Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Bullfrog Radio Astronomy Project

Short Story by Brad R. Torgersen

A story with a done-before comedy plot, that then takes said comedy plot entirely seriously. Our hero operates a small radio station in the desert, with some extra financing from a reclusive millionaire. The rich man has built his own radio telescope and uses the radio broadcast to provide a more interesting signal into space. One day, the FCC comes knocking, and the protagonist's world is changed forever. It isn't quite as obvious as you might think, but only barely.

Besides the obvious problem in logic that Earth is already broadcasting plenty of material out into space and we don't really need privately funded enterprises to be noticed if any aliens are listening, what strikes me most is just how earnest this story is with a premise where the only originality to it is not being comedic. The writing is good, and the setting well drawn, but the idea is nothing special and the climax is about as anticlimactic as possible. And it doesn't even make any sense either.

2 FCC complaints out of 5.

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