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Goddamn Meaning of Life

By Dogu Yucel All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Scifi

Blurb

The flying saucers have suddenly appeared over the eight cities of the world. After a while, it's been understood that these aliens are on a mission from God. And now they promise to reveal the ultimate secret of the universe: The meaning of life!

I. Uninvited Guests

It was a columnist who had made the most apt comparison: he’d compared the flying saucers’ visit to a simultaneous police operation. Indeed, how else could you describe the spaceships’ perfectly choreographed appearance in the skies of eight cities at exactly the same moment? These cities were Mecca, Rome, Jerusalem, Lumbini, Varanasi, San Francisco, Tai’an and Birmingham, England. There must have been a reason for choosing precisely them.

Before long, journalists had managed to find out what six of them had in common: they were all religious centres. Mecca was the holy city of Islam, the Vatican, the centre of Catholicism, and Jerusalem, the holy city of Judaism. They were the easy ones. The other three were more difficult. Lumbini, as the birthplace of the Buddha, was regarded as the beating heart of Buddhism. Varanasi was one the holiest cities for Hindus, while just outside Tai’an was Mount Tai, the principal place of worship for Taoism.

Fine, but what did San Francisco and Birmingham have to do with these holy places? That was solved by a cinema writer and a music critic: San Francisco was where Lucasfilm, the company that had produced Star Wars, had its headquarters, in the exact area where the flying saucers appeared, while Birmingham was where Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, the founding groups of heavy metal, hailed from. Recently, surveys listing the percentages of different religions in the population of the world showed Jediism, the belief system from the Star Wars universe, and heavy metal as being among the most popular religions. Our visitors from outer space must have taken these survey results too seriously.

The flying saucers weren’t as big as they are in films. They resembled white American footballs and were the size of a swimming pool. There were two in each city and they were hovering side by side a short distance from each other, two ovals with a luminous orb right in the middle. Seen from afar, they looked like a pair of eyes floating in the air.

For two days, these eyes peeped at humanity from their place in the sky without so much as blinking.

There was another way in which the comparison with a simultaneous police operation perfectly corresponded with what was going on. When the intelligent lifeforms’ conspicuous spaceships started watching people with their giant eyes, the initial feelings of surprise, fear and awe soon gave way to shame. People turned as crimson as a politician caught half naked in a prostitution raid. And that was no figure of speech: when you looked at people, you really could see the scarlet shadow of shame on their cheeks. The unidentified flying objects had caused an all too identifiable shame that wasn’t flying off anywhere. Like a visitor showing up out of the blue and putting the host in an awkward situation because the living room is untidy, the aliens’ surprise visit had lain bare all the dirt, dust and grime in the living room of humanity. It was the TV programmes that had the biggest field day with this period of self-questioning and navel gazing, of course. The foundations upon which the life of the world rested, such as national policies, forms of government, religions, social order, the economic system, education and the family were the centrepiece of discussion programmes for once; maybe it was the first time on prime time TV that humanity was questioning the choices that it had made.


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Madison O'Neal: Although the book may be good the grammar is horrid and it's hard to concentrate on the story when having to correct the mistakes of the author I suggest the author go back and correct things to improve the enjoyment of the book overall and the app should proof read things before they are publish...

cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...

Dru83: This is probably the fourth time I've read this one. I read this a few times on fictionpress as dru83. This is a wonderful story. It still needs a lot of shining up as there are many instances of punctuation issues, grammar issues, and issues with using the wrong word. But all that still can't ta...

Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...

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Remini UDA: I would like to firstly admit I do not like the romance genre, it's not something I tend to read and as such I did not complete the whole story and only made it to chapter 15. Whether that affects this review is for you to consider.The Unknown Variant is a very well written book, as a reader I wa...

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