As we launch into this sixth book of the TWISTED TAILS anthology series, I am reminded of Michael Crichton's debut novel, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. Why? Because his first and quite likely his best published novel gave us a look at the possible and horrendous result of the introduction into our happy little home of an unknown biological entity from out there somewhere. Before we go on, some clarification is needed here. Although he is best-known for revived dinosaurs, ANDROMEDA STRAIN was his first published book under his own name ([JOHN] MICHAEL CRICHTON). Published in 1969, Crichton was still in medical school and was in his early twenties. Amazing.
At the time that book was published there were few here on our safe little planet who gave such an occurrence much thought other than writers creating alien invasions from anywhere and everywhere. You know the kind, acid drooling critters whose spit could melt anything but themselves and were mindlessly bent on nothing more than destroying life in any form-particularly the human kind. Oh, and let's not forget giant bugs as in Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS, a dull premise and not-so-great science fling, but a good bit of storytelling. Anyway, after reading Crichton's book, it struck me that the stuff from which we are made could well have been brought here from out there, that we are all aliens and we are not home grown...well, at least not necessarily.
The first known mention of such a possibility was made by a, wouldn't you know, 5th Century BCE Greek philosopher named Anaxagoras. Hmm, those guys get all the glory, don't they? Anyway, I was aware of most of the arguments against the concept, but it remained unproven one way or the other so I penned the following as a joke in 1971.
Reviews to come.
Read an Excerpt
Look for Folk Tail and Alien Oblation by Kim McDougall in Twisted Tails VI.
From Folk Tail:
Cat licked one silver-tipped paw for the joy of preening sun-kissed fur. A warm breeze tickled whiskers, bringing scents of mole, mouse and…was that baby rabbit?
Mmm, maybe later. Her tail curled and whipped the deck.
Dog bounded out the door and dropped a slobbery bone by her nose.
“A bone! A bone!” His tail drummed the lattice-work railing. Drool slipped from his lips. Cat opened one golden eye.
From Alien Oblation:
My name is Brogan. I took my walkabout in the year of the wasting winds. I nearly died on the plains of Am. As I lay in the grass through the searing days and freezing nights, I prayed for Reaia to spare me. I was meant for greater things than grass weevils. On the night the stars came down to claim my spirit, rain woke me, a rain so pure and dense that I nearly choked on its downpour. But Reaia had sent the rain to wake my spirit. I rose from the grass as red flowers spread across the plains, the lifeblood of Am. A boy had fallen, but I rose a man.
Now I embark on my greatest journey. I will offer my seed to Reaia, the Devourer, in thanks.
Magda weeps every night when she thinks I sleep, but I will not waver. In the morning, she sets a bowl of gruel before me with a clatter of bad manners. Punishment, she thinks, will change my mind. In the afternoon, she brings me water as I till the earth under Am's burning eye. She lures me into a hedge with angry kisses, grabs my beard and pulls me into the dust, mounts me like a bull. Lust, she thinks, will change my mind.
Short Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction• Length: 131 Pages
Release Date: May 2011 • ISBN: 978-1-55404-830-4
About the Author
Kim McDougall is a writer and video producer with a BA in English literature from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. She was born in Montreal and has lived in Nice, France, Toronto, Long Island, New York and now beautiful Pennsylvania. She is also a fiber artist and photographer and writes fiction for children under her pen name, Kim Chatel. Though fantasy is her first literary love, Kim writes everything from children's picture books to horror fiction. Her stories often fall between the genre cracks--a little bit fantasy, a little bit literary. So she created her own genre: Between the Cracks Fiction.
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