What happens when you try to Gerrymander aliens? John Scalzi explains

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Democracy will be no less dysfunctional once we have a myriad of alien species living among us, according to John Scalzi's new story "An Election." Scalzi's tale doesn't just celebrate voting, it also invents a new publishing model.

A human tries to run for City Council in a majority-alien district, in Scalzi's demented story. Yes, we still have Gerrymandering once we're living among actual giant salamanders, and whatnot.


"An Election" is being published by Subterranean Press on Scalzi's own blog. It's a radical new publishing idea — Subterranean is paying Scalzi for the story, but he's posting it on his own blog, Whatever, with some ads for Subterranean books scattered here and there. As far as we know, it's never been done before.

Here's how the story starts — if you've ever wondered how a giant bug would do against a city bus, now's your chance to find out:

David Sawyer walked into the kitchen of his townhouse and thrust his tablet at his husband James.

"I'm running for city council," he said.

James neither took the tablet nor looked up from his coffee and toast. "The elections were last month," he said. "And we already have a councilman. Please inform those responsible for maintaining your information bubble that they are falling down on the job."

"We had a councilman," David said. "Note the tense." He thrust the tablet at James again.

James took it, frowning. "Councilman Krugg is dead? When did that happen?"

"Last night," David said. "He's been molting and he went out before his new carapace stiffened up. Was talking on his phone and not paying attention and walked in front of a bus. They say the death was instant."

"And messy," James said, glancing at the picture accompanying the story.

"He should have stayed off the streets until his carapace grew in," David said.

"When you walk in front of a bus I don't think a full suit of chitin is going to help you much," James said. "As a general rule when it's a city bus versus any biological creature, it's safe to bet on the bus."


Check out the rest over at the link.

Top image: Salari Ika Lifesize, by Kozik. [Whatever]