Well, actually, this is one of my older stories. But after shopping it around for almost a year now, someone's finally bought and published my sci-fi short "Minutemen." That somebody being Afterburn SF magazine, the same folks who were kind enough to publish one of my first fiction sales ever, "Enemy of My Enemy," back in early 2009.
"Minutemen" came about after me daydreaming, as I often do, about consciousness and orders of magnitude thereof. As a kid, one day I came to the determined resolution that even tiny creatures like ants and roaches had a conscious, and that therefore I should not kill them. Even to this day it is hard for me not to empathize with living creatures of any kind -- be they insect, animal, or even human. And while I do occasionally exercise a bit of pest control around the house, I still feel bad when I do. Spiders, however, I *never* kill. I like spiders. They're calm, patient, and strike only when they must. They prefer to live in dark corners and to be forgotten about, which is fine by me.
In any event, ever since I was a child I would wonder what the tiny bugs are thinking. Do they feel pain? Do they see us bigger folk as gods? Do they sit around the cockroach version of a campfire and tell stories about us? And, in turn, is there some great, omnipotent being out there in the universe that regards us the same way as we do ants? Are we just one big collective annoyance to God, scurrying across His cosmic linoleum kitchen floor? Or are we, instead, instruments of His own agenda? Tools, in fact, that are bereft of His all-encompassing empathy?
Perhaps all of the above. If so, I can't think of any greater irony in the universe, can you?
And so, I bring you the latest incarnation of all this interesting daydreaming. I hope you read the story and like it, even if it's a little weird for your tastes. "Minutemen" is the tale of Earth's first line of defense against a mysterious interplanetary enemy invasion.
And the title, if you can figure it out, is a triple pun . . .
CLICK HERE to read the story.
And please, please, PLEASE leave me a comment letting me know what you think. I live for feedback, if you must know.
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