We were interested and amused to see just how much crap the unsuspecting could get into, writing non-PC amateur SF for a science journal. We wondered what could happen if you did it deliberately.
Realspace: an imagined scenario
“Jesus. Christ!” came echoing down the passage, into the kitchen.
“What? George, what’s the matter??” Alice paused in her dough-rolling to listen.
“Jesus. FUCKING! Christ!” it came again, louder, accompanied by what sounded a fist thumping a desk.
There followed a long, tense silence. Alice hurriedly wiped her floury hands, and bustled down the passage to the study. She found George hunched up in the office chair, arms tightly crossed, glaring at the PC monitor.
“What is it? What…what’s the matter??”, Alice stammered.
The look swiveled to her. “What’s the matter!” barked George. “What’s the fucking matter?” Alice found her hands fluttering, and quickly tucked them under her armpits. Oh dear, she thought – that’ll leave flour on my cardie, and George won’t like that…. George glowered at her for a full minute, and then abruptly turned to face the monitor. “THAT’S the fucking matter!”, smacking it so violently that it rocked on its base.
Alice edged anxiously towards the monitor, stepping carefully over the untidy piles of papers spilled over the floor near the desk, that George would never tidy up (“Leave them, woman!” she’d hear), until she could see what had upset her partner so.
“What…what IS that?” She edged closer. It looked like one of the web sites George often visited, and wanted to show her learned articles from. “An article?” she ventured.
“An article?” spat George. “An article??” Rapping the screen with clenched knuckles: “No, not an article – a fucking story!”
Alice leaned dangerously over the pile of stuff closest to the PC. “A…story? Called – “Womanspace”?” she quavered.
George shot her a venomous glance. “Yes. A story called “Womanspace”!”
Alice ventured: “And that’s a bad thing…?”
George rolled the chair back so abruptly that it just missed flattening Alice’s toes, and bellowed “YES, you silly cow, YES, that’s a bad thing!”
Alice felt the tears starting, but tried to blink them back. “Wh-Wh-…”. She gulped back the sob, and went on: ”Why, George? Please tell me?”
George glowered at her from under impressive eyebrows. “Why?” came out eventually. “Why?? Because some fucking man has just written a story about how men are useless at shopping, and then explains it all by saying that women access parallel universes to find groceries!!”
“But…but…” Alice found herself groping for words. She tried again. “Isn’t that all true?”
George rolled the chair towards her, and bellowed: “True? TRUE?? Of COURSE it’s true!”
Through her tears, Alice managed “But…but…what’s the problem, then?”
She saw George, refracted as overlapping furious images through the tears caught in her lashes, looming in towards her, now out of the chair.
“The problem, you silly cow, is that he’s outed us!!”
As Alice felt herself cowering, and raising her hands to defend herself, she saw George abruptly step back, and turn away.
“The problem…the problem is, my sweet Alice, that we don’t want anyone to believe it”.
“So – so – it’s just a story, isn’t it? Why would anyone believe it?”
George turned slowly towards her, and did that thing that Alice so hated, that made her feel so small. Speaking slowly, and with exaggerated intonation, as if to a child: “Because it will ring true, my sweet. Because it’s in Nature. Because men will think “Hey, I’ve seen that happen!” And it will be out there, and people will know. And everything will change!”.
George turned aside and went to look out of the study window, arms folded. Alice ventured timidly nearer. “So – what do you want to do about it, then?”
George brooded a while. Then: “At first – we’ll attack them. Him – the author – and the editor of Nature that accepted the thing. In every forum we can. Then – we’ll get the author where he works. We’ll make him feel so small –“thumping the wall for emphasis “- that he’ll never write anything again.
She turned slowly to face Alice. “Then…” – and her voice got deeper – “then, when they’re completely discredited – we’ll kill them…”.
The names used can be exchanged with anything you like, such as “Bob” and “Ted” or “Grzzxq” and “Blwwxr”. All personal pronouns can be replaced with their opposites, or mixed according to personal preference. “Cow” may be replaced with “bull”, or even “meat”. No personal beliefs or attitudes are reflected in this piece, and nor is anyone living or dead portrayed in any way at all.