The next story I’m unveiling for Unidentified Funny Objects is “Love Thy Neighbors” by Ken Liu.
Ken’s fiction has appeared in F&SF, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Clarkesworld, among other places. He has won a Nebula Award for “The Paper Menagerie” and been nominated for the Hugo and Sturgeon Awards for “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary,” and several of his stories have been selected for inclusion in various Year’s Best anthologies. He lives near Boston with his family. His website is kenliu.name
McComber: But there are some negative consequences to what you’re doing, aren’t there?
Filip: Negative? We’re saving cuddly and cute creatures! Who doesn’t like more pandas? Everyone loves pandas!
McComber: I think many of our callers feel differently. All right, you’re on.
First Caller: Hi, this is Mary from Waterford, Connecticut. I hate your mutant penguins. There’s a colony of them camped right outside my house, and they smell.
I’ve never seen such aggressive birds. My children can’t play in our yard anymore because they get pecked. You people need to be put in prison.
Filip: Mary, I’m sorry you feel that way. Maybe instead of feeling so entitled to your yard, you can try to make friends with the penguins? Try learning their language. I can recommend some good tapes made by the WikiGenes Foundation.
Second Caller: Hi, this is Jordan from Ansel, New Jersey. Let me tell you, watch these giant pandas dig through garbage for a few weeks, and they don’t seem so cute any more. One of them has even started to steal the tomatoes from my wife’s garden. And that constant mating, right in the street!
I can’t wait till the governor declares panda hunting season.
McComber: Mr. Filip, you’re responsible for the terror of our suburbs: the omnivorous, sex-maniac panda.