Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Writing. SF--Have you tried it?...It's impossible...So I end up with Scatology.

I am trying to write some SciFi.

Nice work if you can get it.

How do you top Bradbury, Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Anthony Burgess or even Kurt Vonnegut Jr. when he gets the wind up.
Ya don't. These were extremely versatile people capable as much of writing a symphony as a novel...And they probably would have written in either novel or song format--hell even Cobol or Fortran if asked by some publishers, Martian or human, to do so.


And inventiveness, sometimes ever playful inventiveness. Who can forget the ubiquitous Killgore Trout, comical master science fiction writer out of Vonnegut's ego as he haunts the pages of almost all of Vonnegut's later novels. The ghost out of Vonnegut's writing machine. Kilgore Trout--Theodore Sturgeon?----and then Killgore's son, Leon Trotsky Trout. And Killgore eventually goes to live in Cohoe, New York.
Ha ha ha ha ha.

But I'm trying to craft myself a Martian...If he were to land hereabouts today...Hardly original. Voltaire did it with a North American indian named Zadig. Swift and his Gulliver travels, and today all the ET--type movies.
My Martian, I think will be different.
He is capable of taking on human form, in every respect, save one. He has this terrible case of the runs--something incompatible with his digestion on earth--and he has to very nearly wear a diaper to keep clean.

We can imagine our Martian socializing with humans. The Martian out on a date.

"Lars, there is suddenly this smell in the room...You know there are these little animals in this cottage. Sometimes they just crawl into a hole and die."
Lars says nothing. Even his grandpappy, whenever he visited earth, would get the runs.
"What's the matter Lars? You seem in pain, as if you were holding something back."
Lars avoided saying, "I am trying to hold back" out loud for fear of projectile crappping.

There had been earlier visitations of Martians on earth, a whole colony of them on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Japanese called them the Ainu*. They too wore loincloths in summer, largely because they would get the runs from the processed Japanese food traded to them for perfectly good game and fish. The Japanese always said there was somethlng extra-terrestrial about the Ainu. They seemed almost human, but they kept yelling at people, throwing things and shitting themselves. And they insisted on communal relief, almost as a religious practice. Small wonder they were called the Ainus.
The Ainus, like all Martians, knew what all Martians knew--that the seat of intellect was the alimentary system and not the brain. Humans didn't know this, so each rumble and fart of the digestive system seemed to lead to ideas and concepts. Take Voltaire. He knew. But he was probably part-Martian.
And Rabelais. Now there was a man who gave a shit. Likely part Martian as well.

And I wouldn't even begin to consider George S. Honda, well-known scientist and crap climate change prosyletyzer. As a bona fide scientist when young, he would train fruit flies to crap fer to get the DNA. And he, gentleman dapper, would be himself be much on the crapper.
Eschatology. Final causes. The universe has a shit. Big Bang.... Dante's Hell. Your dinner going from the stomach to small, and then the large intestine where De Debbil dwells. No wonder things seem upside down. Vicious circle, mouth to anus. Enter William Burroughs?
Of such is much philosophy, certainly particle physics.
In the beginning there was the Big Bang. Big Fart? Big Baumm!?--Baroque echoes of a Passage to India by E. M. Forster?

Most serious physicists are convinced the universe is queerer than you think. And with Burroughs, queerer than you want to know.

But I prefer Vonnegut, his last big novel (Out of Wikipedia):


Plot summary
Galápagos is the story of a small band of mismatched humans who get shipwrecked on the fictional island of Santa Rosalia in the Galápagos Islands after a global financial crisis has crippled the world's economy. Shortly thereafter, a disease renders all humans on Earth infertile, with the exception of the people on Santa Rosalia, making them the last specimens of humankind. Over the next million years, their descendants, the only fertile humans left on the planet, eventually evolve into a furry species resembling seals: though possibly still able to walk upright (it is not explicitly mentioned, but it is stated that they occasionally catch land animals), they have a snout with teeth adapted for catching fish, a streamlined skull and flipper-like hands with rudimentary fingers (described as "nubbins").

The story's narrator is a spirit who has been watching over humans for the last million years. This particular ghost is the immortal spirit of Leon Trotsky Trout, son of Vonnegut's recurring character Kilgore Trout. Leon, a Vietnam War veteran who is affected by the massacres in Vietnam, goes AWOL and settles in Sweden, where he works as a shipbuilder and dies during the construction of the ship, the Bahía de Darwin. This ship is used for the Nature Cruise of the Century. Planned as a celebrity cruise, it was in limbo due to the economic downturn, and due to a chain of rather unconnected events the ship ended up in allowing humans to reach and survive on Galápagos.

Kilgore Trout -- deceased -- makes four appearances in the novel, urging his son to enter the "blue tunnel" that leads to the Afterlife. When Leon refuses the fourth time, Kilgore pledges that he, and the blue tunnel, will not return for one million years, which leaves Leon to observe the slow process of evolution that transforms the humans into aquatic mammals. (The process begins when a Japanese woman on the island, the granddaughter of a Hiroshima survivor, gives birth to a fur-covered daughter.)

Trout maintains that all the sorrows of humankind were caused by "the only true villain in my story: the oversized human brain". Fortunately, natural selection eliminates this problem, since the humans best fitted to Santa Rosalia were those who could swim best, which required a streamlined head, which in turn required a smaller brain.


Well. Oversized human brain.
I maintain that that it was the oversized human orifice.
Humanity's need every so often to have a good crap.
They call them Renaissances.
I call them the rebirth of the Big Farts. Every so often the asshole of mankind,, usuallly a scientist, rises to take over. I posit that it is the major aperture not the cortex that is the seat of human intelligence.
The heroes of history as shitters, whereas mankind had heretofore been to them, reactionary, retentive.

But the shitters are of alien origin.

The Martian and his diaper.

Einstein and his relativity.

I am positive there is a connection.

The Big Bang.

Humanity going for a shit.


* There are about four thousand people of pure Ainu origin still extant on Hokkaido, Japan...They have been deemed by the Japanese government as an authrentic aboriginal people, whom I do not really want to slight. I probably used the Ainu badly in my attmpt at humour. Please don't sue me. I'm just trying to be cute.



Charles Gramlich said...

There are aliens among us. I suspect Vonnegut is one of them. And now my suspicions fall on you.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mona said...

LOL@ Charles! :D

The Ainus story is cute! I love it!

I think your book will make a bigger and a more disgusting satire than Swift's !

Thinking from the gut! That is ingenious. After all we all have verbal diarrhea .

Aliens ( foreigners) coming to India often get the runs :D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


I knew there had to be somethng to the phrase "gut instinct."

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, I have tears in my eyes from laughing. I am wondering what my hero, Jung, would say about all of this. You know he has a book about UFOs? Maybe THEY are indeed among us. And-are we evolving backward--turning into cromagnon man? Else where did all that fur come from. Creatures from outerspace. Creatures from innerspace. Oh, it's just science friction. D

Mona said...

where is everybody today! I went bloghunting and found no one!

Ivan, do you know what is worse than full moon?

Full moon + PMS

benjibopper said...

It's brilliant - and I lol'd, I mean literally.

You could create a fictional race to avoid that inevitable backlash - as Swift himself did.

Incontinent Martians, beautiful.

Oh, and Galapagos is one of my all-time favourite books. Definitely my favourite Vonnegut, but I think I'm in the minority on that one.

benjibopper said...

And speaking of Scifi, I got my first published piece of speculative fiction (in an anthology) in the mail yesterday. It's not scifi per se (though some in the collection are, and some are very good), more of a superhero story. Kind of fun to be in a collection with vampire stories and twilight zonesque material.

ivan said...


Anonymous said...

In answer to Donnetta on my blog entry just before this one, "Trying to write SF"

David Allenby Smith, my late uncle by marriage, used to say some of THEM landed here millions of years ago, had some sandwiches for lunch and left.

...And the sandwiches evolved and became us.

Queer thing from a former Audubon film editor. :)

7:52 AM

Anonymous said...


Full moon out for sure, and I'm a nervous wreck.

I watch too much TV and too many ads.

I'm feeling all jangly, and the ALWAYS ads are telling me to "Have a Happy Period".

...This ain't happy,

I check my shorts. Fruit of he Loom?


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Congratulations on being included in the anthology.
...Best I have done so far is for a book writer to use one or two of my Toronto Star stories in a footnote.
Man, you are a mover!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


I am all over the place trying to answer your comment here, "Trying to write SF"
I think I'm finally in the write blog space. Here goes:

David Allenby Smith, my late uncle by marriage, used to say some of THEM landed here millions of years ago, had some sandwiches for lunch and left.

...And the sandwiches evolved and became us.

Queer thing from a former Audubon film editor. :)

7:52 AM

ivan said...


In case you note that my comments to your comments are um, weird, it's because I have been commenting again and again and not being able to enter this blogspace.It' either my ineptitude or Blogger being down for maintenance.

Hello all!


Anonymous said...


I am only taking the first notes on Mark Durfeee's (The Walking Man's) novel on such a theme. But it's about an itenerant ghost.

It is ambitious and he calls it On the Road The Palace of Sleep....I am working on shortening the title. :)


JR's Thumbprints said...

One suggestion: Make those Martians into a modest proposal; Perhaps fossil fuel for human transportation.

ivan said...


...JR, I can't get into my own blog to answer your comment. Blogger maintenance on a full moon.

There is an old splice, a link put in by my techie last years.

So I'll try to answer your comment below.

We live in civilization fuelled by dinosaur shit.
Martian shit could be higher octane?
Mine Mars for carbon-bearing Martians?

ivan said...


Blog hunting and blog maintenance.

It has been all snarfed up for the past 36 hours.

I click onto blogger and they ask me if I want to start one. &^%$#$!

I finally managed to get into this comment space on a splice, but I still can't upload anything...And half my archives have gone AWOL.

I think I'll just drink until this passes.

But, it seems my Martians will let everything pass!

Mona said...

Happy Unhappy Moon Ivan...

ivan said...



That is so right on.

Press P for Psyho.

Why was I born? :-(

The Sick Earth said...

there is a good s-f movie that is also a comedy and drama, went unnoticed in its time, Kin-dza-dza. its free on google video, check it out it is a very deep and well-thought movie

ivan said...

The Sick Earth,

It's a well travelled road by now, trod upon by some of the authors I mentioned above, and even the late and great Jorge Luis Borges.

But I would surely dig Kin-dza-dza!

I come from a dystopian society like the one described in the film, and still read some Russian.

I will definitely try to view the film...Maybe a few pointers.

the walking man said...

So the aliens of your understanding never learned where to put the cork? For gods sake i thought they were supposed to be an advanced civilization? And by the way if you need proof that aliens dwell among us talk to a teenager.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Also Hipppies, young and neo.

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