Short Science Fiction Story Review – Brian W Aldiss – Pogsmith
1955 - Spoiler alerts
Aldiss is often darkly serious in his story-telling but he could also let his hair down to write something shamelessly silly, as with Pogsmith.
Here, a bickering married couple win tickets to visit an interplanetary zoo, guided round by an alien zoo-keeper.
The main attraction is the only known Pogsmith in captivity, named after a human it disguised itself to escape its own World, leaving the real Pogsmith there to die. It is now pretending to be its own feeding bucket, but its actual shape is pig-like and cute.
The couple wonder if the creature is escaping again, and if each other might even be the Pogsmith.
A silly tale, told shamelessly tongue in cheek with knowing nods to many of the genre’s clichés. Many such clichés are still familiar to the genre to this day too.
Image Credit » An alien in Manchesters Bar 21 taken by me