Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
This would work fine, except in terms of success.

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Science Fiction for Cavemen

  [vote for,

A story or novel about events that occur in modern times, written as if by a literate caveman writing science fiction for his/her contemporaries.

"The superects knew nothing about horticulture, having forgotten it all centuries before when their discovery of magical fire seduced them with its power. So Roger awoke today, as he did every seven days in the summer, with thoughts of mounting his man-made cow-spirit and trimming the tops of a small field of grass surrounding his home. But this cow only severed the blades: it consumed no grass and produced no milk."

It needn't be specifically modern times from a caveman perspective; it could be the French Revolution written from an ancient Greek perspective, for instance.

It might be particularly interesting to see one or more of the classics re-written this way.

beauxeault, May 29 2003

Caveman Science Fiction http://www.internet...ngephenomenonq.html
(Or just plain science fiction, depending on your level of scepticism.) [DrCurry, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

"Sci Fi" Cave Paintings http://www.spiritof...ina/images/cave.jpg
[DrCurry, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

for krelnik http://www.wcp-nm.c...images/spaceman.jpg
An astronaut. Or a map. Whatever. [Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Land of Og http://wingnutgames.com/landofog.htm
Prehistoric role-playing game. [Aristotle, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       "Roger". Croissant just for that. Oh, you've gotten rid of the excerpt now...
sild, May 29 2003

       Excerpt reinstated for sild. I had removed it because I thought it wasn't as imaginitive as what I'd like to see from a gifted author.   

       Can someone corroborate DrCurry? If this is truly baked, I'll remove it.
beauxeault, May 29 2003

       I was thinking this would have to be in the form of cave paintings.
krelnik, May 29 2003

       That's been done too, in a way - ever read von Daniken?
DrCurry, May 29 2003

       Cough them up, Curry. I like the sound of this. I want more. If you know stories, tell me the names so I can order them. Otherwise I'll have to hold out for more on the cow-spirit. Points for "every seven days in the summer". That has a ring to it.
bungston, May 29 2003

       "The mighty warriors came to a colorful idol/statue, which could talk without moving its mouth. They spoke of many things, and then the statue bid them farewell, saying, 'would y'all like fries with that?'"
Amos Kito, May 29 2003

       This is a little like Watership Down, which takes place in modern England, but from the perspective of a pre-industrial society.   

       I can’t think of any examples, however, of a story in a modern setting, told from a cave-man point of view, but without caveman characters taking part, which seems to be part of beauxeault’s idea. (Regular science fiction does not always contain present-day characters.)
AO, May 29 2003

       "Interview with a Vampire" might be appropriate as the vampire comes from a period before the modern day interview takes place.
Aristotle, May 29 2003

       Russell Hoban's _Ridley Walker_ is sci fi set in a future where technology has been lost and the folks are primitives. This post-apocalyptic approach is not too uncommon. There is a great short scifi story that I read once which is set in a prehistoric time; our anscestors were super smart scientists but lacked all compassion for one another. There is a great line where the protagonist protests to his colleagues: "Is there nothing more to life than eating, procreation, and the pursuit of scientific knowledge?" Wish I could find that story.
bungston, May 29 2003

       AO is correct. The idea does assume that there are no cavemen characters. I imagined the caveman writing the story in the way Frank Herbert wrote "Dune," for instance: imagining a world in the distant future - but not one where time travel brings that world into the author's present, or vice versa. And of course the literate caveman author is imaginary. But even though I said "writing," the modern author who would obviously do the real writing could just as easily have the fictional ancient or prehistoric author relating a tale that made it through the ages as an oral history.
beauxeault, May 30 2003

       I strongly suspect that would just end up reading like existing accounts of the gods, legends, and fairy tales. (Most legend cycles include an account of the end of the world, which must count as being set in the future.)
DrCurry, May 30 2003

       (from Pluter Visits the Hosp and Other Stories)

...they built great temples of glass, brick and metal. These were the temples of Hosp. If a citizen was injured, or became ill, she would be taken at fantastic speed to the temple, where her clothing would be cut away with double knives, revealing her nakedness to all. Sharp spikes would be driven into her flesh, often with yelling and cursing. I have seen this. I have seen a priest – dressed in white robes splattered with blood and bits of flesh – pounding the chest of a poor citizen, with another priest blowing into her mouth. If, in spite of this foul magic, the citizen did not die, the head priest would take knives and cut the citizen open, sometimes cutting out the heart itself. Only the greatest priests of Hosp were allowed to remove the heart. Although the citizen often died after the ceremony, she would gladly give all of earthy goods to the temple for this privilege.

Priests at competing temples were rewarded according to their imagination. One priest replaced a citizen’s heart with the still beating heart of a murdered man. A second priest replaced a heart with a bit of clockwork, while a third topped the others by taking the heart from an animal, zoografting that into the chest of a man...
pluterday, May 31 2003

       (Blatant lift of @ 1/3 of: Light of Other Days by Bob Shaw)

Leaving the cave behind, we followed the heady sweeps of the path up into a land of slow gas. I had never smelled one of their farts before and at first found them slightly eerie—an effect heightened by imagination and circumstance. The cavewomen were pulling smoothly and quietly in the damp air so that we seemed to be carried over the convolutions of the path in a kind of supernatural silence. On our right the mountain sifted down into an incredibly perfect valley of timeless pine, and everywhere rose the great fumes of slow gas, bending light. An occasional flash of afternoon sunlight on their wind created an illusion of movement, but in fact the winds were slight. The rows of bean eaters had been farting on the hillside for years, seeping into the valley, and men only fanned them in the middle of the night when their human presence would not give away the source of their gas.
They were fascinating, but Mephista and I didn't mention the gasses. I think we hated their stench so much we both were reluctant to sully anything new by drawing it into the nostrils of our noses. The bean festival, I had begun to realize, was a stupid idea in the first place. I had thought it would cure everything, but, of course, it didn't stop Mephista being stagnant and, worst still, it didn't even stop her being angry about being stagnant.
Rationalizing our dismay over her condition, we had circulated the usual statements to the effect that we would have liked having beans—but later on, at the proper time. Mephista's stagnancy had cost us her well-clammed job and with it the new cave we had been negotiating and which was far beyond the reach of my income from rock and roll. But the real source of our annoyance was that we were face to face with the realization that people who say they want beans later always mean they want beans never. Our guts were humming with the knowledge that we, who had thought ourselves so unique, had fallen into the same biological trap as every mindless farting creature which ever existed.
thumbwax, May 31 2003

       // account of the end of the world, which must count as being set in the future //   

       Nah. End of world has come & gone; insufficiently impressive. Will likely repeat.
lurch, May 31 2003

       Quoting as best as I can recall: "THE SHORTEST SCIENCE FICTION STORY EVER TOLD -- The world ended. Yesterday."
pluterday, May 31 2003


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