They're Made Out of Meat
|"They're Made Out of Meat"|
|Publication date||April 1991|
"They're Made Out of Meat" is a short story by American writer Terry Bisson. It was originally published in OMNI. It consists entirely of dialogue between two characters. Bisson's website hosts a theatrical adaptation. A film adaptation won the Grand Prize at the Seattle Science Fiction Museum's 2006 film festival.
The story was collected in the 1993 anthology Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories, and has circulated widely on the Internet, which Bisson finds "flattering". It has been quoted in cognitive, cosmological, and philosophical scholarship.
The two characters are intelligent beings capable of traveling faster than light, on a mission to "contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe." Bisson's stage directions represent them as "two lights moving like fireflies among the stars" on a projection screen. One of them tells the incredulous other about the recent discovery of carbon-based lifeforms "made up entirely of meat". After conversing briefly about it, they both deem such beings and communication with them too bizarre and agree to "erase the records and forget the whole thing", marking the Solar System "unoccupied".
They're Made out of Meat (2005)
In 2005, Stephen O'Regan wrote and directed a live film adaptation starring Tom Noonan and Ben Bailey. The film was made as a final project for the New York Film Academy. The main action takes place inside of a diner on Staten Island, NY full of teenagers. The music for the film was scored by Bob Reynolds.
They're Made out of Meat (2010)
In 2010, Jeff Frumess and Trevor Scott wrote and directed their own iteration, adding the character of a homeless conspiracy theorist with an original score by musician Sam Belkin. The film was shot at the Hartsdale train platform on the Metro North in Westchester, NY.
In 2015, musical producer Jose Hoffman created a song based on the story.
- Carbon chauvinism
- Zoo hypothesis
- Fables for Robots – a collection of short stories where humans and other organic life are looked upon similarly
- Bisson, Terry (April 1991). "They're Made Out of Meat". OMNI.
- Bisson, Terry. "They're Made out of Meat (play)". Terry Bisson SF Story Showcase. Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- "Science Fiction Short Film Festival Winners Announced". Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. 2006-02-09. Archived from the original on 2006-05-21.
- Bisson, Terry (November 1993). Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories (1st (Hardcover) ed.). New York, NY: Tor. ISBN 978-0-312-85411-9.
- Bisson, Terry. "They're Made out of Meat". Terry Bisson SF Story Showcase. Archived from the original on 2019-05-01.
- Boden, Margaret A. (2006). "16.v.d". Mind As Machine: A History of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. p. 1386. ISBN 0-19-929238-8. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Wolff, Milo (2003). "55: Cosmology, the Quantum Universe, and Electron Spin". In Richard L. Amoroso; et al. (eds.). Gravitation and Cosmology: From the Hubble Radius to the Planck Scale. Fundamental Theories of Physics. 126. Netherlands: Springer. pp. 517–524. doi:10.1007/0-306-48052-2_55. ISBN 978-1-4020-0885-6.
- McGinn, Colin (May 1999). Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-01422-4.
- "They're Made Out of Meat" - the text of the short story.
- A directory of 10+ short film adaptations from 2006 on
- 2012 production as a radio play (WNYC)