Hertzsprung-Russell rating: B103

Available in: Infinite Dreams

A highly-advanced human mutant catches shit from his muttie brethren for canoodling with a run-of-the-mill homo sapiens female. Apparently, mutants are the Southerners of the future and don’t like miscegenatin’ bloodlines and such. Also, if you’re Jewish and stop at a mutant gas station, they’ll glare at you menacingly with their third infrared eye and tell you telepathically they don’t like your kind ‘round those parts. Also, they’ll sodomize Ned Beatty.


Hertzsprung-Russell rating: F102.5

Available in: The Book Of Gordon Dickson

When aliens land, it ain’t homo sapiens they want to talk to. It’s those fun, fin-tastic chickens of the sea, the dolphins. Humanity cock-blocked by dolphins! I can’t say I’m surprised, though. The dolphins are intelligent, empathetic, and have a real shot at the playoffs now that Matt Moore has recovered from last season’s injury. Humans are kinda shit. We’re dumb, selfish, and any attempt to jury-rig a blowhole in the back of our skulls with a Makita cordless drill and a hand mirror results in yet another visit to the E.R.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A0.1

Available in: The Apes Of Wrath

An ape who apes human thought and behavior waxes homo sapient about his decision to renounce jungle living and dwell amongst men as a famous concert performer. His concert rider? All bananas – absolutely no plantains! Humans and primates actually aren’t that different. Monkeys hurl their feces at each other, while humans voluntarily organize themselves into tightly knit social structures that require close interaction and interdependence to succeed. Either way you’re always dealing with someone else’s shit.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: G103

Available in: The Shout And Other Stories


A young couple meets a hermit who possesses a magical shout (and I don’t mean the stain remover); a bellow so big and bold it drives people insane.  I’m going to shout it from the rooftops – this story is great! Another thing I’m going to shout from the rooftops is for someone to bring me a ladder because the one I used to get up here fell over and now I’m trapped. Also, the roof is dirty and my pants need some ShoutTM. And that time I did mean the stain remover.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A10-3.5

Available in: Tales From Watership Down


I really revere rabbits, and the more rascally they are the more I love reading about them (NOTE: our scifistoryscentury.com intern, Josh, was supposed to change all those r’s to w’s to make the preceding sentence more Elmer Fudd-ish; can we do that please, Josh?) This story, based in the Watership Down universe, follows the further furred adventures of Richard Adams’ beloved lupines (‘lupines’ means ‘wolves’ Josh; ‘lapines’ is rabbits. Can we fix that before we post this entry?) as they search for a new warren before the arrival of a harsh winter. A pretty good story to settle down with – just make sure you tell everyone that you’re trying to read so they have to be wvery wvery quiet! (you’re fired, Josh).

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: B106.5+

Available in: The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame Volume IIB

Rumour has it this story served as the inspiration for Marvel’s X-Men: a psychiatry professor (possibly bald; it’s not explicitly stated that he is, but we have no reason to assume he’s not) discovers a brilliant mutant child (possibly with the innate ability to shoot lasers from his eyes; it’s never alluded to, but we have no reason to assume it couldn’t happen) and encourages him to seek out and band together with other mutant children (possibly to fight Magneto; no such conflict is even hinted at, but we should just go ahead and imagine that’s what the authour intended).  Also, the word SNIKT! appears over 400 times in the story.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: G/K105

Available in: Prayers To Broken Stones

A guy who can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum discovers the true cause of cancer and sets out to destroy it, with horrific results. The problem with being able to see the entire electromagnetic spectrum is that, besides having to hear the music of Aerosmith, you’d have to fucking look at it, too, and I’m fairly certain every song they’ve ever written is shit brown. “Even ‘Pink’?” you ask, incredulous. “Especially ‘Pink’” I reply.