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Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Rationalizing Animals

This Zoo City fan-fiction by InLoveWithTheNight is so damn good, I kinda want to include it in new editions.

It’s a selection of note-perfect ¬†clippings, ala the “found materials” chapters of my novel (three of which were guest-written by other people: Sam Wilson, Charlie Human and Evan Milton).

The extracts in the short story range from a a grouchy academic responding to a piece on endangered Animals in the International Journal of Aposymbiotic Studies to an email from the “AposymbiotAllies Legal Network ALERT!” mailing list, a newsclipping in real cyrillic about a Russian offender whose small daughter has bonded with his fox, a Rolling Stones piece on a band with a Panther, a Time magazine article on the new pet ownership and a review of a controversial documentary in Empire magazine.

It’s just wonderful and it gives me a serious case of the happy.

Read the whole thing here: Rationalizing Animals

And here’s a teaser clip:

Assorted notes and clippings from the files of Nadezda Alexeevna Kostologdova, Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy Department, University of Michigan; exhibits 1-7

 

1. [From the International Journal of Aposymbiotic Studies, April 2001, per Kostologdova's handwritten marginalia; article title and author not given]

…the matter of individuals whose symbiotes represent extinct species. This presents both ethical and practical dilemmas for governments seeking to properly represent the interests of aposymbiots. Ethically, is there any greater ecological responsibility on the part of governments as stewards of the common good to attempt to gather reproductive material from these symbiotes? (Attempting to coerce live breeding among species that happen to present multiple individuals can be dismissed as an excessive violation of the rights and privacy of the aposymbiotic individual, by most standards; however, anecdotal reports from within repressive regimes suggest that this dismissal may not be a universal constant.)

The difficulties and further ethical dilemmas of experimentation on zoological symbiotes has greatly limited the growth of knowledge into how they compare to common members of their represented species; that is to say, even if reproductive material could be gathered (or genetic material, to pursue cloning etc), are individually zoological symbiotes sterile? If so, is that a reversible condition or an inherent element of the symbiotic process, tied to the thus-far unexplained phenomena by which symbiotes make themselves manifest to their human partners?

[Marginalia: Gross speculation. I can't believe this passed peer review.]

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 3rd, 2012 @21:07 #
     
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    This is brilliant. "Gross speculation. I can't believe this passed peer review" -- ha!

    Bottom

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