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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Corpse Compost

I have always found Frank Herbert's rather incidental observation of the Bene Gesserit practice of planting the dead beneath fruit trees in burial orchards a rather lovely sfnal conceit, and tho' I often declared it my own preference I knew there was little chance the option would be on offer when my own time comes. It turns out, however, that the state of Washington is on the verge of making available the next-best option I've heard of: In last year's Record of a Spaceborn Few Becky Chambers managed to make composting the dead seem quite a congenial prospect. It seems a safe bet that California will take this up soon enough if Washington reveals there is a demand for it without unforeseen downsides. Definitely I think being returned quickly to the living world after I die as compost sounds more appealing than cremation or coffin confinement, and as zany disposal methods Californians go for it sure beats pharaohnic cryonics, or getting shot into orbit, or compressed into costume jewelry (well, I can appreciate the high camp appeal of that last, even if it's not my sort of thing).

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