One of the issues with selecting stories to read using a completely random method is that some of the stories won’t be of particular interest, won’t completely succeed (or in some cases fail entirely), or not be particularly noteworthy. Eight weeks into this series, I have come across a story that I didn’t entirely bounce off of, but which didn’t really work for me. It has some interesting ideas behind it and I think it is clear that the author knew what he had in mind. I just don’t think he was particularly successful in translating it to the page.
Julian Flood published ten short stories, with nine of them appearing between 1992 and 1997 and three of those appearing in the first year. Half of his fictional output appeared in the pages of Interzone. The August 1992 issue of that magazine (whole number 62) contained his third story, “Children of a Greater God.”
The action is set on the planet Dub’s World, which is not conducive to human existence. The atmosphere of the planet is such that people need to have their bodies rebuilt each evening, although Flood isn’t entirely clear on the various mechanisms that cause this to happen aside from some hand waving about the atmospheric composition of the planet and people connecting to robots for the rebuilding.
Flood’s narrator is either an alternative comedian or a private eye (or some combination of both), although there is nothing humorous about his act, which includes self-mutilation and violence. Flood does have his character discuss comedy with the nightclub owner, noting that “Funny’s not what alternative comedy’s about,” although he doesn’t offer what he, or his character, thinks it is about.