Science fiction author Charlie Stross has a short story up on his site (you might want to read his preface first) that will be of interest to anybody fascinated by dinosaurs, sodomy, electro-ejaculation, or the peculiar phallic properties of the Muscovy duck. No, really:

“Nobody’s built an MRI scanner big enough for a half-ton juvenile raptor, and you can’t even sedate the beast and stick your arm up its anus to sex it by palpation — until they’ve gone through an entire life cycle and we’ve had a corpse to dissect we won’t know enough about Tyrannosaur anatomy to be sure if we’ve got it right. All we could go by at the time was comparative blood titres of testosterone and other androgens. Which is how we figured out that Brad was probably male, and should have a sack full of sperm to milk.

“Well.” She put her beer down. “We had a meeting about it on the Friday, discussing ways and means. Frank sat in on it — as our customer and the owner of the Museum he had every right to — and I should have realized he was taking notes. Why don’t you stick a shocker up its back passage? He asked. That works for most poultry. Which got us onto some reminiscences from when he was growing up on his dad’s farm, where they bred Muscovy ducks. And then onto some, um, strictly non-professional speculation of an increasingly prurient nature. As you can imagine, Frank was a man of god rather than science; his concern was strictly that we couldn’t use male stock in the proposed Jesus rodeo, lest the ladies and wee ones in the audience see something they shouldn’t. And he took a startlingly in-depth interest in the topic at hand.” She frowned furiously. “That should have tipped me off. But anyway, we agreed to try electrostimulus first, using a stimulator sized for bison.”


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