Monday, September 23, 2013

We Are Not Sure If We Are Amused

The Martian Royal Chronicler, Martin Berman-Gorvine, just told me that Seven Against Mars, his account of the exciting and tragic events preceding my accession to the throne, has been nominated for next year’s Prometheus Award for Best Novel. These awards are presented at the annual World Science Fiction Convention by the Libertarian Futurist Society for "outstanding science fiction or fantasy (broadly defined) whose plots, themes, characters and/or specific issues reflect the value of personal freedom and human rights, or which seriously dramatize or satirically critique tyranny or abuses of power--especially unchecked government power."
There are two problems here. One is the truthful nature of Martin's account, to which I can attest. He assured me the prize committee's classification of it as fiction is a technical error due to a misunderstanding of the nature of parallel worlds.
The other problem is that bit about "tyranny" and "unchecked government power." I summoned my trusted advisors Rachel Zilber and Kaitlyn Webb and asked them, "I'm not a tyrant, am I?"
"Of course not, Your Majesty!" they answered in unison. They both rolled their eyes toward the sky, where their home planet of Earth is. This is a gesture that Earthlings make fairly often, it seems, to emphasize the solemnity of their speech. Or so Rachel and Katie have assured me.
And yet, my heart is uneasy. If I find they have been pulling my royal leg, I shall be most put out. I may have to sentence them to be tortured with fluffed cushions. Or perhaps the comfy chair.

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