Get Bent – The Sunken Empire

For this one, I only changed the gender of the protagonist’s love interest. Why is is that speaking of a man the way we speak of a woman should sound so creepy? 

What strange passions lie sunken in the human heart?

The Sunken Empire

(Based on The Sunken Empire by H. Thompson Rich)

“Then you really expect to find the lost continent of Atlantis, Professor?”

Martin Stevens lifted his bearded face sternly to the reporter who was interviewing him in his study aboard the torpedo-submarine Nereus, a craft of his own invention, as it lay moored at the Brooklyn wharf, on an afternoon in October.

“My dear young man,” he said, “I am not even going to look for it.”

The aspiring journalist – Leon Hunter by name – was properly abashed.

“But I thought,” he insisted nevertheless, “that you said you were going to explore the ocean floor under the Sargasso Sea?”

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Get Bent – A Man’s Place

This was a fairly simple case of substitution; for men, I put women and vice versa. So why is it so darn funny?

The old adage still rings true – A man’s place is in the home. Or is it in the stars?

(Based on A Woman’s Place by Mark Irvin Clifton)

A Man’s Place

Based on A Woman’s Place by Mark Irvin Clifton

It was the speaking of Mister Dougie’s name which half roused him from sleep. He eased his angular body into a more comfortable position in the sack. Still more asleep than awake, his mind reflected tartly that in this lifeboat, hurtling away from their wrecked spaceship back to Earth, the sleeping accommodation was quite appropriately named. On another mental level, he tried to hear more of what was being said about him. Naturally, hearing one’s name spoken, one would.

“We’re going to have to tell Mister Dougie as soon as he wakes up.” It was Samantha Eade talking to Lt. Harper–the two women who had escaped with him.

“Yes, Samantha,” the lieutenant answered. “What we’ve suspected all along is pretty definite now.”

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Get Bent – Why Bother?

If you’ve paid attention to science fiction over the past year, you’ve probably heard that the field is in a crisis. The same has been said about society in general. “We’re changing too much!” the sticks-in-the-mud cry. “We’re not changing enough!” the social justice warriors declaim. As usual, both sides are right and both sides are wrong.

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This year, I will be taking part in the National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo as it is known to literary geeks). However, being me [1], I’ll be doing things a bit differently. For example, instead of writing a novel [2] I’ll be writing an anthology. And I won’t really be writing it, unless you consider what Richard Prince does “making art”. What I’ll be doing is transforming old science fiction stories into new science fiction stories [3] by changing the gender dynamics. As for why I’m doing that, that will be my first installment. By the end of the month, I should have ten different tales rejiggered to fit.

In the meantime, sit back, enjoy, and get some popcorn to throw. It is going to be a lumpy write!


[1] I tried being Batman but the line was too long.
[2] It isn’t that I lack ideas; it is that all of my ideas are either under-developed [a] or too derivative [b] and would cause you and me more frustration than they are worth.
[3] Though, as Heinlein once pointed out, that is all any author does. They are just less blatant about it.

[a] A love story between a living man and a ghost set in a universe similar to that of Bujold’s “Chalion” series (i.e., with multiple gods and medieval technology).
[b] A rewriting of The Phantom Of The Opera in a style similar to that of Grendel with dashes of Gary Stu.