Raunch Review: Friday

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.

Raunch Review: Friday
The Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Work in Question: Friday
The Profanity: “Slitch”

Heinlein has had his share of fans and detractors, and certainly, Friday isn’t his best-loved book by either group. (A few years ago, Jo Walton wrote a great review for Tor.com, ‘The worst book I love: Robert Heinlein’s Friday,’ which is worth reading.) Within the near-future world of the novel, there a pernicious vulgarity which we’re going to examine today. The word: “slitch.” Regardless of your Heinlein hot-take—something about this vulgarity works too well.

In the novel, the titular Friday —an “Artificial Person” or “AP”— must pass in the near-future world as a human, despite being genetically engineered and possessing mental and physical abilities which far exceed a normal person. There’s a lot of hate and bigotry toward APs. And throughout Friday, we see a world where society is built upon intolerance. In an environment like this, creating a portmanteau like “slitch” fits. (I’ll let you figure out its roots.)

“Slitch” builds off history — twisting and combining a pair of vulgarities we, the reader, recognize while still creating a new word. Its score is slightly held back because understanding its roots require a working knowledge of our modern vulgarities. (We value pure originality here at Raunch Reviews.) But, it feels as icky as its history and its link to the past goes a long way toward creating an effective piece of faux-profanity.

Score:  (4.0)

🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews

Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.


Friday Link Pack 12/06/13

Syd Mead Blade Runner Concept Art
Syd Mead Blade Runner Concept Art

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have any suggestions, let me know.


12 Real Life Inventions That Science Fiction is Neglecting at its Peril
One of my favorite bloggers, Charlie Jane Anders, compiles a list of real life inventions that has been neglected by modern science fiction. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own project look no further. There’s a lot here.

The Stars Were Right trade paperbacks are available!
As of yesterday my book The Stars Were Right is now available as a trade paperback from Amazon! Nab it today! It makes a great gift! To celebrate I also discounted the Kindle edition to $0.99 for the rest of the week. You can’t even buy a decent cup of coffee for a buck these days.

The Stars Were Right Giveaway!
Now through January 5th you can enter to win a copy of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads. It’s as simple as following the link and clicking “Enter to Win!” Tell your friends (or don’t and give yourself a better chance at winning.)

Learning to Write
Hugh Howey offers some frank and simple advice on what it takes to write.


Syd Mead’s Bladerunner Concept Art
Some of the coolest concept art you’ll see. Ever. Really. I promise.

Wars on Kinkade
One part painter of light, one part dark side. DeviantArt artist Jeff Bennett merges Star Wars and Tomas Kinkade paintings into fantastic (and amusing) pieces.


The National x Bob’s Burgers – Sailors in Your Mouth
Two of my favorite things combine to create an amazing Thanksgiving song for the 2nd year in a row. If you missed “Thanksgiving Song” from last year make sure you listen to it as well.

Getting Lost on North Brother Island
Situated between the Bronx and Riker’s Island, New York lies a small bird sanctuary that was once the site of a hospital. After 40+ years of abandonment the result are some amazing (and creepy) pictures.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Beast in the Cave
A lost man. A dark cave. A potential threat.

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

This is basically what dinosaurs looked like. Too bad.


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