By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Short Science Fiction Story Review – Brian W Aldiss – Pogsmith

1955 - Spoiler alerts

Aldiss is often darkly serious in his story-telling but he could also let his hair down to write something shamelessly silly, as with Pogsmith.

Here, a bickering married couple win tickets to visit an interplanetary zoo, guided round by an alien zoo-keeper.

The main attraction is the only known Pogsmith in captivity, named after a human it disguised itself to escape its own World, leaving the real Pogsmith there to die. It is now pretending to be its own feeding bucket, but its actual shape is pig-like and cute.

The couple wonder if the creature is escaping again, and if each other might even be the Pogsmith.

A silly tale, told shamelessly tongue in cheek with knowing nods to many of the genre’s clichés. Many such clichés are still familiar to the genre to this day too.

Arthur Chappell

Image Credit » An alien in Manchesters Bar 21 taken by me

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MelissaE wrote on January 27, 2015, 4:12 PM

This reminds me of "Zoo" (I can't remember the writer). Humans are visiting these aliens who are being transported around the galaxy and shown as zoo animals. At the end of the story, you realize that it's the aliens who paid to travel to Earth to see the humans in their natural habitat.

arthurchappell wrote on January 27, 2015, 4:54 PM

I think that is the Edward D Hotch story &Melissa - similar idea of confusion as to who is observing who

arthurchappell wrote on January 27, 2015, 4:55 PM

My reply should be addressed to MelissaE

inertia4 wrote on January 27, 2015, 8:02 PM

arthurchappell Sounds interesting. I never read any of his work. I am intrigued by aliens, always have been. I am now going to look for Brian Adliss and start reading.

arthurchappell wrote on January 27, 2015, 9:11 PM

Aldiss is one of the greats - the movie AI (Artificial Intelligence) by Spielberg was loosely based on one of his stories

inertia4 wrote on January 27, 2015, 10:11 PM

arthurchappell I saw that movie and thought it was real good. Nice!!! I will be reading him.

Maplewinter wrote on January 28, 2015, 5:43 AM

This sounds like the sort of tale that I would enjoy. I will have to look it up and see if i can get it on my Kobo.