Life is exactly what happens when you don’t keep things in a cool, dry place. In this series of wickedly funny short stories, humans bring technology to all the other clever animals of Earth, and the whole gang tries to learn how to live with each other in this new dynamic. It doesn’t help that the technology is getting out of hand, matching the chaos of living things. Open this freeze-dried meal of despair, spiced with love and hope, and come along for a wild ride with these darn squids in space.
When my nephew Gabriel was about three years old, he was at a park, playing in a sandbox, and he smacked the black ants in the sand with a stick. They’d bitten him repeatedly, and he yelled, “Bad sand guys! They were made by the black Jesus. The black evil robot Jesus!”
Thank you for the inspiration, Gabe.
Excerpt chapter: “Uplifting”
The octopus looked proper stately in a dapper white robotic suit, nearly filling the bulbous cylinder atop a nearly perfect humanoid body. It stood behind a pulpit, reminiscent of a Southern Baptist preacher on Sunday. The octopus’ iridescent skin flourished with patterns, which were picked up by meticulous and highly calibrated cameras. Her suit’s extremely modern system included a completely renovated text-to-speech module. The arena seating in this cavernous, brightly lit room lent itself to the theater unfolding at the pulpit, although, other than a fistful of reporters at the fore, only a few dozen academic types filled in a few of the hundreds of empty seats, in the upper back. Conspicuously, one was a dolphin in a positively huge, caterpillar-esque water tank with insectile metal legs.
The octopus spoke into the microphone.
“How dare you uplift us? What gives mankind the right to deny us natural death? For millions and millions of years octopuses have sacrificed themselves for their young. Now human scientists have changed everything for the gastropod, and have forced it into functional slavery. For every credit a human earns, a gastropod earns between forty four and forty eight percent of the same.”
A reporter’s hand shot up in front.
“Susan Chaudry here, Ganymede Times. Is it not true that since the very inception of genetically modified, sapient gastropods, equal payment for equal work has been a mainstay throughout the system? I have numbers that-”
The octopus retorted, “Let me finish! Let me finish! First, gastropods work in different environments than humans do, which means that the work cannot be equal, and you benefit from our labor unfairly. Second, what a human thing to do to just interrupt a gastropod while she is speaking. Please, human-splain away.”
Her automated voice came across as impeccably condescending.