James Morrow. Affirmative Auction. (Fantasy & Science Fiction Sept/Oct 2013)

fsf130910A story from Morrow which you may find funny if you embrace the concept of aliens visiting Earth and mistaking a slave auction in the early 19th century for a college enrollment that is taking place on the basis of colour and not merit, and mistaking chains and manacles for jewellery. Oh, and Africans just taken as slaves speaking in what passes for contemporary black street talk.

For my money the pun in the title isn’t enough to carry a whole story. Whilst for the opening paragraph or two it had a hint of the Douglas Adams about it, the rest of the story was quite broad humour, and you would need a lot more depth, biting satire, than the one example of that towards the end of the story – a reference to a race committing themselves to socialized medicine and the environment in contravention of the gospel : now that would be a story I’d like to read.

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