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January 22nd, 2010

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03:59 am - SciFi recast of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude
Sent to you by Paulo via Google Reader: SciFi recast of Gabriel Garcia
Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude via the cupboard under the
stairs on 1/21/10

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano
Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him
to Europa, Jupiter’s moon, to discover ice.

At that time Macondo was a small planet of twenty low impact aluminum
houses, built on the bank of a dry canal full of stones polished by an
ancient ocean that now lie white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs.
This planet was so recent, terraformed only a couple years ago, that
many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was
necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of
ragged aliens would set up their tents near the village, and with a
great uproar of pipes and kettledrums, that was how their language
sounded to us, they would display new inventions, older than the ages
for them, but new and wonderful for us. First they brought the magnet.
A heavy alien with an untamed hair, two heads, and sparrow hands, who
introduced himself as Melquíades, put on a bold public demonstration of
what he himself called the eighth wonder of the learned alchemists of
their home planet, unknown to humans and far beyond betelgeuse. He went
from house to house dragging two metal ingots and everybody was amazed
to see pots, pans, tongs, and braziers tumble down from their places
and beams creak from the desperation of nails and screws trying to
emerge, and even objects that had been lost for a long time appeared
from where they had been searched for most and went dragging along in
turbulent confusion behind Melquíades’ magical irons. “Things have a
life of their own,” the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. “It’s
simply a matter of waking up their souls.”

José Arcadio Buendía, whose unbridled imagination always went beyond
the genius of nature and even beyond miracles and magic, thought that
it would be possible to make use of that useless invention to extract
mineral from the bowels of this new land, valuable for the federeation,
and according to him unknown back at earth. Melquíades, who was an
honest being, warned him: “It won’t work for that.” But José Arcadio
Buendía at that time did not believe in the honesty of aliens, so he
traded his mule and a pair of goats, for the two magnetized ingots.
Úrsula Iguarán, his wife, who knew that those animals where given to us
for the colonization of the planet, was unable to dissuade him. “Very
soon we’ll have minerals enough to move to a city in the central
planets,” her husband replied. For several months he worked hard to
demonstrate the truth of his idea. He explored every inch of the
region, even the dry canals, dragging the two iron ingots along and
reciting Melquíades’ incantation aloud. The only thing he succeeded in
doing was to unearth a suit of armor from an ancient race with several
arms, which had all of its pieces soldered together with rust and
inside of which there was the hollow resonance of an enormous
stone-filled gourd. When José Arcadio Buendía and the four men of his
expedition managed to take the armor apart, they found inside a
calcified alien skeleton, strange and astonishing, with a copper locket
containing a human woman’s hair around its neck.

-SF recast of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

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