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Author Topic: What is "the Budapest Zoo" concept?  (Read 1971 times)
RN3G8 4E
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Posts: 29


« on: February 09, 2003, 06:45:49 PM »

I was just reading the "Limits of Sci-Fi" thread and saw this mentioned. Is this literally pertaining to the Budapest Zoo or is there some implied concept I'm not familiar with?
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Jareth Dakk
Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2003, 07:00:39 PM »

Quote from: Harlequin
Remember Budapest Zoo?

The pitch: You live in war-shattered Budapest, sometime in the near future of now. You eke out a living as best you can, but there are more bullets than beans in this city, more bombs than children. Now make a character.

The Big Idea, and the Truth: Humanity - as a whole - has achieved peace, matured to the point where strife is not necessary. Except in Budapest. The inhabitants here - civil rights? whassat? - are kept in this state by grey-garbed agents of the outside world, who provide both the subsistence food and the plentiful ammunition which allows it to remain as it is. Homeostasis of death. Your home. What do you do about it?

The ramifications and interpretations here are what make me really class this as a Big Idea story. What *is* Budapest? A zoo, kept for the edification of enlightened humanity? A prison, a life sentence for those who still have genetic predisposition toward violence? The ultimate, cruel, reality-TV program? Or simply the most visible expression of a never-truly-suppressed violence of the racial soul?
(This is stolen outright from a short story I would like to find again sometime but cannot recall the details of, out of a collection entitled When The Music's Over - but since nobody else had read it, it worked as stolen. The SF short story may just be the perfect source for this sort of thing.)


It sounds like a game Harlequin ran and he describes it in that thread to illustrate the "Big Idea" or so it seems to me. It is not a concept that has coined for Forge discussion, to my knowledge, like El Dorado.
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2003, 07:26:12 PM »

Hi,

I don't know if this is going to matter to Harlequin or not, and he may have already found the source of the story...

But this sounds amazingly like a short story called, IIRC, "Beruit" by J.G. Ballard.

Christopher
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Gordon C. Landis
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I am Custom-Built Games


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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2003, 01:04:53 PM »

John D. MacDonald's less successful (than The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything) SF works Ballroom of the Skies and/or Wine of the Dreamers both offer interesting explanations for this kind of situation - I think Ballroom, at least, is novella/novelette length and might be remembered as a short story.

Gordon
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Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2003, 01:07:55 PM »

Quote from: Christopher Kubasik
Hi,

I don't know if this is going to matter to Harlequin or not, and he may have already found the source of the story...

But this sounds amazingly like a short story called, IIRC, "Beruit" by J.G. Ballard.

Christopher


War Fever. From the collection of the same name by Ballard.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
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