SCI FICTION, April 28, 2004

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"Elvis in the Attic" by Catherine M. Morrison

"Elvis in the Attic" by Catherine M. Morrison addresses the serious, ethical issue of the proper disposal of unwanted Elvii (plural of "Elvis").  Is it reasonable to simply call the Elvii exterminators? Perhaps when one has a Memphis Elvis, it's a mostly humane practice.  Those get shipped to Japan as slaves, but at least they get to perform.  However, a Vegas Elvis is another matter.  No one wants Vegas Elvii, and their fate is much more dire–as pests that need to be put down.

To young Kenny, his responsibility to the Vegas Elvis that manifests in his attic is clear.  He must save him from the exterminators his mother has called, and set him free in his native environment, the Elvii Mecca, Graceland.

Morrison's story is a tongue-in-cheek yarn that addresses the unanswered mystery of Elvis Presley sightings, so prevalent in popular culture.  Is he dead?  Was he cloned by scientists?  Propagated by aliens?  Aside from making me grin from almost the first paragraph, this story also has a subtextual theme.  Well, sort of.  It's hidden beneath a white spandex sequined jumpsuit, but if a reader desires, they can apply the plight of Kenny's Elvis to any misplaced wildlife that homeowners and city officials deem as pests.  Is it ethical to trap, poison, starve, and kill nuisance fauna? Or do we instead have a responsibility to try to either co-exist with or compassionately relocate these unfortunate critters?

"Elvis in the Attic" is a well-written, airy, and above all, fresh story from newcomer Morrison.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.