You may recall this brief news item from 2017, about “adolescent female monkeys in Japan engaging in sexual behaviors with adult deer”:
(Aside: Is anyone else weirded out that the deer always look at the camera? That doesn’t seem like happenstance. Like… is it… is it part of the kink for them? ’cause that makes me sorta feel… like, I don’t want to be made a part of this without my consent. That’s all I’m saying. I do not consent to this.)
Japanese macaques are known to ride deer like humans ride horses, for fun or transportation — behavior the deer seem to tolerate in exchange for grooming and discarded food.
So, just an FYI: Japanese monkeys are in the midst of domesticating deer—you know, for fun, or transportation, or (as we did before them) to increase their travel range and capacity to haul loads. Loads, like, I dunno, the lifeless bodies of the defenseless denizens of Tokyo, after marauding teen-nympho sex monkeys start raiding that once grand metropolis, charging in under cover of night astride their deer consorts, cutting us down, smashing our skulls, and feasting on the goo within!!! IT’S IN REVELATIONS, PEOPLE!!!
Anyway, point being there are are only two ways this story ends, and neither of them is good. Our future is either this:
(first posted back in Dec 2017; lightly revised since. no updates on macaque progress toward world domination)
I tweeted about this a bit earlier this week, when Google alerted me to the existence of this cryptic (to me) web page, which appears to be a ballot for a “Japanese Nebula Award” with one of my stories in the running for “Best Translated Short Story.”
As it turns out, this is an actual thing, and sort of a big deal. (It’s called the “Seiun Award” in English—and evidently has nothing to do with the SFWA Nebula Award; the Seiun Award is named for Japan’s first SF magazine.)
A quick glance at that Wikipedia entry shows that, if my story should win, I will be the least famous cat to ever get one of these awards—and by a very significant margin. Which is to say, I’m not going to win. Still, it’s fun to be nominated. (Also, how the hell is it that I don’t have a Wikipedia page? This is at least the third page that mentions me and deadlinks my name. The ISFDB, on the other hand, is hitting this out of the park. Well done!)
Anyway, if you’re wondering what all the shouting is about, you can read the story—my first Time Portal tale, “The New Guys Always Work Overtime,” winner of a 2013 Asimov’s Award(!!!)—for just 99 cents.
Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a “barbarian” ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy: that a ragtag crew of criminals encountered a forbidden Japan at the height of its feudal isolation.
The “samurai accounts” listed above included watercolor sketches made by Makita Hamaguchi, who was sent to investigate the interlopers and their “unbearable stench.”
What really gets me, though, is the detail of the dog in this sketch, which Hamaguchi noted “did not look like food. It looked like a pet.”