‘Arvies’ Imagines a World Ruled by Fetuses


The story of Adam-Troy Castro “Arvies”, first published in the August 2010 issue of Speed ​​of light magazine, imagine a society that believes that only fetuses have souls. One consequence of this is that it is normal for people to use advanced technology to never get out of the womb.

“There are two types of people in this story: fetuses and‘ arvias ’, with whom they walk and have fun and are regularly replaced,” Castro says in episode 519 of Geek Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “[The story] it bounces back and forth between the point of view of one of these fetuses and those in which you go to the basically meaningless woman, by design, whose destiny is to carry her around. “

“Arvies” was a huge success for Castro, winning the 2011 Million Writers Award for Best Short Story and appearing in books such as Presentation of the Nebula Awards: 2012 i Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: 2011. “That was a big story in my career,” Castro says. “I wrote it in an unusual style and it attracted a lot of attention. It received a lot of international attention, which was gratifying. I love it very, very much. I still think it’s one of the top five stories I’ve ever made. “

But not everyone loved “Arvies.” Many readers were discouraged by the macabre premise or chose to read the story as a commentary on abortion, an idea Castro rejects. “A lot of people thought that particular story was cold; a lot of people thought it was too dark, ”he says. “Okay. You don’t like this one; you might like the next one.

Castro is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to horror fiction. He is a talent who has perfected for over 30 years writing stories such as “Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs”, about a tourist paradise that suffers a genocidal invasion every 10 days, or “The Shallow End of the Pool” , about a toxic couple who have raised their children to fight each other to the death.

“You have to feel any emotional response that the story is supposed to provide to the reader,” Castro says. “If it’s a funny story, you have to laugh like crazy when you write it. If it’s a suspense story, you have to be on the edge of your seat, not knowing how things will go. If it has to be horrible, you have to ask yourself, ‘My God, is it okay for these things to come out of me?’ ”

Listen to the full interview with Adam-Troy Castro in episode 519 of Geek Guide to the Galaxy (on top). And look at some of the highlights of the discussion below.

Adam-Troy Castro on his story “The author’s wife against the giant robot”:

[My wife Judi] I read almost all of my stories before submitting them. This particular story, about a giant robot that basically lives in the middle of Manhattan and randomly kills a person every day, was a writing exercise about mortality. Judi found a lot of logical issues with this, and my conversations with her were so fantastic that I almost texted them when I wrote the story, and they helped guide the story … It’s very ironic for me that with the death of Judi, this story is a kind of comment about it, because the giant robot caught it at random. This happens to us all; we all have a story like that. And it’s unfortunate, but that’s what life is all about, and that’s what history is all about.

Adam-Troy Castro to the fandom:

I went to a couple of dispersers [science-fiction] conventions as early as 10 or 12 years of age. When I was about that age, there was a convention called Lunacon, which was usually held at the Commodore Hotel, I think, in New York City. The only thing that interested me about that convention — literally all of it — was that Isaac Asimov would give a speech on Saturday at 2 p.m. So I would buy a subscription and go to that convention just to hear that speech. I did not attend any other panel. I would show up and sit down at that speech, look at that speech, greet Asimov, whom I could tell I might have felt like a bad kid in the ass, and then maybe I would have introduced myself to the dealer’s room. little bit. But then I left.

Adam-Troy Castro on Harlan Ellison:

I acknowledge that people have their reasons for not liking it or for disapproving it, or, forgive me the sentence, I disagree with the sentence, for trying to “cancel it,” but my response to that is, you do not discover yourself. 30 years of friendship or 50 years of literary admiration. You can’t do that. It’s very easy for younger people to do this when he meant nothing to them … I assure everyone who hears this, and it’s not me who makes an excuse for Harlan, it’s me who tells them something about life , which is that if your iconic figures live long enough, there will come a day when you will have to apologize for them, and if you live long enough, you will disconnect and lose the respect of people younger than you. It happens. It is part of being alive.

Adam-Troy Castro on his story “The Old Horror Writer”:

When the Frankenstein monster first appeared on screen played by Boris Karloff, the first sight of his face was enough to faint people in the theater. Right now it doesn’t have that effect on anyone. We see many more horrible monsters on CGI every day. In fact, 15 years later the Frankenstein monster was chasing Lou Costello. Monsters are muddy by horror fiction. Now it is very, very difficult to write a scary vampire story. Diadi, there is a zombie movie called Faith in which [the zombie] is the pet of a child. It has been a musical. I think that’s one of the things that drove him [“The Old Horror Writer”]. That’s what the story was about, and finally, this is the old horror writer’s success in this story.


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