Reading the Hugos (2020) Ten Excerpts from an Annotated… oh God that’s a long title.

Some particular trends in genre literature have become obvious during the past few years. One of them is the use of Brobdingnagian titles, a compulsion to write paragraph-long titles, some of whom even give away the plot. I suspect this may have started as a quirky, ironic thing to do, but I don’t think it’s funny unless you are lampooning or referencing some stuffy style like academic papers or writing comedy. And, to be fair, that’s to some extent what this story is doing—referencing, not the comedy.

The complete title of this very short piece by Nibedita Sen is Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island, which is way less interesting than my alternative title: The lesbian cannibal she-devils of Ratnabar Island. It’s mating season… and they want your blood!

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“Anyone attaining the age of 999 years shall be deemed dead in law.”

From the life of Richard Pockrich (1690?-1745,) inventor of the Musical Glasses.

“Richard was left at the age of twenty-five an unencumbered fortune of 4,000l. a year (Pilkington, Memoirs), but all his resources he dissipated in the pursuit of visionary projects. He proposed to plant vineyards in reclaimed Irish bogs, to supply men-of-war with tin boats which would not sink, to secure immortality by the transfusion of blood, and to provide human beings with wings.”

Source: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 45

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