What is the name of this really disturbing science fiction short story?
June 25, 2010 10:10 AM   Subscribe

What is the name of this really disturbing science fiction short story? (potentially NSFW description)

It's been a really long time since I've read it, so I don't remember much. All I remember is that it's set on another planet, occupied by humans, and it is revealed that small, native animals -- one particular species -- are being used as... well... "pocket pussies" by some of the human characters. This interspecies rape is hurting or killing the creatures.

Any help?
posted by brundlefly to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I totally remember reading this story! I don't remember the name, so I'm no help, but I can confirm that you aren't making this up. Have you checked those anthologies (eg Dangerous Visions, etc) that focused on edgier writing?
posted by Forktine at 10:28 AM on June 25, 2010

This sounds like "How's the NightLife on Cissalda?" by Harlan Ellison, from 1977. But the dénouement is different than you're describing -- the small creatures essentially wreck Earth society because humans can't stop fucking them and the world grinds to a halt.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:30 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: That's "All My Darling Daughters" from Connie Willis' Fire Watch collection.
posted by hought20 at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: Sounds like a Connie Willis short story I read. I'm pretty sure it was in "Fire Watch," possibly "All My Darling Daughters."

It haunted me for years. It is the only piece of writing I've banned from my house, because I can't sleep under the same roof.
posted by QIbHom at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: No, I haven't! Can you suggest any other anthologies in that vein?
posted by brundlefly at 10:32 AM on June 25, 2010

I am fairly certain this is not what you read, but William Barton wrote a book called Acts of Conscience which featured this theme. A human stumbles across an alien race ("Wolves") which has subjugated another sapient race ("Dollies") on the planet, to the point where they are used for both food and sex toys. The Dollies have developed a religion of sorts around being devoured and are even used in an attempt to seduce humans, as they are humanoid.

It wouldn't shock me if you could use Acts of Conscience as a touchpoint for searching for stories with similar themes.
posted by adipocere at 10:32 AM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: "All My Darling Daughters" is it!
posted by brundlefly at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2010

brundlefly, if you haven't read James Tiptree, Jr., you probably would like a lot of her stuff. She deals with these themes a lot.
posted by QIbHom at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I've heard of Tiptree, but never gotten around to reading her. I'll have to add her to my list.
posted by brundlefly at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2010

Dangerous Visons (note that there was also a second volume, as well as a supposed third which never appeared).
posted by Forktine at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2010

Also, Interzone tends to have more edgy stories than the US magazines.
posted by QIbHom at 10:46 AM on June 25, 2010

Ursula K. LeGuin's The Word for World Is Forest is similar (if slightly less disturbing).
posted by Kattullus at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2010

All My Darling Daughters is also available in Willis' collection, The Winds of Marble Arch, which is also available in an audio version here.
posted by marsha56 at 2:55 PM on June 25, 2010

Seconding -- or thirding -- Tiptree. Great writing. She was one of a kind.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2010

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