Do you 1) have a juvenile sense of humor? and 2) think celebrity worship is laughable?
If you answered yes to both the above, you’ll probably enjoy my new short story, “Such Stuff as Stars are Made of,” which you can now read free at Space Squid, the magazine that’s “like uber-famous” for, among other antics, printing an issue on cuneiform clay tablets (Wired story).
I wrote this one while in Hollywood for the Writers of the Future Award, where I was challenged to interview random strangers on the Walk of Fame, then finish a short story in 24 hours. Though I spoke with some truly interesting people, the general Hollywood atmosphere of celebrity worship and fame-chasing struck me as so absurd, when I sat down to write, everything that emerged was equally ridiculous. Crazy in, crazy out.
Years later, the creators of South Park came out with the episode “Turd Burglars,” which has the same plot, except with more Dune references. Trey and Matt, if you are reading this, in lieu of royalties I will accept samples of your spice melange, so I might one day be funny like you.
If any of you lovely readers are brave enough to still want to read this story after my warnings (seriously, if potty humor makes you squeamish, this isn’t the one for you), here’s a fresh sample so you have an inkling of what you’re getting into:
"Stool transplants?" I asked my agent. "Please say you're joking." Angela shook her head. "I swear I'm not making this up. It started with mice. When researchers transferred the stools of outgoing mice into anxious mice, the recipients became more outgoing. And when they gave people fecal transplants for digestive disorders, they found the same thing--recipients take on characteristics of their donors. Point being: the microbes in our guts exert significant influence over our personalities. If you really want to be a star, you need to have star stuff inside you." "You mean star shit." Angela waved her hand dismissively. "Semantics." "How would you get a sample?" "I know a guy, former P.I. It'll just be a matter of figuring out Robert Downey Jr.'s patterns and disabling a toilet."
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you do read “Such Stuff as Stars are Made of,” as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.