Review of “Three Reasons Why Your Experimental Planet Needs Humans” by Intisar Khanani

This story reads like advertising copy for those seeking to buy their own play planet. It’s unlikely the owners will visit the planet but will observe the doings on it, like a kid with an ant farm.

The reader can conclude the creatures who would invest in such projects are not afraid to spend money and are incredibly long-lived. Adding humans is perhaps an extra, and the ad copy is meant to persuade the buyer to spend more.

Why add humans to a perfectly peaceful planet? They’re destructive to other competitive species, never mind ecosystem of the planet, but they are entertaining. They’ll create climate change that will result in “fun viewing” of superstorms. The author goes on to attribute earthquakes and tsunamis to human activity. “In truly advanced cases, the magnetic poles may even switch!”


Aren’t we humans stinkers? The truth is, while there are problems in Oklahoma with earthquakes induced by human activity, the vast majority of earthquakes and tsunamis have nothing to do with anything people do or fail to do. And gods help us if a tsunami hits Oklahoma. As for the magnetic pole shifting, it has done so every 200,000 to 300,000 years, according to NASA. In fact, we are long overdue for a shift. This is borne out in the fossil record. Humans have had no effect it in the past.

The author has a point to make. There is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, her tone is sarcastic and self-righteous rather than amusing. Humor could have made this a fun story to read.

Climate change is something that needs to be understood before it can be properly addressed, which is why I wish the author had a better grasp of the issues.

2012: Magnetic Pole Reversal Happens All The (Geologic) Time


According to her blurb, author Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and a world traveler. She’s lived in five different states and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. She formerly worked with the Cincinnati Health Department. This, she says, is as close as she came to saving the world.

She is the author of the Sunbolt Chronicles series of YA books.

The story can be read here.

Title: “Three Reasons Why Your Experimental Planet Needs Humans”
Author: Intisar Khanani
First published: Daily Science Fiction, December 3, 2018

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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