Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bug-Eyed Monsters and the Women Who Love Them by Cora Buhlert

Release date: November 6, 2015
Subgenre: Retro science fiction, short fiction collection

About Bug-Eyed Monsters and the Women Who Love Them:

Six short science fiction stories that subvert the tropes and clichés of the golden age and caricature the gender dynamics of classic science fiction.

In these pages, you'll travel from suburban America to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. You'll visit New Pluto City and Garrett's World. You'll encounter the terrors of the Brazilian jungle and the horrors of American suburbia. You'll meet phantom lovers and alien she-devils, devious man-eaters, unseen underwater monsters and the tentacled menace of the fearsome Eee'chuk-chi'up. You'll encounter dashing space heroes who don't get the girl and bug-eyed monsters that do. And you'll meet intergalactic heroines who know exactly what they want from a lover.

This is a collection of six satirical science fiction stories of 7700 words or approximately 26 print pages altogether. 



Captain Crash Martigan of the rocket scout squad of New Pluto City was on patrol again, defending the domed city and its inhabitants from the bug-eyed monsters.
Of course, bug-eyed monsters wasn’t their real name. No, the primitive species native to New Pluto had a long and official Latinate name that no one could ever remember. So the colonists took to calling them bug-eyed monsters, because — well — that’s what they looked like.
For reasons only known to themselves, the bug-eyed monsters had taken to attacking New Pluto City and its inhabitants, killing the men and kidnapping the women. Of late, the attacks had gotten out of hand, which was where men like Crash, true heroes of the new frontier of space, came in.
The cockpit alarm chimed, telling Crash that a bug-eyed monster was near. So he landed his flyer, popped open the canopy and jumped out, looking very steely and manly in his gleaming silver spacesuit.
He took his electro-binoculars from his utility belt and scanned his surroundings. And indeed he spotted it. A bug-eyed monster — and a particularly ugly one at that with long, sucker-laden tentacles — was in the process of molesting a dame. And not just any old dame either — not that there were old dames in New Pluto City, considering the cut-off age for female colonists was twenty-six. No, this was a particularly fine specimen of a dame with long golden curls, luminous alabaster skin and a fine figure swathed in a clinging gown of red silk. A clinging gown that the bug-eyed monster was in the process of ripping off her shapely body.
Crash immediately activated his jet pack and raced to the rescue. For whenever there was a dame in danger, Crash would be there to save her like the dashing hero that he was.
As he approached the scene of the kidnapping, Crash noticed that the dame had swooned in the tentacled embrace of the monster. Well, Crash could hardly blame her. After all, women were known to be the weaker sex and this particular bug-eyed monster really was damn ugly.
He took a closer look at the scene through his electro-binoculars and realised that he knew the monster’s victim. Her name was Geraldine Carmichael, Miss Geraldine Carmichael, and she had been newly transferred from Earth to New Pluto City to work as a biologist or psychologist or nurse, some womanly profession at any rate.
Miss Geraldine had already caught Crash’s eye back in the domed city, for she was truly a looker. So far, she had studiously ignored Crash and rebuffed his advances, but all that would change once he’d saved her from the slimy embrace of the bug-eyed monster.
Crash landed on a rock outcropping overlooking the spot where the bug-eyed monster had dragged poor Geraldine.
“Let go off her, fiend,” he yelled and drew his atomic blaster.
“Eee-yip?” the bug-eyed monster said, which Crash decided to take as a challenge.
Miss Geraldine, of course, said nothing. She was unconscious, after all.
Crash fired his blaster, hitting the monster’s tentacle.
“Eeee-Yaaah,” the monster screamed and let go off Miss Geraldine, who promptly tumbled to the ground.
For a split-second, Crash feared that Miss Geraldine was a goner, which would truly be a pity, considering she was such a fine dame. But then she stirred and sat up, shaking her golden curls and pressing a slender hand to her fine sloping forehead.
“Uh, what… what’s going on?”
“You were attacked, Miss,” Crash exclaimed, “But have no fear, for Captain Crash Martigan is here to rescue you.”
Behind Geraldine, the bug-eyed monster was stirring again, its slimy tentacles reaching for the hapless girl.
“Eeee-yuuup,” the monster wailed.
Crash raised his blaster and aimed it at the monster. “Begone, blackguard,” he declared. He would have fired, too, if Geraldine hadn’t suddenly stumbled into his line of fire.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, clearly outraged, “Why are you threatening my boyfriend?”
“Your what?”
“My boyfriend,” Geraldine repeated, “This New Plutonian here is my boyfriend.”

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About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. Cora has been writing since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. When she is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.

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