Junk Wars

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Ellie finally looked up at him then, her long dark hair framing a face that only rarely showed annoyance. “Jay, if I hear you mention Antarctica one more time then so help me God I will scream. They put the price of gas up, you’re going to move to Antarctica. They close the local library, you’re going to move to Antarctica. They stop making your favourite ice cream, you’re going to move to Antarctica. You wouldn’t even know how to get there, let alone how to live there once you made it! We are not moving to Antarctica, not for any reason, and certainly not to avoid the junk mail! So just live with it, okay? I don’t know where those machines of yours have got to, but it doesn’t matter. They probably got lost somewhere. Now put it down to experience and don’t get yourself so agitated.”

Jay slammed the mail onto the table, taking no notice as half of it fell to the floor, and clenched his fists. “I am not getting agitated!”

This one stemmed from a protracted daydreaming session on a beach in Dorset, having just read the part of Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Big Country” where he talks about the unbelievable amount of junk mail the average US household receives. The train of thought went something like: How could you stop junk mail? What kind of technology could you use to kill off junk mail in transit? And what would happen if the people sending the junk mail got their hands on that technology too?

Cue a fairly short humorous story of self-replicating ad campaigns battling each other for world domination and slowly taking over the Earth. No highbrow SF ideas or dark cosmic horrors here, just plain old suspension of disbelief.

“Junk Wars” sold to the Canadian SF magazine Neo-Opsis in 2007.

Reviews and Accolades

24-Jan-2008: Review posted here at The Fix online, by Marshall Payne.

…A good helping of suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy “Junk Wars,” but nevertheless, I did.


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