Shorts: Attachment Unavailable

I love the concept of Attachment Unavailable. Even after an alien invasion, where so much of our world has changed, the same nonsense of social media groups continues. People remain as uninformed as they ever were, citing themselves as experts after only reading headlines and the first few comments on an article. While hilarious, it’s also a bit of a bleak future, foreboding that no matter how far we advance, social media will always rule all.

ATTACHMENT UNAVAILABLE

Leah Cypress
Asimov’s Science Fiction
July/August 2018

STORY

Aliens have integrated into the world or taken it over – that part isn’t totally clear. They appear to be improving human life exponentially, but people are still against it, no matter how much good they’re doing. Attachment Unavailable starts with a link to an article about aliens helping babies sleep, and devolves into multiple conversations about politics, the ethics of allowing aliens near babies, breastfeeding vs formula, vaccinations, etc. The result is a block on the lone troll who continues to drudge up the many topics unrelated to the forum.


CHARACTERS

There are a number of commenters, each one pretty nondescript as Facebook followers tend to go. They all have different opinions about everything, and there is one troll who is constantly trying to stir up trouble. She appears to be an alien sympathizer by the end, but who knows what her full intentions are. Ultimately, it’s a bunch of women who are a part of a mothers group, using the group to talk about anything and everything.

You’ve got the best and worst social media characters here. The people who don’t read the articles but post them because of the comment sections. Who correct spelling passive-aggressively. The people who post dead links over and over again. Who are continuously saying they can’t see the links. The people who insert politics into every conversation. Each type is portrayed brilliantly.


SETTING

On Facebook, in a world post-alien invasion (or non-invasion depending on the political party you are a part of). Attachment Unavailable takes place in a Facebook forum – major props to the author for perfectly capturing the absurdity of commenting and its unique narrative form.


CONCEPTS

Aliens, Invasion, Alternate Dimensions, Motherhood, Social Media

Interested in more stories like Attachment Unavailable? Read our short story reviews here.

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash