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Cage Match!

Alien Space Bats versus Talking Squids in Outer Space: the burning question is, who wins?



Who Will WIN ?

Vampire Publishers ! That is to say a Secret Society of Empathic VAMPYRES who Thrive on Human Misery and Who DOMINATE the Publishing Business.

Only the Friendly Talking Squids From Outer Space can Save Us from the Monsters who have devised such Genres as you can find in the section of my local W.H. Smiths that is labeled " Tragic Lives '


hey im reading atrocity archives and i think there doing that scrambling an egg without breaking the shell to my brain. i think plastic wins


Both entries so far are disqualified on the grounds that their side isn't in the cage match.


You fool! Do you not know that ASBs and TSiOSs must never be placed in the same room together? Even the merest possibility of crossbreeding into an Alien Bat-Squid From Outer Space is too horrible to contemplate!

OTOH, ABSfOSs are fundamentally antipathetic to sparkling vampires, so we'd probably come out ahead in the long run.


Clearly the squids do! After all, in outer space they propel themselves with jets. Space bats need at least a little gravity to fly. (The four forces of flight include gravity, there's no lift without it!)

So, since they're more maneuverable, the squids will have the strong advantage.


They hit each other so hard they FUSE, creating a bat-winged squid god. Your defiance of the laws of man, nature and (squamous, rugose) god have doomed us all. =[



I'm with JsD. Any working symbiosis requires that the two entities are able to punish each other for cheating. Any cage match provides that, so....

You fool! By placing them in a cage, you've created the perfect conditions for that symbiosis to happen.


Cthulhu fthagn!


In the light, no technological weapons? Flying in a cage is little use against a creature with ten tentacles. (Tangozulu, I would presume the bats can use their wings in microgravity like a cuttlefish does to propel itself) Beaks are nastier than teeth. Hooks and suckers on the tentacles that would rip wings to shreds in short order. I'll go for the squids.


We all do. :)


@5: I've got to side with the Alien Space Bats. In outer space, no one can hear squids talk. (And who wants to listen to a mollusk anyway?)


No no no. Surely the winner is the author who sells millions of copies of the book telling the story of the epic battle? (Hint, you can find space in your current schedule can't you Charlie?)


"In space, no one can hear you squid."


It's the SF coat of arms. A spherical cow, supported on one side by an Alien Space Bat and on the other by a talking squid, with the motto "As you know, Bob..." The squid holds a Hugo in one of its tentacles, like the trident on a naval coat of arms.

Hey, the British Crown's arms do include an alien...


If we're allowing cuttlefish and octopi, then Squids Win. What do bats have? Wings? feh. Give me cephalopods! What's better than tentacles and bioluminescent skin that can change color and texture to camouflage itself or show emotion? And jet propulsion, and ink, and some intelligence, and...

Of course, MacLeod's done both. Don't remember the squids talking, though. ASB manned (batted?) ship with squid navigators? Other way 'round and the bats'll get wet.

fwiw, I liked "Oryx and Crake", haven't read the sequel yet. She joins Harlan Ellison and Vonnegut as SF writers who won't admit to it. While Bradbury doesn't mind the label, but points out that there's no science there. Does 3 SFnal novels out of a couple dozen books qualify her as one? Or does it depend on how you define the S?


Hmm, is Our Gracious Host bored, or is he doing research? :-)


Oh, I forgot: squids, of course.


I think you've posited a false dichotomy.

ASBs are only perceived to exist in the past, to create alternate timelines. However, talking squids may also be present in those alternative histories, so I think it's reasonable to assume that talking squids are, indeed, a manifestation of ASBs. A subset of all ASBs, if you like.

Furthermore, talking squids are present in the future.

So I think that the result is that the talking squids win, but merely because the historical ASBs evolved into that form.


HA! obviously the ASBs win.. theyll simply timeshift the squids into 1942


Well, Space Bats are the ones with the Galaga clone.


This is SO!! Unfair! And I appeal on the Grounds that, Quite Clearly, the ' Secret Society of Empathic VAMPYRES ' Are the 'Alien Space Bats ' of the Completion description ... Note, BATS and, thus bat like Vampire Behavior !

Did you Know that Vampire Bats Go For The Toe rather than the jugular in the South Americas - soon to move North, with Climate Change, into the US of A?

A market opportunity for Kevlar enhanced socks there I think.

Furthermore, that they - My Bats .. All Hail to the Bat Lords ..and Ladies ! ... are, NOT in the least bit 'Twinkly ' in the Modern 'Mills and Boon ' vampires sense. Given their mysterious Bat Like Alien Powers MY Bats are bound to Triumph in the Cage Match!

So, There!


Naah, your vampire bats are much less exotic than Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis, the vampire finch.


I'm not surprised that .." The vampire finch is endangered " the other birds are probably flitting about after-dark with well sharpened teeny wooden stakes clutched in one foot and a teeny mallet in the other.

I am REALLY looking forward to the next novel in The Laundry series.

And to think that people have been known to say that I have a Nasty Imagination! Little do they know.


I prefer the version where bats and squids make hot passionate love to each other. I mean, who wouldn't want to watch that? The soft caress of leather wings and the sensuous probing of fleshy tentacles. Hormones and pheromones sprayed all over, drenching all within reach with ...

Okay. I'll go away now.


No, please continue.


TSiOS get my vote - any old mammal can evolve to build spaceships and conquer the universe (particularly ones that can already fly) but for a big tentically sea-dweller to make it... they just gotta be real smart, and real mean, SOBs.



The alien space bats try to destroy the squids by time war, travelling far into the past and aiming asteroids at the earth, but the squids stops them using probability manipulation algorithms originally run on enourmous squid brains.

Later, the squids breed large cetations to sing these algorithms in songs of unearthly beauty. Humanity kills and eats them, thus ending the squid's defense.

However, since humanity evolved on earth, if the probability manipulation ends, and the alien space bats then succeed, humanity will never come into existence, resulting in a pardox.

The alien space bat's entire stellar empire is unwoven in time, leaving the sky denuded of heavy engineering.

The squids go back to thinking dark and evil thoughts in their lightless abyss. Humanity begins to have nightmares again.

Conclusion: The squids win.

Addendum: The universe is merely a sophisticated cage whose purpose has now been fulfilled.


HA! obviously the ASBs win.. theyll simply timeshift the squids into 1942

You don't want to send your enemies that close to the past; it'd give them 70 years to set a trap for you. You need to send them into the future so that you get to spend 70 years to learn enough on how to beat them.


(ugh; I guess the "cite" tag doesn't work... must remember to use simple quoting on this blog :-))


Isn't it great that vampirism has evolved more often in birds than in mammals? I'm already planning on putting carnivorous/vampiric parrots in a story. They'll be pining for the (southern) fjords...

Still, if you want to get Peter Watts' attention, there's always the wekiu bug, which lives on the frozen summits of Hawaiian volcanoes, has antifreeze in its blood, and sucks its stranded victims dry through its piercing mouthparts. Bugs are definitely where it's at, insofar as hemolymph sucking goes.


I had the great good fortune to attend an event starring both Margaret Atwood and Ursula LeGuin. It was wonderful to hear both these women.

Fortunately, it was recorded and can be found at the Oregon Public Broadcasting website. It's about an hour and well worth anyone's time:


Who says there has to be a winner or a loser? They unite to eliminate the disgusting ape-descended life forms (while making suitable replacement feeding-ape arrangements for cats, of course).

If that doesn't appeal, Hexapodia is the true insight, and squids are closer to hexapods than bats, so they win on a show of tentacles.


Re vampire finches:


Space Bats win, hands, er, wings down. Not only can they time shift, they can change the laws of physics locally. So all they have to do is change the reaction of the squids' chromophores to nerve signals and the squids can't talk to each other any more. The Bats then defeat the squids in detail.


Talking squids, 31-17 on the strength of the spread passing attack.




(Sorry, I really shouldn't read then post after drinking so much nyquil...)


ASB and TSiOS is a fairly standard mix used to make commentary on society.

1984, Brave New Worlds, Most of the Rod Serling Twilight Zones, and Heinlein's stuff fit that as well. The form has been and is still used most often in modern novels, generally in Mainstream fiction.

What exactly were you looking at Story wise. Combining what past change in a key event and what warning to society "if this continues on."


The bookies, you knobs!


I infer Saturday night was particularly good.


The sqids seem to be winning so far; they have Paul Myers, Bruce Schneier and Peter Watts.

OTOH the clear distinction between ASBs and $BOSS eludes me, so maybe it's even honours so far.


Its got to be the cephalopods - 'cos they're squids in...

(very sorry)


Insufficient data: is the cage under water or in the air?


Alien Space Bats manipulate time. Eschaton reacts to causality violation by inducing a supernova in the local star. Everyone loses.


The interesting part is that vampirism has evolved more often in birds than in mammals (in real life, that is). Somehow, that hasn't made it into vampire mythology yet.

I'm waiting for the series about flocks of carnivorous/ vampiric parrots that also destroy all technology. Oh wait, I'm thinking about New Zealand Keas. Never mind. I'll go back to pining for the (southern) fjords.


The sqids seem to be winning so far; they have Paul Myers, Bruce Schneier and Peter Watts.

But the bats have Arthur C Clarke (Childhood's End: well, they had batlike wings).

Also, Ted Hughes (The Iron Man: the space-bat-angel-dragon).


No, those were demons. Mind you, if the bats have all the legions of hell at their command...


Bat wins, being mammals and therefore having a considerably longer lifespan than squids.

A bat lives avg. 15-30 years where a squid only lives 1-2 years. Furthermore bats take care of their young (heck even other parentbats young). So the bat civilisation is developed to a point where they have built their first intergalactic guanoclad spacecave (highly corrosive to cephalopodhide).

This all means that the strategic mind of the 25 year old bat general will be far superior to a 1½ year old (albeit talking) squid general. All this amounts to the bats having a battleplan that'll wipe out the younger (and cuter) squids. Perhaps at length the bats will see the advantage having millions of multiarmed underlings to do their bidding.


When in doubt, I'll cast my vote with the bat-winged hamburger snatcher...


If the Squids can talk and make sounds in an outer space 10-6 hard vacuum they obviously comprehend quantum physics better than any old bats. Therefore, Squids all the way! Also their natural ink production serves as camoflauge in the darkness.


obviously non of the contributors have sufficient martial arts knowledge/experience to predict the obvious outcome of this Mixed Martial Arts bout (Those of us involved in the sport prefer the title mixed martial arts/MMA as its a genuine description of the activity rather than a hysterical media title).

Team TSiOS Cephalopod fighting out of Miami Sea World win with a 1st or at worst 2nd round submissions, for a host of reasons.

1st rules: No head butting. No biting. No eye gouging. No strikes to rear of the head or spine. No grabbing the shorts. No attacks aimed at the genitals. No 12 to 6 o'clock elbow strikes ( ie elbow strikes that descend with the point of the elbow)

Yes there are rules :)

All MMA bouts begin in a striking environment. Striking: Punching, kicking, knees and elbows. Expressed via Boxing, Thai boxing, karate, kick boxing, etc. IMHO both teams have serious physiological disadvantages when employing such techniques. To paraphrase 'Its the skeleton, stupid' Striking is quite dependent on muscle and bone mass. Since team TSiOS have no skeletal mass at all, but good muscle strength. Whilst Team ASB have ultra light skeletal mass and great cardio (like all hot bodied flyers as its a basic requirement for their primary locomotive mode) IMHO this just about cancels each other out, with both teams being about as effective at striking as an empty Gi=(karate suit).

The great thing about MMA, is that this complete lack of efficacy in the striking mode, does not mean the bout is a bust. Invariably the two combats would progress to a wrestling clinch ( By wrestling i mean the greco roman or freestyle variety. Not the WWE/World of sport variety). Most likely with the TSiOS team member initiating whilst the ASB fighter desperately attempted to evade ( having a brain the size of a walnut doesn't mean the ASB fighter doesn't listen to the instructions being hurled at him/her by the ASB coach). Wresting in MMA is a transitionary fight element which usually results in the superior wrestler taking the opponent to the ground. IMHO the TSiOS fighters ridiculous limb count advantage, combined with the supplementary nerve bundle that each tentacle possesses ( allowing all Team TSiOS fighters to effect a kind of tentacle 'fly by wire') equals a rapid take down of the ASB fighter or maybe a standing mounted submission attempt.

Which ever way the TSiOS representative chooses to go. Once a grip on the ASB is achieved the fight is essentially over as the two combatants move into the grappling/submission fighting part of MMA. Best represented by Brazilian or freestyle Ju Jitsu ( a martial art that was developed in feudal Japan as a technique for battlefield survival if a Samurai lost his sword ) Basic aim is to isolate a limb for a submission or a joint popping hyper-extension if the recipient fails to show good sense and self preservation by submitting and tapping out. Alternatively the neck can be attacked for a submission or toughed out and replaced with temporary unconsciousness due to carotid choke:lack of blood flow to the brain, or tracheal choke lack of air to lungs.I am convinced that the TSiOS natural Ronin mentality and insane limb count would dispose them well to Ju Jitsu techniques, whilst the lack of any skeleton would render them pretty much immune to counter-submission attacks.

Unfortunately i cannot escape the suspicion that the ASB team member would have to tap ( concede defeat ) very rapidly. As once the TSiOS fighter started to sink submission attempts in with all 10 tentacles, sharp cracking and popping sounds would be clearly heard emanating from the ASBs hollow brittle skeleton in no time at all. I suspect the sound would be something like the sound made if you rolled a truck over a dry frozen bush. Maybe the ASB would survive to fight another day ... but i doubt they'd ever fly with quite the same grace again.

No doubt the victorious TSiOS fighter would round off the post match interview with something like "Yeah he was a tough kid, but i stuck with my game plan. I hope the kids ok am sure i heard a few bones break before the ref pulled me off. Had a fantastic training camp, gotta thank ( insert 3-7 names you never heard of and don't care about) for helping me get this win. just like to say to the missus and the hatchlings at home 'daddies ok and coming home a winner'.Gotta mention my sponsors ( insert 2-4 marine fish tank and scuba equipment manufacturers ). Maybe now everyone can see I AM the real deal and i deserve a title shot"


Yeah, but are there any rules concerning, you know, acoustic means of demoralization?

For I'm not that sure what squiddie will react like when spacebat does the dolphin school thing. Leaving aside the practibility of adapting chiropteran echolocation to ultrasonic weaponry...


There is a giant squid in Childhood's End. It doesn't talk and it's not in space, but it does interact with humans. (Also, isn't there a squid in the diorama that the Overlords ship home?)


Yeah m8 vital point made. To make this a worthy PPV we really need an excess of overconfident smack talking. ( to fully engage the emotions of the Beer, guns and married to my cousin segment of the PPV demographic ) Something like this (am happy to say the guy lost via a submission I guess the individual pre match smack talk isn't a problem, as each fighter can be interviewed in their environmental medium of choice. But at some point we need both fighters nose to nose making useful career suggestions, so we badly need a neutral medium. Tall order methinks any suggestions? As far as the ultrasonic organic weaponry is concerned. I don't think any gaming commission in the USA would license its use, neither the UK or Western Europe. Sooooo if you really want that in, looks like the shows gotta be in Eastern Europe or south America (They will allow anything in cage as long as everyone signs a waiver) Russia or Brasil maybe?


Well, about the Beer, Guns and Endogamy crowd, I think Charlie Darwin is going to like it, though I don't know his stance about the beer.

Concerning the medium, I'm not that sure about the metabolic requirements of the space bats, but when in danger or in doubt, ask the oracle of virgins, AKA RPG[1] enthusiasts...

The possible origin in space implies no need for air, so maybe spacey is waterproof. When in doubt, there is always oxygenated perflourocarbons, ask your friendly sysadmin if he has some spare fluorinert. And speaking about liquid environments, what about an not necessarily all-female mud wrestling match, for the ones of us with the really sic^w acquired tastes?[1]

The banning of sonic weapons may lead to some heated arguments, spacey may point out squiddie has an inate advantage with his possible toxicity, though alien space bats may have no tetrodotoxin sensitive sodium channels. Don't know if the rules mandate a weight check, but a toxscreen might be necessary.

Concerning the place of the tournament, Mexico would be nice, especially places with some Mayan population groups, like Chiapas or Yucatan; you know, Clash of the Titans, Camazotz[2] vs. the Kraken, scheduled for the 2012 eclipse[3].

[1] Any idea how Vampyroteuthis fits in?

[2] The Mayans not only had a bat god of the underworld, but also a god of wine named Acan, which translates to "groan"; seems like the Oh-God of Hangovers has a Mesoamerican colleague...

[3] Gets the esoteric crowd in.


What's the Latin for that? Google suggests "Scitis, Robertus..."

Or should the motto be in Esperanto?


Don't think "scitis" was used in this way, but we could try "ecce"(there, you see). With the vocativ[1], that's "Ecce, Roberte...", and we got a nice insanite incursion with the Nietzsche library...

[1] Do I really have to say the words? "Romani..."


It's true that space bats use echolocation and fly, but wrong to assume they need air for this. Clearly, they both fly and squeak through the ether.

Don't talk to me about Michelson & Morley. Obviously their apparatus was sabotaged. The bats see all and act to protect their interests.


Fellow Charlie's diary lurkers. I have grave news indeed.

I awoke from a short nap in my office chair, I believe brought on by surfeit of spicy corned beef hash. As my over feed consciousness rose from the grip of sleep, i became aware of terror. Crawling, bubbling, like a rat scaling a sewer pipe ahead of a flash flood. From the most atavistic portions of my hind brain, only to defile the sunny glade of my conscious mind.

Some may question my sanity (my ex for example). But the signs and portents of my somnambulistic wanderings through the ether, point to one incontrovertible horrifying conclusion.

"HE" has taken an interest in our plans for a PPV family friendly slugfest. The Sleeper of R'lyeh has turned his hideous attentions towards us. With the hindsight of the condemned man i now realise we we're arrogant fools to even contemplate such a course of action.

Fellow lurkers review the details.

Item 1. Bats that live in the spaces between worlds, bats i presume with wings.

Item 2. Those many tentacled horrors made innocuous in many eyes, due to deep frying in breadcrumbs. The Squid.

Item 3. A global event, millions of fragile human minds melded into on seething collective craving violence and destruction.

Item 4. The unforeseen circumstances that force us to host our event beyond the shores of the civilised western world.

Item 5. The metallic octagonal shaped cage. An ideal summoning circle.

I even suspect we were manipulated right from the start, like marionettes set to dance upon a stage already set by The Sleeper, with a conclusion to the act know only to him. But one completely inimical to the future of mankind.

I fear the only hope for mankind is for some souls hardier of spirit and mind than i to ensure the entire cage is effectively grounded. I wish these brave individuals well, but fear i will not be present to render any assistance. Already my mind is dimming as i sense a chasm of galactic proportions growing at the centre of my being, as it consumes me.

I can only plead that those fortunate or cursed to read this document take decisive action.


TSiOSs win. But then the ASBs GO BACK IN TIME AND REWRITE HISTORY, so we think they won.


I for one welcome our new bat or squid overlords. Whichever one wins.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on October 17, 2010 2:00 PM.

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