Letter from the Guest Editor

By Hamilton Morris

The days of the gentleman scientist have long since passed, the chemical-supply stores have shut their doors, and some states have made unlicensed Erlenmeyer-flask possession a criminal offense. Our collective mouths froth over evidence of an intangible boson while medicinal chemists found guilty of forbidden syntheses are locked in cages and forgotten. The promises of human cloning are squelched by a UN ban, leaving such investigations the sole province of UFO-worshiping sex cults. Science is confined to industry or university, where research is largely dictated by market demands or grant-writing abilities, and experimental freedom is a luxury some toil a lifetime to achieve. That is science—so what is weird science? I’m not talking about using Antarctic krill oil to decalcify your pineal or the guzzling of monoatomic gold. I’m talking about real science––that’s a little bit weird. The syringe of chimpanzee semen plunged into a willing human female surrogate; Darwin investigating insectivorous plants with a cane topped by an emerald-eyed, ivory skull; radioresistant tardigrades and the use of cesium-accumulating mushrooms to decontaminate nuclear exclusion zones. Not mad science, not pseudoscience, weird science.

I was denied access to the unpublished pages of Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis and declined by Ray Bradbury one month before his death. Harlan Ellison possessed not a single unpublished story, and chemists working in industry bridled at this publication’s name, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that a vice is simply a tool, invented by the Greek astronomer Archytas of Tarentum, a disciple of Pythagoras. So I looked deeper and found newer, better things that palpate the tender abdomen of what we call science with a cold, ungloved finger. I also threw in a dash of science fiction for good measure. 

Inhale the alkyl nitrites of curiosity and penetrate the puckered sphincter of knowledge, scientia! 

Check out articles from the Weird Science Issue:

Don’t Eat Those Carnitas

A Puzzle

Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now?

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