Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Adam-Troy Castro's "Arvies" (short story, horror, free): An extreme form of slavery

Caution: This is a very dark story, intended primarily to shock, with extreme cruelty - in line with Piers Anthony's "In the Barn" (download) & Arthur Clarke's "The Parasite" (Clarke's is a much milder variant but in the same spirit).

From the two or three other stories I've read of the author so far, I've been carrying the impression that his stories are too targeted to US readers, & will likely have a very different effect on readers from elsewhere - sometimes leaving them indifferent. This one doesn't use anything obviously US-specific, but from comments on the story elsewhere, I get a feeling it satirizes the subject matter of some current debate there.

Story summary.

Humanity is divided into two groups - masters will forever physically live as fetuses (who wants to go through the trauma of being born!), slaves are the hosts implanted with master fetuses! And we see extreme abuse of slaves.

Fact sheet.

First published: Lightspeed, #3 (August 2010).
Download full text from publisher's site.
[via Rich Horton]
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Adam-Troy Castro.