They’re Made Out of Meat!

“They’re Made Out of Meat” is a short story by Terry Bisson. It’s a great riff on the improbability of the human situation, and particularly relevant to psychologists (e.g. “So … what does the thinking?”) The full text is here. The story has its own wikipedia page, and there’s a YouTube film here. Now, for your listening delight Erin Revell and Geraint Edwards, at my request, have recorded the story so I can play parts of it during a lecture. The result was too good not to share, so with Terry Bisson’s permission, here’s a link for the whole thing:

Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat”

(Cross posted at

13 thoughts on “They’re Made Out of Meat!”

  1. hey tom, i think you may have bungled an italic tag or something in this post… everything after this post is in italics (:

    also, this has to be one of my favorite science fiction pieces! i’ll check out the film and audio.

  2. Nice. Also a bit depressing. But I like the lightness of the story. The aliens seemed quite philosophical as well.

    Not very good *tasting* meat, I suppose. Since sharks spit us out most of the time. It reminded me of Gigorota on Lexx who would call people “a waste of skin”.

  3. I loved the ending! “Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone…” And that’s exactly what they just did to the meat.

  4. I have decided that this video will be the litmus test for whom I can be friends with. If they don’t find this funny and/or clever, we can’t be friends. My early 20’s daughter didn’t get it and didn’t understand why I was laughing. Sad.

      1. I tried to disown her and she won’t leave me alone. She just keeps telling me how mean I am. How do I get rid of her?

    1. I can only suspect that’s partly because you haven’t done your bit and partly the fact that it takes time the brain to grow into such reasoning

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