Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Monkey Talk / T. Lucas Earle

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Science Fiction/Short Story

Approximate word count: 4-5,000 words

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“T. Lucas Earle is a writer and filmmaker. T. Lucas has a degree in Film Production from Emerson College, and currently works as a script reader in LA. His stories have been published in Electric Spec and The Colored Lens. T. Lucas also writes two blogs and reviews television pilots for Blogcritics. His dark comedy, Abduction, was premiered in the 2013 LA Shorts Film Fest.”


“Loosely based on the Chinese myth, the Monkey King, a timeless story about who belongs, and who doesn’t. In a future in which Chimps can give lectures on cybernetics, Mr. Towry is a Chimp with an attitude.”


Reviewing a short story presents challenges that are unique to the form. At least part of that is saying something meaningful, yet not too vague, without giving away too much of the plot. If I was familiar with the Chinese myth of the Monkey King the description says this is based on, I could riff on that. But I’m not.

Apparently (cribbing from the description again) that Chineese myth has something to do with “who belongs, and who doesn’t.” The interesting thing is, I could argue that Monkey Talk could be interpreted two different ways. First, in a world where a chimp can be an accomplished scientist like Mr Towry, where he and his fellow apes are arguably more evolved than humans, the obvious lesson is that being different doesn’t mean you don’t belong. However, as Mr Towry argues to his new human assistant, “we’re all animals,” and the story gives enough ammunition to someone so inclined to make the claim that Towry isn’t as evolved as he’d like us to think and doesn’t really belong. I’m going for the first interpretation, but think that leaving room for either interpretation is a positive and makes the story more thought provoking.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four stars

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