Alienation by Robert Pritchard is Borjesian-style science fiction, in the style of T’Lon or Ulqbar, featuring linguistic invasions, reality altering and mouth-watering weirdness.
R. Z. Markson is not a real person, but I envy him.
R.Z. Markson is a science fiction author, a conspiracy nut and an overall weirdo-magnet. In his travels, he has had a chance to speak with scholars, academian and others who have come in contact with the xeno-language known as LingCos, theorized to be the language of God Himself. In his investigations, R.Z. begins to realize that he might well be the only survivor of a subtle cultural alien invasion.
Or maybe he is just insane.
This is the story of how I became the last man on Earth.
Alienation is a strange little case. First off, it is weird, but in Borjesian style, which means that while it is beautifully written and well constructed, it could put a lot of people off with its odd narrative. The story works with ambiguity, presenting a solid case of both the narrator’s possible insanity, as well as the ery real possibility of a noetic invasion that has annihilated human civilization as we know it.
Seeing as how this story is the best applied example of reproducing Ulqbar (one of my favorite stories by Borjes) I abolutely loved it and cannot recommend it more. I can’t however, help but feel a bit disappointed by its ending, which tries to force a twist that ruins an otherwise excellent setup.
- 2500 words
- Robert Pritchard has dedicated his life to weirdness, with ocassional fits of banality. Visit his website, here.
- Alienation is good. Grant Morisson on the first three issues of Doom Patrol, good.
- Read the story online, on Betwixt magazine!
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). He’s also hard at work writing a book about Mongols in Zastavas, tearing through Asia all the way to your back yard. He has been offered a chance to know the moment of his demise, which he described as ‘hilarious’.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org