To Shoot/Not To Shoot |Speculative Satire by Joey To

Blending a science fiction setting and the racial tropes of fantasy fiction and then bundling it up into a thesis on marketing across the galaxy is no easy feat. Throw in the meta game of LARP being played by ‘actual’ Orcs Dwarves and Elves and you have a short story that disguises it’s left handed social satire with a right hand of icomedy.

Originally appearing in, and winning,  the I/O M/F/? Award, To Shoot/Not To Shoot now appears on our Award Winning Stories Page.

Joey uses a variety of techniques in this short story, including interview questions, academic and marketing language juxtaposed with adolescent dialogue. It pays off. 

This contest had a higher word count then a lot of other competitions, so expect a bit of a longer read.

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 Otherwise enjoy this great story by Joey To


Speculative Satire by Joey To


A Preliminary Study On Inter-Xeno Marketing


People require amusement and this fact is never lost on two major types:
(1) those who demand toys and/or entertaining games and;
(2) those who profit from the manufacturing and distribution of said toys and games.

The popularity of Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP) games have been increasing across the galaxy, always involving participants from different worlds. Terrans [T], Orcs [O], Dwarves [D] and Elves [E] are the four main races interested with 99.6% of all recorded LARP games hosting all four races.

However, despite the relative increase, participants are still low. Efforts have been made by various organizations to form leagues to attract new players whilst others have attempted to manufacture and distribute gaming equipment such as holo-costumes and mock weaponry (amongst other items). Such efforts have not only failed to reap any profit but have incurred significant losses, with participants not merely ignoring them but dismissing them in a rather violent manner.

Naturally, there was the question of “Why?” followed by so-called marketing experts getting pummelled—hence the infamous “Marketing Consultants’ Purge” on Terra last year—action more akin to what accidentally on purpose happens at LARP events, especially with the presence of Orcs.

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