Department header
Bewildering Stories

David Marshall writes about...

The Science Fiction Trolls

Once upon a time, Trolls were dim-witted, knuckle-dragging brutes who dwelt within dank crevices beneath bridges, bursting forth only to mark their territory and savage their unfortunate victims.

Trolls were renowned for their crude brutality, insatiable appetites and fathomless stupidity. By their very existence, Trolls deny any possibility of Intelligent Design.

Times have changed, but Trolls haven’t. Not really. Evicted from their transient housing beneath river-spanning infrastructure, they have oozed like toxic waste into the sewers beneath the information superhighway.

One such Troll has begun a self-imposed Crusade to save Science Fiction, regardless of Science Fiction’s own hopes and dreams.

In this Troll’s bloodshot eyes, the hero of any real Science Fiction story can only be a White Heterosexual American Male (or WHAM), who uses Hard Science to solve all problems (without creating any new problems), and thus manifest Human destiny as the only species worthy to rule the galaxy.

Science Fiction stories can possibly include a heroine, as long as she doesn’t get uppity ideas; she’s there as eye-candy in a silver bikini, something tasty for our hero to rescue. A reward for his good deeds. WHAM, bam, thank you Ma’am.

Oh, and maybe a bug-eyed monster, but it must be roadkill by the end of the story. A challenge to be overcome by Hard Science.

Spitting venomous bile from noxious orifices best left to the imagination, this Troll decries any who dare to write or publish works which do not strictly adhere to that ancient formula from the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

With all of Time and Space to soil himself in, it is kind of sad that our Troll has yet to drag himself out of mid-Twentieth Century America. Still, I guess it makes sense; Trolls can’t change, so they resent those who can. The process of change is called evolution, and it gave up on trolls long ago.

The greatest crime one can commit, according to this Troll, is to succeed in Science Fiction on your own terms rather than his. Should you write (or edit) anything that might be seen to use handwavium in place of Hard Science, then you must refer to that story as a Fantasy or a Fable; should you let the words ‘Science Fiction’ pass your lips, then you are polluting the precious bodily fluids of that sacred genre. You evil Dark Lord, you.

Should you soil the heavenly body of Science Fiction with your filthy Fantasies, and in the process win so many Hugo Awards that you now own more shiny rocketships than NASA, you will find that Trolls accept awards as nothing more than proof of poor quality committed with evil intent. (Please note that Trollish Logic is an oxymoron.)

Saving Science Fiction City is the true fictional story of this Troll.

Copyright © 2007 by David Marshall

Home Page