Slapstick in space – Mark Roman’s “The Ultimate Inferior Beings”

Description by the author / blurb:

When jixX is appointed spaceship captain for a dangerous space mission he doesn’t regard it as a promotion. More like a computer error, given he’s a landscape architect. The error theory gains in strength when he meets the crew: a carpenter, a gynaecologist and a scientist trying to prove the existence of God. To add to jixX’s woes, there’s a stowaway on board, one of his crew is a saboteur and the ship’s computer thinks it’s a comedian. And then they meet aliens. Not technologically advanced aliens – their civilization is based on the invention of the brick – but jixX has a bad feeling about them anyway. Among them are a religious bunch who believe in The Ultimate Inferior Beings – a species that are really, really bad at everything. According to an ancient prophecy this species will, perhaps inadvertently or absent-mindedly or through some tragic mishap, bring about the end of the Universe. One alien becomes convinced that the humans are these incompetent beings. He realizes he must be the Chosen One, and that it is his Duty to wipe them out before they can trigger total annihilation. So it comes down to jixX to save Humankind …


The field of sci-fi is so immeasurably broad it would be hard to find classic sci-fi scenes that evoke universal recognition in readers. As such, in writing sci-fi comedy, the Mark Roman doesn’t parody persons or topics derived from the sci-fi universe, but he’s rather playing with archetypical themes that keep reappearing in that genre. I think, with that, he has taken the right choice.  Continue reading