Chip’s Six Attempts At Popularity by Jake Kerr is the kind of story that every science fiction, comic book, fantasy or any other flavor of nerd has played out in his head. It is the penultimate reproduction of a fantasy that has haunted us for generations, from the teenage arenas of high-school to the blood-caked social grinder of our daily lives to this day.
I swear to God, baby, this time, this time I’m gonna get it right!
Be stronger, faster, more popular. Be in better shape, richer, a better driver, a better scrapper, a better lover; be the man you want to be, the unattainable mythical creature that YOU always believed you deserved to be. Be a star, a demigod but God forbid you are ever just…you.
The fruits of labours that could have been.
Chip’s Six Attempts moved me in the way a mack truck can move a kid’s trike. It stuck me head-on and sent me careening for a half-hundred meters, screaming across the asphalt, all the while thinking: good lord, am I an idiot.
This is the kind of story that proves that good scifi is a satire on our current way of thinking: how we can never be truly ever happy with who we are: how we wish we could just…zip across history with a time machine and make everything so, so much better for ourselves. But would we, really? Would we have earned this glory and this majesty or would we have just wallowed in our personal misery, making up excuses to go back and fix everything, secretly longing we were just who we were in the first place?
Man is a miserable beast, never truly content with his lot until he is forced to stare at it in the face. Jake Kerr makes sure he rubs our faces in it and for that, I salute him.
- 3000 words…of wisdom
- When Jake Kerr isn’t making awesome scifi, he’s uploading his stream of consciousness on http://www.jakekerr.com/
- I’d totally pick him as a time travel buddy.
- You can read the story on Wayline Magazine, here.
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). There, you can find comic book and movie reviews, a collection of his short stories as well as lots of other (slightly unrelated) articles to while away the time. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a supervillain because he like, didn’t need your laws, man. He got over it when he got older.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org