As you can imagine, with an opening line like No shit there I was, we got a number of submissions from writers who took it a bit literally. And I’m not going to lie, the best of those stories are represented in the anthology. I’M ONLY HUMAN, PEOPLE, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME.
Devyani went a step beyond though, a free association from shit to farts to butts to the planet Uranus, and the results are hilarious. (In our heart of hearts lives a five year old child.) The gassy heroine of Uranus Calling, Tina, receives an urgent distress call from Uranus (no, really) and must produce a Clever Plan to save the planet from a terrible fate after flying there in her inflatable spaceship with her obnoxious cousin Tommy.
The absolute charm of this story goes far beyond giggling at some well-timed fart jokes. If you, like those of us on the anthology crew, grew up reading Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, there’s an immediate mental connection between Tina’s tale and the Adventures of Spaceman Spiff. Tina and Tommy’s trip out to Uranus has that same feeling of imaginative illogic that we found with Calvin, and you’re never quite sure if the adventure is real, or if any moment Tina’s mom is going to come out of the house and yell at the kids to come in and have dinner, and please stop farting on each other, it’s not funny.
(Mom’s wrong. It’s very funny.)
Uranus Calling pins the silly end of the tonal spectrum for the anthology. It’s all in good-natured fun. I’d say it was clean fun too, but you should probably wash your hands first.