticed her even if they hadn’t. There was something different and magnetic about Elisa Taper. The rest of the diners at Le Fou en Mer were unreserved cyborgs. Most of them wore their cranial implants in a showy style that was the vogue among the rich; Henry found the fashion tasteless. But Elisa’s jet black hair was cut in a bob that just covered her implant. It was elegant. Her eyes were a startling emerald green, and there was something about the intelligence in them that captured Henry’s attention.

She seemed completely natural — just like Henry.

Of course, he had no implants of any kind. Even on his waiter’s salary he could have afforded one, but there was no point, because Henry was noneact. He had been unable to access the datasphere his whole life. When he was young, the world had begun integrating with it, and now the world was the datasphere. The latest generation of implants let humans access sensory experiences as well as information. Apparently, it was more real than real, his regular customers told Henry. Henry never wanted to be a waiter — he wanted to tell stories. But he had no audience. Without the datasphere, he didn’t even have a medium. There were no books, no magazines, no newspapers. There wasn’t a real movie industry anymore — it had all been swallowed by one all-encompassing ubermedia. Even conversation had been subsumed by it. The irony was there was a desperate need for Henry’s originality in what the Germans called the weltgeschichte — the world story. But Henry’s tales weren’t part of it, because he couldn’t be heard.

At least, not beyond the routine of taking orders and fetching drinks. Henry tried not to resent his job. In some sense, he was lucky he was able to work at all. Le Fou en Mer wasn’t so expensive that a human chef ran the kitchen, but it was trendy enough that the clientele were all served by real humans. In addition to Henry, the other staff that day included two students from the city’s main academy. For them, the job was something they would remember fondly after they had graduated to work remotely, or dynamically in the datasphere, depending on their abilities.

But for Henry it was one of the few jobs that he could hold, all thanks to his faulty, noneactive mind.

He tried not to dwell on it, while he walked over to the table where Elisa sat with her colleagues. He let them know the chef’s specials that day, trying to be pleasant, and asked for their drink orders; it might have been obvious he found Elisa attractive, but he tried to disguise it. No matter, Elisa saw. She asked him his name, and was somewhat perturbed when he completely ignored her routine subvocal query.

Read the rest of the story at Abyss and Apex …>

Originally published, October, 2007. Original photo by Evan Leeson.