Love, Murder & Mayhem – Being Treated Unfairly in a Sci-Fi World

By Meriah Crawford

Brace yourself for some shocking news: life is unfair. You may have noticed that it’s the people who have life the easiest who tend to focus the most on life’s injustices. This is probably because those people are used to either being treated fairly as a matter of course, or being given unfair advantages. After a while, people like that come to accept injustice in their favor as their natural due.

The bad news is, those people can be ridiculously annoying whiners. The good news is, sometimes they post to social media about it, and we get to laugh at them:

Today, though, I don’t want to talk about that sort of dire injustice. Instead, I want to focus on the ways in which life is unjust and unfair to me, personally. For example:

  1. It is extremely unlikely that we will accomplish manned interstellar travel in my lifetime.
  2. It is essentially impossible, therefore, that I will ever serve on an interstellar starship.
  3. Though the technological challenges are fall smaller and more surmountable, and with a much shorter time frame, it’s still incredibly unlikely that I will travel to the moon or Mars, whether as a tourist or a colonist. (Though I feel I should note for any NASA officials reading this post that I am a fine gardener, and have a strong multi-year record of success at growing potatoes in the honestly rather sketchy soil in my backyard.)
  4. The chances of my participation in first contact with aliens is either less unlikely or vastly more unlikely than numbers 1 through 3 above, depending on unknown data. To wit: the proximity of aliens who have the capability of interstellar travel along with a fascination for backward, somewhat vicious societies. But regardless, it’s still quite unlikely. And this is a tragedy, because I would be awesome at first contact. I know, because I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. And it would be so damn cool.
  5. I also find it both deeply unjust and ironic (for reasons that will be obvious if you read my story) that reptilian aliens are so often the villains in sci-fi, because I like reptiles. I find it significantly less likely than most authors, it would seem, that lizardy aliens would aim to kill and, potentially, eat us. And yet…well, I suppose some of them would. And that would be unfair, if it happened to me. (Or you, really. Depending on your understanding of what is and isn’t fair.)

Anyway, I hope you’ll read my story, “Speedeth All”, which appears in the Love, Murder & Mayhem anthology from Crazy 8 Press, and is on sale now. If you think about it, it would be totally unfair to me if you didn’t.

Love, Murder & Mayhem is now available for sale both in print and ebook formats.

Meriah Lysistrata Crawford is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a private investigator, writer, and editor. She has published short stories in several genres, a novella, essays, a variety of scholarly work, two poems, and co-edited the anthology Trust and Treachery: Tales of Power and Intrigue. Meriah has an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, and a PhD from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Literature and Criticism program. Her work as a PI, spanning over fourteen years, has included investigations of shootings, murders, burglary, insurance fraud, backgrounds, counterfeit merchandise, patent infringement, and missing persons.

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