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The Bloody Herring

A Gilbert and Sullivan Space Fantasy

Phyllis Ann Karr (Author)

A Fantasy Historical Romance of the First Decade of Papa’s Pride, by Clea Ortiz Newcome—but actually a Gilbert & Sullivan Fantasy in Space Opera Framework, by Phyllis Ann Karr!

Some have told me that the events of Ship Years 8 and 9 were far too terrible to use as underpinning for a light fantasy romance, and one that in any case can appeal chiefly to the hundred or so avid Savoyards in the ship’s population. My response is that light treatment has been among humanity’s most effective defense mechanisms for dealing with disaster, probably since our race became recognizably human back in Old Earth’s paleolithic; and that Savoy enthusiasm is as precious in Papa’s Pride as any other artifact of our Old Earth heritage.

In any case, these things lie more than half a century in our own past, and if half a century does not make them fair game for historical fantasy, what does? Is the past not the past, whether ten or ten thousand years ago, whether back on Old Earth or out here in our great colony starship of twenty-four pylons revolving around a vast central core?

While retaining the names of such entities as the Antique Terra Theater, which had not yet split into the Order-sponsored Old Earth Company and the committee-sponsored Players to the Stars, with their respective screenplay arms Universal Aspirations and Pride Productions, I have fictionalized the names and other aspects of individuals actually involved in Chuck Wang’s crime — the worst ever perpetrated and, we hope, ever to be perpetrated in Papa’s Pride. I have added some completely fictional people to the cast, omitted many historical figures entirely, and somewhat condensed, even rearranged, certain of the events. There were never any deliberate murders connected with Wang’s outrage, at least as far as we know. Shipnet will make it very easy for interested readers to collate my tale with as much as we have of the truth.

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