Review of “The Judas Goat” by K.S. O’Neill


This visitor tells the story of the Judas goat. It’s not the goat’s fault. It knows no more about radio collars than it does about God or quantum physics. It just knows that it likes to be with other goats.

The goats are invasive on the Galapagos. As bright as men are, they can’t eradicate them. The Judas goat helps.

People like to be with people, too, across the great expanse of space.


Reading the story got me wondering if Judas goats were real. They are, but not exactly as depicted in the story.

The author’s take on it is more layered. Simply being around other goats brings destruction down on the whole group, but only because goats are destroying the habitat of native species.

While I can’t say I was surprised by the ending of this sad little story, it engaged me to the end. It also brought my attention to something I didn’t know about.


Author K.S. O’Neill has had at least four other pieces published in Daily Science Fiction. In a blurb that accompanied earlier work, he said he lives with his lovely wife, the writer Joy Kennedy-O’Neill, on the Texas coast, where he teaches math at a small college.

“The Judas Goat” can be read here.

Title: The Judas Goat
Author: K.S. O’Neill
First published: Daily Science Fiction, September 28, 2020

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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