Why live anywhere else?

Why live anywhere else?
Trackside Shrubbery

Where I collect rejections from publishers and the stories they rejected

In order to succeed, I must be prepared to fail as often as necessary to achieve success. Here, I aim to publish 100 rejections from publishers in the order I receive them together with the stories that were rejected.

To be good at one's vocation, one must simply avoid being bad.
To be great, one must purposely aim for awful.

Get up once more than you fall.
Put your ideas into action.

This is near to a way.

Monday, 28 February 2011


The Ratiocinator

By Bulent Akman

Eviction - originally, the physical expulsion of
someone from land by the assertion of paramount title
or legal proceedings

Larceny - the felonious taking and carrying away of
the personal property of another, without his consent,
with intent to deprive the owner of the property

Gifis, Steven H., dictionary of legal terms

One day, the entire population of the planet Earth was
evicted and moved to a replica world. Not only humans,
but plants and animals, down to the smallest bacteria
and virus. The process was seamless and transpired
over 24 hours, each section of the world disappearing
under cover of night.

Earth itself was molecularized in order to feed the
enormous power demands of an advanced spacefaring
civilization, once the potential threat posed by
humanity was removed, the rest of the solar system,
including Earth's sun, was also molecularized.

This alien race had not yet fully abandoned all
morality, hence, the replica. More efficiently built
than an actual planet, using construction methods and
materials far beyond the technology of the people of
Earth, orbiting a synthetic star, in a reproduction
solar system, mirroring the astronomical behaviour of
it's referents in every way that modern human
technology could detect.

However the economies created by the aliens were not
without their costs. The replica solar system had a
short lifespan, only a few thousand years.

Humanity had until then to find a way off the planet.

Humanity wasn't even trying.

Interstate Jones, a drifter, doctor of philosophy,
sculptor, handyman, political lobbyist, Sunday school
teacher, librarian, roughneck, soldier of fortune,
attorney and beautician, studied the classifieds and
noticed an opening for physics professor at the State
University. Well, he reasoned, I haven't been a
physicist yet, I may as well apply.

Interstate Jones, possibly the worlds' smartest man,
knew how to get any job he wanted. He just walked to
the University and started teaching physics to the
first group of students he found. It didn't matter
that they were first year pre-law students. It didn't
matter that there was already a professor teaching the
class. Jones just went in and did his thing and before
anyone knew anything, the entire class including their
law professor was taking notes on Unruh-Minkowski
equations and discussing Hamiltonian operators and
everyone was generally getting very excited indeed.

Jones reasoned any person of modestly above-average
intelligence could be taught anything if you made
things addictively fascinating. For all his
intelligence, he didn't understand why everybody
didn't do things that way all the time. The only
person who knew the real answer to that question was
so smart even Jones didn't understand her sometimes.

Little sisters can be annoying that way.

Naturally the administration discovered what was going
on and sent security to stop him from trespassing.

The security guards did very well on the next quiz.

Finally, their options exhausted, University
administration hired him as a tenured professor with
the highest salary in the history of the school.

On Wednesday, Professor Jones and his students built
the first prototype zero point energy phase space

On Thursday, Universities around the world had
duplicated his results.

On Friday an Astronomy class on a field trip to the
asteroid belt found carved into the side of a large
asteroid something unusual, words in several
languages, clearly alien.

Professor Jones had guest lectured their astronomy
class on xenolinguistics after guest lecturing the
tourism and hospitality students next door on
n-parallel processor design and construction.

As the asteroid spun into full view outside their
portholes, the entire class gasped as the meaning of
the words became clear to them.

The nearest English equivalent meant: Temporary
Replacement Solar System. Made in the Horse Head
nebula, for questions or comments, contact...

When Interstate Jones heard about this, he shrugged,
took down the contact information, sued the
spacefaring alien civilization for infringement and
incredibly, Jones won. It was all the more incredible
because before Jones won his case for humanity, among
the aliens there was no concept for court, law,
lawyer, unlawful eviction, larceny, judge, jury, tort,
negligence, or even legal in the human sense of the

A shamefaced and puzzled galaxy spanning civilization
put everything back where they found it.

Jones walked out of a lecture one day and disappeared,
possibly off-planet, possibly kidnapped by the
government, possibly just bored with all the attention
and hiding out in a log cabin in the mountains

Lenny Vin was new to waitering. He didn't know how
long either the new name or the new job would last.

Kids from the local college came here to drink
bottomless coffee and study.

Recently they'd been doing incredibly well in school.

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